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Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding: The Complete A-Z Book on Muscle Building: 21st Century Edition (Anglais) Relié – Coffret, 25 octobre 2008
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The book is a hardback which makes it somewhat heavy and awkward to hold and I can see over time how the binding may start to get stressed and begin to break because of the weight. If it's placed on a sturdy shelf and cared for, it should never fall apart- but it's something to consider. I almost wish they would have just made it a paperback because books are meant to be read and therefore endure some level of abuse from time to time. Hopefully they will get a paperback version out there soon. Also, it has a dust-jacket which is a bit annoying because of course it's going to slip off and get torn over time.
The book covers almost every aspect of bodybuilding that I can think of, including history and famous bodybuilders (vital information for beginners to the sport), how to stretch safely (something most bodybuilders overlook from time to time), how to make money in the industry, contest preparation and promotion, mass gaining, "the pump", individual pro's workouts, nutrition, basic physiology/biology, a "question and answer" chapter in the back, side affects of steroid use, training injuries, etc.
Really there's nothing it doesn't cover, so a beginner to the sport would really get a lot out of this large book. I am a natural competitive female bodybuilder and am also a personal trainer, and still found this book to be informative and thorough and am proud to add it to my extensive collection of literature.
The pictures are mainly of male bodybuilders which is always disappointing because I think it's equally important to read about the history of women's bodybuilding and explain the differences in muscle building between men and women. There is a quick rundown of the beginning of female bodybuilding with a large picture of Cory Everson (page 24-25), but it's really only two pages long and gives a basic explanation of why female bodybuilding is not as popular (ie. extreme masculinity being a turn-off, etc).
I subscribe to MuscleMag International and have for years, so I'm used to the writing style and information that Robert Kennedy provides in his publications. The pictures in this book are some of the best I've seen in any book I own, and they are inspiring. As a trainer, I like to keep myself informed from a scientific viewpoint, but also from the perspective of the people I train. Most of them will pick up books like this looking for information and it's important that I know what they are reading to better guide and educate them. This is one book I would recommend to any client of mine who appreciates the bodybuilding lifestyle and is not turned off by the larger than life physiques in this book. It is thorough enough to educate a newbie- but to also shed some light on the bodybuilding counterculture that is truly fascinating and unlike any other sport in the world.
Let me tell you that, while it doesn't exceed my expectations it very well satisfy them.
It covers many grounds that Arnold's or Bill Pearl's Encyclopedia's didn't cover, Bob Kennedy is a great writer and publisher, this book is another testimonial for that fact.
Let me Share its Chapters:
1.Laying the Groundwork
2.The Body You're Building
4.Principles of Nutrition
5.Intermediate Level Concerns
6.Advenced Level Training
7.BB the Greatest of Sports
8.Earning Living through BB
9.The Big Seven Exersizes
10.The M.A.S.S System Training
11.Training with the Superstars
12.The Complete BBer
I really can't compare this book to many other sources; the only other body building book I've read is The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Comparing the two, I think that this book covers a lot more ground, is much more modern regarding some things (you have to keep in mind Arnold's background and take a lot of what he says with a grain a salt... much of it is old wive's tales...). for example, I've tried Arnold's recommended 6 day split, and like he said, I got awesome results... but at the same time, every 6 or so weeks, my body would collapse and I would need to lay off for at least a week. This book talks about that, and I feel a lot better know that it isn't just me, and that the 6 day split is too grueling for most people. I am looking forwards to trying some of the alternatives now, and no longer feel like I'd better "slacking". But Arnold has a MUCH better section on how to perform the exercizes.
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone looking for a good survey of the bodybuilding landscape, and then supplementing with a book devoted specifically to "how to perform exercizes", or even Arnold's Encyclopedia.
The book is big. I mean really big and hardback. It is broken down into several smaller books with chapters. It would be of much better use had it been several paperback books bought together. Then each "book" could be used as needed. It's tough to lug it around just to read a section on routines.
Overall it's a good reference book to have around. It is very informative, but the last half is just for body builders.