By J. C. Herz
Learning to Breathe Fire tells the story of CrossFit, how it works when other workouts fail, and why its practitioners are so devoted. Herz cites studies that have shown that while a moderate-intensity workout will burn the same amount of calories as a high-intensity workout, a high-intensity workout will burn nine times the fat. A high-intensity workout will signal a release of growth hormones and other chemicals to burn fat and muscle.
CrossFit has also commanded a particular allegiance from many of its devotees. Herz notes the thrill of extreme exertion in a pack, not the mindless walk on a treadmill. Some scholars argue that CrossFitters are drawn to the “ritual sacrifice of human energy” in a pack – a tribal experience of extreme exertion that varies every meeting and strengthens kinship within the group.
Whether you have ever done CrossFit or not, you will be captivated by Learning to Breathe Fire. Herz does an expert job of mixing science, with history and CrossFit experiences. Learning to Breathe Fire is an insightful book on a much-talked-about but little understood practice. Even if you do not CrossFit, it will help you to better understand the choices you make to live an active lifestyle.