Both an exercise program and a reference manual with a ground-breaking new treatise on bodybuilding and strength training.
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Bodybuilding is a tiny universe comprised of huge people, and those who want to be huge but aren't there yet. Inside that insular world, a handful of individuals have made a ton of money selling advice based on shaky science--if any science was involved at all. Poliquin, a Canadian strength coach, set out to discover what the rest of the world knew about building strength and muscle but hadn't told us yet. From obscure European journals, he found a ton of information on such arcana as the speed at which an exercise should be performed and the amount of rest that should be taken between exercises. These seem like tiny issues, but they can make a big difference in how fast a muscle can grow and how strong it can become.
Besides that advanced information--packaged here for serious bodybuilders-- Poliquin peppers his book with darkly funny jabs at the muscle world's reigning brain trust. He pokes fun at one famously unstable guru's obsession with Ayn Rand, and points out that much of the training information in bodybuilding magazines is really created by editors and writers for those magazines, since the bodybuilders themselves rarely bother to tell the truth about what they do in the gym (and the drugs they use outside of it).
The Poliquin Principles is a rarity in the muscle world: a serious training manual that's also a lot of fun to read. --Lou Schuler
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