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Great Expectations – Health Fitness Leanness Without Suffering By Clarence Bass

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At 70, Clarence Bass continues to set and achieve physical goals that would challenge many people half or even a third his age. It’s the challenge Bass enjoys and has trained him through the decades. Great Expectations is his latest book in which he shares wisdom gained not only from studying fitness and health, but also from applying his studies to his own life and using his body as an experiment for health, Fitness and Longevity.

One of the things I particularly like about Clarence is his complete honesty and willingness to share not only his successes but also his difficulties. I found it brave to speak about his health with such blunt honesty and openness. When I learned how he underwent a hip replacement and read his story about the catheter, it was enlightening that while I hope I never have to undergo one, I realize that as we age we all come with different health issues we will face, and knowing that by immersing ourselves in it. Being in good physical condition allows us to better face and overcome these difficulties. Clarence’s recounting of how he overcame his medical difficulties, including depicting the scar from his prosthetic hip on the book’s cover, will no doubt encourage others to overcome and overcome their own difficulties, regardless of their age.

Another thing I really like about all of Clarence’s books, including this one, is that he not only shares resources, but the practical way he integrates his research into his training and lifestyle and then encourages the reader to embrace healthy exercise and eating. Not copying exactly what he does, but adopting the principles he teaches and developing the training and eating habits that will ensure your own success. I also enjoy the stores and examples he has shared from others, especially Dan Sawyer’s advice in the last chapter.

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It’s also interesting to see how Clarence’s training has changed over the years. This is a natural progression. As we all age and go through different periods in relation to our physical goals, our training will also change. I really like that Clarence writes about what he does and why; what he changed and why.

Here is a small part of what you will learn in this book:

Chapter 1: Great Expectations. Learn about attitudes, expectations, and competitive advantage among other mental elements of training.

Chapter 2: Overcoming. In this chapter Clarence tells about his medical problems. He shares his stories and experiences so you learn that your fitness level affects your outcome, you learn that you are in charge and that the ultimate responsibility to help yourself rests with you.

Chapter 3: Undress, undress. Learn about metabolism, exercise, fat loss and nutrition.

Chapter 4: Practice for life. Learn about exercise, including strength training and aerobic exercise.

Chapter 5: About the training. This chapter covers concepts such as overload and recovery, exercise frequency, slow lifting, balance, and more.

Chapter 6: About nutrition (not a diet). A great overview of healthy eating. I also like how Clarence tells you what he’s eating and why. The section on counting each meal is also very important to know.

Chapter 7: Eating for the peak. Over the years, photos of Clarence on its peaks have been extremely motivating. The photos of him at 70 are still inspiring. Many half or even a third his age would love to look that good. In this chapter he explains how he prepares for peaking.

Chapter 8: Training for the Summit. Bass continues with his advice on peaking by sharing how he trains for peaking too.

Chapter 9: Motivation and change. Clarence says you should plan for success and start with motivation. Good chapter with advice not only from Clarence but also some great words from Dan Sawyer to help you get and stay motivated to lead a healthy life.

Great Expectations will make an excellent addition to any health and fitness bookshelf. It’s motivating and informative. If you only had room for a few health and fitness books, Clarence’s “Lean For Life”, “Challenge Yourself” and “Great Expectation” should be on the short list. These three books together provide a wealth of information and are extremely motivating to see how Clarence and his wife Carol have lived these principles and the successes they have achieved as a result of their healthy lifestyle.

On pages 145-146, Clarence explains that some people in their 20’s didn’t relate to his writings in Muscle & Fitness in the 80’s, but now that he’s older and they’re in their 40’s they relate more to his message . Perhaps they can follow in his footsteps by benefiting from his methods and example. Personally, I always enjoyed his columns in M&F back then. But now in my forties, I relate even more to the messages in his last three books – the ones I mentioned above. And yes, I will use some of his methods and use him as an example to live healthy for the next three decades. And then when I’m in my 70’s I’ll read about how Clarence continued to train to 100 to motivate me to train for another 30 years.

Thanks to Alain Burrese

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