Book Review: Beyond
Bodybuilding, Muscle And Strength Training Secrets For The Renaissance
Brian Stramel, CPT
I 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.
here to purchase Beyond Bodybuilding