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Book Review: Beyond Bodybuilding, Muscle And Strength Training Secrets For The Renaissance Man
by Brian Stramel, CPT

Bodybuilding RoutinesI finally got my copy of Pavel’s “Beyond Bodybuilding” this Christmas.  What a great book.  It is 328, 8 ½ X 11” pages of meat.  Heck, I could have actually done with a little more writing filler. I guess that’s my only criticism, I like Pavel’s writing style and no excuses attitude combined with a quirky wit.

The book isn’t just about bodybuilding routines; it is all about being as strong as you look.  To that end, there are a vast number of programs and exercise tips all designed to make you big and strong.

I think this is a great book if you fall into one of 3 categories.  Number one, either a bodybuilder or someone primarily interested in muscle size who wants to add some real strength and/or blast through a plateau.  Secondly, this book is great for anyone who is usually not concerned with size, just performance, but wants to put on a little mass without resorting to a complicated bodybuilding routine.  Lastly, if you are just looking for some great workout ideas to mix things up…there are enough programs in here to last you for years, literally.   Everything from the classic “5X5X5” program to the “Russian Smolov Squat Routine” to the “NASA pushup program” and ways to drastically increase your pull up numbers.

The table of contents is way too long to list in a review…I’ll just highlight the main sections of the book.  Section One: Power Training, Section Two: Training Planning, Section Three: Back, Section Four: Legs, Section Five: Neck and Shoulders, Section Six: Arms, Section Seven: Chest, Section Eight: Naked Warrior, Strong Anywhere, Anytime With Bodyweight Exercises.

Each section has both an article section (most of these routines are from articles Pavel wrote for magazines such as “Muscle Media”) as well as a Q&A section.  I really liked the questions and answers, lots of helpful information there that really fills in the gaps.  This book isn’t meant to be implemented in any order.  Read through it and pick out what suits your current goals to try out.  Right now, I’m taking the great tips for the bench press and dead lift and putting them to use since that is what I happened to be focusing on when I got the book.

A really valuable feature of the book is the instruction on effective exercises that aren’t very common these days.  It doesn’t matter why they aren’t popular with the average gym rat, Pavel explains exactly why they are beneficial and in most cases better than their more common successors for building strength.

So, in summary: lots of great bodybuilding routines and strength routines to try.  A great Q&A in each section to fill in the gaps and enough info to keep you busy for years.  The only downsides are that if you are the type that wants a cohesive master plan laid out for you, all the different choices here may overwhelm you.  Also, some might say the price is a little high.  Well, based on the content, I’d say the value is very good.  I haven’t seen a single source of this much useable information before.  A book focused on one routine or methodology will work great until it is time to switch.  A bodybuilding or weightlifting encyclopedia will have more exercises but not as many bodybuilding routines or nearly as much context to put it together.  This has both.  Give one of these strength programs a try and as Pavel would say; “Power to you!”

Check out other products for men and women, including my review of Power To The People.

Click here to purchase Beyond Bodybuilding  











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