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Beyond Brawn: The Insider's Encyclopedia on How to Build Muscle and Might Paperback – September, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Two other books I highly recommend are McRobert's book on exercise technique and form, and Clarence Bass' book Challenge Yourself.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Painstaking in descriptions, honest and realistic in setting expectations, Beyond Brawn is one of the best introductory books on strength training for natural athletes - busy... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Jaroslav Tuček
I haven't quite finished it, however I will say this book is a great deal of knowledge for anyone who wants to increase their physique and fitness through the use of weights. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mitcheal Thornhill
Tends to say the same things over and over....just add 1 pound per week kind of thing. Makes you believe there is no upper limit to your strength. Read morePublished on December 31, 2013 by Steve
I came across BEYOND BRAWN as I was surfing the net one night. It was recommended by another site I had visited. Read morePublished on December 30, 2013 by lou
McRobert has done a wonderful job with this book. The formula that he proposes is the one that actually works: heavy compound exercises with adequate recovery and slowly increasing... Read morePublished on October 15, 2013 by R. Erindi
I bought this book having perused Martin Berkhan's website. I had been looking for a good weightlifting book and I liked what I had read on Martin's site, so I gave this a shot. Read morePublished on August 23, 2013 by R. Garnica
This is a very good book for all levels of trainees and goes against the conventional "wisdom" of the bodybuilding world that you have to lift until you vomit to make any... Read morePublished on April 14, 2013 by Nick
I'd read on numerous weight lifting forums that this was the book to buy, but I was disappointed with it. Read morePublished on January 25, 2013 by Erin