life: super powers not included

My Kind of Fitness Book

Great Fitness Experiment

I’ve mentioned before that I like to read. If money weren’t an issue, I’d read a few books a week. (I tried that before. Needless to say, I now pace myself to avoid going broke before rent is due.)

That said, I’ve never been much of a fan of health and fitness books. The few I’ve read are snooze-fests full of info I already know. If I’m going to spend time with a nonfiction book, I want a few guarantees:

1. That there will be information I haven’t read in magazines, on blogs, or in news articles on the latest research.

2. That my eyes will not glaze over as the author outlines the difference between fat and carbs and resistance training and cardio and blah, blah, blah. Zzzzz…

3. That I don’t want to punch the author for being annoyingly perfect.

So when Charlotte asked me to read an advanced reader copy of her book, The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything, I was a little worried. I love Charlotte’s blog but I feared her book would take on the typical fitness book tone—boring.

The first thing you should know is that Charlotte’s book is just as hilarious as her blog (and if you haven’t read that yet—go.) And anyone who can make a Princess Bride reference and successfully use the word wussitude in a book about working out has my seal of approval.

The basics: Charlotte spent a year as a lab rat, testing out fitness fads (CrossFit, HIIT, kettlebells, and on and on) and diet plans (going primal then vegan). It’s an awesome overview of different workouts, each with a personal accounts that include smart points like this: the leg extension machine murders you knees. Amen.

But what I loved even more were Charlotte’s personal asides. She takes an honest look at her fight with compulsive overexercising, disordered eating, even an assault that instigated many of these behaviors. It’s at once informational and comical and, between laugh-out-loud jokes, really moving.

So I thought I’d leave it at that, but then I though: There’s a possibility that these guys might not know what I’m talking about when I say the book is conversational and funny in a way other fitness books aren’t. So here are two of my favorite gems, totally unrelated to the point of the book (I’ll leave that for you to read).

“Note to scientists: if [Victoria Beckham] gets any tinier, then she will most likely implode, and you will finally get to study a black hole up close.”

And maybe I appreciate this since I’m a total word nerd, but:

“If I were a real fitness professional, I’d make you wade through pages of randomly BOLDED and CAPITALIZED stuff with lots of extraneous punctuation!!! and hyperbolic promises (You WILL get the RIPPED BODY of your dreams in just 25.2 days by just changing your thought patterns!?!?! Oh, and maybe doing some crack.)

Seriously guys, it’s totally worth a buy. It drops in January but you can preorder it on Amazon now.

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29 comments

1 Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) { 10.26.10 at 8:10 am }

What a fun concept for a book and an experiment! This sounds like a book I would love. Thanks for the heads up!

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2 Estela @ Weekly Bite { 10.26.10 at 8:48 am }

Sounds like a fun book :) I always get bored with books, sounds like this one just might keep me interested :)

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3 charlotte { 10.26.10 at 9:20 am }

Oh wow! Thank you so much Tracey!! This made my whole day. Seriously. I’ve been so worried it was going to disappoint! I’m glad that you enjoyed it so much – I too hate most traditional diet/fitness books so I def. wanted to keep this one entertaining. And honestly, it’s more of a nerd-memoir than anything else:) I love you! I’m totally saving this review:)

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4 Wei-Wei { 10.26.10 at 9:23 am }

Sounds like a fun fun fun book! I’ll definitely be looking out for it!

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5 Amy B @ Second City Randomness { 10.26.10 at 9:27 am }

Sounds like my kind of book! I like reading the health/fitness ones, but am instantly turned off when there’s an entire chapter dedicated to “this book is different than any other book you’ll read out there and I promise results and you can eat whatever you want and never workout ever again!” Yeah…

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charlotte Reply:

Yeah my book is definitely not that! My only expertise is in spectacular public displays of humiliation.

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6 Heather C { 10.26.10 at 9:56 am }

I will have to check it out. I like the idea of someone else trying out all the trendy workouts and diets.

Oh and I think perhaps the ONLY thing all the PT’s I have seen agree on is the fact that the leg extension machine is murder on the knees.

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7 Alina @ Duty Free Foodie { 10.26.10 at 10:03 am }

I adore Charlotte’s blog too, so I am really excited for the book to come out. I’ve re-read some of her monthly reviews a few times – insightful and hilarious!

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charlotte Reply:

Thank you Alina! You are such a doll!!

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8 Nichole { 10.26.10 at 10:29 am }

Fantastic review. I am seriously going to consider picking this up. I love that someone did the workout fads, instead of hearing about diets.

I really enjoyed this post!

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9 Ameena { 10.26.10 at 11:11 am }

This book sounds right up my alley, mainly because the author’s sarcasm sounds similar to mine. And we both know how much I love sarcasm!!

I hope you will do a similar and just as fabulous review of my book, assuming I ever get busy and write it??

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Tracey Reply:

Yes, you would totally love her humor. And when you publish a book I’ll beg you to read it.

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charlotte Reply:

Are you the same Ameena that had the blogger meetup with Deb the Smoothie Girl last weekend? She e-mailed me specifically to tell me how awesome and hilarious you are and how she thinks we’d be besties in real life;) I’m jealous of all you California peeps and your meet-ups! Why doesn’t anyone vacay in Minnesota?!

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10 Gracie { 10.26.10 at 7:09 pm }

Ooh, I want to know more! Did she determine which exercise routine/diet she liked the best?

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charlotte Reply:

I did Gracie! I didn’t find the magic bullet (I don’t think that exists) but I did find several really solid, really effective workouts. The diet part I think I finally figured out this year (going on year 4 of my experiments, lol!) There’s tons more info on my site about which programs I liked and which were utter failures.

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11 Jamie @ Food in Real Life { 10.26.10 at 9:08 pm }

This sounds like a good read. I need a new book too. Lately I have been going to the library a lot. It’s a great way to always have a new book and not feel guilty
a.) for buying them
b.) for buying them and not liking them
c.) for putting it down when it’s just not worth your time

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charlotte Reply:

Libraries are awesome! And we do have a lot of copies to be sent to libraries. If you don’t find it at your local library, please let me know and I’ll make sure we get a copy there!

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12 Kat { 10.26.10 at 9:26 pm }

That’s fascinating – especially since I know (a huge hurdle for me) that I enjoy doing familiar things and I’m afraid to try new ones for fear of looking like a bit of an idiot.

Can’t wait for this to come out!

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charlotte Reply:

Don’t worry kat – I take care of the looking like an idiot part for you! And I must say I do that well;)

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13 Joey { 10.26.10 at 10:10 pm }

You are one of my favorite bloggers. This book sounds good. Its a legitimate book to-be-published? With a publisher or self-published? It sounds very entertaining.

Tracey, I have a computer job that requires endless hours per day on a computer sitting. Its hard to be motivated to sit and read and write (creatively) with that. (As in later in the nighttime or some time). How do you balance such long, long days at work with a computer (writing and researching) with a desire to read and write and once again sit at the computer?
What time do you go to bed and wake up? I cannot help but want my sleep, but I am a late-night person with relaxing movie time or what not, so I’m not sure what could give.
How do you balance this computer time? A schedule or thoughts?

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charlotte Reply:

Hey Joey – yep, it’s a legitimate book! Clerisy Press (a division of Publishers West) is publishing it. And now I’ll stop being creepy and butt out of Tracey’s comments so she can answer your questions about time management. (Love you Tracey!!)

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Tracey Reply:

Not creepy at all. Though I think we can tell who’s been productive today so far and who slept in….

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14 ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska { 10.26.10 at 11:29 pm }

It sounds fabulously entertaining! I just may pre-order it!

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charlotte Reply:

Yay! That would be awesome Ashley! (Also, if you pre-order you get 5$ off the list price!)

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15 Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) { 10.27.10 at 3:30 am }

so cute. sounds like an awesome book!

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16 Thetreadmilldiaries { 10.27.10 at 8:05 am }

Sounds like my kind of fitness book too – for real people written by real people. Adding it to my reading list.

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charlotte Reply:

Thank you!! I consider that a great honor:)

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17 The First Review of My Book! Squeee! | Elite Daily Diet and Fitness { 10.27.10 at 9:54 am }

[...] over at I’m Not Superhuman posted her excellent review of my book. To which I responded by stalking all her commenters and [...]

18 Instant Health Fitness » Blog Archive » The First Review of My Book! Squeee! { 10.27.10 at 9:01 pm }

[...] over at I’m Not Superhuman posted her excellent review of my book. To which I responded by stalking all her commenters and [...]

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