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Beyond Brawn: The Insider's Encyclopedia on How to Build Muscle and Might Paperback – September, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For bodybuilding instruction, Beyond Brawn is par excellence featuring an unprecedented depth of practical, relevant and readily applicable training information. Even more than that, the book is a training partner, friend and labor of love. A truly exceptional Book!" -- Jan Dellinger, York Barbell Company

About the Author

Stuart McRobert has over 30 years of training experience, has had over 300 articles published, was the editor of a training magazine for 15 years and is the author of four other books on exercise and physique transformation.
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Product Details

  • Series: Brawn
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Cs Pub USA; 2 edition (September 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9963916368
  • ISBN-13: 978-9963916368
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like Stuart McRobert in general. His books are well-organized, to the point and contain accurate information without hype. He is also realistic about what can be achieved and not achieved based on your genetics. At the same time, he is enthusiastic and very motivational.

With respect to scope, this book is geared toward how to train, training cycles and related issues and building a good foundation. Although it is well-written, it doesn't have many diagrams and doesn't include detail on exercises. For this, I recommend Build Muscle Lose Fat Look Great: Everything You Need to Know to Transform Your Body and Starting Strength. These are REALLY... the only two books you need.

My background is that I have a graduate education in biochemistry, psychology and physiology. I was a Physiology Teaching Fellow, researcher and a personal trainer at one time. Currently, I am reviewing some of the new books out there and this author is particularly impressive. If you are going to get one of the Stuart McRobert books, I would get Build Muscle Lose Fat.... However, they are complementary and in my opinion, you would be cheating yourself not to get both. Build Muscle Lose Fat focuses more on proper technique, general training guidelines, etc.

One interesting inclusion in this book is a calculation scheme for ideal symmetry. This is great for setting realistic goals and I also like that this author is drug free and favors a natural approach. As a biochemist, I think his nutrition guidelines are very good, but I think he is overly cautious.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Painstaking in descriptions, honest and realistic in setting expectations, Beyond Brawn is one of the best introductory books on strength training for natural athletes - busy trainers especially will appreciate the abbreviated routines suggested by McRobert.

This is not the book on how to look great for the beach in three months ... not even a book on how to have a shot at being the next Mr. America. It is a book on what to do if an average guy wants to deadlift 500 pounds after a couple of years of training. Sure, that doesn't sound like much, but can you lift it? And how long have you been training? Beyond Brawn will take you there.
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By Nick on April 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very good book for all levels of trainees and goes against the conventional "wisdom" of the bodybuilding world that you have to lift until you vomit to make any substantial gains. If you are one of those narrow-minded "sheeples" who isn't going to change their routine no matter what, this book is not for you...stick to the bodybuilding magazines and continue to spend your fortune on supplements. This book is aimed more so for the "typical" person who is not drug-assisted, and does not eat, sleep, and breathe bodybuilding. The format of the book is easy-reading, but at times does sound like an infomercial as other reviews have stated, and McRobert at times does sound a bit like a hypochondriac and neurotic in his writings, but he makes some very important points. Train safely and sensibly, and don't follow the "typical" routines written for drug assisted individuals. There is no magic answer in this book, as McRobert stresses that what works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa. Strength training is not always an exact science and results are age-dependent, based on genetics, years of experience training, and dependent upon rest and recovery abilities. This book may be frustrating for some to read as it does not offer the typical "this is the best workout for mass" line that many authors put out there. McRobert's key point is that growth and strength come from recovery, not the actual training itself...if you overtrain, have a poor diet, and don't get enough rest, you can lift until you are blue in the face and not see results. If you haven't tried an abbreviated routine with high intensity, give it a shot, you would be surprised how effective it can be.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Beyond Brawn, I now believe even more firmly that abbreviated training with plenty of rest days is the way to go. There is plenty of good information here about performing exercises and designing routines. But unfortunately McRoberts did not apply this less-is-more approach to his writing. If the flab of repetition and filler were removed, the book could be reduced to half its size without cutting into the muscle. In sum: worthwhile, but not great.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I haven't quite finished it, however I will say this book is a great deal of knowledge for anyone who wants to increase their physique and fitness through the use of weights. Mark is pretty straightforward, and clears up a lot of the "broscience" you hear at the gyms. I wish I would have found this a LONG LONG time ago, and I probably wouldn't have wasted so much time in the gym.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is by far the most helpful book I've run across on strength training. McRobert's writing style is not the best, but the wisdom contained in the book is pure gold. I made many of the same mistakes McRobert made in his early training years and wasted many years grossly overtraining. Not long ago, I finally grasped the big picture concept that, to recover and grow, I needed to do less, not more. I was hoping to find a book that provided details on how to take that big picture concept and effectively put it into practice. THIS is that book. Initially, I was a bit annoyed that I needed to buy the companion book, Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Look Great to get the complete story, but the information in the two books is well worth the price(s). Reading Beyond Brawn, it felt almost like McRobert was mentoring me personally. He pointed out mistake, after mistake, after mistake that I had been making and problem, after problem, after problem that I had been having. The companion book has excellent descriptions and photographs on form (and points out several improper techniques I had been taught over the years). I'm experimenting with implementing his recommendations, and my arms and legs are growing at a surprising rate while my waist is shrinking (at a not-so-surprising rate, but at least it's headed in the right direction). It looks like I will soon be stronger in my late 40's than I was in my mid 20's, while spending a fraction of the time in the gym. I wish I had found a book like this when I was in my 20's!!!

UPDATE: I wanted to post an update after two months of experimenting. I would still give this book 5 stars, but I have found a new favorite source of information, Westside Barbell. Louie Simmons is The Man.
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