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The Poliquin Principles: Successful Methods for Strength and Mass Development Paperback – July 1, 1997

3.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Bodybuilding is a tiny universe comprised of huge people, and those who want to be huge but aren't there yet. Inside that insular world, a handful of individuals have made a ton of money selling advice based on shaky science--if any science was involved at all. Poliquin, a Canadian strength coach, set out to discover what the rest of the world knew about building strength and muscle but hadn't told us yet. From obscure European journals, he found a ton of information on such arcana as the speed at which an exercise should be performed and the amount of rest that should be taken between exercises. These seem like tiny issues, but they can make a big difference in how fast a muscle can grow and how strong it can become.

Besides that advanced information--packaged here for serious bodybuilders-- Poliquin peppers his book with darkly funny jabs at the muscle world's reigning brain trust. He pokes fun at one famously unstable guru's obsession with Ayn Rand, and points out that much of the training information in bodybuilding magazines is really created by editors and writers for those magazines, since the bodybuilders themselves rarely bother to tell the truth about what they do in the gym (and the drugs they use outside of it).

The Poliquin Principles is a rarity in the muscle world: a serious training manual that's also a lot of fun to read. --Lou Schuler

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Dayton Pubns & Writers Group (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966275209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966275209
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dale L. Larson on February 23, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clearly aimed at the serious bodybuilder, with information that would also be valuable to serious weight trainers and trainees, this book is not suitable as introductory material for someone who hasn't been weight training (and reading about training) for a while.
The focus of the book is on how to plan training programs more than on particular exercises or presenting set plans.
For an experienced bodybuilder who wants to better scientifically optimize his or her training program, there is a great deal of good information here summarized in a very accessible and readable form. I give it five stars because I think it is great for this audience -- it might just be the most accessible of the most scientific.
I think Poliquin's credentials as a strength coach give him authority. In trying to base everything on science, it would have been nice to have more in-depth discussion of the studies his conclutions are based on, or at least to provide citations. By not doing so, he opens himself to the same kind of ridicule he lays out in this book on less scientifically-based programs and experts.
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By A Customer on July 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
Charles Poliquin is THE strength coach, not just a personal trainer in tights who talks of "toning" and "feeling the burn". Whether your goal is to improve athletic performance or build muscle and lose fat, this is the place to start. Charles does not play around with wimpy exercises. He simply tells you what works, no matter how painful and exhausting it may be. Even though I think this is the best book of its kind, there are some problems. First, the pictures are old and out of date. Second, there is one horrible type-o: In one arm routine, the text says to perform it 3 times per week. Actually, Charles meant "once every 5 days". If that training regimen were performed 3 times per week, you could easily overtrain, which could lead to injuries. Poliquin writes for a web zine called Testosterone.com and states that these problems will be fixed in the updated version of this book. Also, be aware that this info can be very technical and! Poliquin does not always "dumb it down" for the layman trainer. A few more illustrations would have been very helpful. Despite these drawbacks, this is a great book. I have used this information to both train athletes and add muscle to my own physique. Buy this book and get ready for some grueling, but very effective workouts.
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Format: Paperback
I would rate this 9/10 (it is not perfect) but it is worth 5 stars.
Yes, it is true Polloquin prob. upsets a few people, he makes comments such as "pencil necked geeks", please don't take anything he says like that personally, it is just his off sense of humour, he is not malicious and if you heard him in person you'd realise he is kidding around. And yes there are spelling mistakes and things, but don't worry about that.
The information is first class. I highly recommend this to a beginner because it will give you a good grounding on truth in bodybuilding, and techniques that work. Honestly, if you are a beginner, pretty much anything you do will get great results (and hopefully not injury - get a book on weight training technique if you don't get this one), so don't get all wrapped up in any specific system just because it gives you good results when you start out. The information in this book is as good as any you'll find and covers all topics (except you should also get a really good nutrition book).
Polloquin Principles is a bit basic - now it has a lot more information than many other books, but Polloquin has a lot more tricks and techniques than just what is in this book, it is a shame he does not do a part II with all his many many tricks. For example, if you exercise a bodypart in the morning, then again 6 hours later, you will have a major neurological advantage because in those 6 hours your nervous system overcompensates, giving you major strength opportunity later in the day for the same muscle group. He has many obscure tricks like this and I wish he would write them all down!
However this book is more like a good, solid, overall book. The beginning covers basics, then workouts, things like reps and volume and stuff.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book for intermediate to advanced weightlifters. It would have been a great book for everyone interested in packing on muscle, except Poloquin assumes too much for a beginner. In fact, more advanced lifters are guaranteed to wonder what the heck he's talking about sometimes. The photos contribute absolutely nothing to the text - they are just stuck in willy-nilly because some editor somewhere said, "You have to have SOME pictures!" But in general Poloquin gives better information about the subject than you'll ever get from all the Joe Weider publications combined.
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Format: Paperback
For beginners it's an excellent book. I learnt from this book in the beginning and I'm making great progress. The only negative points I can see are that some of the exercises are a mystery to me, ("hey Charles, what the hell is a Russian Good Morning?"). And the pictures are a bit second rate. The quality is good, and you can see a whole pile of well developed muscle groups that are being referred to, but that's because a lot of them are steroid freakshows. Sorry to all you steroid users out there! But it does look a little over the top. Regards.
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