The Miracle Seven by John E Peterson and Wendie Pett

From the research I’ve done, I’m convinced that lifting weights is way overrated, and that more useful strength and greater fitness can be developed by body-weight exercises. Not to mention that I like the idea of not paying for a gym membership, and not going there to exercise with a lot of other people.

I’d rather just get out of the chair in front of my computer and start exercising here in my work room, in my own comfortable clothes and bare feet.

So I hoped this book would help me come up with a long-term program for building my muscles without weights.

There is much to learn here, but I missed the day by day program.

The chapter on aerobic exercise is worth reading to debunk the myths that people believe — the photo of a marathon runner with love handles is funny. He also points out that long distance running is not the cardio cure that everyone thinks it is. Everybody should know about Jim Fixx by now — the jogging author who died while on a practice run. But Peterson mentions people dying in marathon races years before the recent death of three people in the Detroit marathon.

In the section on weightlifting he explains the dangers of this popular activity — should be read by everybody using weights to build their muscles up.

He describes his Transformetrics as a combination of four different types of exercise — Dynamic Visualized Resistance, Dynamic Self-Resistance, Isometric Contraction and strength Calisthenics.

Dynamic Visualized Resistance which consists of visualizing your muscles as bigger while you move them. I find it interesting that Peterson learned this from the book YOGA AND HEALTH by Selvarajan Yesudian and Elizabeth Haich. I read this when I was about twelve years old — nevertheless have it in fact.

Dynamic Self-Resistance is using your own strength to resist your own effort, what he learned from taking the Charles Atlas course as a boy.

Isometric Contraction is pushing or pulling against an immovable object. It had a period when it was popular in the 1960s — I remember swimming coaches having us do isometrics — but died down.

strength Calisthenics is a number of body-weight exercises to develop strength and muscle.

The authors demonstrate the exercises in photograph series that demonstrate the exercises well, and serve as good examples to follow. They are both clearly in excellent shape.

The actual “Miracle 7” exercises are just a part of what he teaches. Those are a series of Dynamic Visualized Resistance exercises he learned from John McSweeney, an older strong man who termed them the Seven Tiger Moves.

Most of the book consists of various workouts focusing on different parts of the body — upper, abs and chief, and legs.

All the exercises are good, but I for one was left hanging on how to put them all together. Should I start with the Miracle 7? Should I just decide to focus on my arms or legs or ags? Should I alternate them? On what schedule?

How should I keep increasing repetitions? When should I improvement to a more difficult variation?

I guess it’s true that everybody is different and consequently needs an individualized program, but it’d be nice to have been given more clues as to put together the program I need most.

This contains lots of excellent pieces of the fitness question — and already in a sense the final “picture” (to look like the authors). Unfortunately readers are left on their own to figure out how to get from their current ineffective condition to the muscle strength they desire.

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