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Men's Health: The Book of Muscle : The World's Most Authoritative Guide to Building Your Body Hardcover – October 17, 2003

ISBN-13: 000-1579547699 ISBN-10: 1579547699 Edition: Edition Unstated

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Men's Health: The Book of Muscle : The World's Most Authoritative Guide to Building Your Body + The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; Edition Unstated edition (October 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579547699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579547691
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

You might think that the subtitle, "The World's Most Authoritative Guide to Building Your Body," is hyperbole, but The Book of Muscle from Men's Health delivers as promised. Australian strength coach and former powerlifting champion Ian King and Men's Health fitness director Lou Schuler cover everything you want to know about your muscles and what makes them grow, complete with dietary recommendations, exercises for every muscle group, and exercise routines. Each muscle group is illustrated and discussed, with 149 pages of clearly described, well-photographed exercises using a variety of equipment. A section on workout routines helps you put together your own program, from beginner to advanced.

Schuler's guy-talk style makes the book enjoyable to read, even on days when you have no intention of going to the gym. The artistic drawings of muscle groups, full-color photographs of beginning and ending positions of every exercise, and stunning close-ups of buffed body parts make The Book of Muscle is as beautiful as it is practical and motivating, an exceptional gift for the fitness guy in your life, and well worth the price. Highly recommended for men wanting to get in shape or stay there. --Joan Price

From the Inside Flap

The World's Most AUTHORITATIVE Guide to Building Your Body

You probably know a lot about building muscle. You know which curl is the best for your biceps, you do every possible exercise for your abdominals, and your 20-set bench-press routine is the envy of everyone in the gym. So why haven't you gotten the results you want?

This book has the answer. In fact, it probably answers every question you've ever asked about how your muscles work: What makes them grow? What makes them show? Why didn't that champion bodybuilder's routine work for you?

But The Book of Muscle does more than just explain how your muscles work. It also gives you comprehensive muscle-building programs from a world-class trainer.

Ian King has spent 2 decades as strength coach to world-champion and Olympic athletes. He is in wide demand as a lecturer on athletic preparation and physique development, and he is a popular contributor to Men's Health magazine and, the most popular bodybuilding Web site on the planet. Now, for the first time, he brings his extraordinary knowledge and unique muscle-building systems to a book meant for regular guys who like to work out and want to see better results than they've gotten from conventional programs.

Here's what you get from The Book of Muscle that you can't get from any other book:

Three complete 6-month, progressive workout programs created by Ian King to optimize muscle growth by juxtaposing opposing muscle actions

Ian King's revolutionary training-age system to help you determine which program is right for you

Complete abdominal training that ensures you'll not only get that coveted six-pack but also develop the muscles that prevent injuries and produce better performance on the field--any field

Vital advice on warming up, stretching, and recovering between workouts

The latest and best information on how you need to eat to make your muscles grow

If you've never before bought a workout book, this should be your first. And if you've tried all the others, this is the one that finally delivers everything you have ever wanted to know but couldn't find in one place.


Ian King is an Australian strength coach and former powerlifting champion who has trained world-class athletes on four continents. A certified strength-and-conditioning specialist, he has a bachelor's degree in movement science and a postgraduate diploma in education from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. He lives in Brisbane with his wife and two children.

Lou Schuler is fitness director of Men's Health magazine and a certified strength-and-conditioning specialist. He is coauthor of The Testosterone Advantage Plan and The Men's Health Home Workout Bible. He lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with his wife and three children.

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Customer Reviews

Very informative and easy read for someone that doesn't like to read.
Dennis R Cahill
Along with showcasing the various muscle groups, and giving well explained details of their importance, the book goes on to spotlight various exercises for each group.
Karl Miller
I would recommend this book to anyone looking to start a weight training regimen.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

228 of 241 people found the following review helpful By Justus Pendleton on May 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In many respects this is the perfect first book for someone looking to get into regular exercise. More than most other books in the genre, this one seems to have more than a modicum of scientific understanding backing it. The first sections set the tone, going over the actual science of muscles, why they get bigger, and how. The authors know their audience, though, and don't overdo the science. However, if you are going to lift weights then you need some level of understanding of what things work and why. This first section gives you that. I personally would have liked to see more scientific detail and references but understand that that probably would alienate large chunks of their target audience.
After that primer you get introduced to the major muscles and the exercises that target them. There are also sections on diet, warming up, and stretching. While none of these sections are comprehensive, and many have been done better elsewhere, they are done well enough here that it makes the book a viable one stop shop for beginners.
Before you rush out and buy this, though, there are few caveats.
One, the book does not cater to the home exerciser. Depending on how well stocked your home gym is and how creative you are with coming up with replacement exercises this might not be a big deal, but the exercises DO assume access to barbells, dumbbells, and a machine.
Two, some of the exercise descriptions are lacking detail or, in a few cases, plain wrong. The upright row, for instance, shows a form -- bringing your elbows way above parallel -- that most trainers and researchers caution against because it causes shoulder injury in many people. I would expect the world's most authoritative guide to at least mention this.
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154 of 164 people found the following review helpful By Karl Miller on October 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Finally, Men's Fitness has gotten it right - a book that does not promise immediate results...but instead one that helps you formulate a plan, that is equal part guide to the weightroom, solid nutritional advice, and key principals for involving the mind in your workout. This is without a doubt their best book yet on the value (and IMPORTANCE) of personal fitness.
Ian King may not be the best known name in the world of fitness, but among weightlifters, he is known for hard core, no-nonsense weight training, with functionality stressed over mere muscle mass. Along with Men's Health regular Lou Schuler, they have compiled the best muscle guide to come out of Rodale Press - and one of the best guides I have ever read.
Along with showcasing the various muscle groups, and giving well explained details of their importance, the book goes on to spotlight various exercises for each group. What is nice about the exercise pages is that they show great variation in order to allow for full definition of the particular muscle, and also give great explanation and illustration for the exercise, allowing the reader the chance to really learn more about proper form. It's great to read a book like that that uses pictures to explain and educate, rather than to have an excuse to photograph chiseled bodies in sweaty conditions.
This book has everything - whether you are a newcomer, or have been in the weightroom for years, you are bound to learn some new exercises, or some outstanding twists on some old favorites. And the sample programs written by King are well reasoned, and offer a creative mix of hypertrophic and endurance building routines. And they allow for customization to meet specific body part needs.
Great book guys - this has me thinking about subscribing to Men's Health again (if only they would stop running the cheesy "pump up your sex life" articles).
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91 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Franklin Joyner on October 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have had this book for about 9 months now. I recently completed the intermediate program and made great gains. I followed the nutritional advice given in the book and gained 20 pounds. 20 Pounds may not sound like much, but it is a total body transformation when you go from 169 to 190...and it is all muscle.

The workouts are designed in such a way that you stress your muscles very hard and then have ample recovery time to get bigger and stronger.

I ran a marathon and a week after finishing it I started this book. So I basically started from scratch.

Starting I could bench press 40 pound dumbbells for a max 8 reps. After the six month intermediate workout I lifted 80s for 8 reps.

Shoulder press went from 65lbs barbell press for 5 reps to 120lbs for 5 reps.

Squat was the biggest improvement. Started at 65 for 10 reps. Finished at 185 for 10 reps.

The best exercise there is in my opinion I never knew about before this book. It is the DEADLIFT. The deadlift made me bigger and stronger overall than anyother exercise. And it focuses on a common weakness for most people, the LOWER BACK.

Deadlift start was 65 for 5 reps. Finish at 225 for 5 reps.

The key to this book is that it takes you through a cycling approach. By taking you through stages with varying sets, reps, and exercises, you muscles are always in a state of shock and always responsive to the workouts.

I am doing the intermediate workout again. After I complete it a second time I will advance to the advanced workout. You will never need another book for fitness. This is the best book I have EVER read and APPLIED for an extended period of time. The authors have done a wonderful job with writing.
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