This is an impressive and comprehensive guide to understanding and improving your climbing. It is my favorite book on climbing technique. (Unfortunately, there isn't much decent competition. Niche, meet potential audience). There are some great movement exercises that I've found very useful in my training (the particularly the traversing and turning section). The authors worked incredibly hard and put together a book that is well worth the cost, even without the DVD. The DVD that's included is worth the price of the book itself, as it's extremely concise, well organized, and clear.
The title is wrong. This is essentially a textbook written for experienced climbers, or better, for people teaching climbing to experienced climbers. For the lay reader, it is far too dense and jargon-y. The intrasport climbing jargon is always frustrating enough (who makes this stuff up?), and then layer on kinesiology and physics, and...oof. Not an easy read. The overall organizational structure is not that effective (too much theory up front) and some of the instructions seem rushed and are difficult to follow. As a self-coaching guide, it would have been more effective with less theory and more technique and training. Overall, the book is written for someone climbing in the high 5.11s and up - the initial examples are for people climbing around 5.12. There are a few later examples for those of us climbing in the 10s (yes, that's me and that's my bias), but they seem a little tacked on. I would like the glossary to be much more thorough, but again, there is an assumption that the reader already knows quite a bit about the subject.
This is the best reference book on climbing technique that I have ever read. By far. If you're a climber, you should probably buy this book. If you're a coach, guide, teacher, or experienced climber, definitely buy it. Even if you only skim the book for your specific areas of interest or watch the excellent DVD, it's still worth buying. I think the authors just tried to do too much, which is far better and more admirable than the alternative. If it had been marketed as a textbook or teaching aid, I would give it five stars.
Someone *please* finally write a basic climbing reference-book that is clear, consistent, well-structured, thoroughly defines its terms (tell me what the jargon MEANS, dammit), and most importantly, assumes that the reader has no knowledge of the sport. A real climbing primer. Please.