A plug, a thank you, and a look ahead


As of September 2017, new Sweat Science columns are being published at www.outsideonline.com/sweatscience. Check out my bestselling new book on the science of endurance, ENDURE: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, published in February 2018 with a foreword by Malcolm Gladwell.

- Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience)


Sweat Science is now 2.5 years old – not a round number, but a good enough reason to pause for a brief navel-gazing interlude.

Looking back: I started this site with an “old-media” attitude, intending to use it to broadcast various tidbits that I came across while reporting newspaper and magazine stories. The site has evolved as its readership has grown, it’s now just as likely to go the other way: the questions and discussions (and yes, critiques!) that I get from Sweat Science readers frequently lead to or inform articles I later write for other venues. So I’d like to take a moment to sincerely thank all of you who visit the site, and especially those who have shared their thoughts in the comments section.

Looking ahead: Over the past few months, I’ve been contemplating the future of the blog now that my book has been published. Maintaining the blog was a natural fit while my main “day job” was researching and writing a book about the science of fitness. After thinking carefully about how I’d most enjoy spending my days over the next few years, I’ve decided that I’d like my next book to fit in a similar genre. I’ve chosen a topic that I believe focuses on the most interesting area of research into the science of human physical capabilities, and I’m starting work on a book proposal. If this proposal is accepted, my research will ensure that I have a steady supply of cool new sports and fitness science research to blog about here!

A plug: So here’s the favour I have to ask. When my agent takes the book proposal to publishers in a few months, the very first thing publishers will do is look up the sales figures for my current book, Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? (see reviews here; links to order here). Literally every copy will count. So I’m hoping that, if you enjoy the blog, you’ll consider picking up a copy of the book. Or recommending it to friends, or buying it as a Christmas gift. It’s available for as little as $10 U.S. or $15 Canadian. If you’ve already bought the book, then thank you very much for your support! – and please consider sharing your impressions with a review on Amazon or a similar site.

Again, thanks for spending some of your time here – I’ve really enjoyed the past 2.5 years, and I’m looking forward to the next 2.5!

14 Replies to “A plug, a thank you, and a look ahead”

  1. i would encourage you to keep up your great work. i have your book and thought it was terrific. i look forward to your blog everyday and it guides my exercise,etc(such as it is) at a70 yrs old.

  2. I have ordered your book. I meant to buy it ages ago, but never got around to it — may as well do it now so it will help your sales figures and hence your next book. Amazon.ca says it will take 1-3 weeks though. 🙁

  3. This is my favourite fitness site by far, but I have to say that I will not buy your book because I refuse to be gouged by your Canadian publisher. There is no reason Canadians should be paying a 50% premium. I would happily buy an ebook version.

  4. @freeman, @Jeepers: Thanks so much for the support! Really glad you enjoy the site — and hopefully a surge in sales will convince Amazon.ca to restock the book and eliminate the 1-3 week delay.

  5. @Paul: Thanks — and needless to say, I love your site. It’s been a great resource on several occasions (and in fact, I’m hoping to post something shortly on the “sensory theory” of stretching, which is fascinating).

    E-books: from what I understand, Cardio or Weights is available in all major e-book formats. I’m a Kindle guy myself, so I know it’s available in the Kindle store (and that format can be read on iPads, mobile phones, computers, etc.).

    It’s also available for the Kobo (from Borders and from Chapters-Indigo) and for the Nook from Barnes and Noble. Not sure what other formats there are — if anyone’s curious, I can check!

  6. @Alan: I understand your frustration, but unfortunately there’s not much I can do about it. In this case, the Canadian publisher was responsible for the primary editing, layout, design and formatting of the book, so their costs were higher than editions in other countries which simply bought subsidiary rights.

    Making the book affordable was a very high priority for me, so one of things my agent and I insisted on (and altered from the original offer) was that there would be NO hardcover edition — the book went straight to paperback because I wanted the price to be reasonable. As a result, it’s available in Canada for $15 or $16, which I do think is a reasonable price, regardless of what it’s being sold for elsewhere. If someone starts selling a pirated copy in China for $3, that shouldn’t change whether it’s a good deal here!

    Anyway, thanks again for the support!

  7. I just bought the book on kindle, and read it last night. Very good summary of what is known about exercise. I get tired of reading about the “one true path” to fitness, on websites with a product or point of view to push. A lot of approaches work, within the confines of safety and what we know is productive.
    At 61, I’m more concerned with general health and fitness for daily life than athletics, and your book and site fit the bill.
    Mike Griffin

  8. @alexThanks for the no-hardcover thing. I always wait for the paperback editions of books — not just because of cost, but also because paperbacks are smaller, meaning there are more portable (I read on public transit) and take up less space (I live in a small apartment).

  9. I ordered it right away and find it very useful. Thanks very much for your blog. I’m 53 and have come back from serious nerve damage into being fitter. It would be helpful to know just how much I can push myself in my personally-developed training program. Your work helps me try to figure that out, as well as listening to my own body (but not too much…).

  10. Thanks, Loretta! Really glad to hear that the book is helping — and yes, it’s always a delicate balance between listening to the body sometimes, and telling the body what to do at other times. Gotta have both!

  11. Just placed my order. This is the best blog of its type online — and I’ve waded through more than enough junk to know that’s true. You’ve got a real talent for making complex topics accessible without dumbing them down. Thanks!

  12. Awesome — thanks so much! Glad you enjoy the blog, and hope the book lives up to my attempts to hype it. 🙂

  13. Got the book & have now read it once through. It’s excellent! I enjoyed my first read very much and know I will be returning to various parts again and again. I love getting actual research-based recommendations that are applicable to real people. (Kind of reminiscent of 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman, though that is not about exercise.)

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