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on April 17, 2015
I've heard some negative things about Poliquin, recently, making outrageous claims and so forth. I can't speak to that but I can say that he was definitely in his right mind at the time this was published. It's a great book, heavily grounded in science and has dated rather well because the concepts were cutting edge at the time.

I don't agree with everything he says, however. For example, for advanced trainees he recommends extremely heavy, low rep training for the abs(for multiple sets to ensure time under tension)- his reasoning being that they are predominantly fast twitch. Based on what I've read, this is true but only by a SLIGHT margin. Therefore, why not just cycle rep ranges between moderately heavy and light to ensure fatigue of both the fast twitch and slow twitch motor units? Even if a trainee stuck to light ranges for the abs, compound movements such as squats would force them into use as stabilizers under heavy loads. History shows us this combination works for strong, well-developed abs: Look at classic bodybuilders.

I also don't particularly care for his personal attacks on Joe Weider, Arthur Jones and Mike Mentzer. In the case of Jones and Mentzer, I'm not a big believer in the HIT style of bodybuilding(nor am I a big believer in extremely high volume- middle of the road is best) so I don't mind Poliquin attacking the science behind it. He takes it beyond, however, into the personal domain and that's not cool. As far as Weider is concerned, Poliquin seems to believe Joe claimed to invent every Weider training principle. No!!! He credited himself for cataloguing the methods, which he did, under 'The Weider System'.

In spite of his opinions of other gurus, this book deserves no less than 5 stars for the overall content.
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on January 28, 2005
This book is very useful to learn how to understand the science of building a training that suits your needs and your goals. You take what you want from it! I've owned it since it came out and i'm still refering to it! This is basic, simple information to every body who wants to get serious in their training! Thanks coach Poliquin!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2004
It would be an great 30$ or 40$ soft cover, but I believe the rarity & reputation is what a person is really paying for when he/she buys this book. Since price is the most important issue I gave a low score.
If I were to rate solely on the books contents "4".
-will help you add variety to your work out
-will help you understand difference between strength gain, strength/mass gain, and mass gain.
- has lots of information on different muscle types and the best way to train them.
-the exercise that are explained have detailed form information.
- I like the line art pictorials, simple and informative.
-If you are unfamiliar with exercise names you may need to do research just to find out what exercise the guy is refering to. This doesn't apply to ones that are explained.
-an index would have been nice.
-less pictures of bodybuilding stars, and more of proper exercise form.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2004
It is sad that this self-styled "guru" has gained such publicity and credibility, given that his book appears to contain very little in the way of scientifically-based training advice and contains much pseudoscience and outright nonsense, such as swiss ball training. As a sport scientist whose Ph.D. is in the area of motor learning, I would like Poliquin to explain just what additional benefit is derived from performing weight training exercises balancing on a ball. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this practice, which, given that balance does not transfer to different activities will only improve your ability to balance on a ball. Not something that many athletes (or anyone else) will find much use! I find it sad that so many people (including elite athletes) are taken in by the likes of Poliquin and Paul Chek, whose description of themselves as "gurus" and "experts" is laughable. If Poliquin is expert at anything (which I doubt), it certainly is not exercise science. The apparent popularity of the book, and similarly pseudoscientific weight training books by the likes of Kraemer, Fleck, Stone and Bompa, proves one thing only: that there's a sucker born every minute, and two to take him.
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