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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review: Beyond Bodybuilding

Beyond Bodybuilding Muscle and Strength Training Secrets by Pavel Tsatsouline

Pavel Tsatsouline is one of those guys who produces stuff I like, backed by marketing I usually hate. He is one of the kings of the "OUR SYSTEM IS THE UBER BESTEST" style of marketing, which drives me crazy. On the other hand, I cannot deny that he has put out some good stuff, and Beyond Bodybuilding is no exception.

This is not so much a book as a collection of articles, many of which first appeared in Muscle Media. The book is divided into eight sections, covering power training, training planning, training for various body parts (legs, chest, back, arms), and a section on bodyweight training. Each section includes several articles relevant to the section at hand, as well as a large Q andA section addressing many common concerns from trainees.

The good thing about this book is that it contains a ton of information. The bad thing about this book is that it contains a ton of information. The information is all good, but the book isn't designed as a single, unified, plan. Indeed, there are easily a dozen different training plans in here, and some of them are contradictory. You cannot do everything in this book at once; pick and choose carefully based on your goals.

For that reason, I wouldn't recommend this book to a new lifter. There's just too much info here, and it's too confusing. If you are new to lifting, and want some solid, basic, strength training, check out Pavel's Power to the People, or a similar book (I hear good things about Starting Strength, but haven't read it yet). On the other hand, if you've been lifting for a while, and are looking for a new routine or some ideas to spice things up, this is a great resource to have on hand. I know I'll be using it.

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