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Practical Programming for Strength Training Paperback – January 14, 2014

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About the Author

Mark Rippetoe is the author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, Practical Programming for Strength Training, Strong Enough?, Mean Ol Mr. Gravity, and numerous journal, magazine and internet articles. He has worked in the fitness industry since 1978, and has been the owner of the Wichita Falls Athletic Club since 1984. He was in the first group certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a CSCS in 1985, and the first to formally relinquish that credential in 2009. Rip was a competitive powerlifter for ten years, and has coached many lifters and athletes, and many thousands of people interested in improving their strength and performance. He conducts seminars on this method of barbell training around the country.

Andy Baker is the owner of Kingwood Strength and Conditioning in Kingwood, Texas. He has a degree in Sport and Health Science from American Military University. Andy attended Texas A&M University before joining the Marine Corps in 2003. He saw two combat deployments in Iraq before finishing his degree in 2007. Shortly afterward he opened KSC, a private training facility near Houston that offers barbell training to competitive athletes and the general public, as well as program consultation for competitive lifters. Andy is a competitive powerlifter. He lives in Kingwood with his wife Laura and two kids, and spends the tiny amount of spare time he has fishing and hunting.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Aasgaard Company; 3 edition (January 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982522754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982522752
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas D. Klemetson on January 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
Both of Mark Rippetoe's major contributions to strength training literature are now in their third editions. Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training - 3rd Edition has established itself as one of the premiere pieces of literature for anyone interested in getting stronger, and now the 3rd edition of Practical Programming has joined it.

The 2nd edition was full of wonderful information regarding the stress/recovery/adaptation cycle of strength training. Simply put, the more you do something (say, squat or deadlift), the better you become at it, and changes in programming (frequency, set/rep schemes, etc...) are required to further progress.

New to the 3rd edition is an impressive amount of detail on how to go about the necessary changes in programming as a lifter progresses.

The book contains its largest upgrade in chapters 6-8. With the assistance of Andy Baker of Kingswood Strength and Conditioning, programming for the novice, intermediate, and advanced lifters is covered in amazing detail.

For the novice, the basic principles of the Starting Strength method are discussed as well as a fabulous real world example of a properly executed linear progression. New to the 3rd edition is an extensive look at how to elongate and squeeze every drop of usefulness out of a linear progression. It details resets, stalls, and recovering from the mistake of increasing your lifts too quickly. All of these scenarios are backed up with biomechanical details of the human body. Additionally, new to the novice section is a detailed account of the "advanced novice" lifter as well as specialized diet and training tips for the particularly overweight or underweight trainee.

The Intermediate section has received the largest upgrade of all.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By rumblefish on February 18, 2014
Format: Paperback
One of the many problems with the health and fitness industry is that there are many gurus and fads. I have literally wasted YEARS of my life following "5 weeks to (insert body specific goal)" programs from "Health" magazines and numerous other fitness fads. I have purchased many books on the subject. I have cycled, I have done Pilates, yoga. I tried running for over 3 months because all my runner friends told me that it becomes enjoyable, you just have to do it long enough. I have sought advice from local gym personal trainers. Finally after struggling to learn how to squat and getting nowhere with local "certified" trainers, an Internet search led me to the author and his book Starting Strength. Just wading into first few pages of that book I quickly realized that every other source of information about the subject of strength and how to attain it, that I have read, was complete garbage. Mr. Rippetoe presents such a simple, logical approach to strength in all of his writings that you feel like a fool for falling for all of the sophistry out there. His two books: Starting Strength and Practical Programming have changed my life. I do not say that lightly, before reading Mr. Rippetoe's books I could not squat at all, I had no appreciable strength and nothing really to show from years of "working out". Since then, I have squatted 400lbs, deadlifted 455 and standing pressed 175, and I plan on more! The thing is, before reading Mr. Rippetoe's books, I would have never even conceived that I could lift those numbers.

Like others have pointed out, this third edition of Practical Programming contains a significant amount of examples of the training methods. It really hammers home the idea that the programs aren't fixed and you can tailor them to your needs and sport.

If you want to really know what works, why, and how to do it, I strongly recommend you pick up both this book and Starting Strength third edition. You will not regret it.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Randall Lemke on January 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
Mark Rippetoe's Practical Programming has been a go to for many in the strength field and those who are serious about getting strong. The previous editions, while they contained a lot of good information, were presented as more of a launching point for industrious trainees to use to develop a program on their own, once they understood the theory. Apparently, Rip discovered that metal heads often are not so industrious, and so has updated Practical Programming to the 3rd edition to flesh out the programs in great detail with the help of Andy Baker.

I'll put it this way: if you are looking at this review, odds are you lift weights; if you lift weights, then you should buy this book, even if you already own a previous edition. This is a complete rewrite and adds years worth of programs to try out and tweak. The Texas Method section is worth the price of this book alone; there is so much depth here, while Rip is always fantastic, Andy Baker's contribution is fantastic, and adds a great deal of to the section on intermediate programming.

Don't be a cheapskate and try to cobble all this information together for yourself from various forums and google. This will be a standard reference for years to come when it come to strength programming. Take it from a guy who has read a lot of these (mostly crappy) types of books, you owe it to yourself to read a good one.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gage on February 18, 2014
Format: Paperback
This updated edition is a great improvement to the 2nd edition, which was already one of the greatest strength programming books available. The early chapters are vital for understanding the basics of good programming, including when and how to manipulate volume, intensity, and exercise selection, along with briefly covering other fundamentals, like sleep and nutrition. The later chapters discuss programming for different levels of athletes and (the addition that everyone is excited about) provides several templates for you to use. It's not just about the templates, though. The book provides an understanding of programming and how it makes you stronger. This gives you the ability to make programming changes for yourself based on how your training is going. This is vital for people like me who train alone and without a coach. I need to understand how to adapt my programming as I advance because no one template will work for everyone or work forever. This gives you the ideas of where to start and an understanding of how to adapt.
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