For several years now I have been using the training guide over at Bodybuilding.com, with its very useful descriptions of each exercise and videos with narration, to find new ways to train my body. I like the main workout page with its anatomical groupings and hundreds of different forms. The trouble was, like many things out here on the wed, finding detailed and concrete explanations while surfing gets tiring. I decided to invest in some printed guides to save me time and improve my knowledge. There is nothing quite like print anyhow.
Amazon.jp is faster than I would ever have expected. Ordering books on Monday morning at around 11 I got my order the next day at 3:30 in the afternoon. Great service and no shipping fees. It is especially useful for the foreigner looking for English books.
Two books ordered:
Strength Training Anatomy (third edition) by Frederic Delavier
Anatomy for Strength and Fitness Training by Mark Vella
Even at a glance the former Delavier book is far and away the more superior volume. It’s illustrations, technical detail and variety of exercises make it a must have if you are considering even simple strength training. I especially find his pages on treating injuries and stretching to be excellent. It lacks guidance, in the way of do this or that to work the overall, but gives you what you need for each specific muscle group.
Vella’s work is much simpler comparatively. The illustrations provide much less detail, mainly showing only the larger muscles. I plan on using it as a reference guide because it does have some material not found in Delavier’s. For example, explanations of how things are named and some exercise ball and yoga stretches which might be useful.
Why am I reading them now? Several years ago I injured the tendons which hold the clavicle (collar bone) in its stabilized position next to the acromion. Since then I have worked to strengthen and improve my overall muscle health. The result was a fascination with how muscles and actions affect the body. I an neither seeking to be a weight lifter or a body builder, but the later is closest. Why? Because I am trying to build my body to do a specific thing, in this case maintain and avoid further injury to a now weakened portion of my body. As I started seeing benefits I started wanting the rest of my body to fall in line, start building up the muscles which will be part of me as long as I can keep in an active lifestyle. Muscles protect bones and keep the metabolistic fires burning. Books like these help me to target muscles and understand my body better as well as keep me from injuring myself through wrong form or excessive weight. I have seen improvements through training, something which didn’t happen while in college. Frequency and knowledge, along side my age, have proved physiological changes can happen if you work at them in a guided, safe way. It’s funny, but all this research and training has also shown me the importance of sleep and nutrition. Your body needs sleep, it’s a no brainer. Yet the better you sleep, the longer time you give for recovery, the better you eat, the more it will impact the workout you might have just done.
The body is a complex thing, much like the mind sitting a top it. Both are susceptible to problems of disease and trauma, fatigue and even rebellion. You never know when things might fall apart, but since God gave it to you then good stewardship seems a logical way to show thankfulness.
This was posted on my blog a good many years ago and people really seemed to enjoy it. Delavier’s book is the one to have-hands down!