Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Best Comment So Far

This comment deserves a post of it's own. From comments in Randomness.

Mamaelvis -

"Maybe you know all of the following, but just in case it helps you. (It helped me)

Making a tiny insignificant commitment to writing for even 2 focused minutes everyday almost always leads to writing a hell of alot more at a sitting just out of momentum.

Keeping a visible calendar with your successful commitment's to those days reinforces that you are following through on your writing.

The other trick is saying to yourself that this is "only a rough draft" if you are stalling out of wanting that "definitive book" to fall out of you. It usually won't & even if it did nobody needs perfection.

Huge books about diet filled with theory & studies are usually summed up in less then 20 pages.

I think that your strength is that you were not a lean teenage person & you learned how to put yourself into a exceptional condition.

From what I can see from the whole of the internet, right now... you are doing this more successfully then anyone. (On a consistent basis with photo testimonials)

So from my point of view I hope your book will at least touch on the following (like your blog):

Emphasis on your decision not to become psycho about eating.

Your personal story as on the leangains.com with photos of when you were chubby.

Variances in approach with different clients & why.

Documentation & photos from clients plans.

I could give a shit about studies to tell the truth.

The fact that you were fat & leaned out to the level you are now & doing the same helping your clients is amazing. I mean look at how many people fail at getting in shape & you are transforming people on a consistent basis.

What more do you need to write about? Possibly mental techniques for people who can't comply well?

Maybe stuff to build your own reputation to further your professional goals.

Put the book out! In the time you have started talking about intermittent fasting, so many people have jumped on the bandwagon & they really don't have the results you have already documented here.

Swedes are waaaaay to modest & perfectionistic.

C'mon kick some ass. You have an embarrassment of riches already compared to other fitness 'experts'"

My reply -


Thanks for taking the time to write this. Personally, I think this is the best comment on my blog so far.

Some very useful advice in here that I needed to be reminded of. You're right on all accounts regarding book writing and getting it done. I could have had the book out a long time ago if I wasn't so focused on some trivial aspects no one really cares that much about (with regards to studies on the topic). I'm a perfectionist when it comes to this, and it's certainly a double-edged sword in this business. Your post got me thinking. Thanks again.


Clamence said...

I am going to completely disagree; there is far too much literature out there on 'what worked for me' without the proper research to explain what is going on and why it is effective.

Please do be a perfectionist and get all the references and studies in there.

Martin Berkhan said...

Book will have plenty of refs, no worries there. It's just that I have this tendency to search for answers when there might not be any, and that keeps stalling me (rather than saying, "ok, this might be the case but we just don't know yet").

Without going into further detail, consider that the litterature/studies on intermittent fasting and humans are relatively sparse and contains numerous confounders. All kinds of magic occurs in rodents, but much of it remains to be replicated/confirmed in human trials.

mamaelvis said...

Hey Martin,

You are welcome, I hope it helps.

Your info so far has helped me a great deal.

With all respect to Clamence, I probably wasn't clear with my intent.

I was referring to popular culture padded books, not useful ones. For me, it seems Martin is withholding a great benefit to society, by being a perfectionist.

For me perfectionism was a disease that sabotages a life in a seductive way.

I reiterate Martin is a holder of some hard worked for experience & has got quite a record now.

I would just like to see him & the world benefit for something he seems much more knowledgeable then 99% of us.

Perfectionism from my point of view endangers that.

mike said...

Im a damn perfectionism too, its a hard life i know...
Thats why i want the book right now! :p, because i want to have a perfect IF DIET,
I know that my actual IF is Good but you Martin have a lot more experience than me with IF so thats why i want to see your point about your Guidelines with the DIET, TRAINING, we should perform with IF.
But one thing its for sure, im really want to thanks to you for show us the IF, especially if we are athletes or do weight training.
Whenever i remember my way of eating multiple meals per day, make me stress.

mamaelvis said...

One last final comment I forgot & i am out.

I just believe Martin may be overlooking that he (and his clients) ARE the most valuable exciting research study happening in this topic (with respect to his results transforming so many others).

Sometimes we try to back up our results with 3rd party confirmation when we are already seeing superior results. We just don't trust in ourselves to accept that we could be the leader of knowledge in an area.

I assume most people will buy his book to transform their health & appearance (probably the largest benefit of publishing to 'civilized' haha countries.) Esoterica is usually not the meat that will get people there.

I read alot about this subject & he has documented great results happening on a consistent basis.

Most of the gurus have nameless endorsers without photos lurking in forums or cited in their books.

Maybe the gurus transformed themselves, but not others. Martin is documenting doing both consistently & in a public forum. In the whole of the Internet, that seems to make him very rare.

To dilute it's impact by perfectionism seems contrary to his positive intent.

Anonymous said...


Agree with the original comment.

In fact, here's another idea:

Release a short ebook first. Make it known that the ebook is really just a rough draft, a brain dump of your thoughts. No refs. Or scientific studies needed. In truth, a 20-40 page PDF report would do the job.

Just your story, some pics and some information that the average reader can use to follow in your footsteps.

Get that out there and start collecting success stories. (Maybe even give it away for free is you really want to be ballsy).

Then, package all the success stories into your real book, and at that time you can include all the refs and studies.

Ralph said...

I stumbled on your site after doing some research about IF. If you want a guniea pig for your book, Id be more then willing to give it a shot. Im in the process of trying to lower my bodyfat to the single digits. I Haven't trained in well over 10 years, so that would more then likely put me in the average guy catagory. Even though I haven't trained in years, I have kept up with diet and exercise research but I must admit Im suffering from paralysis by analysis! Just when I thought I've got it down something else comes out to negate what Ive learned. With that said, It's easy to see that you get results which I cannot say for more then 90 percent of the authors of books that I own!
Hope all is well and I'm really looking forward to the release of your book.

UofMWolverine81 said...

I will just continue to enjoy the content Martin puts up on this site, wait patiently for the book, and be glad that someone knowledgeable out there is genuinely concerned about producing a work of the absolute highest quality and not simply making a buck.

While I don't fault anyone for trying to get ahead in a legal manner, too many "gurus" churn out junk, simply because they have a captive audience with deep pockets.

On the other hand, Martin could easily churn out better-than-crap without a hitch and make a lot of easy dough. He doesn't, and what you do get when he does complete project X, Y, or Z is worth many times more than the cover price.

Dor said...

Here's another vote for a properly-researched and referenced book. There's too much junk around. Take your time and release a worthy product.

Don't take TOO much time, though. ;)

Martin Berkhan said...

Thanks, guys. Appreciate the encouragement and vote of confidence.

Special thanks to mamaelvis for the wise and insighful comments.

Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.


Insight said...

I agree with this comment. There are a very small number number of people who I would choose to listen to anyhow about nutrition, but of them, you have the following talent:

Your diet idea doesn't only work - it works for lazy people. Rather than me fighting with myself constantly to follow an extremely restrictive diet that works well - with something like this it seems like I wouldn't have to fight with myself.

Well that's powerful. In fact I think it represents something very deep about human nature even outside of dieting. Maybe the people who think they lack discipline maybe just haven't set up a routine that complements their weaknesses. Instead they always fight with themselves, fail, and then think they are worthless.

So how will you apply this principle to get your book done quickly...? :o) Intermittent bookwriting, perhaps? :O

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

Just Nobody said...

I have been in a similar situation; you want your book to be the most definitive you can make it on the subject (because the minute you write one word or one piece of advice you can think of a number of provisos or cases under which that advice would NOT work).

Trying to explain the work-arounds to cover all those provisos into a single work is nigh impossible.

So, try and get out a program of advice that covers 80-90% of cases, and then focus on other issues/finer details in book 2.

Take a tip from software writers and realise there is no harm in having a "Berkhan's IF 2.0" a year done the line. (with reduced rate updates for those who bought the original).

You cannot write a book that is going to satisfy every single person in every single situation. There will always be "interpretation" issues among readers.

Again, don't feel you need to have the latest in research backing up your statements; science is still evolving. What you are doing would have worked equally well in 1980, but it would not have been supported by the SIRT1 research. Would that have made your book with all its empirical proof any less valid?

Get after it, my friend.

My name is Martin Berkhan and I work as a nutritional consultant, magazine writer and personal trainer.

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