Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
Content light, picture heavy.
on 11 October 2013
Rooney's book is billed a text which gives trainees a variety of options when it comes to cardiovascular training. These will yield better results in less time than the more traditional approaches to cardio. His model relies on interval training which allows a trainee to abandon the hamster wheel approach to cardio and instead go for something that is not only a little bit more fun, but also more efficient. Whilst Rooney provides lots of examples of programs I feel that this text does not provide enough to justify its purchase. If you look beyond these examples what he provides gives the trainee enough to design their own protocols which will allow them to target their specific goals. Content wise the book is very light. Moreover the book itself is more a picture book filled with pictures of chubby men wearing tight shirts! I received it at 11am and returned it at 6pm, so infer what you will.
The book's outstanding section is its opening one which outlines the basis of how the warrior system will work. It is from here that the book grows. The next section is pretty standard American self motivational bull, hard to avoid in the field. The warm up and `pre-hab' routine would be useful if I had not come across it before. It looks to be lifted from the work of the Cressey crew. All in all this section is a bit of a waste. Not enough is explained. Not once am I told why I should foam roll or when I should stretch. Experience tells me that these are very important aspects and they would be found in a comprehensive text. Such a text would allow me to take the warm up programs outlined and pick what was applicable to me at a given point based on the information provided. What we have here is just a how to manual.
The meat and bones of the book is the section which tells the reader all about the different systems Rooney has been working on. They are good, but he gives too little basis for the reader to be able to make decent judgement about crucial aspects of program design. Instead he opts for more pictures of how to do his circuits. Astoundingly he fails to mention how to fit these circuits in alongside a strength, hypertrophy or sports specific program. I would imagine the majority of his readers will be wondering how. Worst of all, this section does not link in with the first at all. The first told us why interval training was more efficient. A good second section would tell us how the program will work and when to apply it. Not only this but it would tell us how to sensibly program in interval training sessions without compromising gains in other areas. Remember, for most, cardiovascular exercise and conditioning are pursuits complementary to a primary goal, be it strength work or boxing etc. Rooney offers us none of this potentially useful information but does give us more pictures of guys in favourable lighting conditions.
The final section is put together by John Berardi and comes replete with the usual nonsense about training nutrition. An example being the theory that carbohydrate and fat should not be ingested at the same time- widely established as nonsense. As a beginner program its acceptable but beyond that its garbage.
Overall the book is big, but content wise it is very light and this is the problem. I was hoping for a book which would provide an account of how to program in interval training alongside sports or other training commitments. What I got was a good introduction and lots of pictures. The ideas are there but you have to infer them, and the only reason I am able to do so is because I have a lot of experience with the subject matter. There really is not anything great here. If you are similar to me in your levels of experience then have a look at the book but do not buy it. It will give you some ideas. If you are a beginner do not, it will distract you and fill your mind with nonsense about how to progress sensibly.