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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2011
This book is essentially focused on the five key exercises that can be done using a barbell. These being the squat, bench press, deadlift, press, and power clean. On average about 40 pages are devoted to each exercise, with detailed descriptions provided for each. For each exercise the correct form is strongly emphasized both through the use of pictures (similar to the those shown on the front of the book) and photographs. Issues such as posture, feet position, and point of focus are all covered, as well as less obvious points like starting and completing the exercises and the correct grip. Of interest is the advice related to the common mistakes that people make, which is obviously important particularly given the increased likelihood of injury when trying to lift heavier weights incorrectly.
Following the 5 key exercises the book then describes other useful exercises that can be used to supplement the main exercises. This section is 80 pages long and covers exercises such as the incline bench press, pull up, and parallel bar dips. While much less attention is given to these extra exercises, i still found the information provided to be useful.
The chapter entitled programming completes the book, this covers topics such as suggestions for a workout regime, warming up, nutrition, equipment, and handling injuries. Again i found this chapter insightful, particularly the advice given with respect to the purchase of exercise equipment.
In conclusion, i really cannot imagine a more complete book on the subject and if you really want to learn how to do these exercises properly and safely (particularly with heavier weights) this book is indispensible...recommended
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2010
This book does a great job of helping people get a good start lifting free weights. If you've been wasting your time curling in the squat rack and using 27 different machines each workout this is your way into actual strength training. Rip spends most of the book on painstakingly detailed descriptions of the most important lifts - 56 illustrated pages on the back squat alone! This is fantastic material for beginners and for people looking to clean up their form. You'll learn quite a bit about the logic behind these movements along the way and the book includes a walk-through of the popular Starting Strength routine.

I really don't understand why Amazon.co.uk doesn't sell this book themselves. It's been out since 2007.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2011
This book is a brilliant resource for anyone wanting to lifting weights to get stronger or more athletic. The book explains in great detail how to properly perform compound barbell exercises to these ends. The book is mainly based around several key lifts; squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, power cleans, and is regarded by a number of respected lifters as the best reference for these - not just for people beginning strength training, as might be suggested from the title - for example it comes recommended by the likes of Jim Wendler. An emphasis is put on lifting with proper form to increase strength, e.g. squatting to full depth rather than partial 1/2 or 1/4 squats (from personal experience partial squats create a lot more potential for knee injury). An encyclopedic explanation of the hows and whys of each lift is given, along with detailed diagrams. The book does not just contain guides to the five main lifts however - it also has plenty of information on other 'assistance' exercises - chin-ups, bent over rows, dips, arm curls etc. and how to best utilise them in your training program.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2011
Down to Earth style and useful advice are found in this book. The advice on various lifts is meant to be re-read as one becomes more advanced, as the relevance of several finer points is unlikely to be immediately grasped by someone without any prior experience of the lifts in question. A reasonable strategy is to read enough about a lift to understand how to do the it with an empty bar, then practice and assess what one's body is doing, then go back to the book for more advice/observations.
This is one of the rare few truly useful books on strength training.
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