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The Complete Book of Pilates for Men: The Lifetime Plan for Strength, Power & Peak Performance Paperback – September 27, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Former trader turned TriBeCa Pilates instructor Lyon argues men and women are different when it comes to the mat (men have more strength; women are more flexible). Guys tend to be especially tighter in the shoulders, back, legs and hips, so he has crafted a program for them. The idea is simple enough and the information is solid. There's a quick introduction on the history and basic principles underlying Pilates, followed by a section featuring 40 exercises of "traditional Pilates mat work" and another section with 66 more advanced "reformer on the mat" exercises. Accompanied by illustrations of Lyon in action, the exercises are well organized and easy to follow. The more material readers cover, however, the less convinced they'll be of the need for a book on the subject tailored exclusively for men. While it's true that Pilates classes generally have appealed more to women, the same can surely be said for yoga, aerobics and other comparable low-impact workouts. The gender angle makes for a catchy title and a clever hook, but ultimately seems like a bit of a stretch. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Daniel Lyon Jr.'s first Pilates class inspired him to leave his desk job as a trader. He trained with Joseph Pilates's oldest living protégé and has been a private Pilates instructor at reaLPilates @ Tribeca Bodyworks ever since. He was also a Pilates instructor for two years at Drago's Gymnasium. Lyon lives in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
I do not recommend trying to do the routines in this book without first getting a basic understanding of Pilates from a really great instructor who can help you modify the exercises for your body and physical needs. The illustrations show the most advanced forms of the exercises only. Although there is a section at the end of each exercise description that talks about modifying poses I think it's worth going to an instructor (and if you can a private one) to really understand the modifications, how to protect your back and how to properly engage your powerhouse. Without that basic understanding you could really hurt instead of strengthen your body. Particularly your back.
Then once you have done that, this book is a great supplement to see where the exercises are going, how they build into routines that are more difficult and for when you have to miss a session and want to work out at home.
I am giving it four stars instead of five because I don't think it makes it explicit enough how crucial it is to modify the exercises when starting out. I have been doing Pilates for four years, twice a week with a private instructor and there are still exercises in the book I can't do.
Interestingly enough, my family loaned me several Pilate workout videos when they discovered my enthusiasm. I've tried a few of them but have not had as pleasant an experience. The videos aren't targeted for men, perhaps this lends a clue. I suspect, however, that the book just includes some great lower back and leg stretches that the videos do not.
1. The illustrations give a very precise and clear picture of correct form. Other books that use photographs might have nice glossy pages and color pictures. I find the monocromatic drawings in "The Complete Book" much more helpful. Positional details for the neck and arms are clear, and the design is visually pleasing.
2. Dispite what some other reviewers have said, the suggestions "For Men" are very helpful. I agree that this book is still excellent for people who aren't men. That doesn't mean that it's not especially helpful to men, particularly guys who are new to pilates. Exersise instructions seem to be tailor made for me, someone who (before using this book) had a tight back and hamstrings. Other books seem to offer modifications if you're not strong enough, but this book really helped me improve my flexibility quickly, effectively, and without killing myself.
3. This book's introduction helps place pilates in the relm of manly exercise. Let's face it, there's something manly about dead lifting and bench pressing that pilates doesn't have. Lyon discusses both the manly history of Joseph Pilates, the origial Joe Six-Pack (of abs, not beer), and the way pilates can help other manly endevors. That helps us men get overourselves, onto the mat, and into...
Let's just say that the body you'll get from routine use of this book will get you more of the right kind of attention then a whole shipment of axe body spray.
And that's something no man would say no to.