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209 of 218 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for anyone interested in bodybuilding on any level
This book has everything you need to know about all aspects of bodybuilding. It starts with basic recommendation and training techniques for the beginner and ends with posing for bodybuilding competitions. The book is well organized, so it is very hard to get lost. In the first few pages, you will find the history of bodybuilding, but following it are the actual...
Published on December 3, 1999 by Alex

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23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book to have in your library, but should not be the only book
I bought this book because I'm a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and I was looking for a comprehensive body building book that would exhaustively cover all kinds of weight lifting exercises and techniques, muscle group science, nutrition, and other factors that need to be considered when developing a personal strength and fitness program. This book is quite thick, and it has...
Published on May 15, 2007 by D. Roberts


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209 of 218 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for anyone interested in bodybuilding on any level, December 3, 1999
By 
Alex (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised (Paperback)
This book has everything you need to know about all aspects of bodybuilding. It starts with basic recommendation and training techniques for the beginner and ends with posing for bodybuilding competitions. The book is well organized, so it is very hard to get lost. In the first few pages, you will find the history of bodybuilding, but following it are the actual programs and sets of exercises that you can use for every workout. There is a beginner program, advanced program, and competition program. Each program has 2 levels of training listing exercises most suitable for each level. If you are a beginner, you can start with level 1 of the beginner training and then eventually move up as you see results. Or you can just start with a level that you see fit for your current shape, as I did. After all the programs, you will find information on how to correctly perform each of the exercises listed in training programs, all with big illustrations (you will see a lot of inspiring pictures of famous bodybuilders). You will also find many different exercises that you can use to alternate your workouts, and also nutritional programs to go with your training. Nutritional programs are divided into different levels as well. I have never used anabolic steroids, and I have no problem performing exercises listed in the book. Some of them may be hard, but not in the beginner training. That's why you shouldn't start with advanced training unless you feel comfortable. I started seeing results after as little as 2 weeks after almost no progress for last half a year before I picked up this book. Arnold's training hits all muscle groups, and some that many people simply miss/disregard, but that are essential for building the best physique. You don't need steroids to do any of the exercises or to workout for 2 hours a day. In fact, I actually enjoy my every workout more than ever. It is hard to describe 800 page book in a few words, so there are a lot of things in there that I didn't even mention. You just have to see for yourself. I can't speak for everyone, but I definately recommend it.
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84 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reasons to Buy This Product, September 10, 2004
This review is from: The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised (Paperback)
1) Comprehensiveness -

There's not a single book that can boast of the same overall coverage of bodybuilding that this one can. Let's say you aim to take several college courses to assist your bodybuilding knowledge; you'd still have to take one introductory one, one in simple nutrition, one in advanced nutrition, one in general kinesiology, one in exercise physiology, one in advanced exercise physiology, and so on and so forth. The same applies to most other books. This encyclopedia, at 800 chocobloc pages, covers beginner-intermediate and mildly advanced ground comfortably and in a handy cross-indexed reference method, with additional tips thrown in from the man who brought the sport out of its shell: Arnold Schwarzennegger.

2) Value for Money -

800 pages at 17 bucks is a steal. I ordered this item, and with ground shipping had the cost add up to about $21 dollars. Still cheap for an 800 page compendium!

3) Above and Beyond -

Aside from all the valuable textbook-style knowledge, you'll also get Arnie's own special inputs (of course updated in 1998), a nice glimpse at bodybuilding history, some tips on basic supplementation and a great section to help you if you're a competitor. The book is stacked with personal tips; chances are they'll help you pack on muscle faster than before.

4) Indirect Value -

The book also has an indirect value. If you're one of those people who buys muscle magazines for your routines and info, you can happily junk that nonsense. First of all, muscle magazines get kind of tiring, with their 'NEW AND HOT OFF THE SHELVES' this-and-that every month, their juiced-up routines and their annoying Muscletech ads, and, Weider-endorsed or not, they have a hell of a lot less credibility. With Arnold's guide in hand, you can say goodbye to dollars wasted on muscle mags for unhelpful information.

Finally, I just want to answer the very few people who've criticized this product on account of the fact that Arnold would severely overtrain back in his days, both on account of limited knowledge at the time and his excessive steroid habits. I've read the book cover-to-cover, referred to it several times, know it pretty much inside-out, and I can't find ONE instance where his preaches this overtraining. Whether this is because of the recent update or not, Arnold actually warns against being 'too enthusiastic' as this can hinder your gains, and devotes a few pages to the overtraining issue. Obviously the few that have criticized the encyclopedia based on Arnold's other work (namely "Bodybuilding for Men", which glosses over nutrition and recommends a highly juiced training schedule), have never actually gone through this book.

So in short, buy the damn book! It's cheap, it's huge, it's handy, and it'll help you get bigger like no amount of supplements can.
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117 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gospel of Arnold., March 30, 2006
By 
James "Red" (Ottawa, On, Canada) - See all my reviews
I have been weight training for five years and can not stress enough the value of this book. For the first three years I listened to personal trainers and a few friends doing a fairly normal workout routine to change my overweight body. This produced little to no results. I met a bodybuilder two years ago that was a big Arnold fan and unknown to myself he gave me Arnold's beginner workout program. I started seeing results; however, I eventually stopped the program because I had hit stagnation. I did not have access to anything that would show me how to push my limits even further, just what "the trainers" told me again. Basically your average medium sets, medium reps, and circuit training workout programs. Enough to keep my current weight stable with the prospect of shedding a few pounds and to gain small amounts of muscle over the long term. The don't overtrain mentality 3-4 times a week! Great for some!

I wanted more, I'm human. Eventually I called up my then bodybuilding "personal trainer" friend and he reluctantly revealed to me this book; "his secret", that is actually available to everyone. I picked it up and started following Arnold's next program level. More results. I am now into the advanced programs and never felt healthier or happier with my body and can honestly say I have greater control over my physical appearance than I ever imagined possible. People that claim this book will overtrain you I do not believe have looked at the entire book or fully understand Arnold's fundamental arguments. Perhaps unfortunately they are also looking out for their own interests. We can't blame them though, they are human!

The beginner programs in this book used with proper weight for your body will show results and should not even come close to overtraining if you are using low weight. Yes, 6 days a week! What about time? If you have a career or have kids Arnold says wake up early. He asks how serious are you about wanting to change and control your body or what are your goals? I can not stress that enough and Arnold makes it clear to push yourself to realistic goals! Do not dive into the deep end. A good section in-directly speaking to overtraining (besides the one devoted to the topic) is the one on bodytypes. For example, Arnold's information tells you; If you have a natural athletic body you can probably start a bit harder. Where as an endomorph (gains fat easily) may want to focus on cardio more and getting up their energy level and fatigue resistance.

I would even argue a beginner could use his low level advanced programs lifting "the appropriate" level of weight and make gains without over-training. For example, let us pretend "joe beginner" can bench 100 pounds over 4 - 8 reps. When Arnold says do 6 sets of Bench presses starting with 15 reps he means start way lower than what you can do, maybe at 25-30 pounds, maybe 40 on a high enegry day and end on the 100. Eventually when fully rested, following that beginner level pyramid, doing 100 pounds for 4-8 reps will be a joke. Realize how many sets and exercises he is telling you to do and adjust accordingly! Don't start at 90 and then try and go to 150, you'll be dead for the next exercise, and will over-train! Lets say someone can bench 30 pounds for 4 - 8 reps, start at 8. For his programs to work, you have to suck up the pride and go as low as is necessary to not overtrain but finish the workout(This is all covered in his beginner section!). I have a secret for you..no one in the gym cares about how much your lifitng and if they do, you shouldn't. Arnold also mentions many other similar mind over body / environment ideas.

Negative reviews also mention Arnold took steroids. I imagine he did but steroids should never be used*. I believe Arnold's program can be used completely without supplements and give results. However, taking protein, glutamine, and some of the other modern supplements may help if you are feeling over-trained. If you are still, despite the supplements, as I said before lower the weight. Some bodies need supplements (sorry did I say supplements? Should have said "a proper diet"!). This is an unavoidable reality if you are burning over 1000 calories a day on training. Like Arnold points out look at safe supplements more like food (because that is where most modern supplements come from). If you are taking CLA, protein, vitamins, and appropriate amino acids you are really only altering your diet. Arnold's book does provide diets that will be giving you all these "supplements". (*Arnold makes it explicit that fat burners are fake enegry and steroids are off limits).

The core idea behind Arnold's message that some reviewers are missing is that to achieve success and change your body takes dedication, alot of hard work, and a long-term plan (a plan from this book, an expensive trainer, or maybe your own probably misinformed ideas). Arnold provides that plan for a minimal price compared to what "the trainers" will offer! Sure he makes some "scientific" mistakes. But if you wanted to learn how to fight would you rather learn from Bruce Lee or an exercise physiologist? Would you tell Bruce his ideas about kicking are wrong because it is impossible to be like a tiger? The same practicality / ideas in practice are needed in bodybuilding; as Arnold suggests look at it like an art. Scientists can tell you what they want but ultimately you have to push your body to the limits to get results. There is no such thing as a "genetic freak", I haven't seen any mutants around the gym lately, just people that know what they are or are not doing. Sure our genes dictate our predispositions but our free egos allow us to influence our own mind and consequently bodies.

Following Arnold's advice, eventually going to the gym 6 days a week will be heaven and not hell. The pain of a heavy workout will be welcome and your body will adapt and recover faster than you ever would believe possible, leaving you with energy you never thought you could have. Arnold's book is a good place to start for any person wishing to change their life and body. Just read it carefully and understand the principles.
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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A positive review with a realistic critique, June 30, 1999
By A Customer
I seriously doubt anyone will read this, seeing as how in my estimation entries are listed in order of oldest to most current , but oh well what the heck. I am writing this mainly as a response to the harsh criticism of some of the readers of this book. I am a student of exercise physiology. Although I posess no degree my words are those of an educated person and I feel I have a lot to contribute to the evaluation of this book. Let me start by saying that this book is not meant for beginners in my opinion. I would say that on the whole the information presented is at least 95% accurate, and it is up to the educated bodybuilder to sift through the info that isn't It is simply unfair to say that the routines and exercises listed will not work on a steroid free bodybuilder. Although the routines are extremely taxing on the body and are not at all appropriate for a beginner, somes peoples bodies are in fact equipped to handle this type of stress. My body as an example is not. There are such great variations between the physiological response of one person as compared to another. For example, I know people who are able to train chest once every three days and achieve phenomenal results. On the other hand for me to train a bodypart such as chest more frequently than every five days results in serious overtraining and stagnation of muscle growth. To summarize, I would say that by using much of the info contained within this book, a person can construct several very useful workouts for themselves. The weider principles are not trash and when used with common sense and hard work can produce astonishing gains in muscle size, strength, and tone. This book provides very useful information even to the seasoned veteran of the discipline of bodybuilding. Although I do see some of the flaws and misinformaion pointed out by the other readers, I would still recomend it to anyone with a reasonable amount of knowledge about the sport who is looking for a comprehensive look at all aspects of bodybuilding. I encourage e-mailed resonses to this entry
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82 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must have reference, August 28, 2000
When I first got this book (shortly after it was published) I was a bit skeptical because it seemed to go against a lot of what I had been reading. Now that I've had it for a while I really believe it is a fantastic reference guide and one of the most complete bodybuilding books around. It covers virtually every exercise you can think of in great detail -- how to perform the exercise, which part of the muscle is used, etc. Beyond this it contains a wealth of information about designing training programs for different body types and skill levels and how to prepare to be a competitive bodybuilder.
I still question some of the training schedules (lifting 6 days per week really seems like a lot to me), but it is worth the money just as an exercise reference -- even if you aren't interesting in competitive bodybuilding. Whenever I am changing my training program or looking to verify my form I consult this book.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultamate bodybuilding reference!, December 24, 2000
By 
Justin Long "jlong1" (Lorton, Virginia United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised (Paperback)
This book has it all. It really is an encyclopedia... It covers the history of bodybuilding, nutrition and diet, posing and competition, and of course...training techniques. It goes over each muscle group in detail. If you want to know which exercises to do in order to build up a certain muscle, it lists several type of movements and explains what effect those movements will have on the muscle (ex. working the upper pecs vs. working the lower pecs). Many pages are devoted to each muscle, not just one or two like in other books. -In addition, topics such as motivation and intensity are discussed, key elements for any serious weight lifter/bodybuilder.
Aside from its content, this book is well organized. You can easily pinpoint your area of interest using the table of contents. This is very helpful if you intend to use this as a reference as I do. I have personally read about ¾ of the book. However, I am often reaching for it when I want a quick answer or am looking for a different twist on something.
In case you are wondering, this book has a ton of pictures of Arnold and other known bodybuilders. Some illustrating exercises, others of guys working out in the gym. I would say about 1/3 of the book is composed of pictures.
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99 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality check for all the reviews...., November 4, 1999
By A Customer
I liked this book. Some of these reviews are downright ridiculous. There is no need to trash or worship a book. Here's the skinny on the book. It has many exercises that will allow you to gain strength, size, and stamina, without using drugs or supplements. I followed the advice of the book (without illegal supplements) and gained weight as a result, but I am not genetically capable to become very massive. I do think this book gives a lot of insight as to the art of bodybuilding, and although there may be some flaws as far as nutrition or updated information on certain exercises, it is very informative overall. I am not a student majoring in exercise science or anything similiar, but over the years weight training and exercising I have gained some insight as to what works and what doesn't. I highly recommend reading about exercises from other books as well, and then using your knowledge with this book to generate a routine and basis for working out. We all know Arnold is a success in life, not only because he had the benefit of genetics and steroids, but because he worked hard and is very disciplined. You get out what you put in is the bottom line, especially with your body.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the bible, March 21, 2000
This review is from: The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised (Paperback)
If you are loking for a book to teach you not only the basics of bodybuilding, but also to inspire you into changing the shape of your body, then look no further. This encyclopedia tells you everything you ever wanted to know about building your body, but also how to lose fat, and keep it off. Nobody did it like arnold, so when you buy this book, you know that you are getting advice from the worlds best. The book gives an insight into the history of competitive body building, and the photo's of arnold and some of his stories which demonstrate his unbelievable level of determination and willpower is enough to motivate anyone into taking up an exercise program tomorrow. But this book isn't just for people who want to become muscle-bound...anyone who ever wondered about the structure of the human body, what makes it grow, what makes you lose fat, then this encyclopedia will keep you engrosed for days - Arnold has put together a wonderful book to read - not only that, but it will inspire you to make changes in your lifestyle, and teach you how to use your most powerful weapon...your mind. The lessons taught in this book will not only help you in the gym, but also in everyday life....The only point i would warn you about, is that the exercise programs set out in this book, are beyond 99% of human beings...you would need the genetics of arnold himself to get throught one of these workouts..However, once you have read this book you will be able to make your own exercise regime from the knowledge that it will bring you....Enjoy!
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fancinating look at the world of Bodybuilding, January 7, 2002
By 
This review is from: The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised (Paperback)
This is an excellent book for the would be bodybuilder. It provides indepth information on training programmes and outlines a multitude of exercises and training techniques that can help boost your progress. It can also be viewed as more of an inspirational tool because of the fantastically detailed pictures of all the top bodybuilders rather than a concise exercise physiology book but it will provide individuals with a sound base to become proficient 'muscle builders'.
There seems to be a lot of confusion in the earlier reviews concerning the use of 20 set's per body part? If for example you are aiming to build your thighs, this would involve 5 sets of squats, the first set being a warm-up set, 4 sets of lunges, the first set being another warm-up set, 4 sets of leg extensions, 4 sets of hamstring curls and finally 3 sets of deadlifts, which totals 20 sets for your thighs. Arnold clearly advocates the use and gradual progression of his recommended training programmes, that are aimed at beginner level right through to advanced. Now if you follow this as Arnold states, you will not end up doing 20 sets per bodypart until you reach the more advanced levels, which can sometimes take years of training to comfortably achieve.
Bodybuilding can be an extremely difficult and demanding sport depending on what level you are currently participating at. The use of behind the neck presses and behind the neck lat pulldowns etc. is questionable and have been proven to aggravate the shoulder complex but we have to take into consideration the fact that these are actually 'sport specific exercises' and like many other sports like karate which advocate ballistic stretching and athletics with explosive power movements such as heavy partial squats, they belong in the relam of the sports they were designed specifically for and not in recreational training programmes designed to reduce weight and improve tone.
The only downfall I see concerning the book is the sparsity of text in the injuries section, which deserves much more attention. However, this book is excellent and belongs in your bodybuilding arsenal. It will provide you with inspiration, motivation and the knowledge to help you succeed and I highly recommend that you purchase it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Bodybuilding Book, August 12, 2004
This review is from: The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised (Paperback)
I began bodybuilding about a year ago and this was the first book I bought on the subject. Wow! Most books I have seen since then only offer a sliver of information compared to what is contained here.

Almost every exercise that one can perform on every muscle group shown, but the proper technique is also given. It is difficult to accurately describe how to do something (try to write a decription on how to tie your shows and you'll see what I mean), but the descriptions here are dead on. It also goes in to detail about correcting weaknesses, how to "cheat", and variations for better working muscles for your body type.

Further, the books talks about the history of bodybuilding, how to prepare for a competition, proper nutrition, supplements and overall body maintenance. Even if you are not a competitive bodybuilder (like me) this book will give you all the information you need to properly work out with weights and to build muscle.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to get into shape. It has been an invaluable reference for me and I consult it regularly. Also, despite what one reviewer wrote, it does list exercise routines. But - as the book says - one must continuously change one's routine, lest the muscles adapt to the training and don't grow. Changing the stresses on a muscle periodically challenge the muscle fibers and allow growth to continue.

Again, for the price (I paid $25 for this book), it is a great deal. Buy it - read it - and learn from it. It will be a small investment that you will truly benefit from.
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The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised
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