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A Practical Approach To Strength Training Paperback – May 11, 1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (May 11, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570280185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570280184
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,326,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Brzycki, BS, has more than 30 years of experience at the collegiate level as a coach, instructor and administrator. This includes work as a Health Fitness Supervisor at Princeton University (May 1983 to September 1984), Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Rutgers University (September 1984 to July 1990) and a variety of positions at Princeton University including Strength Coach and Health Fitness Coordinator (August 1990 to December 1993); Coordinator of Health Fitness, Strength and Conditioning (December 1993 to March 2001); Coordinator of Recreational Fitness and Wellness Programs (March 2001 to June 2007); and his current role as Assistant Director of Campus Recreation, Fitness (June 2007 to present).

He served in the US Marine Corps from 1975 to 1979, earning various distinctions including the Leatherneck Award (for rifle marksmanship), meritorious promotion to the rank of sergeant, Meritorious Mast, Good Conduct Medal, Certificate of Merit, Drill Instructor Ribbon and rifle expert badge (three awards). After completing his four-year enlistment, Matt enrolled at The Pennsylvania State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education in 1983. In college, he was a competitive powerlifter and bodybuilder.

Matt has authored eight books, co-authored seven books and edited two books. In addition, he has authored more than 510 articles/columns on strength and fitness that have been featured in 48 different publications. Matt has given presentations throughout the United States and Canada including the Princeton University Cross Country Camp; Princeton University Wrestling Camp; Princeton University Strength & Speed Camp; American College of Sports Medicine's Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition; Athletic Business Conference & Expo; Tampa Bay Buccaneer Strength and Conditioning Seminar; Michigan State University Strength & Conditioning Seminar; HIT Resurgence Conference; Toronto Football Clinic; FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar; and Operational Tactics National SWAT/Sniper Symposium. In addition, he has given presentations to the Central Intelligence Agency; US Customs and Border Protection; and US Secret Service Academy. He has been a guest on radio shows in Atlanta, Cincinnati and Phoenix.

Previously, Matt was a part-time lecturer for the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies at Rutgers University from March 1990 to July 2000, teaching Strength Training Theory and Applications. In January 2012, he returned to Rutgers in the same capacity, teaching Principles of Strength and Conditioning. He taught a similar course for the Department of Health and Physical Education at The College of New Jersey from 1996 to 1999. Matt has co-developed two certification courses: the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Fitness Specialist certification (in 2003) and the Youth Fitness Instructor/Trainer (YouthFIT™) certification (in 2010).

Matt served on the Alumni Society Board of Directors for the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State from 2001 to 2007, chairing its Awards Committee during his final two years. He was appointed by the governor to serve on the New Jersey Council on Physical Fitness and Sports as well as the New Jersey Obesity Prevention Task Force.

Matt won the 2012 and 2013 USATF-NJ Track and Field Grand Prix in the sprint events for men aged 50 to 59. In 2014, his time of 1:05.72 in the 400 (age 57) ranked #73 in the US, #86 in North America and #176 in the world among men aged 55 to 59.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Ross A. Martinek (triarius@execpc.com) on March 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is possibly the most intelligent and practical book on the subject of strength development that I have ever seen. If you can only buy one book about weight lifting and strength training, buy this one.
Mr. Bryzcki begins by explaining the modern theory of strength development and contrasting it with some of the traditional approaches still in use today. In so doing, he explains how muscles work, how they get stronger, and how they can be injured. If you understand these things, you will understand why you should, or should not, train in a certain way. His explanation is rigorous but easy to understand, neither tedious nor trivial.
Having laid a firm groundwork, he goes on to explain how a conditioning program should be designed and structured for maximum benefit, and the various adaptations and permutations that can be made. He gives a sample program that most people could use straight from the book.
Then he proceeds to descriptions of how each exercise should be done with free weights, Nautilus, and Universal Gym machinery. He also covers a technique that uses a partner to supply resistance instead of a weight or mechanical device. This latter method is particularly useful to those who may have a physical condition that prohibits stress to specific joints, since it allows near complete isolation of the muscles being worked.
The muscles affected by each exercise are given, as well as hazards involved in a specific exercise. Cautions concerning certain physical conditions are often given, but are not always sufficient, in my opinion. However, this is a book on strength training, not orthopedic medicine, and adding them in detail would have ruined the utility of the book!
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61 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Katharine on October 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
Yes. This is the most practical approach I've seen to strength training. I used his single set/maximum weight/total body workout for three weeks and I saw a difference. How NICE to get out of the gym! As a note to readers: the author is an academic. In that circle, you have to back up your observations with other people's claims. I agree that footnotes would have made it more readible. I gave this book 5 stars for its content, not the footnotes issue. What I got from it was a workout I took pretty much straight off the pages. He includes options for different machines, free weights, and partner-resistance. I like the variety. I answered all of my questions about using the single set plan with the data he provided. I got my cardio done in my favorite, sweat-inducing way. I have progressed wonderfully, within the amount of time I'd like to spend in a gym.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Paul L. Schwartz on January 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am both a runner and triathlete and felt my training could be improved by adding some weight lifting. Unfortunately nearly every book, and even the trainers at my gym, seam oriented towards bodybuilding not building functional strength for athletics.
I first heard about Mr. Brzycki's book on the rec.running news group were it is widely endorsed. I picked up a copy and have so far been extremely pleased with both the focus of the book (oriented towards athletes) and the results I have so far achieved. Highly recommended for athletes. Bodybuilders may want to look elsewhere.
(Note on rating: as a matter of personal policy I almost never give 5 star ratings)
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Charles W. Freeland on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Unlike dozens of other books I've read on the subject of strength training, Brzycki supports his beliefs with plenty of documented scientific research (the reference/bibliography is 16 pages long!), whereas most other such books are purely anecdotal. Or based on the results of a select group of geneticly gifted (or genetic freaks?) body builders.
Brzycki provides a through explaination of why certain training techniquies work and other don't. He also give (well researched) recommendation so designing your own program, including such factors as number of sets, approapriate repititions based on the best time-under-load for a given muscle group, and appropriate recovery intervals.
Overall, this book dispells a lot of myths and clears up the confusion and mystery around strength training. By the time you're finished reading it you will find that working out and achieving results is not nearly as complex as muscle magazines and sponsored body builders would have you think.
By the way, I gained 6 pounds of muscle and increased my bench press by 20 pounds in one month following the recommendations of this book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book a year ago and decided not to write anything untill I see results. After 12 months of following his training phylosophy and safety guidelines I have noticed great results. In fact I noticed the gains in the first weeks. I keep an accurate work card an pay heed to what it tells me ie increase load, level or back off. I'm very happy with my personal gains. I hate long unpaid manual labor style excercises and Brzycki's approach has none of this, it really has worked fast with minimal time spent in the weight room for me. The price of course is of maximizing efficiency is damned hard high intensity workouts, but hey thats life. The book has also helped me a lot in sorting out my endurance/cardio training from that of pure strenght. Best of all I can track and see results and have been doing for a year. This guy has done a lot of research and proves it. I love the authors treatment of the established weightroom predudices. He takes a be all you can be attitude and shows that you can get started right away and see the benefits.
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