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Beyond Brawn: The Insider's Encyclopedia on How to Build Muscle and Might Paperback – September, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For bodybuilding instruction, Beyond Brawn is par excellence featuring an unprecedented depth of practical, relevant and readily applicable training information. Even more than that, the book is a training partner, friend and labor of love. A truly exceptional Book!" -- Jan Dellinger, York Barbell Company

About the Author

Stuart McRobert has over 30 years of training experience, has had over 300 articles published, was the editor of a training magazine for 15 years and is the author of four other books on exercise and physique transformation.
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Product Details

  • Series: Brawn
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Cs Pub USA; 2 edition (September 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9963916368
  • ISBN-13: 978-9963916368
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like Stuart McRobert in general. His books are well-organized, to the point and contain accurate information without hype. He is also realistic about what can be achieved and not achieved based on your genetics. At the same time, he is enthusiastic and very motivational.

With respect to scope, this book is geared toward how to train, training cycles and related issues and building a good foundation. Although it is well-written, it doesn't have many diagrams and doesn't include detail on exercises. For this, I recommend Build Muscle Lose Fat Look Great: Everything You Need to Know to Transform Your Body and Starting Strength. These are REALLY... the only two books you need.

My background is that I have a graduate education in biochemistry, psychology and physiology. I was a Physiology Teaching Fellow, researcher and a personal trainer at one time. Currently, I am reviewing some of the new books out there and this author is particularly impressive. If you are going to get one of the Stuart McRobert books, I would get Build Muscle Lose Fat.... However, they are complementary and in my opinion, you would be cheating yourself not to get both. Build Muscle Lose Fat focuses more on proper technique, general training guidelines, etc.

One interesting inclusion in this book is a calculation scheme for ideal symmetry. This is great for setting realistic goals and I also like that this author is drug free and favors a natural approach. As a biochemist, I think his nutrition guidelines are very good, but I think he is overly cautious.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall I enjoyed the book and the author's approach to building a stronger body. He offered some excellent ideas for short/medium/long term goal setting in regards to strength, fat %, and creating a way to monitor measurable progress. His exercise selection and theory seems good to me although I have not tried it yet myself.

The author does hold a real grudge against his genetics (and 95% of all people's genetics) that prevented him from growing to freakish levels. He brings up the fact that he is a "hard gainer" many times through evey chapter. It gets a little old because it really came off as complaining in my mind. He was likely trying to drill certain ideas into your head (ie. you are not special, you are not gifted genetically, you will not compare to any elite athletes no matter how hard you work, etc) It came off to me as a bit of a downer which made it difficult to continue reading although I finished the book.

Overall a good book and plan to place into action but presented at times in a negative manner that might not motivate some people.
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Format: Paperback
I wish I had this book when I started lifting. It would have saved me years of frustration because it tells it like it is, nothing gimmicky or faddish here. It would have allowed me to bypass all the pitfalls that most lifters fall into because of too much enthusiasm and gullibility and too little wisdom, not to mention too much misinformation coming from the magazine publishers whose only real goal seems to be to promote their advertisers' products. Yes, McRobert is a bit on the conservative side, but for a long, healthy life of lifting most people need to be.

Two other books I highly recommend are McRobert's book on exercise technique and form, and Clarence Bass' book Challenge Yourself.

Happy lifting!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Beyond Brawn, I now believe even more firmly that abbreviated training with plenty of rest days is the way to go. There is plenty of good information here about performing exercises and designing routines. But unfortunately McRoberts did not apply this less-is-more approach to his writing. If the flab of repetition and filler were removed, the book could be reduced to half its size without cutting into the muscle. In sum: worthwhile, but not great.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book back in 2002 and now 6 years later I have made some incredible progress due to its simple, practical and real world advice. You just cannot go wrong with this book. Buy it and thoroughly read and aplly its contents and your success is guarantee. I'm a strength and conditioning coach with over 12 years experience and a national powerlifing champion as well. I have read over a 100 books on the subject and i have to say that this is about as good as it gets.
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Format: Paperback
McRobert's book deals straightforwardly with the matter of safety. To achieve best gains in training, the less detours due to injuries or unproductive training, the much better. He has quite a rounded philosophy of training and health, especially weight training. If you read this book, you will have a substantial introduction.

He deals with the matter of the more naturally gifted, physically, and with the rest of us, the hard gainers(as he sees it). I suppose this is like Abraham Lincoln used to say, "The Lord must love plain people, he made so many of us."

He gives tables in which he takes account of one's bone size and potential, one's shape and build(as in, do you have long torso or short, long legs or short, long arms or short, and what advantages and disadvantages does each have). The author gives a range of levels of strength that one may be able to achieve at various ages. He seeks to give a realistic view of life. This is valuable. He does not promise the moon, but he does promise great improvement.

I think the book has a sensible approach. However, McRoberts has irritated many with this cautious approach. McRoberts is rather parsimonious about recommending exercises, if they may have some danger to them, for one example, the press behind neck. Some folks find that this bothers their shoulders, even younger trainees, and if they do, then don't do them, or try them with a light weight. He doesn't like them. However, they have been quite productive for many trainees. He gives a good many cautions, and by doing so, McRobert irritates some, as he seems to have a negative word to say about many exercises.

The book is long, which bothers some folks, who are used to saying things in fewer words.
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