DiscoverHealth & Wellbeing

The Lean Exec: A Strong, Athletic Physique in Just 3 Hours A Week

By Neill David Watson

Loved it! 😍

A well-written overview of fitness and training for a busy professional.

Synopsis

*As Seen On CNN* - Struggling to fit exercise and eating right around long work days? Spend your day commuting, at your desk and in meetings? Want simple ways to get back on track with your health/fitness? Neill’s symmitarian philosophy stems from 20 years of testing and improving his knowledge of fitness, nutrition and resistance training for optimal results in the minimum time. Also a qualified Personal Trainer, his technique is stripped down and achievable due to its foundation in real-world action and results. This no-nonsense guide is full of hacks and tips that will help you to optimize your precious time to get fit and stay fit. From how to optimize training with as little as 3 hrs p/week, to how to avoid fad diets, making realistic, healthy eating work for you, his approach will help you reach your goals, whether that’s strength, building muscle, reducing fat or just better fitness, no matter what your week throws at you! While working demanding hours building his career, Neill noticed that many around him had let their health & fitness go (like he did), due to juggling busy lives. He was determined to find and share a solution: The Lean Exec

I'm generally skeptical of health and fitness books, which can often sell fad diets and over-promise results. The Lean Exec, in contrast, is a refreshingly honest and straight-forward primer for strength training and achieving better cardiovascular health.


From the beginning, author Neill David Watson won me over with his down-to-earth philosophy of training in layman's terms. He explains exercise principles and potential outcomes in terms everyone can understand, without descending into fitness cliches and platitudes (he avoids the "no pain no gain" ethos). He makes it clear that in exercise you'll get out what you get in, but that getting to 80% of your ideal goal may be where you want to end up. This starts with truly understanding your body type, your goals and what you're willing to do to achieve them over time.


Watson lays out the best paths to achieve different results, whether it's to cut down on body fat or increase bulk and muscle. He's also clear that fitness isn't a game to be won and finished, and that levels of being "in shape" fluctuate with what's going on in life - and how to work around those cycles.


It's worth noting that most of this book focuses on strength training, even though other exercises are included and discussed. Watson mentions at the outset that it's particularly aimed at a male audience, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and other strong men held up as the ideal. Other athletes like runners and swimmers will certainly benefit from this book – especially the detailed strength-building training plans – but they are not the main target of these messages.


Overall, Watson's training message is clear, concise and cuts through the noise. If you're looking to get in shape, The Lean Exec is a great place to start.

Reviewed by

Tim Cigelske draws on his experience as a journalist writing about creative people from all walks of life, including farmer, children’s author, comic book artist and Pixar animator. His writing appears in Runner’s World, Adventure Cyclist and Onion AV Club. Ashton Kutcher called him a "clever punk."

Synopsis

*As Seen On CNN* - Struggling to fit exercise and eating right around long work days? Spend your day commuting, at your desk and in meetings? Want simple ways to get back on track with your health/fitness? Neill’s symmitarian philosophy stems from 20 years of testing and improving his knowledge of fitness, nutrition and resistance training for optimal results in the minimum time. Also a qualified Personal Trainer, his technique is stripped down and achievable due to its foundation in real-world action and results. This no-nonsense guide is full of hacks and tips that will help you to optimize your precious time to get fit and stay fit. From how to optimize training with as little as 3 hrs p/week, to how to avoid fad diets, making realistic, healthy eating work for you, his approach will help you reach your goals, whether that’s strength, building muscle, reducing fat or just better fitness, no matter what your week throws at you! While working demanding hours building his career, Neill noticed that many around him had let their health & fitness go (like he did), due to juggling busy lives. He was determined to find and share a solution: The Lean Exec

Why Should You Read This Book?

Firstly, and for the record, the author of this book was not a natural athlete and does not find training easy. Growing up, I was not particularly strong, fast or skilled at sport. At school, I was usually one of the last people to be picked for sports teams and I spent most of my teens warming the bench. I always had to work very hard at physical activity to improve or even compete with peers and would not be remembered by classmates for my sporting endeavours! This book is written on the back of 20 years of experience and knowledge gained through trial, error, lots of reading, learning, failure and success.

Secondly – as if you didn’t know – your health is massively important!

If you want to live the longest and best life you can, staying healthy is a big part of that. The challenge is, you may also want to do well in your career, enjoy life and spend time with family and friends. Modern life doesn’t tend to make it easy, particularly if you’re an office executive that spends a lot of time indoors, sitting at a desk.

Studies have shown that success is often linked to good health and fitness.


“Physical activity is associated with improved affective experience and enhanced cognitive processing.” – The National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI)


“Studies indicate that our mental firepower is directly linked to our physical regimen. And nowhere are the implications more relevant than to our performance at work.” – Harvard Business Review, 2014


“Without a doubt, the higher your level of fitness, the greater the capacity you have to perform your job, and the greater capacity you will have to deal with the demands in your life…” – Jack Groppel, PhD, co-author of The Corporate Athlete (John Wiley & Sons, 2000) and co-founder of the Human Performance Institute


Better fitness makes us better all-round performers. If you don’t believe me, here’s a quote I found online from my ultimate boss (at the time of writing, I work for Virgin Money):


“I definitely can achieve twice as much by keeping fit.” – Richard Branson, co-founder of the Virgin Group


I have definitely found in my own life that, while staying fit can be a challenge and an effort to fit into daily life, making time for fitness, better eating and good sleep pays back tenfold in my productivity and career. It also teaches focus, consistency, helps to reduce stress, avoid sickness and problematic health issues, like back problems, pains and strains. It’s worth noting that staying fit and healthy doesn’t mean giving up on all the good things in life. I still enjoy delicious food (including burgers) and a beer or three. Actually, staying in shape allows me to indulge within reason, with limited impact on my health and fitness.


This book is for busy people who struggle to find time for fitness and want to balance work, life and health, minimising the time required to keep fit and maximising the benefits with a challenging schedule. It will show you how, with the right focused effort, you can stay lean and fit in as little as three hours per week. I believe following the philosophy in this book, with the right balance in life, can make you fitter, healthier stronger and better – not just physically, but also mentally.


This is the Symmitarian Way.


About the author

Neill has built a career in new ventures, creative technology and corporate start-up, including working with major organisations such as Virgin Money & Warner Bros. A qualified personal trainer, Neill wrote The Lean Exec during his time at Virgin Money to help others reclaim & improve their fitness view profile

Published on June 12, 2019

Published by Bigger Brother Ltd

50000 words

Genre: Health & Wellbeing

Reviewed by

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