Serious Strength Training
Bompa, T.O., DI Pasquale, M., Cornacchia, L. J. 2003
Human Kinetics, P.O. Box 5076 Champaign, IL 61825 – 5076
Andrew Charniga, Jr.
The title of the book is strange because at first glance the subject appears to be strength training. However, in reality, it is a book about bodybuilding training. Strength training and bodybuilding are not necessarily synonymous. The most commonly usage of the term strength training refers to use of resistance exercises to develop strength for sports. Since bodybuilding competition does not involve tests of strength, strength training for bodybuilding really does not exist. Furthermore, bodybuilding is essentially a “static” sport. Strength training for sports, the majority of which are dynamic, has its own specifics for each sport.
According to the authors, “This book introduces a revolutionary approach to strength training and bodybuilding that will bring the body to its perfect state, naturally, with Periodization.” However, in essence, this is a book about periodized bodybuilding training.
Unfortunately, this text offers no such distinction nor explanation as to why the programs listed are “A ….. program for advanced (or recreational) bodybuilders or strength trainers.” This is clearly confusing. “Advanced bodybuilders” train for competitions where they display muscular development. Strength training for baseball, for instance, has entirely different aims.
The exercises are for the most part only applicable to bodybuilding such as decline triceps extension and lat pull downs; consequently, the biomechanical specificity which is the intrinsic value of these movements for athletes in dynamic sports such as basketball, football, track and field is virtually zero.
The text is amply illustrated with typical bodybuilding exercises and with technique descriptions. However, the pictures and technique of the “safety bar squat” instead of an ordinary barbell squat are bizarre to say the least.
All in all Serious Strength Training is a book about bodybuilding training and not serious bodybuilding training, at that.