*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Some background for me is that I was a book reading kid who wished I could be more sporty but could never find the right way into exercise or sports until I was sitting, reading and in excruciating pain which sent me seeking out a personal trainer. A lot of stuff clicked, I learned to tell the difference between fads and facts in the health field but I still consider myself a novice seeking to learn more about optimizing diet, exercise, recovery and rest. In pursuit of that I was excited to have the chance to read Jef Geys’ “Rest is the New Sport”.
The book’s pitch is that Geys will guide you through a new way of looking at training through recovery techniques that he will teach you. I argue that he makes a good start at it but falls short for the audience I think he’s trying to reach. Geys has experience and genuine belief in his methods but he isn’t able to simplify his message sufficiently to make it easily applicable which is crucial as the techniques he’s offering are meant to aid in the health of people who are burning themselves out in attempts to meet the many demands of their modern lives. But I blame this mostly on the structure of the book, during the editing process the content could have been rearranged in a more intuitive way in order to underscore the prescriptions Geys is offering to four types of exhausted and burned out people.
Geys spends much of the book teaching and advocating for the seemingly radical concept that training harder, training while exhausted is not actually building a better body able to handle short term and long term health goals. He details the ways in which increasing the stress load on the body is causing it to not fully recover and ultimately resulting in conditions later that are directly correlated to that increased stress load. While I appreciate his efforts here, I felt that they confused rather than clarified the issue. As he argues his point he begins to detail for types of burn out and the different ways in which you should train, eat, rest and recover based on which type of burn out you’re experiencing. This is where I felt some good edits could help the reader to comprehend and apply the information. I have only read the book once but I couldn’t tell you which burn out I’ve experienced. This will require sitting down with the book and a worksheet to narrow down where I fit in.
This is the type of book I want to recommend to many of my former coworkers, friends and family because I recognize how hard everyone I know burns themselves out and how it hinders their health goals because our work environments encourage over-training and overdoing activity while under emphasizing recovery and rest. But, because I know how busy everyone is, I recognize that Geys book would benefit from streamlining the diagnostic information so that people can focus on the steps they need to take to make the improvements in their lives. The information is difficult to parse out of the book. It is still worth a read if you’re interested in the topic, if you are having burn out issues but you’ll want to take your time with it and may need to reread in order to figure out how to apply it to your life. This isn’t necessarily a negative but I hope that Geys will try to streamline it to reach a broader audience.
This would be a 3.5 stars for me if Goodreads provided the option.