Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Book Review: Strength Training Anatomy

Strength Training Anatomy, Second Edition
by Frederic Delavier
144 pages plus fold-out covers, published 2006

Like Mark Vella's Anatomy for Strength and Fitness Training, this book is an anatomical look at various exercises.

Strength Training Anatomy doesn't spend time or pages on exercise selection or introductions. It immediately jumps into the exercises. These are sorted into seven chapters - Arms, Shoulders, Chest, Back, Legs, Buttocks, and Abdomen. First page to last, it's all exercises.

The exercises include free weight, machine, and bodyweight exercises. They're largely powerlifting/bodybuilding exercises and omit Olympic lifts and stretches. Each of the 115 exercises gets it own page, with a skinless model man or woman performing the exercise and the muscles involved colored and labeled. The muscle groups involved are highlighted on a smaller anatomical figure in the corner, and colored circles are used to further highlight what the exercise does.

One interesting element to the book is that each section - legs, chest, etc. - includes an injury discussion. These pages - yellow instead of white to make them stand out - show common injuries to the discussed area and how they can be treated or avoided. These include pec tears, bicep tears, impingement, and other such potential hazards to handling weights.

The book also features two fold-out covers, the back showing the muscle groups and the skeleton (front and back). The front shows the (male) human body's skeletal muscles from the quarter-turned side as well as the front and back.


Content: 4 out of 5. Very good stuff, but compared to similar books the amount of exercises shown is somewhat limited.
Presentation: 5 out of 5. Easy to read, attractive images, and well-designed anatomical charts.

Overall: If you want to see what muscles are involved in which exercise, this book is very useful. You can potentially use it for selecting movements as well. It's interesting and very good for what it aims to be - an anatomical guide to exercise.

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