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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Terry L Grindstaff, DPT, ATC, SCS, CSCS (University of Virginia Health System)
Description: This is the second edition of an introduction to the principles and concepts of strength training. The book is easy to read and uses metaphors and practical examples to further clarify concepts. It was first published in 1995.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide readers with a basic understanding of strength and conditioning and the knowledge and rationale to apply these concepts to create strength training programs for a variety of individuals.
Audience: Coaches, students, and athletes with minimal knowledge of strength and conditioning will find this book useful. Both authors are well respected internationally across the entire field of strength and conditioning including researchers, practitioners, and students. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the book.
Features: The book is divided into three parts. Part I, Basis of Strength and Conditioning, and Part II, Methods of Strength and Conditioning, cover associated physiology and program design (frequency, intensity, duration) information. The highlight is the excellent overview of periodization and program design. The injury prevention chapter is mainly dedicated to the lumbar spine. It discusses specific exercise technique with rationale relating to biomechanics, but lacks additional information regarding other musculoskeletal injuries. Part III covers program design for female, youth, and elderly athletes. Each section lists specific national guidelines (NSCA or ACSM), provides an excellent overview of physiological attributes unique to each population, and dispels common myths associated with exercise and resistance training. The section regarding women could have used additional information regarding pregnancy and exercise using established guidelines.
Assessment: This is a good quality introductory text that provides practical information for individuals with minimal strength and conditioning knowledge. The addition of updated material and information regarding female, young, and elderly athletes is useful. The book does have a few shortcomings, with some overlapping information in the chapters, minimal descriptions or pictures of exercise technique, and the lack of a comprehensive overview of strength training when compared to the quality of Baechle and Earle's Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 2nd edition (Human Kinetics, 2000).