Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review: 5 Essentials for a Winning Life by Chris Carmichael

Lance Armstrong’s coach Chris Carmichael offers advice on improving nutrition, fitness, and living a “high performance lifestyle” in the book ‘5 Essentials for a Winning Life.’

The workouts are general in nature, not geared towards cyclists or long distance runners, but instead focused on developing strength and endurance to better perform the tasks of daily living.

I liked Carmichael’s take on the essential elements of a high performance lifestyle. Carmichael states that high performance athletes have the mental, emotional and physical energy to connect meaningfully with work and personal relationships. They have the energy reserves and sense of control that will let them cope with adversity without throwing their lives off track. They are not hindered by self-imposed limitations and they do not shrink from competition. High performance athletes commit to achieving their goals, are proud of all they have accomplished and have the confidence and competence that attracts the respect of their peers.

Carmichael’s focus in the book is balancing Relationships, Career, Fitness, Nutrition and Health to increase the athlete’s ability to achieve goals and live life to the fullest.

Carmichael offers solid nutrition advice and recipes focused on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, low-fat dairy and the elimination of most processed foods. Interestingly, Carmichael has found that many of his clients have a basically nutritious diet, if they would only cut out the soda, alcohol, tobacco, corn syrup, trans fats and fancy coffee drinks. Carmichael’s exercise routine consists of multi-joint strength training and intervals, with the focus on making your body stronger and more able to meet the demands of every day living through hard work.

I especially liked Carmichael’s tips on working out while on a business trip. His “Hotel Room Workout” consists of bed pushups, runway broad jumps, chair dips, combination lunges, windshield wipers, plyometric wall pushes, and phone book crunches. He also suggests asking the client to tell you about their favorite running route or if you can join him/her on a run.

What are your tips on running while away from home on business or vacation?

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