The Strength Training Anatomy Workout II Book Review

by Frederic Delavier and Michael Gundill
352 pages; $24.95

I received this book for free as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.

The Strength Training Anatomy Workout II is a gorgeously illustrated volume. Each of the many workouts is shown with the affected muscles highlighted, and often important variations in the position, posture, and anatomy are diagrammed as well. This book is a sequel, and as such does not contain basic workout information that is found in the first volume.

With the basics out of the way, let's talk about my impression of the book's recommendations. I think overall this book is pretty good, and the anatomy and exercises should be of interest to many strength trainers. However, I did notice some areas where opinions may differ. This book focuses first on building muscle mass, then strength. Training for hypertrophy has become a cultural default in strength training, but it is not the only option. In the discussion of free weights versus machines, some space is given to anatomical variations and how they effect form with free weights, but very little space is given to the influence of flexibility and technique in proper form. For example, in the section on squats, the ratio of torso to femur length and its influence on squat form is discussed, but it was apparent to me from the illustration that increased hip and hamstring flexibility would fix the problem.

As a CrossFitter, I am bound to have some disagreements with the methodology in this book, but overall I think it is good for what it is trying to do.

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