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The Men's Health Home Workout Bible Paperback – November 9, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
This book's goal is not only to "turn a piece of your humble abode into your personal war room," but also to demystify the art of weight training: "Where it really counts-results-there's zero difference between a home gym and a membership gym." Sharply written by Men's Health fitness director Schuler, this volume contains all an average man needs to know to get his body in shape: expert, no-nonsense, to-the-point chapters on muscle groups, with descriptions that readers will actually remember; how to buy effective equipment without going bankrupt; and the correct way to lift (all those big guys in the gym are doing it wrong). But the heart of the book is located in the more than 200 pages of exercise programs designed by Mejia (all expertly photographed and illustrated), an incredible range of simple and effective routines. To further help the reader along, Mejia provides 4-week workouts for body weight, dumbbells, barbells, and cables, for work at home, as well as 4-week all-equipment and multistation workouts that can be done at home. This newest in the Men's Health series provides a range of solid, useful and entertaining information on a range of men's issues. Any man interested in learning the most effective way to develop a successful weight-training routine that he can do at home should buy and read it daily for inspiration.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
Get bigger biceps, broad shoulders, a bigger bench press, powerful legs, cut abs . . .
without ever leaving your home!
The body you want, in the space you have.
The strength you want, with the equipment you have.
The muscles you want, in the time you have.
You don't need to join a gym to get in shape. In fact, for a lot of guys, the gym is an impediment to getting in shape. The crowds, the inconvenience, the intimidation, the time, the commute-- by the time you add it all up, you could end up investing 2 hours to get 45 minutes of exercise.
No matter how little space you have, no matter how little equipment you have, no matter how little time you have, you can get the results you want without stepping inside a gym.
The Men's Health Home Workout Bible gives you...
* Four full-body muscle plans:
The Body Weight Plan
The Dumbbell Plan
The Barbell Plan
The Multistation-Machine Plan
* Custom training plans for strength, fat loss, aerobic fitness, and sports performance
* Buying advice for weights, benches, machines, cardio equipment, and exercise videos
* Complete guidelines for turning your home into a state-of-the-art fitness center
With beginner, intermediate, and advanced full-body workouts for each type of equipment, The Men's Health Home Workout Bible gives you more than 400 exercises altogether, photographed and fully described. From pushups to power cleans, from crunches to jump squats, we show you how to get more muscle and strength at home, whether you're a complete beginner or a competitive athlete.
The Men's Health Home Workout Bible is a personal trainer, on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Lou Schuler and 0Michael Mejia, M.S., C.S.C.S., are coauthors of the book The Testosterone Advantage Plan(TM). Lou is also fitness director for Men's Health, the world's largest men's magazine.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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It isn't perfect, however, there is certainly room for improvement. When discussing individual exercises I wish they did a better job of showing how the variations affect what parts of the muscle are exercised. For instance, I think that hammer curls are supposed to work your biceps differently than standard curls but there is no mention of that kind of thing in most exercises. That inclusion would make constructing your own work out routines even easier.
The structure of the book leaves a little to be desired as well. It felt that some things -- like whether to work to failure -- aren't introduced as early as they should be. The result is you really should read (or at least skim) the book from cover to cover before setting out. A little bit tighter structure would make it easier to just skip to the section you care about.
There is also not much mention of supplements although given the somewhat controversial nature of their efficacy and the target of the book (I would guess that people who workout at home are somewhat less hard-core than those who go to a gym) it is understandable.
Overall, though, this is an excellent resource. It has both breadth and depth, making it a great single-volume resource on working out.
Here's what I recommend for the next time they revise it.
Clean up the charts in the end. For the suggested workouts, there are charts in the back, but it's like the editors/graphics designers got tired and stopped trying when they got to this most critical part of the book. Page numbers for each exercise would help enormously. It took me a lot of time to find the exercise descriptions that they listed, and simple page numbers would help a lot. Also, they reused the same charts without checking to see if they actually made sense, so there are things like "Weight" columns to let you track how much weight is involved in exercises that actually don't require using weights, such as pushups. Or, they tell you to do just one rep for the beginning workout, but then have a "Reps" column for you to track how many reps you did. They don't have an obvious way to track how many pushups you did, just how many reps of 10-15. So, this needs some logical revision.
Also, it would be helpful to have an easy way to make exercise substituttions. For example, if you have dumbells but mostly want to do body weight workouts, you might want to substitute a dumbell curl for a self-resisted bicep curl. There isn't an easy way to make such substitutions, but doing so would be an obvious way to use the book, in accordance with the authors' approach.
Some of the exercises listed in these charts aren't actually listed in the book with the same name. For example, the unilateral calf raise. In the exercise descriptions it's called one-leg calf raise. So, a consistency check needs to be done.
There should be a paragraph somewhere in the book telling you to figure out what an appropriate amount of weight to use is. I have tried starting exercise regimens many times in my 40 years, but have had a recurring problem: two days afterwards, my back goes out and I'm in enormous pain for two weeks, which ends my attempt. I believe the reason is that in my exuberance to change my life, I push myself too hard at the very beginning, and wind up trying too many reps or too much weight. It doesn't hurt at the time, but long run it does. So, some way to help gauge what makes for a sensible effort would be helpful. I'm actually cutting some exercises in their recommended beginner workout in half at first in hopes of avoiding injury. I imagine that's a good strategy....
Also, I'd like just a little more info about cardio, which these authors clearly don't like much. But a description about how to monitor heart rate and how to incorporate cardio into a regular routine would be helpful. Half a page is all I'm asking for.
Generally, I like the author's organized approach and informal, readable style. A few tweaks would inspire a fifth star, and I think these guys have it in them.