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Brilliant for beginners and those looking to refine their technique from the ground level up. This book helped me perfect my squat form, perfect my deadlift form, and more. There are parts that can completely go over a beginner's head, but I love the way some parts go into the physics of motion - unnecessary extra moments, shifting centres of gravity, and not just how to do a certain movement but why to do it that way, in addition to how not to do it and why not to do it that way. Includes the basic, most important movements that every lifter should have as a part of his routine.
This book is unlike ANY book that I have seen (not read) in the category of fitness/exercise/training/bodybuilding books. This point, depending on your exposure to fitness industry, can be a huge turn-off or an eye-opener (I belong to the latter category myself). Heavily focused on mechanics and kinetics of movement, and bent more towards quality than quantity, it delves DEEP into details of mechanics of 5 major exercises that the author proposes are essential for building strength: 1. Squat 2. Deadlift 3. Press 4. Bench Press 5. Power Clean
Now, these exercises and the training methodology may be familiar to somebody with an experience in powerlifting circles, but this "style" is completely new to me. An immensely valuable resource along with this book is the collection of videos where the lead author (Mr. Rippetoe) demonstrates all the 'lifts' with considerable detail. Each video is about half an hour long, and thankfully, are provided for free on the book's companion site.
The book has a lot of wit and dry humor, along with punch-in-your-face style straight advice for people new to strength training, who, like me, have been conditioned by Nautilus machines and bodybuilding mags, to have a distorted view of strength and body image. Since this book is more of a manual, I'll probably add an update a few months after training. Suffice it to say at this point that this book is a gold mine of information, and more importantly, CORRECT information. Hats off to Mr. Rippetoe for penning this lovely book.
One of the best resources out there to really understand how the body can be tuned for strength and performance. The program simply works. And the increasing weights you are lifting every workout are your constant motivator. I wish I had access to this book when I was 20 years old. I wish every skinny kid in India (like I was) has access to this at an age when he feels he should be stronger and bulkier. Strength may not necessarily help you win street fights but it will make you confident. Confidence can turn your life around. Mark Rippetoe (Rip) is a wonderfully articulate writer and if the content keeps you curious, his sense of humour will keep you hooked. A large part of this content is available online on the website although it is best digested the first time through this book.