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Mean Ol' Mr. Gravity Paperback – December 7, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Rippetoe is the author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, Practical Programming for Strength Training 2nd edition, 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 graduated from Midwestern State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in geology and a minor in anthropology. 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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: The Aasgaard Company; 1st edition (December 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982522711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982522714
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has taken content from Mark Rippetoe's forum and organized it around various subjects (injury, sports-specific training, etc.) If you have not read Rippetoe before, don't start with this book as it doesn't do him justice. Starting Strength and Practical Programming are excellent books if you are looking for specific training advice and information, and Strong Enough? is a wonderful collection of his essays on the topic of strength training. He is smart and articulate and funny - a combination rarely found in any author, much less one who writes on the subject of weight training.

The problem with this book is that it is difficult to read for the same reasons it is difficult to read Internet forums - the writing is often poor (by those asking the questions) and the content is frequently redundant. This book could have been much, much better had it been written solely by Mr. Rippetoe. Still, if you are a fan (as I am) you will want to buy this book. It is frequently funny and very informative.
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Format: Paperback
This book has all kinds of useful tidbits and builds upon the information currently in Mr. Rippetoe's other books. However, this book has had me laughing hard every time I read it. If you don't learn anything from it, you'll at least find something to give you a good belly laugh.

If you are a fan of Mr. Rippetoe's humor, this book won't let you down. If you are a fan of his brand of knowledge, this book won't let you down. If you are craving a drier, more information-based text like in SS:BBT, this is probably not your book, but you'd still learn something anyway.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Coach Rip says in the beginning of this book..stick this book next to you toilet or when you have free time. It's a good read and you will pick up useful information. I'm halfway finished with it and I've had it for 3 months. Just taking my time and laughing at people who come up with ridiculous questions. You learn fast that common sense isn't so common. It's just a collecting of post from his website. If you want his better stuff purchase SS or Practical Programing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must for anybody interested in strength training, funny, informative, brill...the Q&A is priceless ,most questions on strength training are answered here.......to get the full gist of it it would be benificial to buy "Starting Strength""...rippetoe a flagship and utterly brilliant and essential for anyone interested in proper technique and learning the lifts...I personally have all his books and DVD...p.s, the
starting strength DVD is "the holy grail" of lifting technique....don't know him, but love his work
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This book is good to have if you have rip's other 3 books. It povides a lot of small little tips here and there, and some humour too.

However, if you do not have his 3 other books, ''starting strength'', ''practical programming'' and ''Strong enough?''. I recommend you buy, read and understand those books first, in that order. Those are the very basic and most important stuff about strength training you need to know before you try to absorb little tips in this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've never read a book that was a compilation of forum posts. The contents can all be found un-edited on the Starting Strength forums. The content is some of the best written Q&A about barbell training available in print, and there is a lot of humor.

I bought the kindle version and some of the formatting isn't perfect, but it doesn't detract from the insightful and entertaining (if you're into lifting) content.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
All four books in the Aasgaard ouevre (the others being Starting Strength, Practical Programming, Strong Enough?, in that order of priority) are required reading for srs lifters. Mean Ol' Mr. Gravity may be the most entertaining of all, slathered generously in Rippetoe's famously dry sense of humor. But it is no less informative, demonstrating the thought processes of a veteran coach as he analyzes dozens of unique training scenarios and demolishes fallacies both understandable (concern about excessive weight gain) and bizarre (concern that milk may cause baldness).

One may not always agree with Rip -- for example, he seems to have an irrational aversion to bare feet -- but his decades of experience as a coach and lifter shine through in every punchy retort. And he never claims to be an omniscient authority, always aware of the limits of his own knowledge and encouraging his interlocutors to think for themselves.

Finally, considering that people more often need reminding than instruction, you are likely to find things you already "know" packaged in a way that makes you consider them more thoughtfully. For example, it was only after reading this book that I finally started using a belt after five years of lifting. I am particularly dense but that alone made this book worth the read for me.
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Format: Paperback
First and foremost, if you have not read and are not trying to implement at LEAST Starting Strength if not Practical Programming as well, you're pretty much wasting your time. This book serves as both a FAQ and a philosophical expansion of those two books.

If you are implementing Starting Strength, this is a fantastic and extremely necessary companion for you. While the forum on the website is helpful, your question has probably already been asked and answered and it's probably in this book. There's no need to find it and bookmark it, or print it out, it's all right here.

As for the writing style....Mark is not one of those fluffy "motivational" personal trainers. He has a strong, biting, sarcastic wit about him and it translates into his writing, even more clearly than in "Strong Enough?" I imagine some people will be turned off by that, but it's their loss. Speaking of that book, with the existence of Mean 'Ol Mr. Gravity, Strong Enough is now pretty much unnecessary beyond being a fan of Mark, if your goal is to gain strength training knowledge.

This book has a very specific purpose and it does very well at that. If you need it, get it. If you're looking for a more generalized text, get Starting Strength or The Strongest Shall Survive (or both).
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