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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
The muscles fascinate me. And when I plan my workouts, I like to plan them according to the needs of my muscles. For example, if my back is bothering me, I try and plan exercises that will soothe and strengthen my back muscles and not further injure them.

If I want more strength in my upper body, I want to train the muscles that will help me accomplish this in the fastest, most efficient manner. That's why I find this book so helpful.

The book shows you all of the muscles that a person uses in most all compound and isolated weight bearing exercises. Also you'll find the muscles used in yoga and stretching, fitness in general. So it's a book for everyone.

Exercising without knowing what you're doing, what muscles you're working, is not a good idea. It's more fun and more productive when you understand what muscles you're working and exactly how to work them to get the most benefit. That's why you need this book.

There are other books on muscular anatomy. But I find this one to be the best.

You'll discover how often and for how long you'll need to workout to accomplish your own unique goals. You'll also learn how to deal with injuries. I was a bit surprised, however, that the book failed to give modifications for many of the exercises. Unfortunately, most books of this type have the same failing. I guess it's expected the reader will know the modifications. Fortunately, I do. I hope you do to. If not, you need to invest in a book that shows the different modifications for those with injuries or limitations.

I suggest you read at least the first part of the book. Then you can skim the rest if you like. But carefully read the information about the muscles and exercises you're going to do. It's not a book you'll necessarily want to read cover to cover. And, you won't necessarily need to.

But you will want to refer to it often. So always keep it handy. Keep in in your gym bag or your workout room and use it when planning your workouts for the week.

The exercises in the book are mostly using your own body weight or simple free weights. Only a few use machines. So you can select the ones you want and for which you're equipped.

This is an excellent reference and I highly recommend it to you.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2008
It's a great resource for me. I am a woman who goes to the gym for fitness and strength training. Even though the gym provides a trainer, who has explained these things to me, the great illustrations in this book really help me to visualize how the muscles work and I now understand and can work them even better.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2011
Am a personal trainer and as I was going to school to get my NSCA cert this book was awesome. Shows what muscles are used during an exercise (major and support) as well as the joint. Also gives a great description of the movement and proper technique. Used daily through school and continue to use.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2008
I find this book useful on two levels. On one level, I have used it to deepen my own knowledge and make sure that I am targeting where I wish. On another level, it has allowed me to show my teenage son exactly which muscles are being worked by which exercises. I like the author's emphasis on functional strength.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2010
I am studying to complete my Master Trainer at the moment and have found this book to be invaluable, all PTs and Gym Instructors should use this book and the Institutes should promote it, it is easy to use, very practical and you get a visual understanding of all muscle groups and how the exercises that you may prescribe will help your client. Invaluable in my opinion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2011
I purchased this as a required text for a Equinox personal training course. However, I constantly refer back to it for various reasons. It has useful exercises that are better understood in the context of the drawings and detailed instructions. It also has a good section on stretching. It is also a good source to analyze aches, pains or strains and to better understand how muscles are inter-connected. I have also used it to better explain exercises and target muscle groups to family and friends - a picture is worth a 1000 words. I consider it very user friendly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2011
I started weight training recently and I have very little knowledge on anatomy. I needed something to help me understand anatomy and exactly which exercises targeted which muscles; this book has helped me immensely. Now I have a better comprehension of what and where different muscles actually are and which are involved in a given exercise, and it's also given me different exercise ideas. Also, if it helps to know, I'm female and although they do have a version of this book for female my local bookstore only had this version - this one fulfilled my needs just fine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2015
Wow. As a new personal fitness trainer, I was struggling the clarify which muscles are being strengthened or stretched with each movement. Vella's book makes my life so easy. It is clearly written, beautifully illustrated, very straight-forward and will be at my side for the remainder of my professional career. It's not only a terrific reference for professionals but I will be able to show my clients what's happening with their bodies -- thereby making their workouts more effective. Absolutely indispensable book for anyone in the bodywork or body training field. Thank you, Mr. Vella.
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on November 17, 2012
When I do something, I need to understand why it's important and the mechanisms behind what I am doing. I would say that I am not a very spatially/bodily aware person. I have been somewhat fit in my life, but never performed calisthenics or any types of exercises aimed at evenly toning all parts of the body. When I recently realized that I was going to have to change my attitude about my physical life after repetitive back, knee, and shoulder injuries I decided to strength train and this was one of the first books that caught my eye. This book is amazing--not only for it's artistic beauty but for it's practicality. It includes many tables of information about anatomy, including scientific terms for describing parts of the musculoskeletal system. It has helped me in a vital and tremendous way to understand my own body in the process of strengthening it. Although I am not an expert on anatomical drawings, the renderings seem like very good depictions.

Although the book does involve more traditional bodybuilding techniques, it also describes dynamic exercises and calisthenics. It provides specific detail to form, which has been very helpful for me since I feel as though I am spatially clueless sometimes. As a person mindful of injuries, there are also helpful reminders of the relative physical level and safety of some of the exercises.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2009
This is an Excellent Reference and Training material that helps you see All the multiple muscle type effects of each individual workout you use and which ones you may want to use or avoid depending on your circumstances ! This book,IMHO,is Not difficult to understand and has a Lot of Bang for the Buck compared to other mediums that I explored here at Amazon. If it looks good after you check it out a little,I'd go for it :)
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