Weight Training for Strength and Fitness provides a reasonably detailed look at the entire spectrum of strength training. The beginner will find the material enlightening and very helpful in designing programs as well as considering which direction his or her training might go after the beginning stages have been completed. The intermediate to advanced student, teacher, or coach will enjoy the thorough coverage of the subject. Of particular interest to the reader are the concepts presented in the body building and high-level strength training sections. By reading and studying the entire text, you will have a thorough understanding of strength and strength fitness.
Chapter One is a brief presentation of the history of strength building which includes attitudes toward strength in ancient times, Olympic lifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, strength research, and strength fitness. Significant time periods in strength history are referred to as eras, an approach that makes the subject both enjoyable and manageable.
Chapter Two contains a review of many current theories in strength training. A review of current muscle contraction theory is followed by a discussion of fiber types, motor units, summation, and synchronization. Other discussions include strength curves, strength training equipment, and speed of contraction while lifting. Overload, called here progressive loading, and set-repetition combinations for optimal strength and fitness are discussed. Periodization or cycling is discussed in detail using Selyes’ General Adaptation Syndrome as the basis. Delayed muscle soreness, rest or recovery between sets, and exercises and ergogenic aids (particularly androgenic-anabolic steroids) are thoroughly described.
Chapter Three is devoted to weight training and physical fitness. A look at the general fitness level of Americans is followed by a suggestion to exercise by doing something enjoyable. A suggestion that being physically fit has many dimensions, including aerobic fitness, strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and proper body composition (attention to proper nutrition), ends this chapter.
Chapter Four examines strength fitness exercise bodybuilding and body sculpting. Strength fitness exercise is the workout for the masses. Example programs are presented. Working to momentary muscular failure is discussed as is working at or close to fatigue levels. Two bodybuilders are followed through a day’s routine to get an idea of the intensity of their workouts. Muscular hypertrophy and body types are examined.
Chapter Five examines the strength training of athletes, Olympic weightlifters, and powerliftersall are considered among those engaged in high-level strength training. Specificity of training, both physiological and biomechanical, is discussed along with strength and athletic performance. The reader should not expect that increased strength will automatically result in increased ability in one’s chosen sport. However, strength profiles for success in any sport can be developed; and one for an international class discus thrower is presented. Plyometric exercise is also thoroughly covered. Competitive lifting, which includes descriptions of the lifts and training programs, is presented for both the Olympic and powerlifter.
In Chapter Six, beginning and advanced periodized weight training programs (three-phase) are outlined. These represent excellent examples of workouts to follow.
Chapter Seven describes the execution of a number of strength training exercises. The primary muscles involved in each exercise are identified. A skeletal view of the muscles is presented at the end of the chapter.
Chapter Eight is useful as a gauge of personal ability. There is no claim to extreme reliability or validity. These criteria may be used to understand where one stands relative to standards developed over a period of time.
From ancient to modern times, from the once-per-week fitness advocate to the intense competitive lifter who trains three times per day, from scientific theory to ”just lift and you’ll get stronger,” this book covers strength training in a complete and unique manner. May all who read this text learn from it as well as enjoy its benefits.