on October 18, 2007
I'm 54 years old and have been lifting since I was 18. I've read countless weightlifting (mainly bodybuilding) books starting with Arnold's stuff in the 70's. I'm a physician. I've been exposed to very little of the material here, but as I understand it, much of it is used currently for athletic training such as football. This thing is packed with great material and I've been working at mastering some of the ideas for several months. The olympic lifts and compound (multiple sets together) exercises are just fantastic. I'm no longer interested in bodybuilding but being strong and healthy and not wasting a lot of time, and this program seems to have it all. Buy this book, I think it will change your life. Be careful with the weight you use, very careful; unless you are well conditioned already you can easily hurt yourself. I've never written one of these reviews before but this time I'm compelled.
on October 25, 2007
I got this book from the library first but now it's on my Christmas list. This book is well worth the price!
I'm sick of getting workout books that just show you a lot of the same old exercises and don't really give you a program or instruction on how to use the workouts. I believe that is why so many people are gravitating toward workout programs like crossfit, because they actually tell you what to do. I believe the problem with crossfit is that you are constantly working out but there is really no gauge on how much progress you are making or no real goals to accomplish. This book is a very structured book with lots of really creative and difficult exercises, some of which I've never seen before. You may have to work your way up to some of the most difficult exercises.
My first experience going through the full body workout 3 days per week I came closer to puking than I ever had before! It took me about 30mins to calm down after that workout enough to keep my food down. It's a well rounded program that the author has designed so you can tailor it to your own schedule very easily (which is about the only easy thing about this workout).
Another thing I really like about this program is the emphasis on unilateral workouts. I tore my ACL a year ago, and had surgery about 10 months ago, and have had a hard time working out and not favoring my good leg. All the unilateral workouts really keep my body balanced and has really been good for my surgical knee as it recovers.
I can't talk about long term results yet because the book just came out but so far I've been really impressed.
on February 6, 2008
Here is a book that destroys the illusions surrounding weight lifting and strength training. Many of us sit in the gym wasting massive amounts of time on isolation exercises and judging our strength by bench press alone. This book focuses on total body fitness, compound exercises, balance from front to back, top to bottom. It emphasizes developing a powerful core and pure athleticism. I have placed my faith in this book and followed its prescribed workout since I received the book. The result is that I feel stronger, faster, bigger, and healthier. I feel like an athlete. I have also found that following the book's suggested rest times between sets serves two purposes for these workouts: First, it allows the workout to be completed in far less time than I was previously spending in the gym, yet I am accomplishing twice as much. Second, I have found this mode of fast-paced lifting to be as effective as most cardio sessions. My main goal has been reducing my body fat percentage in a healthy manner. So once I finally adapted to the challenge of the workout's pace, I did as Coach Dos suggested and added 15 minutes of interval cardio to the tail end of as many sessions as possible. This has proved extremely effective in blasting away abdominal fat. Of course a proper diet is necessary to optimize fitness improvements. And although this book contains a chapter on basic nutritional guidelines, which are extremely helpful, I must recommend looking at the Abs Diet books for more detailed nutrition plans. These books are also Men's Health sponsored and very helpful. There are plenty of glowing reviews here that are very helpful for this book, but I truly feel that the importance of the work being done by Coach Dos outlined here in his book is extremely valuable to men AND women everywhere. Here is a plan for life-changing self-improvement, and it will work. Read carefully, work hard, and enjoy.
on December 29, 2007
i really enjoy this book. in particular, the selection and variety of exercises is great. although beginners are encouraged to try, i would say it's best-suited toward people already in above-average shape or people at least 1-2 months into a regular workout program. many of the exercises suggested require a lot of proper technical form, balance, and maximal power, all of which could lead to serious injury without careful supervision or at least a foundational level of fitness. also many of the exercises require comfortable usage of your own body weight. this kind of training requires commitment; done properly, it is not easy.
the philosophy of the author's training is practical & efficient. most books neglect these areas and just offer workout recipes, which to me seems like a by-product of what the author despises: isolation.
my criticisms are small (& not necessarily within the author's control)
- the described total-body, hypertrophy, and strength phases do not seem all that different from each other. (maybe that's just how it is)
- i'd prefer if the more technical exercises were explained & shown in greater detail
- having access to olympic-style lifting equipment can be difficult. it's pretty hard to find gyms that carry the type of barbells & weights you can safely drop on the floor from an elevated height. (you can use regular barbells, just be more careful & quiet)
- i don't really like the nutrition section. it offers basic advice that neither targets losing body fat or adding muscle; just does a little of each. diet & rest are just as important as a workout plan in getting real results. since this is men's health, "the abs diet" is a much better guide to proper eating.
this book is not directed towards losing body fat, though that may happen coincidentally. it's for building practical & balanced strength, muscle, and coordination. ultimately, this kind of training will help keep you safe and functionally strong. i wish there were more books like this and i think it's sad more people don't train like this.
P.S. make sure you use really stable cross-training or tennis shoes with this workout. do not use running shoes.
on November 30, 2009
I am a bodybuilder and a personal trainer. After reading Power Training, I can honestly say I have finally found the bible of physical fitness. There are numerous scientific studies (and not just "bro science") that suggest compound, freeweight / bodyweight exercises are far superior and a heck more beneficial than your typical "beach muscle" isolation routine - i.e. dumbell curls, side laterals, etc... There are lots of evidence that clearly prove squats and deadlifts are "kings" of exercise. Yet, everytime I walk into a gym anywhere in the US, I see nothing but the curl crowd. This culture stems from the fact that juiced-up, roid freaks have dominated (and in many ways controlled) the information highway in the fitness industry. What I mean by this is that every time you read Flex, Muscle and Fitness, Ironman, or Musce Media 2000, you will see two things: A) The favorite routine of today's Mr. Olympia, or some other popular bodybuilding star who's basically a walking pharmacy; and, B) advertisements for supplements. Don't be fooled! Fitness magazines are run by the same supplement companies on the ads. And the routines you read on these rags will only work on roid users.
I have read countless books on the subject, written by popular, well-respected authors such as Rippetoe, Kilgore, Poliquin, Roberts, Starr, etc... I know that squats, deadlifts, and Olympic-style lifts are the most efficient and effective exercises. The problem I've always had, as a trainer, is that because of all the information out there, I always seem to struggle how to put the best routine for myself and for my clients - UNTIL AFTER I'VE READ THIS BOOK!
This book is all you need to reach your goals. This is by far the most comprehensive book on the subject. This book is based on solid science and not some IFBB vodoo crap trying to sell you worthless supplements. My only warning is that if you are a newbie novice lifter, you should consider buying Starting Strength by Rippetoe. It's available in both book and DVD format. The reason I say this is because you want to make sure you master the basic lifts - squats (50 pages long in Starting Strength), deadlifts, presses and power cleans. You could get hurt big time if you lift incorrectly. And if you are an intermediate or advanced lifter, you will benefit alot from Coach Dos' book.
The basic workflow that the book outlines is basically as follows: Explosive, Knee Dominant, Hip Dominant, Vertical Push / Pull, Horizontal Push / Pull, Rotational, and Bridge. The lifter is also advised to follow a bilateral / unilateral pattern. For example, you might do pull ups one day, and then one-arm pull down the next session. Simple, yet EFFECTIVE. The book also show tons of exercises I've never seen before.
Lastly, the nutrition section of the book. It works. Plain and simple. How do I know? Because I was morbidly obese over two years ago at over 33% bodyfat and over 42-inch waistline (I am 10% BF at 185 lbs, 5'8" tall, as of this review). And at 38 years of age, I can squat 275 lbs below parallel and deadlift 275 lbs, both for reps. The "pillars" are the same philosophy that I've been personally following and preaching to my clients with great success. Not gonna go into detail cuz space is limited. Would I recommend this book if you want to lose fat? Absolutely! What if you want to gain muscle? Yes, absolutely. Losing fat or gaining muscle is mostly about caloric intake. In fact, this program is great for fat loss because it will preserve your muscle (read "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" by Tom Venuto.)
In conclusion, you can do countless concentration curls, leg extensions, or dumbell flyes. I will guarantee that, using the knowledge I've learned from Coach Dos, my newbie skinny-a$$ (or morbidly obese) clients will surpass you in strength, size and athleticism in no time. It's sad how bodybuilding magazines have really brainwashed the masses. So don't be a stereo-typical meathead and buy this book. You will not be sorry!
PS. Do you know Coach Dos's designation CSCS? It stands for Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. It is by far the toughest certification a trainer can take. It is the Gold Standard in the sports training industry. Coach Dos really knows his stuff.
on April 21, 2008
There are three books in my workout library which I consider indispensable: Beyond Bodybuilding by Pavel Tsatsouline, Ultimate Flexibility by Sang H. Kim, and this book, Men's Health Power Training by Coach Dos. This book is outstanding in every way: explanations of power movements and why you should do them, illustrations, and examples of workouts for Hypertrophy, strength, and general fitness, as well as workouts you can create on your own. I've been using the principals in this book for 4 months now and have seen remarkable gains in strenth, size, and fat loss. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
on July 6, 2008
I read a lot of reviews on Amazon and thought I would give this book a try. Let me start my saying that that this program DOES work if you stick to it. Having worked as an Athletic Trainer at Division I college for over 10 years I have seen this type of program implemented to college athletes with great success. The problem I have with this program is a lot of these lifts are VERY COMPLEX!!!! If you have very little lifting experience and you attempt a single-leg good morning or a single-leg romanian deadlift you may very well injure yourself. A lot of these movements are taught to college athletes by a certified strength coach (which dos Remedios is) Athletes are closely supervised by this coach to make sure they are performing the movements correctly (as to avoid injuring themselves). Once these movements have been done correctly by the athlete they are given a little more freedom to exercise on their own. I think this program has great benefits for the experienced lifter who is looking to change his program up. And while Dos Remedios never says its a beginner book he also never states its for the advanced lifter.....which in my opinion it is. If you are a beginner or an overweight person looking to get started I would avoid this book. A couple of suggestions I have to make the book more beginner friendly.
1) Have a video showing proper form for some of the complex exercises
2) Classify exercises in the book as beginner, intermediate, advanced etc....
on April 17, 2008
I have purchased many books relating to strength training, including a few published under the "Men's Health" name, as this one is. This book is easily the finest out of the bunch. Other reviewers have compared it to the "Choose Your Own Adventure" children's book series and, to a certain extent, the basic premise is the same: Coach Dos gives you the tools and then lets you formulate your own workout. While 12 weeks worth of workouts are provided based on three different program designs (Total Fitness, Hypertrophy, and Strength Gain) the primary focus of this book is on allowing you to adapt the workouts to your own tastes and goals. You don't like doing power cleans? No problem - Coach Dos provides you with a dozen alternatives that will hit the same muscles. Bench presses hurt your wrists? Again, no problem - you can choose from several alternatives. Let's say you only have time to hit the weight room twice a week instead of three or four times. This book includes a template for you as well. It also includes extensive sections on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and less extensive sections on nutrition and the like.
The above alone would only make the book "good" as opposed to "great." I became aware of the final factor roughly a month after I started the plan. Like any book, "Power Training" raises a few questions that are left unanswered. "Men's Health" has set up a subforum devoted to "Power Training" on its online discussion forums. I had a question about rest days that wasn't explained in the book to my satisfaction and asked around on the subforum, hoping another user could point me in the right direction. Within a few hours I had an answer from Coach Dos himself. My follow-up question was answered the following day. I have seen fitness authors answer readers' questions in the past, generally in the form of a general update on Amazon. This is the first time I have actually had an author personally walk me through an answer, in his free time, several months after the book had been published. Most authors could be expected (not unreasonably) to move on relatively soon after publication. Not this one.
If you're looking to shake up your lifting routine or are merely curious about power lifting, this book is worth every penny. Between the solid information included between the covers and the willingness of the author to provide individualized follow-ups, you really can't go wrong with "Power Training."
on June 16, 2009
I have been using this book for a half a year and have seen amazing results. I'm 35, and I started with no experience whatsoever. I could not do a pushup, a pullup, a dip, or anything. I could only bench press 75 pounds. Since then, I can now bench full sets at 145, deadlift 235, do 40 chinups from a full hang to touching my thumbs to my shoulders (good form-- most people do half chinups cause they're easier and they're more interested in the number they do!). The improvements list goes on. My bodyfat's gone from 28% to 14%, I've got lots of muscle to show for it, and the improvements still seem to be accelerating.
This book is excellent for the intermediate and advanced level lifters. But also, I feel that this book can be appropriate for a beginner if he or she follows a few guidelines:
First, be serious and read all the supporting material, twice, before starting. All the admonishments and caveats are there.
Second, Start off with a friend or partner who has also read the book. Help each other with form, and a spot is always nice when the weight starts to get heavy.
Third, do this at a gym with the proper racks, particularly for the leg exercises.
And fourth, when things get a little more balance-intensive, start off with light weights and learn the movements. With proper form, the exercises that require a little more balance will be successful in just a week in every case I've tried.
Buy this book if you intend to make health and fitness your new hobby.
on October 3, 2008
I've been lifting since '96, and working out all my life. I've tried all kinds of programs: bodybuilding, strength training, powerlifting, powerbuilding, olympic lifitng, bodyweight, you name it. I have to stay in shape for work, and also because I love it. This book contains the best program I've ever run. It combines my love for the olympic lifts and variations, core work, rotational work, and unilateral (one limb,ie, lunges, or dumbell work) work. I'm telling you guys, this coach knows his stuff. He took the best parts from the various types of lifting and combined them into his workouts. If you've never worked out much, or have only run a few different programs, you may not see the genius in this system at first glance, but it's there.
I've found a flaws in most other routines I've tried. Some leave out unilateral work, some don't change up exercises, most don't include olympic lifts, some have rigid rep ranges, so on and so on. Coach Dos's book contains no flaws that I can speak of. I do disagree on whether some of the exercises are unilateral or bilateral, but that's a small point of argument.
You can run this workout for an extended time without burning out. The "you choose" exercises and rotating rep ranges ensure this. You can do this workout at home or in a commercial gym. All you need equipment wise, is: a power rack or squat stands, a freeweight barbell set, and dumbells in a wide range of weights (or adjustable), and a adjustable bench. Some things that would come in handy are: a swiss ball, a high-low cable weight setup, and elastic workout bands (like the bodylastics bands).
All in all I have to say that if I were to pick one routine to do for life, this would be it. I don't say this lightly, as I've tried MANY different routines. Try it for yourself!
Oh, and in case you may believe that I'm one of those people who will rave about the latest thing, know that out of all the routines I've done, this is the only one I've left a review for. It's that good.