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110 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2008
Just about everything you ever wanted to know about dumbbells. The book is divided up into three parts. The first part, the truth about dumbbells, explains all about the different types of dumbbells. The second part, the master moves, shows you the exercises you can do with a dumbbell which includes many pictures and instructions. This part makes up about 80% of the book. And finally, part three, a million moves for your muscles, essentially provides the reader with tips and suggested routines.

A great resource if you're into dumbbells, readers who lift regularly might also be interested in Bulletproof Your Shoulder to prevent shoulder problems a lot of lifters eventually get.
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2007
I like this book. It would have been perfect except for the fact that "Dumbbell Training for Strength And Fitness" by Matt Brzycki is better. This book is broken down into three parts: The Truth About Dumbbells, The Master Moves, and A Million Moves for Your Muscles. Essentially, this is a good book for someone who wants to master basic movements and then advance by combining exercises for dual body parts. With this in mind, it is an excellent resource for someone with dumbbells and a few props: adjustable bench, swiss ball, and a step.

The first section gives an excellent introduction to dumbbells & pros and cons of different types of equipment. I personally use the Powerblock dumbbells. The second section has pictures of each basic, intermediate, and combined set of exercises. Part three is small, but has example exercises and helps you to customize a workout.

There was one odd thing about the book. There is a picture of a kettle bell on one of the introductory pages, but there isn't a mention of them or their use anywhere in the book. This was an unexpected surprise and then letdown. In all it is a great book. It only gets four stars because it *does not* give the ideology behind different workout techniques: high intensity training, pre/post exhaust techniques, progressive workload, 21s, 3X3 workouts, supersets, forced negatives, etc.

My advice is to buy this book or Brzycki's and also get Arnold's The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2010
The book's basic design is that it shows you the core dumbbell exercises (about 40) like bench press, lunges, shoulder press, etc. Then in each section it details how by doing things like changing your grip, foot position, using a bench, etc. you can perform variations of the core exercises. That's how it comes up with the 21,000 moves.

It's a good value if you are new to using dumbbells or if dumbbells are the only type of resistance training that you are planning to do. I like the section entitled "Combine & Conquer" where it shows you how you can combine moves into one exercise in order to expedite your workout. Note, all the pictures in this book are in black & white.

However I think another book, The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU! by Adam Campbell (or the Women's Health Big Book of Exercises), is a better value. This book has pretty much the same dumbbell exercises but also has body-weight exercises, cable exercises and free weight exercises. It has good sections about nutrition and and sample workouts. The pictures are in color. This book is appropriate for beginners to advanced; and home-only exercisers to gym rats.

Lastly, almost all the exercises in these books can found on the internet, for example at websites like [...] or [...]. However, I like to have a book of exercises to refer to when I'm looking to change up my workouts.
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2008
The book has some good features but they don't outweigh the negatives. The exercises have great descriptions of how to do them but they lack the the list of what not to do. The exercises are grouped alphabetically which I thought was a good idea until I tried to do them. Since exercises are usually done in a specific order having them alphabetical it takes more time to find the ones you want to do first. Also, not every exercise book gives each exercise the same name. The book also lacks in listing good routines to get you started.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2007
Purchased this book last week and was very impressed on what could be done with just a pair of dumbbells. Even the experienced lifters in the gym were trying some of the exercises and lifts. This book was discussed and passed around the gym -- even personal trainers were reading it. I would say it's a must buy for novice, advance lifters and personal trainers and their trainees.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
I compared the hard copy version of this book to the kindle version. The book as a whole is quite good for beginners and gives sound advice.

The kindle version is useable if your already familiar with the book and wanted a quick referrence. The difficult part of the kindle version was the formatting was difficult to review based on a image on one page then the description several pages later. This wasn't practical when you wanted to workout and experiment with different variations of the exercises.

The appeal for the kindle version was it's portability, abillity to highlight or add comments to sections. Another valuable feature is the abillity to copy and paste text to be used when designing your own workouts whether in a word processor or spreadsheet. Please note that the copy and paste feature is availabe on the desktop kindle reader only.

Based on my experience with kindle version of the books, I'm leaning toward using some of the workout apps. They're easier to use during a workout. For designing and research of workouts I found the e-version to be helpful.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2010
The book is OK for a beginner. There are a lot of exercises in the book with many variations, but not too much else. There are a few sample workouts in the back to get you started, but not much else. There are better resources on the web if you're willing to spend an hour or two putting together a workout. I had hopped to find specifics such as the different effects of incline v. decline v flat bench presses, all this book gives is that the effects are different. I wanted trouble shooting tips for muscle groups where I have a hard time getting results. Nothing.
There are page after page of "Locking your elbows creates 60 new moves" Why? what's the benefit or the risks to locking your joints? I still don't know.

It's not a bad book, but if you have any experience at all with strength training, it won't really provide much new.

After owning this book for a couple of years, I came back and removed a star from my review. The bottom line is that this book is nothing but a list of dumbbell exercises with several variations of the same exercise. An "Ultimate Guide", or even a "Guide" should have more information than just a list.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2007
This is the second Myatt Murphy book I've ordered (the first being The Body You Want in the Time You Have), and both have been great assets for building a workout routine that suits me. Myatt's work is great because he doesn't talk down to his readers and understands that workouts need to be adjusted to someone's goals and schedule. Instead of just presenting a series of workout and saying "do this", you can select workouts to your needs.

I don't know what the first reviewer was smoking, whatever it was seems to have impacted his judgement and grammer. If you have a set of dumbbells and are looking for a comprehensive list of workouts to use them with, you can't go wrong with this great book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Weight training has been an important part of my life for over 30 years. After consistent dumbbell workouts for football, wrestling, and judo during this time, I thought I knew it all. Nope. There are many movements in this book I had never imagined. Murphy got pretty creative with the vast array of dumbbell motions he depicts. If you alternate between exercises every few sessions, not only will you achieve well-rounded fitness, you'll never be bored!

If you want to experience the simplicity and effectiveness of dumbbell training, give this book a look.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
It's good to make as much in our life as simple as possible. This book will make your workouts simple. But it will also make you strong and toned and help you burn fat.

Nothing beats dumbbells. I bought this book because I have a unique problem at this time and needed a way to workout but take it easy on a torn rotator cuff. I can't lift the barbell at all because my right arm has lost most of it's mobility. It's coming back but it's not totally back.

So I needed a way to workout and not let my muscles atrophy. So now I can use a lighter weight in my right hand and my regular heavy weight in my left and do bench presses. No, it's not ideal. But it works.

Of course, that's not what this book is about. It's not for those with injuries. It's for anyone. All you really need are dumbbells. The author even tells you the various types you can get and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

To your dumbbells you will probably want to add a bench or, at the least, a fitness ball. But for a small investment, you can get all you need to get a real workout in the privacy of your home. And I mean a "safe" workout.

The author gives exercises for all levels. He describes them fully and tells you how you should go about each exercise, how many reps and sets.

Oh, and gals, don't be afraid to buy the book. You have muscles too.

This is a great resource and I highly recommend it to you.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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