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.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Book Review: IronMind: Stronger Minds, Stronger Bodies

by Randall J. Strossen, PhD
Published 1994
182 pages

IronMind: Stronger Minds, Stronger Bodies is a collection of essays by Randall Strossen. These are the first sixty installments of his "IronMind" column from Ironman magazine, according to the back cover. My first encounter with them was in this book, which I'd gotten from IronMind, world-renowned makers of top-quality strength equipment.

The sixty essays in the book are all relatively short - 2-3 pages is about the average. They're written conversationally rather than formally, and tend to hit one topic or theme - what you'd expect from a column in a magazine.

There isn't much direct training content here. It's not going to teach you how to lift. It's almost purely motivational content. Parables of lifters overcoming challenges, behind-the-scenes looks at Olympic competition, overviews of self-motivational techniques and essays on the importance of simplicity: that's the kind of thing you'll read about here.

Randall Strossen knows his stuff, however, so you will learn a thing or two about lifting and sports psychology. But don't come in expecting a textbook. It's a series of short writings and not a collection of serious research. It's generally pretty entertaining stuff, and it makes a good nightstand reader, or for when you need to just sit and read a little...without worrying about needing time to finish a large block of pages.

Content: 3 out of 5. It's good stuff but it's nothing original when it comes to motivation. Most of it is read-once material.
Presentation: 4 out of 5. Very readable, good table of contents, and it's well printed and layed out nicely. But the text is tiny, so expect to lean in close to read it.

Overall: If you like essays about lifters and lifting, and feel the need for motivation, this is a nice book for the price. If you're sufficiently motivated and don't really care about about parables and anecdotes, skip it - you're better off with a more technical book.

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