Male posturing meat-head. Initially I thought "oh here we go again," another muscle head barking advice and boasting of his accomplishments. I could practically visualize John flexing in the mirror and kissing his biceps as he wrote this. This wasn't a shock to me however. After all the cover touts call-to-actions like "Have more sex," and "Become the Alpha you were born to be." The readers expectations are practically set in the full title itself "Man 2.0 Engineering The Alpha - A Real World Guide To An Unreal Life." Regardless of my skeptical first impressions, I quickly got through the first couple paragraphs of campy movie quotes and generic opinions of the fitness industry...and was hooked!
Engineering The Alpha ReviewI would put "Man 2.0" in the category of a Healthy Lifestyle guide rather than an Exercise and Fitness book. It doesn't really get into any specific workout routines or diet plans until the last 1/3 of the book. I'm assuming that was the goal however, as you will not find a single scientific reference or footnote for any of the statements and claims. I don't mind that. The biggest issue facing the average American male (or female) is NOT how to do a better biceps curl. Like I said in my 23 Hour Workout posts, your body and fitness goals are not determined by the hour a day you spend in the gym, it's about the other 23 hours of the day. It seems John subscribes to this philosophy as well. John lays out 15 "Alpha Rules" that range from emotional balance and getting your ego in check, to honing your interpersonal communication skills by being more assertive with people in your life. It's kinda real like life advice you might get from a big bro watchin' out for ya. As I got into the book, not only was I engaged and focused (which is a feat in and of itself for an A.D.D. spaz like myself) but I could almost feel my testosterone levels rising! John's very unique casual style of writing makes it read more like a conversation with him than a "textbook." "Part 3: Engineering the Alpha" is where you get into the nitty gritty diet and workout advice. There's a ton of good information here, but it definitely disrupts the easy-reading flow of the first 2/3's. You will learn about meal composition including calorie and macro / micro-nutrient requirements, how to figure out and monitor your body fat percentage, training schedules, and exercise demos. While the exercise routines are pretty much well, routine, what is super interesting in part 3 (and throughout the book) is the information shared about the importance of hormone balance. I found it really thought provoking to read how things like T3 and T4, Cortisol, and Leptin can be not only kept in check, but may be manipulated to help achieve body composition goals. This book doesn't go into great "scientific" depth about hormones, but definitely provides enough info to make you a believer, or at the very least seek out more information on the topic.
ConclusionWhile my initial impressions were a bit skeptical, I was definitely "judging a book by it's cover" so to speak. I found myself re-reading this book a couple of times; each time gleaning different info or inspiration. That's not a common occurrence with many "health and fitness" books in my experience. Man 2.0 Engineering The Alpha Review: 5 out of 5 GymPaws