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The Purposeful Primitive: Using the Primordial Laws of Fitness to Trigger Inevitable, Lasting and Dramatic Physical Change Paperback – June 24, 2008
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Teeming with esoteric information on training, biomechanics, nutrition, and sport psychology, The Purposeful Primitive is a wealth of information that every serious lifter needs to read. You are going to like this book. NO! You are going to LOVE it. I promise you that. It s Gallagher s best work, and that means it is strictly world class.
Dr. Judd Biasiotto, author of 46 fitness and health-related books, world powerlifting champion --Dr. Judd Biasiotto
As a student, athlete, teacher, researcher, professional coach, and businessman I have spent over 60 years in health, fitness and sport, devoted to how to become the best you can be . The Purposeful Primitive has been a very interesting journey for me... back-to-the-future...
Marty does a wonderful job bringing out the art and science of training, extracting many of the critical universal and specific principles (guiding rules to action social, emotional, mental, physical and spiritual) that are applicable to living a productive life in general, and in training for health, fitness and sport, specifically. In addition, I like the way Marty personalizes the lives of outstanding athletes and shows how they applied these fundamental, can't-miss principles in their training to help them become the best they could be in their sport.
My recommendation: if you want to achieve something great in your life , add The Purposeful Primitive to your training library... yesterday.
Dr. Bob Ward, Sports Science Network, former head strength and conditioning coach, Dallas Cowboys --Dr. Bob Ward, Sports Science Network
What can one say with certainty about the author of this book Marty Gallagher? Nothing other than the facts that he has been there and done that as an 800-plus pound squatter! That he has written over a thousand articles about fitness and nutrition in the published print media (not to include his amazing blog). That he is not just a genius, but the best interviewer and storyteller going. And that he has not only truly trained the world's strongest athletes, but that he has distilled the most useful information from 15 of the foremost weight lifters, bodybuilders, psychologists and bodymaster nutritionists of the last half century into a form that can be used by anyone from overweight, exercise-adverse beginner to world champions in their sports.
From Olympic lifting to power lifting and bodybuilding, whether muscle gain or fat loss, from cooking to supplements, from changing exercise and eating habits to molding the psychology of a champion (whether one is even remotely interested in competition or not), Marty has covered it all. I only wish I had had a book like this when I was growing up and trying my best to get bigger and stronger. Marty has demonstrated, without question, that he is the current and undeniably best trainer of champions and ultimate guide to physical and mental transformation. This book not only provides the simplest instructions and cheapest financial and lifestyle requirements, it is absolutely the single best book ever written on being the best you can be physically and otherwise.
James E. Wright, Ph.D, former Director of Sports Science, U.S. Army Physical Fitness School; former Health and Science Editor, Flex Magazine --James E. Wright, Ph.D
About the Author
Marty's highly-acclaimed 230+ weekly Live Online columns for Washington Post.com created a legion of followers for his Purposefully Primitive Fitness philosophy. Over the last thirty years he has had over 1,000 articles appear in two dozen fitness publications.
Top Customer Reviews
Mixed feelings about this book. Short form: I highly recommend it to a range of audiences, despite my reservations. I enjoyed reading it, and will re-read it several times, looking for the bits I can make use of.
Marty coached or met everyone who was anyone in the world of Power lifting in the 80s and 90s, and he fills the book with anecdotes that give a real feel for the characters that made a half-underground sport what it was. He also uses these anecdotes to great effect when discussing training styles and nutritional strategies, building his recommendations for various phases of body recomposition around the greats he trained with or coached. His writing is engaging, and his genuine love of the sport shines through. The tales of strength he shares are inspiring, and he has a knack for presenting even the roughest of his subjects with their humanity intact.
The training and diet information are comprehensive. Marty is a big believer in old school training splits and volume, and he has plenty of experience to back up his position. It's an approach to training that will feel pretty revolutionary to a machine trainer or someone caught up in the absurd, unproductive isolation training so many unqualified trainers end up foisting on their clients.
On the downside, this is mostly a book for beginners and intermediate trainees. I didn't see his weight training recommendations as all that relevant to my own current needs; my program is already spartan by Marty's standards, and I expect a fair number of more experienced lifters will feel the same way.Read more ›
On another note, I must disagree with the first reviewer on the steroid situation. Steroids are mentioned, but not gone into great detail. This is not a book on how to cycle your anabolic drugs, but rather how to workout, no matter your experience level or goals for yourself. Steroids have been around in power sports since the late '50's and in most sports for 30 years now. Only now are they coming into the news because of teen athletes trying them, which is never a good thing. However, you can still get the benefits from these workouts and the ancillary information without the benefits of performance enhancing drugs. Will you be able to bench press 600 or deadlift 800 without the drugs? Probably not. Will you be able to squeeze every bit of the talent God gave you and be the best physical specimen you can be by following this book? Definitely so!
My 1st issue is the editing. The book is too long because information is repeated needlessly. Second, the book espouses a three tiered approach to total health and fitness. That's commendable. However, as other reviewers have pointed out, most of the men mentioned in this book were steroid abusers. Whether that takes away from their accomplishments or not is debatable, but when you're selling a guide to achieve a healthier lifestyle, I think the spokesmen ought to at least be healthy in mind, body, & spirit. Finally, the stories of violence against "lesser" men are juvenile and irresponsible. As McCallum pointed out 50 years ago, those that train with weights are ambassadors of the iron game and have a responsibility to portray it in a positive manner. Behavior such as that glorified by Gallagher merely reinforces the "meathead" stereotype of lifters.
As I said, there is good information here. That information is better presented by the authors mentioned earlier, though.
It's an easy read and has that "old-school" lifters mentality to it. It's not very scientific, meaning that it doesn't go into great detail as to WHY these methods and techniques work, but it more than makes up for it by telling you proven methods on HOW to get big and strong.
110% recommend this book to everyone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, definitely worth getting. Highly recommended. Marty Gallagher has worked with some of the greatest lifters of all time and it's awesome to be able to have access some... Read morePublished 5 months ago by The Amazon Customer
This is by far the best training manual I've ever read in my thirty + years of training.Published 12 months ago by Joe Cseko
It's a study guide, reference book, collection of biographies and so much more. I will never put it down nor be far from it. Great book.Published on August 4, 2014 by Deer man
Great to see the history and programming of the greats from the past. Good job of reducing the complexities of training into its raw fundamentals.Published on July 27, 2014 by Robert J Fabsik Jr
The book is very inspirational (which was the main reason for purchase), and easy to read. However it is a little light on exact/specific details for individual exercises.Published on April 27, 2014 by Julian Muir
This is a wonderful resource for fitness and life. A little disorganized but thats part of the point, you need to find your own path in your life. Read morePublished on March 22, 2014 by Don C