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141 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for home (or gym) weight training
This book has everything you need to know to develop a successful weightlifting program without spending $1,000-$3,000 on equipment.
I just got this book in the mail yesterday and even though I got home late, I couldn't put it down. I have been running, cycling and XC skiing for almost a year with the aid of the Covert Bailey books, and I recently brought out my old...
Published on November 10, 2002 by allenorris

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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good for men thinking about adding muscle and willing to pay the price
This is a traditional, intro pumping iron book for men. The only slight twist is, as the title says, it's for men looking to workout at home, not the club. My wife and I have both read it and this is our combined feedback ("See all my reviews" for additional feedback).

Our 3 star rating is actually an average. I give it 3.5 and she gives it 2.5.

To...
Published on September 1, 2005 by Cal Dougherty


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141 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for home (or gym) weight training, November 10, 2002
By 
"allenorris" (Milwaukee, WI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (Paperback)
This book has everything you need to know to develop a successful weightlifting program without spending $1,000-$3,000 on equipment.
I just got this book in the mail yesterday and even though I got home late, I couldn't put it down. I have been running, cycling and XC skiing for almost a year with the aid of the Covert Bailey books, and I recently brought out my old 80-lb. weight set from Christmas 1985. I was using the manual that came with the weights and a Bowflex training guide from the Internet to develop a workout that reached all of the muscles. I was sure going about it the wrong way.
The book first explains all of the muscles in-depth, even giving examples of motions that show their use. Then comes the equipment section beginning with items you already have in your house (milk jugs) up to thousand-dollar equipment. They help you identify your goals and discuss training plans to achieve them.
The next sections include exercises (beginner, intermediate, advanced) for ALL the muscle groups in your body sorted by equipment type: body-weight only, dumbbells, barbells, and multistation-machines. If you have a combination like me (body weight, dumbbells, barbells - investment of $250) there is a chapter on using them together. At the end there are actual charts of exercises for you to use. I am putting together a program for myself and am looking forward to increased effectiveness in my weight training.
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90 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent with a few flaws, March 11, 2004
By 
Justus Pendleton (Colorado Springs, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (Paperback)
This book gets high marks for making explicit what its goal is -- home workouts -- and then delivering on that. While the focus is on home workouts, it offers enough information to be useful as your primary workout book, regardless of venue. The authors offer divide the exercises into major sections, depending on what kind of equipment you have at your disposal: no weights at all (i.e. use bodyweight only and makeshift weights from things found around the house), dumbbells, barbells, and exercise machine. This is great because it makes it easy to come up with a temporary workout plan for that week you're on vacation and don't have access to your normal equipment. They tell you how to create a workout plan, taking full advantage of periodization. They include tons of exercises for you to pick from when constructing your plan. If you don't feel up to creating your own plan they offer several pre-made ones with different focuses.
It isn't perfect, however, there is certainly room for improvement. When discussing individual exercises I wish they did a better job of showing how the variations affect what parts of the muscle are exercised. For instance, I think that hammer curls are supposed to work your biceps differently than standard curls but there is no mention of that kind of thing in most exercises. That inclusion would make constructing your own work out routines even easier.
The structure of the book leaves a little to be desired as well. It felt that some things -- like whether to work to failure -- aren't introduced as early as they should be. The result is you really should read (or at least skim) the book from cover to cover before setting out. A little bit tighter structure would make it easier to just skip to the section you care about.
There is also not much mention of supplements although given the somewhat controversial nature of their efficacy and the target of the book (I would guess that people who workout at home are somewhat less hard-core than those who go to a gym) it is understandable.
Overall, though, this is an excellent resource. It has both breadth and depth, making it a great single-volume resource on working out.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, honest, results oriented information., September 25, 2005
By 
This review is from: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (Paperback)
I am not an exercise nut. I am a lawyer and a family person. I just don't have a lot of time to devote to working out, and if I am at my kid's school for lunch, I'll eat the birthday cake and ice cream. I was looking for a practical book that I could use to improve the weights workout I had been doing for several months, but would allow me to spend no more than an hour or so in the gym every day. This book delivered and revolutionized my routine.

When I first got the book 6 months ago, I read through the descriptions of muscle development and the comparative benefits of different types of exercise, ie: Dumbbells, barbells, cable machines and I found the basic information amazingly useful. My lifting routine became much different than the other regulars at the gym and I found that for the first time in a LONG time, I was beginning to notice results. Eventually, I began to notice other lifters drifting away from the machines and towards the dumbbells - they began to do routines similar to mine.

Although all of the above made me happy, it was not what prompted me to write this review. Recently, I began to do the exact routines for muscle development that the book recommends. I feel like I have had a shot in the arm. My workouts have suddenly become dramatically more effective. I felt sore in places I had not felt sore in almost a year. My core is intensely stronger and my shoulders, legs and arms are beginning to grow again - even at my age and with my busy work and family schedule.

If you are one of those guys who hangs out in the gym talking to your buddies and maybe doing a single set of bench press, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for an intense, full body, healthy workout that builds solid muscle, but is devoid of hype, this is the book for you.

Get ready to move up a shirt size.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite collection of exercises, risky exercise planning, March 19, 2005
This review is from: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (Paperback)
Many exercises described in this book are unique in their efficacy of strengthening and their unfamiliarity to most fitness trainers in the western hemisphere. Examples of these exercises that make this book invaluable are:

1- Behind-the-knee deadlift (named as "hack squat").

2- Step-up with barbell on an elevated platform.

3- Overhead shoulder shrugging and overhead squat.

4- Jump squat, Good Morning. Power Clean, and Muscle Snatch.

5- Bulgarian split squat on a chair

6- One-legged squat without weights.

7- Exercising with household objects such as a galloon of water bottle and chairs.

Other positive features in the book are:

1- One of the authors demonstrates all the exercises in person, which proves his practical experience, with only few flaws such as rounded lower back during dumbbell-Clean and good morning bending. This guy carries the facial features of Al Gore, with his lack of smile and unwarranted seriousness.

2- The exercises are categorized in four major groups that simplify their applicability. These are exercises with own bodyweight, dumbbells' exercises, barbell exercises, and Plyometrics and stretches. Each group contains exercises that emphasize midsection, shoulders and back, arms, and legs.

3- The book text is simple and mostly accurate, except in few places such as the author's claim that wrist-wraps solve the wrist pain during front-squat. This is bogus. Also, the muscle anatomy chapter is accurate and simple, showing only the superficial muscles. It omits important muscles such as the Serratus anterior, coracobrachialis, Rhomboideus, and lavatory scapulae. The Serratus muscle in particular is very important to know in bodybuilding since it is often paralyzed with lifting heavy dumbbells without warming up through pinching of the long thoracic nerve.

The major drawbacks of the book are:

1- The exercise-sequence is flawed and could cause many physical injures. The author does not warn against indulging in extremely intense exercises without proper local warming up of the relevant muscles. Most of his plans start with abdominal exercises and end up with calve exercises. Abdominal stressing prior to lower back warming up could lead to spinal disc herniation. Also, you do not need to exercise your abdominal muscles in redundancy. If you run for example, then your abdominal muscles are already worked out and there is no need to double the work unless you have specific explanation.

2- Many exercises are improperly thrown in a sequence that does not sound practical or efficient. The shoulder Press for example is assigned to separate exercise from the Clean, while both should be combined in a single compound exercise.

3- Although the aggregation of the exercises is versatile and thoughtful, the author fails to prioritize them according to the frequency of their application. The Clean, Squat, and Shoulder Press, for example should be practiced on daily basis, while the side lunges are for individual needs and only should be inserted when the collateral ligaments of the knees need be stressed.

4- The high level of the author's fitness and occupation with exercise diversity may work against him. He could expose himself and others to injuries by such expansive scope of exercises. School students should not repeat such mistake of distractive exercising, but rather learn how to choose exercises with high yield and complex performance.

5- All exercises are described at the "Start" and "Finish" phases without any hints on the relevant anatomical function. For example, the author does not warn against caving in the chest while squatting, pressing the barbell off-vertical while performing overhead pressing, or tightening the lower back during lifting from the floor.
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good for men thinking about adding muscle and willing to pay the price, September 1, 2005
By 
Cal Dougherty (Madison, WI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (Paperback)
This is a traditional, intro pumping iron book for men. The only slight twist is, as the title says, it's for men looking to workout at home, not the club. My wife and I have both read it and this is our combined feedback ("See all my reviews" for additional feedback).

Our 3 star rating is actually an average. I give it 3.5 and she gives it 2.5.

To be blunt, in our oppinion the book is targetted at men with little or no weightlifting experience and are interested in doing a "body make-over" to become the chick-magnet they always knew they could be. To us, it's not a health and fitness book but an intro pumping iron book. If you are self-motivated, respond well to setting a goal and working hard to achieve it, this may be the perfect book for you and might rate it higher.

Positive: We like the honesty by the authors, especially regarding the costs involved in acquiring your own fitness equipment. They don't sugar coat it. The compendium of resistence exercises (half the book)is excellent, a good reference, particularly for men. The book is a good value- there is a lot of informative content, not like some books we've seen that are little more than fluff and pretty pictures between two covers. The book provides about 60 pages of various progress chart templates to get you started and progressing.

Negative: It's not really a "workout bible." Little attention is given to anything but pumping iron. Again, we're not talking long-haul health and fitness so much as building a beef-cake temple. It seems to be written with the assumption the reader has a fair amount of money and time to burn (some people do, most don't). It doesn't provide much help dealing with the real-world challenge of motivation beyond the first two weeks. We're afraid a lot of people will spend a bunch of money on equipment and then watch it collect dust after the first two weeks of euphoria passes. The misses quickly tired of the macho and sexist writing style. But it is from the people of MENS HEALTH magazine, after all! (She's right. They lay it on too thick for my taste as well). The attempts at humor could also be eliminated.

In summary, a useful book for a relatively narrow audience, or one to add to a fitness library for its compendium of resistence exercises.

Hope this feedback helps you in your buying decision!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my life!, August 5, 2004
By 
Pat (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (Paperback)
I had gained 40 pounds in the last 3 years and decided I needed to make changes and start a fitness program; however, being a busy professional, I always had excuses for not going to the gym. Plus, I was a newbie at weight training and was plain inefficient. That's why I got this book; I had no idea how great it would be for me.
I have been using this book and a pair of 10 pounds dumbbells for the last six months 2-3 times a week and have lost 30 pounds, my waist went from a 39 to a 34, and I obviously gained muscles, especially at the chest and the shoulders. This book includes a lot of well described exercises (with good photos), for beginners and beyond, and with about any equipment you might have (actually for the first month, I had no dumbbells and used cans and softener bottles!). The variety of exercises also allows you to progress at your rhythm without getting bored.
I now intend to get some additional equipment and start building my home gym, and this book provides great advices on the subject.
If you want to start a fitness program and have no time to go to the gym, don't hesitate to get this book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Home Workout Book Available, September 20, 2003
By 
Mr. T "Randall" (Garden Grove, CA. USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (Paperback)
It's about time someone came up with a book that caters to the person who wants to get in shape and build muscle in the comfort of their home. The author explains there's no difference if you workout at a gym or at home, if you put in the effort, you'll get results. In the first part of the book, the muscles of the upper bodyand lower body are explained to youin easy to understand language and often quite humorous. Then, they explain the free weight equipment,dumbells, barbells, plates, benches, squatracks, powerracks, etc. Basically, what you have to spend and your fitness goals will determine which equipment you purchase. I don't agree with their opinion when they say buy an olympic 300 weight set. A regular non olympic set will do just as well. In my workout patio, I have a bench with leg curl-extension, incline, dip attachment, butterfly,preacher, and cable attachment. Also, a combination chin-bar and dip station and 2 barbells, 2 pairsof adjustable dumbells, an easy curl bar, hooks for the dumbells, aswissball, and over 400 lbs of weightplates. This book has excellent pictures of the exercises for the various bodyparts. Everything is easy to understand and tell's it like it is. There are sample routines for the beginner as well as the advanced trainers out there. The author also recommends using the sample workout logs in the book that you can photocopy.Working out at home has many advantages, no waiting, no egos, workout whenever you want, etc. Ifyou workout home, this is the bok for you.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overall, September 5, 2005
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This review is from: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (Paperback)
Provides basic understanding of exercise physiology and diet.

Provides basic understanding of muscles and their functions.

Provides the nuts and bolts of dos and donts with respect to form, routines ( when to and how to change routines ).

One of the only few books out there which would tell you what exercise equipment to use and what to expect from that equipment.

Also one of the only books which has divided ALL exercises ( dumbell, free weights and cable ) into beginner , intermmediate and advance level.

If you are new to weight training this is a must have and probably the first one to have.

My only complain is that the author has strongly discouraged the use of SMITH MACHINE. I understand the rational but if you are like me i.e. exercising at home without the spotter and do not want to get injured then you got to have this machine.

After doing weight training for one and a half year my last comment about the ultimate machine "the dream machine" is

Get a SMITH MACHINE with Free weight capability and integrated cable system. Get a cheao 40 lbs each two adjustable dumbells from Walmart and you are set to be at the next level. Good Luck!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do you like to DO IT... yourself?, November 10, 2005
This review is from: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (Paperback)
This book is as comprehensive as a home-training book can be.

Various workout plans are provided, ranging from those using only household items (for those of us with no weight-training equipment) all the way through to a plan incorporating a sophisticated home gym setup.

There is some solid information and spelled-out instruction on how to do each excercise properly (with plenty of illustrations and photographs). The book is written with reliable information in mind, but also keeps a light sense of humor about the issue of home-training, making for an entertaining and worthwhile read.

This is definitely a book you can glean some very useful pointers from, whether or not you choose to follow any of the training plans provided. Another well put-together book from the editors of Men's Health magazine. If you're looking to begin training at home, I recommend this book over any other you will find.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought this book for my husband, May 28, 2003
By 
Cassandra (Stanton, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Men's Health Home Workout Bible: (Paperback)
I bought him this book and another one for me, but when it arrived, I was way more into it than he was. We had purchased a multi-station gym and this book has so many helpful excersizes that expanded on those that came with the manual. I wish we would have purchased this book before we bought anything. The language contains a little bit of machismo but other than that, this is a great books for ladies as well as the gents.
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Men's Health Home Workout Bible:
Men's Health Home Workout Bible: by Michael Mejia (Paperback - November 9, 2002)
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