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THE Complete Keys to Progress Paperback – December 1, 1993

4.4 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ironmind Enterprises (December 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0926888013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0926888012
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
John McCallum knew about all there was to know about weight lifting and body building back in his day. Most of what came after him was more pharmacology than physiology. Don't waste your money on the modern "bodybuilding" books.
McCallum wrote the individual chapters of this book as articles for Bob Hoffman's publication "Strength & Health" (So that's were Joe Weider got the name for his magazine "Muscle & Fitness"), and he of course had to shill for Hoffman's products. Some of his science is dated, and he oftentimes recommends too many sets and reps, but his principals are sound.
The articles read like short stories, and the reader comes to genuinely like the characters who people McCallum's stories.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first book that any strength athlete or bodybuilder should buy. McCallum has an entertaining writing style, gives the reader exactly what he needs and provides a number of workout regimens so that anybody can be successful at building muscle. McCallum's ideas predate the current steroid era that has made bodybuilding distasteful and dirty. The concepts in this book work and require nothing more than hard work and a good diet. BTW, the other two books are "Dinosaur Training" by Brooks Kubik and "Super Squats" by Randall Strossen. Follow the advice in these books and you can't help but get big and strong!
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Format: Paperback
Do you own one or several muscle magazines? Or maybe some books by geneticly gifted athletes promising you gains in strength and size? Good, because everybody needs good firewood. "Keys to Progress" teaches the reader all he/she needs to know about accumulating strength and bodybuilding. This book holds information geared to results for the natural athelete, not some drugged up supermen. John McCallum was packing massive amounts of muscle on his trainees before steroids were even a factor in sports. This book holds the keys to progress for the average man who wouldn't mind a little sweat and pain to get the job done. Best book you will ever read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came to this book quite skeptically, but have been really impressed with it. I put off getting it for a long time because I would rather have straightforward exposition than stories, and I figured that knowledge of effective lifting has changed a great deal since McCallum wrote. I don't think anyone will believe that most of these stories really happened, or at least happened the way they say, but they are fun stories nonetheless, and some truths are most effectively told through fiction. What has surprised me is that McCallum is a very good storyteller, and he has a tremendous sense of sly humor. That said, the stories are broken up with a lot of direct exposition, and I have found it instructive. The criticism that McCallum is writing advertisements for York is partly true but grossly overstated. Many of the entries don't mention York, York products, or even the magazine Strength & Health. I highly recommend this book as a fun and informative read.

Is it dated? One of the other reviewers has said that McCallum was ahead of his time, and I think it would be as appropriate to say that there has been very little progress in lifting theory since McCallum's time. Sure, we know a bit more about nutrition, and we know a bit more about safe and effective exercise technique, but the fundamentals--and I think most of the details--remain the same. What makes this book a gem is not, however, any proprietary insight that McCallum had, but his ability to push the fundamentals, to motivate, and to present things in perspective. Even if one knew all the facts, McCallum's writing would still be useful for tying them together in a meaningful and productive way.

I'm sorry that I put off getting this book for so long. Had this book been one of the first I had read, my training would have benefitted greatly.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent read for anyone who loves lifting and enjoys a good storyteller. It is a unique book. The book is composed from articles published by the author in Strength and Health magazine from '65-'72. However, it doesn't contain "outdated" material, these are articles that are just as useful now as then, so don't let the era deter, in fact it makes the stories even more interesting sometimes. Many of the training and nutrition principles are basic and have that simple, old fashioned feel to them, but since they work it's irrelevant if they are the "good old way" in contrast to the newest, glittery, hype-ridden methods you see now. Everything in this book is just plain time proven material and so when exactly they were first written is not very important. The book covers a broad spectrum of training topics, and you'll find many strength, eating, and mass building subjects that will catch your interest in the index; the thing that makes it unique is its informal tone, the info gets to the point at a steady pace without overdoing the explanations behind the info you are trying to get at. The way each topic is explained is story-like and interesting and this book is one of those classics that is useful to both newbies looking for simplicity and quality to the long time lifter who will enjoy reading a refreshing book on stuff he/she already knows, but will just plain find entertaining to flip through and read again and again. Its a good book for any weight trainer's library, though it is not filled with "cutting-edge" material. If you just want to get big and strong, and do it without getting a trainer and a thousand dollars in supplements or make things more complicated then they have to be, or if you already have your training figured out and just want something fun to read that reminds you how simple it can all be just get this book.
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