Top critical review
75 people found this helpful
Not very useful
on January 28, 2003
Propably the first thing you notice when you open the book is quality. The paper is thick and glossy and the quality of printing is good. The pictures are beautiful, and it's easy to find exercises for a certain muscle group.
Then the bad news: While the pictures look great, on many occasions they are too detailed, to the point of being unclear. Every exercise is given a full page (two pages on some occasions). But the majority of a page is filled with large drawing of the exercise, with the stressed muscle groups shown. The performance of a given exercise is given far less detail, on some occasions only a few lines of text. I think it would be far more benefical to give more detailed explanation of correct performance and/or common mistakes, and print the picture a bit smaller.
The exercises in the book are divided on seven sections, based on which muscle group they mainly stress. This is OK, but the division of muscle groups is a bit odd. There is a separate section covering exercises for buttocs, but at the same time all other muscle groups in the leg are combined as "legs". It would be more reasonable to combine buttocs with quads, or thights, and give calves a separate section.
There are about 110 different exercises, and variations on some exercises. The selection of exercises is a bit odd in my opinion. For example, there is a page on seated calf raise (on a machine), and the author advises that as a variation you can do the exercise without a machine, using a barbell across your legs. Then, on the next page that very same exercise is presented as a separate exercise! And there are some basic exercises missing, like toe presses on leg press machine, for example.
Perhaps the main problem of the book is that it doesn't expalain the muslce mechanics at all. It would be great if the kinesiology of given muscle group would be explained at the beginning of each chapter, but there is no explanations at all about what a given muscle does, and how it affects the whole body. For example, the book says that seated calf raise targets the soleus, but there is no explanation what this means in practice. And there is no explanation which exercise I sould use if I wanted to emphasize the outer calf, for example.
As a conclusion, I would say that in certain circumstances this book can be a valuable asset, but you can't use it by itself. You need to have some books on kinesiology, and some books which describe the correct performance of each exercise in detail.