June 11, 2023

Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time: Book Summary

The provocatively titled Weight Lifting is a Waste of Time calls into question the time we’ve spent at the gym, not only lifting weights but attempting to burn fat with hours upon hours of cardio. While the title may stir some strong reactions, author Dr. John Jaquish backs up his claims with science. Indeed, the latest research says there’s a better way to build muscle and burn fat.

The book’s full title is Weight Lifting is a Waste of Time: And So is Cardio, and There’s A Better Way to Get the Body You Want.

In the book, Dr. John Jaquish and his chief engineer Henry Alkire get straight to the point: weight lifting simply isn’t an effective way to trigger muscular growth.

Lifting weights targets our weakest range of motion, something anyone who lifts can easily attest to. We’ve all experienced the struggle of lifting the bar off the floor, off the chest, or off the rack in our weakest, most joint-compromised posture. But power through the lift as the body opens to a stronger, impact-ready position, and we could lift more. Jaquish’s research says we can lift up to seven times more. This is a significant missed potential.

A Better Way to Work Out

Jaquish’s solution is variable resistance. Unlike the static resistance that weight lifting offers, variable resistance (think bands or chains) mimics the body’s natural strength curve. Because a band stretches throughout the lift, it offers us less resistance where we’re weakest and greater resistance where we’re strongest.

Research studies cited in the book confirm that variable resistance offers greater gains, perhaps triple the gains of weight lifting. The book reviews the research on elite athletes, collegiate athletes, and, yes, regular, untrained people and explores why this potential has been largely left untapped.

A chapter on optimizing hormones and growth factors uncovers the inadequacy, or downright futility, of cardio as a means of burning fat and losing weight. For those more concerned with growth, myths about testosterone, growth hormone, and other growth factors are addressed.

From Bones to Muscle – and Beyond

The book balances in-depth reviews of scientific research with the very human story of how X3 Bar came to be. Jaquish’s journey as a fitness disruptor began with his search for a solution to help his mother reverse her osteoporosis. This ultimately led him to invent the most effective bone-density building medical device, as confirmed through research conducted by the NASA Human Performance Research Center at the University of Texas Medical School.

The knowledge Dr. John gained while researching bone loading led to his insight into muscle. A deep dive into more research was followed by prototypes and testing, and the X3 Bar System was born. The book offers testimonials, before and after photos, and detailed how-to’s. But it’s more than a long-form sales pitch.

A Multipronged Science-Backed Approach to Fitness

Readers interested in the why will enjoy the transparency and close look at the science behind what it takes to improve body composition. And as anyone who’s tried can understand, nutrition is a central component.

Here too, Dr. Jaquish takes a fearless approach. He cites studies that name fat and protein as the only two essential macronutrients, with no plants necessary, and debunks several nutritional myths, especially around cholesterol and fat. The book explains in depth the connection between optimal nutrition, hormones, body composition, and health. What we eat is essential, but also when, hence intermittent fasting and its benefits are explained.

For the doubters, the book spends quite a bit of time breaking down the “Falsehoods of Fitness,” why genetic potential shouldn’t limit us, and how hyperplasia (muscle growth) really works.

For those ready to jump into X3 workouts and test Dr. John’s theories for themselves, an appendix offers detailed instructions on how to perform the exercises that make up the 12-week strength program.

Building the body of our dreams isn’t an easy task, but perhaps, we can make it easier by no longer doing it wrong.

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