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Practical Programming for Strength Training Paperback – January 14, 2014
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About the Author
Mark Rippetoe is the author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, Practical Programming for Strength Training, 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 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.
Andy Baker is the owner of Kingwood Strength and Conditioning in Kingwood, Texas. He has a degree in Sport and Health Science from American Military University. Andy attended Texas A&M University before joining the Marine Corps in 2003. He saw two combat deployments in Iraq before finishing his degree in 2007. Shortly afterward he opened KSC, a private training facility near Houston that offers barbell training to competitive athletes and the general public, as well as program consultation for competitive lifters. Andy is a competitive powerlifter. He lives in Kingwood with his wife Laura and two kids, and spends the tiny amount of spare time he has fishing and hunting.
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After receiving Mark's new book, I restarted using a two workout per week program witha light day for squats and back-off sets for the other exercises. I am making steady gaiins and am able to enjoy my normal life pain free. Thanks Mark, for giving us old war horses a sensible program for life. I'll be 70 in September 2014.
The Starting Strength book focuses primarily on the major lifts - how to do them, and why they are done that way. It does a very good job of this and is an invaluable tool for trainees and coaches alike. The end of the book lays out the basic Starting Strength novice program, which is working impressively well for both my wife and me at this time. Staring Strength is an excellent book for what it purports to be: a guide to "starting" strength training. However, the layout of the Novice program laid out is very basic, and it does not answer a lot of the questions that a serious trainee will inevitably start asking: what if I advance beyond the novice stage? What do I do if I'm returning to training after being ill for a few weeks? What if I have an injury? What if someone does not fall within the 18 to 35 age range? Etc. And of course, there is always the burning question of "Why is the program set up as it is?" and the follow-up "What constitutes good programming and why?"
Practical Programming for Strength Training answers these and other questions in a very clear, thorough, and well-ordered fashion. It gives the reader a well-rounded understanding of the physiological mechanisms behind strength adaptation, upon which it lays out and justifies the novice, intermediate, and advanced programs. It goes into detail about various circumstances trainees may encounter during their progress towards getting stronger.
All-in-all it is a very thorough, easy-to-understand, and well-argued book which provides the serious trainee or coach with a solid foundation in knowledge about programming for strength training.
Unless you have considerable competence with barbell training, I would recommend starting with the Starting Strength book before moving on to
Practical Programming for Strength Training.
The 2nd edition was full of wonderful information regarding the stress/recovery/adaptation cycle of strength training. Simply put, the more you do something (say, squat or deadlift), the better you become at it, and changes in programming (frequency, set/rep schemes, etc...) are required to further progress.
New to the 3rd edition is an impressive amount of detail on how to go about the necessary changes in programming as a lifter progresses.
The book contains its largest upgrade in chapters 6-8. With the assistance of Andy Baker of Kingswood Strength and Conditioning, programming for the novice, intermediate, and advanced lifters is covered in amazing detail.
For the novice, the basic principles of the Starting Strength method are discussed as well as a fabulous real world example of a properly executed linear progression. New to the 3rd edition is an extensive look at how to elongate and squeeze every drop of usefulness out of a linear progression. It details resets, stalls, and recovering from the mistake of increasing your lifts too quickly. All of these scenarios are backed up with biomechanical details of the human body. Additionally, new to the novice section is a detailed account of the "advanced novice" lifter as well as specialized diet and training tips for the particularly overweight or underweight trainee.
The Intermediate section has received the largest upgrade of all. While novice programming allows for progress from workout to workout, intermediate programming stretches out progress over a week to week basis. Though Rippetoe discussed his "Texas Method" style of programming in the 2nd edition, it prompted a lot of questions about variations and alternatives to the demanding programming. The details of the Texas Method are contained in 30+ pages of the most important, effective writing in strength programming literature. Broken into four phases, the amount of detail contained here is staggering, and should hopefully answer any questions and address all problems trainees may have with this very complex programming. Also included are "split routines" spread over four days, as well as a Heavy-Light-Medium system popularized by coaching great Bill Starr in the 1970's.
The advanced chapter delves into periodization, or the structuring of training schedules beyond a week to week basis. The book makes very clear that this programming is for ADVANCED lifters who's progress on a week to week basis has stalled out completely. At this point, a strength athlete will be at the point where they are ready to specialize in a certain realm of athletics. Specific training details for powerlifters, MMA athletes, and Olympic weightlifters are described in exhaustive detail. Most recreational lifters will never reach this level, but its inclusion here is extremely welcome.
The final chapter will prove extremely useful for current strength training coaches. It includes specific training details for females, youth, and an extensive section on older (35+ years) lifters.
Simply put, Practical Programming 3rd Edition is required reading for anyone who has a desire to achieve their maximum potential in the weight room. Buy it, read it, read it again, and get stronger!
This book is complete in itself but for an individual to start a lifting program will require "Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training". This second book describes how to do the lifts.