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Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body (Muscle for Life Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Grade Level: 9 - 12|
- Book 1 of 9 in Muscle for Life
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--Mark Rippetoe, author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training and Practical Programming for Strength Training
"I highly, highly recommend Bigger Leaner Stronger. You don't just read it. You do it. And you see immediate changes and results."
--Hafthor "The Mountain" Björnsson, World's Strongest Man champion
"Nobody cuts through the fitness and nutrition confusion and clutter like Mike Matthews. And in Bigger Leaner Stronger, he draws on a powerful combination of time in the trenches and hard-core research to give you the straight talk about what actually works. This book is easy to read and incredibly effective. I highly recommend."
--Ben Greenfield, CEO of Kion & New York Times bestselling author of Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life
"Bigger Leaner Stronger is a super well-researched and practical guide to strength training that quickly cuts through the massive amount of BS and misinformation put out by the strength training, bodybuilding, weight gain and weight loss industries. I highly recommend adding this book to your library and referring to it frequently."
--Mark Divine, founder of SEALFIT and New York Times bestselling author of The Way of the SEAL, Unbeatable Mind and 8 Weeks to SEALFIT
"Mike has written the encyclopedia of body recomposition for the twentieth century. A great book and a must-buy for beginners looking to get their feet wet."
--Martin Berkhan, fitness coach, pioneer, and author of The Leangains Method
"Mike Matthews stands alone in the fitness space. His books are based on scientific research and real-world results. Bigger Leaner Stronger changed my life. It can change yours too."
--Strauss Zelnick, "America's fittest CEO" and author of Becoming Ageless: The Four Secrets to Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever
"In Bigger Leaner Stronger, Mike takes us back to the fundamentals of losing fat and building muscle--time-tested and science-backed strategies that have been obscured by a rising tide of popular hype and pseudoscience. The good news: it doesn't have to be that hard!"
--Alex Hutchinson, author of the New York Times bestseller Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance
"Matthews has masterfully distilled many years of research into the essence of what makes guys bigger, leaner, and stronger. His training methods have worked better than anything else I've tried for improving my strength and physique. Get this book right now."
--Stephen Guise, international bestselling author of Mini Habits
"Mike Matthews has done it again. Great information backed by science, and complicated knowledge transformed into practical, applicable strategies. I loved Bigger Leaner Stronger. A must-read."
--Adam Schafer, co-host of top-ranked fitness and health podcast Mind Pump
"I haven't been this excited about a fitness book in years. It's required reading for all guys who want to get--and stay--in the best shape of their lives. A true classic in the making."
--Sal Di Stefano, co-host of top-ranked fitness and health podcast Mind Pump
"Would you rather spend a month of your life hoping the latest flavor of diet and exercise plan will work . . . or spend thirty days knowing your hard work will provide results you can not only see, but feel? Give me guaranteed results any day, and that's what Bigger Leaner Stronger provides--all the knowledge and motivation you need to get results for years to come."
--Jeff Haden, Inc. Magazine contributing editor and author of The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win
"Bigger Leaner Stronger is meticulously researched, clearly written, and utterly practical. Matthews has created something special here."
--Jordan Harbinger, creator and host, The Jordan Harbinger Show
"A highly actionable book that translates the latest science into a simple plan for strength. In a world filled with noise, Mike Matthews provides the clarity and practical strategies you need to get results."
--James Clear, author of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
"As a clinical practitioner who specializes in obesity medicine, I truly appreciate Bigger Leaner Stronger. It's simple, science-based, and most importantly, it works, and that's why I recommend it to many of my patients. Drop whatever you're doing and read this book. It can change your life."
--Dr. Spencer Nadolsky, board-certified family and obesity medicine physician and founder of RP Health
"Bigger Leaner Stronger is a great book that I'd wholeheartedly recommend. It's full of solid, thoroughly researched information presented in a way that everyone will be able to understand and implement. If you want to improve your body and your health, or just learn more about getting in shape, you should absolutely read this book."
--Greg Nuckols, former record-holding powerlifter and founder of Stronger by Science
From the Author
Interview with the Author
Q: I can't find time to exercise but want to get in shape. What should I do?
A: I don't know anybody who can find time to exercise. I've never had anyone tell me, "Mike, I have too much free time these days. I think I'll spend a few hours in the gym every day to get in shape. What should I do while I'm there?"
It's always the opposite. Most of us lead busy, hectic lives and feel we don't have time for anything new. But in almost all cases, that just isn't true.
As much as some people would like to think they're too busy to exercise, when they analyze in detail how they actually spend their every waking minute every day, they discover how it could be worked out (no pun intended). And especially when they realize how little time it really takes to get fit!
The reality is people who have successfully transformed their bodies have the same 24 hours in a day as you and the rest of us, and they still have lives to live.
They still have to go work, spend time with their loved ones, maintain some semblance of a social life, and remember to decompress and have some fun now and then. The only difference is they've decided exercise is important enough to be in the plan.
For some, that means watching less TV or giving it up altogether. For others, it means waking up an hour earlier than normal a few days per week to get into the gym. For others still it means asking the wife to take the kids after dinner (a favor that can be repaid for her workouts!).
My point is: if you really want to carve out an hour a few days per week to train, I'm positive you can.
Q: I'm new to weightlifting. Is this for me?
With Bigger Leaner Stronger, you can gain up to 25 pounds of muscle in just your first year while also dropping pounds of unwanted fat and greatly increasing your whole-body strength.
Moreover, you're also going to experience firsthand things most people will never know about effective diet and training, including how to perform key exercises with perfect form, ensure you keep progressing in your workouts, break through fat loss and muscle gain plateaus, prevent injuries, and much more.
The bottom line is by the end of your first year of Bigger Leaner Stronger, you're not only going to be thrilled with the results, but even more so with what you're going to be able to accomplish in the following year, two, three, and beyond.
Q: I'm in my 30s/40s/50s-plus. Can I do this program?
Every week I get emailed by at least a few people asking if it's too late to build muscle and get fit.
Most are very pleasantly surprised when I explain that it's definitely not too late, and that I'm regularly working with guys and gals in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s who are building their best bodies ever.
How should people in their 40s and beyond go about building a great body, though? Certainly they can't eat and train like the 20-year-olds, right?
You might be surprised to learn that not nearly as much changes as people think.
One of the first things I refer people to who are worried about age squashing their dreams of being fit is a study conducted by scientists at the University of Oklahoma, which had 24 college-aged (18 to 22) and 25 middle-aged (35 to 50) men follow the same weightlifting routine for eight weeks.
Researchers then analyzed everyone's body composition and found that the middle-aged men had gained just as much muscle as their college-aged counterparts had. Strength gains were very similar as well.
In my experience, this is equally true for women. Middle age isn't a physiological strikeout, even when compared to your 20s. You can do just fine.
People in their 60s and beyond aren't left out of the party, either. Studies show that they too can gain significant amounts of muscle and strength, and more importantly, that training and developing their muscles is a great way to fight the "dwindling health spiral" normally associated with aging.
Furthermore, despite what you've probably heard, your metabolism doesn't crater and your hormones don't implode as you get older.
Research shows that the average adult's metabolism slows by just 1 to 3 percent per decade and that the primary reason for this is muscle loss, not genetic programming.
Therefore, if you maintain your muscle as you age, you maintain your metabolism. And if you add muscle to your frame, you can increase it.
And as far as hormones go, it was once believed that the hormonal disturbance associated with aging was inevitable. We now know this isn't true. Research shows that lifestyle factors are equally causative of hormonal changes as aging itself, if not more so.
For example, here's a short list of the biggest lifestyle factors that can depress your testosterone levels:
- Weight gain
- Stopping exercise
- Chronic illness
- Use of medications
- Sleeping too little
- Moderate alcohol consumption
These are all under your control. Your hormone health truly is in your hands.
For example, studies show that there are plenty of ways to naturally improve your hormone profile, including staying lean, doing regular resistance training, and maintaining good sleep hygiene.
You'll also be happy to know you don't need stellar hormone levels to get fit. If you're willing to work hard, you can have below-average hormones and a far-above-average physique.
All that said, there are several key differences between college-aged and middle-aged bodies that make fitness a little harder as you get older.
Research shows that after about age 50, your muscles recover slower from exercise and that you begin to lose muscle over time (if you don't do anything to stop it).
Your tendons and ligaments also become stiffer and recover slower, which can increase the risk of injury.
Overall, though, the science is clear: you can stay in remarkably good shape well into old age if you stay active and take care of your body, and that's just as true for men as it is for women.
Q: I'm an experienced weightlifter. Is this for me?
With over 400 pages of practical, science-based information on the inner and outer games of getting and staying in the best shape of your life, even the most veteran gym rats can learn a thing or two from Bigger Leaner Stronger.
And if nothing else, it'll serve as a powerful refresher on the 20% of diet and exercise information and strategies that delivers 80% of the results.
Q: How long does it take to see results?
A: One of the best things about Bigger Leaner Stronger is how quickly it works.
You'll see marked improvements in the gym and mirror within your first month, and it'll only get better and better from there.
Q: Do I have to take a bunch of supplements to follow the program?
You don't have to take any supplements if you don't want to, because the vast majority of pills and powders are a waste of money.
If you have the budget and inclination, however, certain supplements can help you gain muscle and strength, lose fat, and get healthy faster. You'll learn all about this in the book.
Q: I'm short on time. Can I still do the program?
Bigger Leaner Stronger comes in three flavors--5, 4, and 3 days per week--and individual workouts range from 45 to 70 minutes.
The bottom line is if you can dedicate 3 to 6 hours per week to Bigger Leaner Stronger, you can build the body you've always wanted.
Q: I follow a special type of diet (vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, food sensitivity/allergy, etc.). Can I still do the program?
The diet principles are very flexible and can accommodate any and all food preferences and limitations.
- ASIN : B006XF5BTG
- Publisher : Oculus Publishers; 3rd edition (January 5, 2014)
- Publication date : January 5, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 8681 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 494 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,092 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I am a physician, I am 35 and I started working out at the age of 21 and I have been following this book’s recommendations since August 2017. I started out at 172 lbs with a body fat % of 16, now I am 164 lbs and Fat % of 10 being committed by about 90% ( I take 36 hours shifts once or twice a week and I will need a couple days to recover before I can work out, but my diet however is fairly committed).
Who is this book for? In my opinion, mainly for those who have no problem committing, like to exercise but never saw results because they did not know what the right things are regarding exercise and nutrition.
For beginners, this book is not enough, it is great and you should apply the concepts in it because you will maximize your gains without wasting time and effort but it won't tell you how exactly to perform the exercise itself and what the right technique is ( solution: search youtube for proper X exercise form and decide which one works the best for you, another solution is to work with a personal trainer solely for the technique and not for the program).
If you are a seasoned lifter, know how to bulk and cut and get your body fat % to below 10 , then you probably do not need this book, however, you can use it as a summary of all what you know.
Regarding the style, Mike is a talented writer and a smart salesman, he will try to sell you his products but he clearly states you do not have to. You will feel tempted though because things will work for you and you will want more.
The nutrition and the work out programs are all there in the book but they are kinda dispersed and you have to do a little extra homework so you build your own, BUT IT IS ALL THERE IN THE BOOK.
Some pieces of info are too basic for me but it is probably because of my medical background, it annoyed me a little bit because I could not skip it yet I did not want to hear it.
The articles that Mike will email you almost weekly or twice weekly are simply great, mostly revisions of sections in the book ( magnified if you will) plus additional stuff.
The negative reviews are true but I do not see them as necessarily negative points, yes the info are there online for free but so scattered and you will never know what to choose on your own.
The book serves as a great educational tool that will enable you to filter what is out there, whether products, exercises nutrition or supplements.
This program has you training with weights in time proven methods and it has you dieting to do one of 3 things:
Bulk up - get bigger to feed muscle growth
Maintain - stay at a current body fat percentage
Cut - lean down to show off your wares.
Some cool features of this program:
1. You can do it at home with minimal investment in gear. This is my method and recommendation.
2. Your workouts are only 40 minutes or so to start and can actually take you quite far as a novice. Even now my workouts are not much longer.
3. 75% of your training session will be resting,,I'm not kidding and yeah it seems weird at first.
4. You can do cardio, you don't have to; I don't. Read more about that at the end of my review below.
Observations and tips for this book:
This book was difficult for me as a beginner only because I feel the writer assumes the reader is already familiar with some fitness lore to some extent. Example, I didn't know what 1 Rep Max or a cable fly is yet it's used as though it's common knowledge. You do eventually find you are directed to other books that address exercises, lifting techniques etc. That means this book is incomplete but the author makes it very clear of this and that such a conclusive book would be a tome. I'm not meaning to make it sound negative and it's my only niggle with this book. The book is dry and not so exciting. One reviewer actually gave it a 3 star rating saying the book was boring and missed the point of fun. This is ridiculous. Folks weight lifting and reading about it isn't so much fun - it's science, facts and methods. Leave fun for video games and Putt-Putt. Getting serious, lifting and becoming healthy and reading about it isn't so much fun but feeling good is certainly enjoyable. When you're walking down the beach and feeling confident that's definitely fun.
In the book the author often sells himself as a writer, trainer, producer of supplements, podcasts - the book can be construed as a sales pitch. If you're offended by capitalism you may not like this so much, I say 'so what' as the gold gleaned from this book is invaluable and in the end the products and pitch of Mike Matthews are genuine and excellent.
Edit: Mikes podcasts are fantastic - he speaks very clearly and is on point. His reviews, methods, 'Motivation Monday' and guests are a great free way to get your learn on. Plus his sites are full of useful information that supplements the book. If you're a piker you could probably troll the site and get all the info you need - buy the book, it's portable and laid out in a logical way.
That's the minor negatives out of the way. Buy this book and read it,,,twice, then again and refer to it until you're an expert and all the concepts are clear and still read it along the way for reference as you progress. The reasoning for this is simple - you want to do things correctly, not get hurt and achieve the results which you absolutely will. The science and references are behind it and look at Mike Matthews - it does work.
As I said, read the book, more than once.
Follow the program in the book, don't stray even if you don't get results so quickly. It was only when I kept focused on definite regimens I progressed. You must find a regimen that fits your schedule. Mike's book gives you options as do others - I'm saying stick with one when you latch onto what works.
In my experiences with others on the FB blogs the biggest difficulty I see people have with this program is people getting hung up on the dieting,,don't do that! Here's the whole rub on this - Make Yourself Strong 1st, period! The book and tenacity will get you there! The muscles are there waiting under your fat I promise; Just get strong first and cut down when you're ready. Getting strong 1st is really important for an old guy like me with aches, pains and mobility issues. Dieting down to lean yourself is how to show it off. Allow yourself to look and feel as good as possible in life. In my opinion this is the definition of aging gracefully. I've read many examples of 60's, 70's 80's folks literally lifting themselves out of wheelchairs and eliminating osteoporosis - how amazing is that? When you tell your bones to sit all the time (actually a disease in itself) they adapt and become porous. Conversely when you start squatting, pulling and lifting weights the bones become dense. This is the body adapting to the environment.
Don't get hurt! Do NOT be in a hurry to raise your weights and progress past good form and good judgement. This I think is especially true of older lifters like myself. I tore a groin on a bad squat. That injury has taken nearly a year to completely heal. It was such an injury that I was still able to continue the program,,,carefully, and it didn't affect my life so much after the injury but it really hurt - a lot!
As mentioned earlier I recommend a home gym set up. I obtained all my gear off Craigslist at a total investment of about $500. This includes bars, weights, a power tower and the rack you see in the photo. Honestly this will carry me very far. The advantages of a home gym are paramount in that you don't have to mess with gyms full of humans which are a distraction is so many ways from their inconsiderate practices to their free advice and over perfumed (or foul) presence. The only proviso is safety - I have no safety bars and I'm vying for a bigger cage with all the safety bars. Since I'm alone when I work I use 2 safety measures:
1. I don't use collars - If I get into trouble I can lean the weights off one side and do a somewhat controlled crash,,,not great but indeed a safety valve. I've used this once on a bench press,,,it was loud! With the exception of the standing press I don't lift weights to failure - bad idea with no one around.
2. Again, wisdom in your weights - stay on point with your routine and only raise weights when you're well and comfortable with your present weight.
3. Keep a log book! You'll learn this is most important, nuff said!
4. Warm up. Not doing stretches or yoga but doing the exact bar exercise with less weight and progress up to your working weight. Details of this can be found on Mike's site.
5. Do cardio apart from your training routine. Example: Your weight routine is in the morning and your cardio in the evening. As I mentioned I don't do cardio at this point but this is what I've read from Mikes' information.
Thanks for reading, best of luck, buy the book and get strong.
Top reviews from other countries
The book is full of fact, science, research and experience from an author who has been there and done that. Bearing in mind the fact content, it’s very easy to read.
The stuff about nutrition is so useful, what you put in the tank is so important. I can now see that this has been part of my problem up till now.
I’m in my mid 50’s and I am now half way through my third week of the plan and have lost a few pounds and I am feeling stronger. Playing football for many years has not done my knees any good, but they do not give me as much pain now. They still creak, but its now not a painful creak! This is probably because of the fact I am now doing the right exercises, properly.
Admittedly the squat is still beyond me, so alternatives have had to do until my knees are strong enough, but I will get there.
It takes time to set everything up for the nutrition and exercise programs, but once you’ve done it, it’s easy.
Less time at the gym, but more time resting between reps takes getting used to. It’s hard work, but I feel it’s working for me.
Finally, this book does not have magic pages, so do not expect to look down after you have finished reading it to see a six pack and bulging biceps! If only…
-BLS provides a method of becoming stronger and more muscular that, if properly applied, should produce excellent results.
-Most of the content of the book is linked to scientific literature. This is not a “i tried these methods and they work, just do as I say” type of book. There are great explanations as to why things should be done in a certain way
-The accounting of many fat loss myths, especially the difference between weight loss and fat loss
-Explanation of many mistakes people do at the gym and why they are plateauing for years and years.
-A procedure that allows you to implement a diet plan that will help you reach the goals (Seems a bit overreaching at first, but once you start paying attention to macro nutrient content and calories then it starts to become more and more intuitive).
-The simplicity and straightforwardness of the training approach. In particular, I like how you he stresses that you shouldn’t be changing your routine all the time, and focus on working hard on a few exercises.
-The fact that he encourages you to work on “the big three”. Everywhere you go and starting learning about strength, you realise how important these exercises are. Michael also has a whole chapter explaining how to properly perform them
-In essence, if you do what he proposes, you will see results.
Some things that are incomplete/require further analysis:
-The false dichotomy of “bulking” or “cutting”.... Why choose? In fact, Michael has an example in his own book of a study that puts two groups into a caloric deficit. One is doing cardio, one is doing weights. The cardio one loses fat and muscle. The weights group losses fat while gaining muscle. He hasn’t done a proper job explaining why/how this can happen simultaneously and simply attributes this to a novice lifter effect called “newby gains”. Well, this is not the whole picture, because similar experiments have been done with high performing athletes (football players) showing that they can burn fat and gain muscle at the same time. Not to say that choosing between “bulking” and “cutting” is wrong, because it is a proven approach. But it is not the only way and it is presented as if it was the only way.
-Imbalanced routines. This is one of the reasons I consider this to be more of an esthetic book. The template routines have a heavy focus on front body muscles (beach muscles). In OG, the author explains how you should have a “pull” exercise for each “push” exercise in your routine. Jeff Cavlalier says something similar, that you should have one exercise for the rear part of your body for each exercise done on the front part. When you look at the 5 day routine, you can see that this is not the case of a balanced routine. This can lead to imbalances, and imbalances can lead to injuries.
-Population considerations. I don’t know if jumping straight into heavy sets of 4-6 reps is ideal for people over 50 who haven’t trained in years. Or anyone who hasn’t trained in years for that matter. I would assume some kind of gradual progression to strength training. BLS proposes a 9 week mesocycle of training. Instead of pure strength, some people could do something like: Weeks 1-3: Endurance, Weeks 4-6: Hypertrophy, weeks 7-8: Strength, week 9: deload. You can make people have the ultimate goal of lifting heavy and developing strength, but at least propose some alternative paths depending on the type of person who is starting to train.
-The macronutrient intake per day. (40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% Fat) This rigidness will have you eating 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This is what everyone in the fitness industry does, but it has become something of a controversial topic lately. Some studies show that anything beyond 0.8 grams of protein per day has no additional benefits for muscle development.. Others say that even as low as 0.6 grams is enough to be in a state of positive nitrogen balance and build muscle. Well, perhaps you could have ranges instead of a fixed number, and allow people to explore those ranges to see what works best for them. Example: protein: 30-40%, carbs: 30-50%, Fat: 10-20%.
-In essence, don’t take everything in this book as gospel. Many things can be tweaked and improved to fit your personal journey. But I think it’s a good starting point.
Zusammenfassend kenne ich kein Buch aus dem evidenzbasierten Bereich, das die Inhalte in so wenigen Seiten (man ist wirklich sehr schnell durch mit diesem Buch) so gut auf den Punkt bringt. Und das für gerade mal 5,49€ als englische Kindleversion! Es gibt inzwischen schon ein paar gute Bücher (siehe dazu weiter unten), diese sind aber oft spezialisiert oder bieten für Einsteiger fast zuviel Informationen, Theorie und Optionen, so dass man sich verirrt oder einen zu großen Berg vor sich sieht. Wer ist denn heutzutage noch bereit, sich durch zig hunderte von Seiten zu wühlen? Ich finde den Weg, den Michael Matthews eingelegt hat, für die Zielgruppe der Einsteiger und leicht Fortgeschrittenen, denen das theoretische Fundament fehlt, sinnvoll. Allerdings werde ich das Thema Trainingspläne weiter unten kritisieren.
Matthews hat einen hohen Entertainmentfaktor, wenn er immer wieder (mit Recht) über die Studio-Dumpfbackenszene herzieht, und ihre ineffizienten Trainingsmethoden in Frage stellt. Auch seine lockere Sprache ("Yup") trägt zum einfachen Lesen und Schmunzeln bei. Während deutsche Authoren gerne wissenschaftlich kompetent rüberkommen wollen, spricht er in typischer US-Manier einfach zu verstehende Sätze, und bringt zum Verständnis gute Vergleiche.
Für alle wichtigen Kernaussagen der Trainingstheorie bringt er mehrere Studien als Beispiel und begründet somit warum man etwas machen sollte. All diese Aussagen sind korrekt (dafür sind Studien ja da), und man findet sie über die aktuelle Literatur hin immer wieder.
Sehr sinnvoll finde ich die Zusammenfassungen der wesentlichen Erkenntnisse und Kernaussagen am Ende jedes Kapitels, zur Wiederholung. So kann man auch im Schnelldurchlauf seine Kenntnisse schnell auffrischen, in dem man die paar Seiten liest.
Das Buch beginnt mit wenigen Seiten Definition von Begriffen, die immer wieder benutzt werden. Dann geht es auch schon über in das Kapitel Ernährung, das wirklich *sehr* gut auf den Punkt gebracht ist. Man erfährt was Fette, Kohlenhydrate, Proteine sind, und wofür alles gut ist. Natürlich lernt man mehr, wenn man so dicke Wälzer wie "Ernährungsstrategien in Kraftsport und Bodybuilding" liest, aber diese Tiefe interessiert nur wenige. Was an Info geboten wird, reicht völlig für die Zielgruppe, und hilft die Zusammenhänge zu verstehen.
Weiter geht es mit dem Aufräumen von Mythen. Das macht das Buch sehr gut. Solche Themen wie "Kohlenhydrate sind böse", Training bis zum Muskelversagen, Isolationsübungen, und Fettverbrennung werden hinreichend erklärt, und viele von Euch werden sicher staunen an welche Mythen man bisher geglaubt hat.
Es folgt ein Kapitel über Willen und Motivation. Das ist meiner Meinung nach etwas zäh und könnte etwas kürzer sein, ist aber motivierend und sympathisch geschrieben. Wer genug Motiviation hat, kann es ohne Verlust überspringen und Zeit sparen.
Es folgt der Trainingsteil. Hier muss man eine wichtige Tatsache betonen: Das Buch heißt Bigger Leaner STRONGER. Es gibt, nach der Theorie des volumenbasierten Trainings, mehrere Methoden an Muskelumfang (Hypertrophie) zu kommen, nicht nur schwere Gewichte. Von diesen Optionen wählt Matthews aber bewusst aber die Option "Trainieren auf Schwerpunkt Kraftzuwachs", die nicht nur Kraft, sondern auch Muskelumfang automatisch mit sich bringt. Er erklärt das aber nicht ausreichend im Buch, dass es auch die andere Variante gibt, das finde ich schade. Dazu mehr weiter unten im Abschnitt Kritik.
Matthews erklärt nun mit Studien, welche Art zu trainieren die besten Ergebnisse bringt. Er entscheidet sich, was für die Zielgruppe korrekt ist, für Schwerpunkt Ganzkörpertraining, d.h. Verbundsübungen, in denen viele Muskelpartien beteiligt sind. Das sind die Klassiker wie Squats, Deadlifts, Rudern, Military Press, etc. Er ergänzt diese Übungen durch wenige Zusatzübungen, die isolierter sind. Er rät eindeutig und korrekt in diesem Stadium von Isolationsübungen von einzelnen Muskeln ab.
Matthews rät pro Muskelgruppe zu 8 bis 12 Sätzen mit jeweils Wiederholungen von 4 bis 6, was eine gute Kraftsteigerung zur Folge hat, aber auch Hypertrophie mit sich bringt. Diesen Ansatz unterstütze ich. Die Trainingsdauer limitiert er auf ca. 1h.
Der Author betont immer wieder die Bedeutung von Progression, also Gewichtssteigerung, um die notwendigen "Olverloading"-Reize zu setzen und den Muskel zum Wachsen zu bringen. Genau das machen viele im Studio falsch; ich sehe viele Leute seit Ewigkeiten mit dem selben Gewicht herumhantieren.
Er rät zum Einbauen von Deloads ("Erholungswochen") (reduzierte Intensität oder gar nichts machen), um Stagnation und Demotivation zu vermeiden.
Was mir ebenfalls gefällt, ist dass er das Thema Gesundheit auch immer wieder bringt, und nicht nur den Bodybuilding-Aspekt. Hier rät Matthews ganz deutlich, das Training mit eingeschränktem Cardio zu ergänzen, am besten HIIT Training (Intervalle), um den Metabolismus anzukurbeln. Das ist tatsächlich sehr sinnig und bringt viel für die Gesundheit.
Es folgt eine Vorstellung der Technik der wichtigsten Übungen. Hier klaut er offiziell, und das zeigt Größe, auf denjenigen, der dieses Thema quasi gepachtet hat: Author und Trainer Mark Rippetoe mit seinem Klassiker "Starting Strength".
Nun folgen die Trainingspläne. Matthews bietet, je nachdem wieviele Tage pro Woche investieren möchte, unterschiedlich detaillierte Trainingspläne an. 3 Tage, 4 Tage, ode 5 Tage die Woche. Meist zu jeder Anzahl von Tagen mehrere Optionen, die Geschmacksache sind. Um Trainingspläne wird im Internet und generell in der Kraftsportszene viel zuviel Tamtam gemacht. In Wirklichkeit kann man die Übungen eigentlich selbst in der Zeitachse beliebig zusammenstellen, so dass jede Muskelgruppe 1 oder 2 mal belastet wird pro Woche, und genug Wiederholungen dazwischen ist. Hier gibt es viele Möglichkeiten, und oft sind diese gleich gut. Jedoch ist zweimal Belasten eines Muskels pro Woche für die anvisierte Zielgruppe besser als nur einmal einmal belasten.
Abschließend folgen ein Kapitel über das Tracken seiner Ergebnisse (wie will man sonst wissen ob man Fortschritte macht?!), das Trainieren mit Trainingspartnern, und das leidige Thema Supplemente. Gerade hier wird im Einsteigerbereich so unfassbar viel Geld verbrennt für total unsinniges Zeug, und Mattews zeigt auf welche wenige Supplemente wirklich etwas bringen. Leute, wirklich, spart Euch die Kohle und glaubt den Studien und nicht den Kumpels im Studio ("Bro Science"). Glaubt nur Studien, dafür sind sie da. Für fast alle reichen eigentlich erstmal Kreatin und Protein.
a) Trainingspläne: Die Zielgruppe sind Einsteiger, und Matthews rät zurecht das Training mit Ganzkörperübungen (Verbundsübungen mit mehreren Muskelgruppen). Allerdings hat er, wenn man genau hinguckt, ein komisches Mittelding: Weder reines Splittraining noch "jeden Muskel zweimal pro Woche". Er rät zwar anfangs im Buch zu "zweimal ist besser als einmal pro Woche" (das ist auch korrekt) weil es den Muskel öfter stimuliert, aber seine Trainingspläne machen das MEISTE nur einmal. Zweimal pro Woche gibt es, z.B. beim 4-Tagesplan oder 5 Tagesplan, nur Oberkörper; den Rest traininert er bei allen Plänen nur einmal. Dafür lutscht er einen Muskel pro Woche schon mit 8 bis 12 Sätzen hohen Gewichtes immerhin schön aus. In der Kraftsportszene basieren die meisten seriösen Trainingspläne für Einsteiger eher auf 2 mal pro Woche. Allerdings kommt man dann auch nicht mit 1h pro Training raus aus dem Gym. Im Kraftsport gibt es viele Optionen, und viele haben Vor- und Nachteile, die es abzuwägen gilt. Matthews hat dem Leser diese Entscheidung abgenommen.
b) Volumenbasiertes Training: Es wäre schön gewesen, wenn er das Thema Volumen und die Auswirkungen auf Kraft und Hypertrophie erstmal erklärt hätte, und DANN erklärt warum er den Weg "hohe Gewichte" gewählt hat. Man bekommt sonst den Eindruck, dass diese Variante die einzig sinnvolle ist. Dieses Thema ist allerdings komplex, es gibt hier in den Foren immer unendliche Diskussionen, und ich muss zugeben, dass das viele Leser evtl verwirrt hätte.
c) Der Motivationsteil im ersten Drittel des Buches ist zu lang. Der Leser will endlich "Butter bei die Fische".
Es gibt hier eine Menge Bücher zum Kraftsport. Viele sind nicht evidenzbasiert, und vermitteln Inhalte die nicht mehr up to date sind. Evidenzbasiert ist entscheidend bei all dem "Bro Science", der von angeblich Wissenden vermittelt wird.
- "Starting Strength" von Mark Rippetoe hat Fokus Kraftzuwachs und es steht wenig über Ernährung drin, dafür sehr viel Technik mit der Langhantel. Das ist eher was für wettkampforientierte Leute und Technikenthusiasten. Außerdem ist der Entertainmentfaktor niedriger da etwas trocken.
- "Stärker breiter schneller" von Frank Taeger: Deutlich mehr Inhalt und mehr Theorie, und mit 750 Seiten eher etwas für Leute die es genau wissen wollen. Wahrscheinlich von den deutschsprachigen oder übersetzten Büchern das derzeit vielseitigste, und bietet wohl die beste theoretische Basis. Kann aber auch viele vom Unfang her überfordern. Will ich Kraft? Will ich nur dicke Muckies? Will ich Fettabbau? Will ich Powerlifter werden? Außerdem kostet es ca. 40€, das ist für junge Leute im Vergleich zu den 5,50€ (Kindle-Version) von Bigger Leaner Stronger viel. Wer allerdings eine richtig breite Basis mit allen Traningsoptionen in einem Buch haben möchte, dem rate ich eher zum Buch von Frank Taeger. Man beachte die Ähnlichkeit des Titels ;-)
- "Ernährungsstrategien in Kraftsport und Bodybuilding" von Christian von Löffelholz: Geniales Buch (ebenfalls ein Klassiker in der Szene) über (und nur über) das Thema Ernährung. Sehr viel zu lesen, aber geht auch sehr tief. Kein Wort über das eigentliche Training, das sollte den Leuten bewusst sein.
Das Buch ist kurz; man hat es schnell durch; es bringt Dinge auf den Punkt, der Ernährungsanteil ist klasse reduziert aufs Wesentliche. Der Entertainmentfaktor ist hoch. Die Studien sind gut ausgewählt. Nur die eher Split-orientierten Trainingspläne finde ich suboptimal, hier kann man sich aber tonnenweise Pläne bei Fitnessexperts & Co oder "Stronger by Science" (meine Lieblingsseite) besorgen.
Vom Preisleistungsverhältnis (als Kindle Edition) müsste man dem Buch 5 Sterne geben. Den Punkt Abzug gebe ich wegen der Trainingspläne (s.o.)
Auch als Zweit- und Drittlektüre gut, da es Dinge wieder auffrischt oder von einer anderen Seite zeigt.