Men's Health: The Book of Muscle--The World's Most Authoritative Guide to Building Your Body

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You might think that the subtitle, "The World's Most Authoritative Guide to Building Your Body," is hyperbole, but The Book of Muscle from Men's Health delivers as promised. Australian strength coach and former powerlifting champion Ian King and Men's Health fitness director Lou Schuler cover everything you want to know about your muscles and what makes them grow, complete with dietary recommendations, exercises for every muscle group, and exercise routines. Each muscle group is illustrated and discussed, with 149 pages of clearly described, well-photographed exercises using a variety of equipment. A section on workout routines helps you put together your own program, from beginner to advanced.

Schuler's guy-talk style makes the book enjoyable to read, even on days when you have no intention of going to the gym. The artistic drawings of muscle groups, full-color photographs of beginning and ending positions of every exercise, and stunning close-ups of buffed body parts make The Book of Muscle is as beautiful as it is practical and motivating, an exceptional gift for the fitness guy in your life, and well worth the price. Highly recommended for men wanting to get in shape or stay there. --Joan Price

Exercise ain't easy. The body is a complicated machine, with 650 muscles and 250 million individual muscle fibers. Some would say taming those fibers and building strong, healthy muscles is not an act of labor. Some would say it's an art. Here's a book worthy of that art. The Men's Health Book of Muscle is the big, lavishly illustrated, full-color coffee table book that only Men's Health could produce-one that doubles as the ultimate guide to building a better body. The goal of The Book of Muscle is simple: create a beautiful, artistic guide to the body that also helps guys build great physiques by showing in detail how muscles work and how that knowledge can be put to use. Inside, you'll find lush anatomical illustrations and photographs of a quality that no other book on fitness can match. You'll also find complex biological information, boiled down to language any guy can understand, and three 6-month workout programs, one each for beginner, intermediate, and advanced lifters. It's big muscles, big benefit, and beautiful all at the same time. It's the book you've always wanted from the guys at Men's Health, the fitness experts you trust.

Customer Reviews:

  • A great addition to your fitness library
    This is an excellent book on fitness form and function. Great pictures that show detailed views on the proper form of doing the exercise correctly. I especially like the photos of doing a squat. It shows a 360 degree view so you can really get an idea of how to perform a squat the right way. I'm not usually persuaded easily, but this book is #1 in my fitness library. I think if you have this book and a basic fundamental knowledge of how to put together work out routines, that's all you'll ever need. This book does have a complete body building plan from beginner to advanced at the end. Not every exercise that you can image is in this book, but the most popular, leading, results producing exercise are here. As your education, experience and knowledge advances you'll be able to create your own exercises. But you MUST learn the basics first and learn and practice good form. This book will show you how.

    I highly recommend this book. This would be an awesome gift to someone who is a fitness enthusiast. If you are into fitness, you will come back to it time and time again as a reference....more info
  • The Ultimate Guide to Resistance Training
    The ultimate guide to resistance training...Ian King and Lou Schuler are the best in their fields. I have used King's training methods from this book since it was first published in 2003. I gained 15 lbs of muscle without chemicals and increased my strength in the 3 big lifts and average of 15%, all after the age of 35 and after training for 20 years....more info
  • Amazing book
    This is the ultimate book on strength training for the dedicated athlete or the man who wishes to turn his 40-something body into a sight to behold. It is clear and concise with amazing illustrations of muscle anatomy and easy to understand descriptions of basic muscle physiology. The book not only emphasizes some excellent exercise algorithms, warmups, and stretches, but also promotes a healthy diet and lifestyle. I highly recommend it for anyone who wishes to start some serious weight training and see the results! Ian King and Lou Schuler are to be congratulated on an extremely well written book....more info
  • Great Book
    It is an excellent book. I have learned quite a bit about strategies to increase strength and build mass. I am in the 9th week of the intermediate workout program and seeing good results so far....more info
  • Great For Lifters of All Stages
    Whether you're a newbie or a longtime hardgainer, this book is def. worth a read. As a pretty dedicated lifter, I'd been searching for a good book that covers the foundation of the body - comprehensive enough that I could use as a reference book and at the same time, clear and logical enough to be able to give to the friends who wanted to learn about lifting or reshape their bodies.

    The book pretty much covers everything that you need to know about the muscular structure of your body so that you can leverage that into putting together the routine and the body that you want. It's a great starting point for any lifter and the writing makes it accessible to practically everyone. Very highly recommended....more info
  • excellent training guide for a normal guy who's been training for 20 years
    I purchased this book after learning about Ian King from a reference in Tom Venuto's BFFM ebook. All I was looking for was a new way to split up my workouts.


    1. I have been working out for more than 20 years and have read and tried many programs including high volume and low volume workouts.

    2. I've followed a 3-6x week lifting regimen. Since turning 40, I settled into 4 days lifting and 3 cardio. My results have always been mediocre. I was following the BodyRX program. After an initial 10 lb weight loss, I actually never lost another pound and ;earned I was eating far too much (thanks BFFM).

    3. Mostly I focused on big muscle exercises using machines: Leg Press, Chest Press, Pulldowns, Rows and then supplemented with extensions, curls etc. I have not deadlifted or squatted for over 15 years because it made my back sore and didn't allow me to "focus" on the muscles being worked.

    I started with the Intermediate program because the advanced program had so many strange exercises and rep schemes I hadn't done before. I am now in the 10th week of the program. I workout MWF. I do 30-40 minutes of bike riding 6 days a week because I want to lose 25 lbs. It's my warmup and lifting days and my cardio on off days. I do yoga at home on cardio days for my stretching- otherwise my lifting workouts would be too long.

    1. I stopped using wrist straps when I started BOM. For the past 20 years I used them for all of my back exercises because my grip always gave out before my lats did. My forearms are stronger and more muscular than ever. I figured by this time I would always have a weak grip and small forearms. That appears to be untrue. My back seems to not have suffered at all although sometimes my grip gives out at the end of a set.

    2. My calves have muscle in places they hadn't before even though I train them less than I did before. I know it is because of squatting because I felt a pain in the same area that muscle subsequently developed.

    3. My abs, which I thought were strong, were not. They are getting stronger. I work them 3x weekly vs. my old 1x weekly.

    4. My lower back has not been sore from squatting or deadlifting. In fact, I've grown to love these two exercises because they make me feel like I've really worked out instead of my old "going through the motions" workouts.

    Am I stronger? Yes.
    Am I leaner- surprisingly yes. I credit this to BFFM food tracking, eating less calories and doing more cardio.
    Am I more muscular? Certainly in my glutes, quads, calves and forearms. I am hoping to see similar gains in my chest, backs and arms in the coming stages.

    This program changes every 3 weeks. By the time I am familiar with the exercise and start to add serious weight, it's time to start a new stage.

    This has kept me mentally invigorated and seems to be working.

    Go figure- a book from Men's Health and a 3x weekly workout has re-charged this 41 year old guy who just wanted to lose 20 lbs, have bigger biceps and learn a new split.

    I also bought "Get Buffed" from Ian King. That's the predecessor to this book. I tried creating a 4 day workout plan from it, but got overwhelmed with the new info and decided to try BOM first. I am glad I did.

    Book Review-
    The detailed exercise instructions and pictures help a lot, especially for some of the odd exercises like King Deadlifts and 1 leg squats. Also Deadlift and Squats were well detailed. I needed this because I had never done them correctly before.

    The exercise physiology and the conclusions drawn from limited studies (very Men's Health like) didn't add much value for me.
    I wish the workouts referenced the page the exercises were on. I have to flip through pages a lot when creating my new routine.
    I also wish there were templates available for the workout tracker. I create my own in Numbers (or excel). But it would be easier if they were downloadable.

    I highly recommend reading this book and trying the workouts if you are not getting the results you want.

    ...more info
  • Good book
    My very first book on lifting weights I ever bought. This book helped me a lot and I learnt a great deal from this book. This book is a great book for anyone looking for a great read and new ideas in the weight room....more info
  • One of best
    This is one of the best books on lifting. It gives you the basics and training schedules for the beginner to intermediate to the advanced.

    I recommend it with Delavier's Strength Training Anatomy as a companion book to this one. Together you get a five star book.

    ...more info
    I was unimpressed by every aspect of this book.

    The writing's sloppy, the information is basic and (where it stretches) suspect, the photography is so so '70s, the design non-existent.

    Buy a set of dumbbells instead of this book. It's an infinitely better investment....more info

  • A bible for beginners and intermediates !
    I shopped for a few days before choosing this book. I finally bought this one for the following reasons :

    - Great and nearly complete content for learning everything you need to know about physical training.

    - I have good comments for all products from Men's Health editors. The writing style is friendly with a few jokes, but still serious with scientific content.

    The book is well divided in several section. First, you will learn a bit of physiology, not too much, just a dozen of pages for you to understand the working principles drinving your muscles.

    Then, you will read the truth about "why is he bigger than me ?" and "why can't I get good performances in jogging ?". Thus, you will learn everything you need about muscle growth and how to deal with your body. Also, there are good explanations about hormones and what makes muscles grow.

    After this theorical chapters, you will get a few informations about what too eat while on a program. Advices are good, short and sweet. You will have the different pros and cons about proteins and everything else. However, I would have liked a bit more informations about nutrition. This is not a diet book, so beware if your an advanced athlete looking for food charts instead of programs. There still a few "shake" recepies and general comments on what and what not to eat.

    Next, you will learn how to workout correctly, how often, how intense, etc. This is a great part, but again, it could have been longer. The essential is there, and even a bit more.

    The most complete section is about different exercises (over 100), well explained with variations and GREAT GREAT ILLUSTRATIONS all along the book. Pictures are nice and they bring motivation for reading and then getting to workout.

    Following the movements to choose from, you will find three complete programs with differents stages, well-builded by experts. It's a non conventional method, but it is known to work very well and you still get some availability to add some sets of your favorites to your training session. With three complete programs (beginner, intermediate, advance), you get at least a few years of variety for your workouts, and focus is made on good progress without getting crazy like gym rats.

    If you're looking for great advices and to know the truth about a lot of elements in training your muscles while having good programs already made for you, this is the best book you can get. ...more info
  • This is the one....
    I think the some 40+ reviewers before me said it best, this book is amazing. I dont wanna bore with the same old review about how much I enjoyed this book (you can tell that by the rating I gave it), I just wanna give you the basics. The routines in this book take a bit longer in the begginning to complete, but become progressively shorter as you continue the program, which helps with recovery and not being overtrained, a common problem among other, lesser workout books. Two of my favorite things in this is the use of "Tempo" and the variety of changing your routine slightly every 3 weeks, I mean you just havent lived until you've lifted very light weights that leave you shaking as a result of lifting them ever so slowly, again the tempo thing. The nutrition information is minimal, but I believe it gives you enough, 98% of the exercises and routines are explained very well, and the 2% thats not, you can probably figure out on your own. Last but not least, you will be comparing this book to every other workout book out there, and most will fall short, the bottom line is this book is worth your money and time, don't pass a good thing up.

    p.s. I plan on buying the testoserone advantage plan next, and I'll let u know how it goes....more info
  • Authoritative indeed!
    Out of all the work out books/magazines I've read, I must say, I was quite impressed with how detailed this book was. Not only does it give you a well thought out work out plan that caters to different types of people, it also explains the science behind working out and the body which is crucial to becoming successful and muscular. The only thing I disliked was the rather anemic section on what to eat. I wish there were more sample meal plans. Other then that, the book is perfect. ...more info
  • A very short review
    I thought this was an excellent book. It led to my personal best bench press (225 if that somehow helps you quantify my level of fitness).

    That said, I thought that the abdominal program could have been much more aggressive and sometimes the names of exercises in the workout schedule were a bit annoying to find in the index. Finally, the author suggests taking a break from cardio (though he does suggest you can do it on your off days) so that you can put on mass. It is hard to say how much less mass I would have put on if I had done cardio, but then again a chunk of my mass gain came in the form of love handles. Not what I was looking for....more info
  • The Flagship of Lifting Books
    If there is one book to have for understanding how to build muscle, this is it. Where as most workout books tend to have a marketing flavor - "We'll have you burning fat in no time...", this book takes the time to really educate the reader about the workings of the body. The explanation of the process of building muscle is superb, with just the right amount of science to help readers be informed and not overwhelmed. The book also contains a dictionary of exercises complete with detailed explanations and images. The workout programs are excellent, broken out into 3 levels (beginner/intermediate/advanced), each containing roughly 6 months of staged workouts.

    I'm a veteran to working out, with over 20+ years of lifting experience and found myself learning quite a bit from this book; it's a must have....more info
  • Good Advice; Solid Results
    This is the first strength training book that I've purchased, and made the decision to get this book based on Ian King's reputation and other customers' feedback. I have had this book for a few months now, and found it surprisingly readable and effective. Not only is there detailed pictures of each exercise in the workouts, but the text at the beginning explains why you do what you do, and why you can expect to see different results in each stage (e.g., neural adaptation vs. muscle hypertrophy). I am just getting into weight lifting, but am about 6 weeks into the Beginning Program (each program lasts 6 months: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced), and have gained almost 10 lbs. of muscle in that period. I am sore, no doubt, but have not seen other articles / books that contradict the sound advise given in this book. You will not regret having this book in your library! Update on 2-24-09: Since using this book, I have gained 38 lbs. of lean muscle mass, and I'm not finished with the Intermediate phase yet. This is great. For a more detailed explanation of the major lifts, I would recommend "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe....more info
  • Apparent results, detailed instructions
    I really loved this book, I've been using it for 6 weeks now, my arms are much bigger and my stomach is becoming defined. The first 6 weeks are the longest workouts, having workouts as long as 75 minutes at the end. Usually it is set up so week 1 is one set, week 2 of the routine is 1 or 2 sets, adn week 3 is 2 or 3 sets. My personal recomendation is week 1 1 set, week2 2 sets, and week3 stay on 2 sets. 3 sets is really overkill and way too much time, 2 sets of 12 excercizes still allows your muscles to be completely worn down. I really think this book is exceptionally effective. I recomend it to everyone
    ben grant
    p.s. you need to use this in a gym with a fair amount of free weigths and some machines, pretty nice gym needed...more info
  • KING, Ian and SCHULER, Lou: "Book of Muscle: the world's most authoritative guide to building your body"
    ONE title.
    TWO editions.
    ONE binding.
    "Book of Muscle:
    the world's most authoritative guide to building your body",
    "Men's health the book of muscle:
    the world's most authoritative guide to building your body".
    "trade cloth" (hardcover/hardbound).
    There is none (to date) in "trade paper" (softcover/paperback).
    Two editions:
    ISBN: 1579547680 (1-57954-768-0) "direct marketing hardcover";
    ISBN: 1579547699 (1-57954-769-9) "hardcover" (trade cloth).
    Looks to be the Same Difference.
    The 768 version MIGHT be issued by;
    the 769 version MIGHT be issued by
    Go for whichever one is
    - available
    - affordable
    - presentable

    The 768 descriptive page doesn't let you Search Inside;
    the 769 descriptive page allows you to "Search Inside".
    Even should you opt to order the 1579547680 one (used),
    you can get a crack at the CONTENTS over at 1579547699.

    No, I didn't give you a clue about whether the book is
    any good or what you should be studying/doing additionally;
    nevertheless, since these two editions aren't cross-referenced,
    you're "hearing" about the existence of BOTH versions here....more info
  • NOT for the beginner
    I'm an avid reader of Men's Health but this book is by no means for the "average guy." This book is filled with lots of great tips for those who want to be professional weight lifters but I would never recommend this to a beginner. A workout book should inspire you...this book was so complicated and intimidating I was discouraged before even hitting the gym....more info
  • Probably one of the Best Books on the Subject
    I won't proclaim to be an expert body builder. In fact, I'm far from the the sorts. I'm simply a guy who works out very regularly and is trying to understand more about the science / art of it all. Honestly, I've learned more in the first six chapters of this book than I with any other source thus far. These first chapters focus almost exclusively on the theory and science of muscel building. What role does protein play? Which harmons promote muscle growth? Etc... The next chapters dive into which excercises target specific muscles, but more importantly - WHY. Finally, this book provides Ian King workouts for beginners, moderate, and advanced trainers. I think the person who would benefit the most from this book is someone like me who cares why an exercise is "effective" not just someone looking for military orders....more info
  • Very High Quality Materials, Pretty Good content
    This book is so nicely put together that it almost belongs on the coffee table: the quality of the binding and paper is superb; the illustrations and photographs are beautiful. If I didn't know any better, this would look almost like an art book. The content is top notch. My only complaint is that workout programs at the end of the book should have included the page numbers to the corresponding exercises. It gets tiresome flipping back and forth to find the exercises that go with each program. Other than that, I'm happy with my purchase....more info
  • A Must-Have For Any Fitness Library
    As the Fitness Editor for Men's Fitness magazine, I've read more fitness books than I care to remember. It's how I make my living. And I can honestly say that The Book of Muscle is one of the best fitness books ever written. Let me just say that I have no personal investment in this book. In fact, you'll notice that it's published by my competition. But I believe in directing the public to quality material--and this book fits the bill and then some. I have known Schuler and King personally for years, and can attest that they're tops in the fitness biz.

    Because of my job, I think I can say with some authority that the writing is superb. Schuler makes complicated physiology seem simple. But let me put it in perspective: I have a master's degree in exercise science, and I wish that this book would have been available when I was in graduate school. It would have saved me hours of boring textbook reading--and I would have learned MORE!

    Just as important, Schuler's co-author, Ian King, is known in my circles as one of the best strength coaches in the world. And he backs that reputation up with the highly effective, cutting-edge training programs that are presented in this book.

    I highly recommend The Book of Muscle to anyone who wants to:

    *Understand the science of building muscle--from the basic functions of each of your major muscles to the secrets of increasing their rate of growth.
    *Learn how to do over 100 exercises with perfect form.
    *Have at your fingertips months' worth of expertly designed workouts from one the world's leading fitness authorities, Ian King.

    So for what it's worth, consider this my professional opinion. I hope it's useful to you.

    Adam Campbell
    Fitness Editor
    Men's Fitness...more info

  • Really makes a differencebodybuilf
    The anatomy and kinesiology sections are accurate and informative. The Ian King workouts at the end of the book are superb. They have made a difference in the way I exercise -- much more sane and controlled. This book is an antidote to the steroid-charged bodybuilding mags and web sites....more info
  • Great training book
    I got a supplement of this book with a copy of mens healt a few years ago. It was my bible for training until one day my car was stolen with the supplement in it. I was lost without it until I bought the full book from amazon recently. It is a great training aid for those who are serious about training but need a little, or should I say lack a little in the form of direction. This book is great for giving yourself the programme(s) to follow and a great step by step description of how to do the various exercises. I dont leave this one in my car to be stolen again as I dont want to loose it a second time....

    Gerard...more info
  • Lots of information
    I have read many books about muscle and had some information here and there, but this book makes it simple and clear. This has all the information in one book....more info
  • Not detailed
    Book has some nice illutrations and hints but not really that detailed for a new starter it a good read but not a refernce book for refering to, use arnold's book instead...more info
  • Good Book
    Great book, got this for a friend for his BDay. Once I got it I kept it for my self and got him some drinks at the bar....more info
  • The best book on weight training for beginners to pro's
    this book has helped me more than any of the other 50 or so books i have on strength training. it's like an encyclopedia that has been downsized. it's easy to understand concepts like hypertrophy after reading this book and has helped me improve my workouts, physique and has definitly helped build msucle. Thanks Ian and Lou!! ...more info
  • Good learning guide
    Good and very well illustrated guide to the begginner and intermidiate.

    Very well art-finished book....more info
  • Olympic Athlete --- Great Book! The source - PERIOD.
    As a former US Olympic athlete (1992 and 1996) and playing 5 seasons in the NFL and 2 in arena football, I can attest that this book is solid and based upon true and real-world practices for professional athletics. You need more than a gym membership and a pair of gloves to build muscle, you need to understand the fundamentals of physiology, recovery, form, anatomy, nutrition and of course have a intense amount of determination, drive and dedication. While no book will include a magic carpet that will wisk you away to your training facility, this book will at least make certain that you have the tools in place to succeed when you do arrive. If you follow the methods and workout plans as laid out in this book, remain mindful of your nutrition, and stay the course, you will build the best body you have ever had, period. Unlike the flash, glitz and glimmer of the bodybuilding mags and their steriod-enhanced models and hardcore freaks, this book will allow you to construct a tight, well-defined, athletic physique that will not only improve your physical appearance, but make you much more healthy and confident as a person. It is not about building muscle to impress the world, but simply being good to yourself and living all of the life you can, while you can. Best of luck to you in your quest and pick up this book, it has the potential to literally change your life.

    ...more info
  • best book weightlifting book in ages
    I write this after finishing stage 3 of the beginner program. I don't care what anyone says about he book, the routine, the exercises. Whatever. This is THE BEST book on building muscle I have ever found. PERIOD.

    I have searched high and low for a book to be as complete as Book of Muscle. I searched all the shelves and found nothing but regurgitated materials or 20 year-old routine in most, if not all other fitness books. Book of Muscle is up to date with very unique approach to building muscle.

    The reader has everything from explanation of how muscles work, build, react to weightlifting to a full 18 month program. The best part the program is written by Ian King. One of the best strength coaches in the world. Why haven't we heard about him before? Perhaps because he works with world-class athletes more than he does regular folks. He has 20+ years of experience. This man is a trainer of trainers. The man knows his stuff. PERIOD.

    The majority of the text is written by award winning fitness journalist Lou Schuler, of Men's Health fame. The man is a gifted writer. He somehow manages to take complicated physiology, kinesology and makes into plain english for everyone else to understand.

    As for my results. I dropped 30lbs since I started the book, and my strength went up. I hate doing cardio. The circuit training took care of that. I don't know what anyone else talking about, but my circuit training took about 1.5 hours at most. This book is not meant for home gym. Try Home Grown Muscle for that.

    If you are looking for a very challenging, scientifically based program with a healthy dose of physiology in plain english, then this is it. I cannot praise this book enough. Schuler and King really out did themselves.

    One very interesting thing happened after reading through the book. My father visits a physical therapist for lower back problems. His PT was recommending the same core exercise routines that were found in the book. That amazed me. It also reassured me that my money was more than well spent....more info
  • Very pretty but basic book
    This book is a great basic book that covers it in a very attractive package. If you're a bit past that then then book will start to be less useful as you gain knowledge. Good for someone with less than a year's experience in the gym....more info
  • Your Muscle-Building Bible
    Don't just learn how to work out. Learn the inner workings of your muscles and find out how to maximize your muscle-building potential....more info
    An excellent,interesting,well written and professionally illustrated guide to building your body.Physiology,cardio,nutrition,warmup,stretching(flexibility),and weight training are shown to work synergistically to gain strength and build muscle.
    This book is full of helpful hints and interesting facts.For example:the squat uses the most muscles,over 250,including the biggest and strongest muscles:gluteals,hamstrings,and quadriceps;and points out that overall function exercises usually rules over isolating most muscles.
    I have a home gym and don't follow the workout programs exactly
    but generally work the suggested muscle groups and in 4 weeks have experienced prominent strength and muscle gain.I'm 59 and can't overemphasize the need to properly warm up(as does the book).I usually do 30 min cardio to raise my core temperature and have experienced no excessive soreness or injuries while doing a 60 min free weight total body workout 3 days a week.
    While the nutrition advice is excellent,one might profit from consulting a couple of other sources.
    If you can only get one book on strength training,I would highly recommend this one....more info
  • Highest compliments, but also some caveats
    This is the single best physical-fitness guide I have ever read, and I've read more than a hundred such books. "The Book of Muscle" is, to sum it up, a comprehensive, how-to guide for men who want to use weightlifting for strength, definition, and overall health. It's a wonderful guide.

    But there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you'll need to eventually spend at least around $400 or more to purchase the required equipment for the workouts (the equipment demands get higher as you progress through the phases), or else join a gym. (This isn't a criticism of the book, just an alert for potential buyers of the text.)

    Next, this is a ***real*** program, which means it will demand a good amount of time and some genuine study of the text. In other words, I would compare this book to taking a (very well-taught) college class in human physiology and then going to work out with a world-class personal trainer. It is not easy, and so those people looking for miracle cures will be disappointed. Be prepared for some of the workouts to take two full hours or even a bit more.

    On the other hand, if you're willing to open your wallet a little bit for some equipment, and then devote six to eight hours per week over several months to carefully study and make use this book, I am certain you will be very pleased with the results. I have been delighted. I agree with the Amazon reviewer who wrote that before finding this book, his weightlifting was pretty much messing around in total ignorance. I was the same way. This is the real deal here, and a real lifetime plan stuffed with vital information.

    Easily a five-star book, but only for those who have the patience and energy to take this challenging fitness program on and see it through to its end. Those who do, I am certain, will be amply rewarded.
    ...more info
  • Overrated in my opinion
    There are just too many exersizes they want you to do in this book. I don't mind doing different exersizes for different muscle groups but they've taken it to the extreme. It just gets to be too confusing. An example: In weeks 8-10 in the Intermediate program you're doing Knee-Ups, Curlups, Russian Twist, Swill Ball Alternate Leg Lifts, Chinups, Lat Pull Downs, Dumbell Lying Pullovers, Squat, Static Lunge(My Personal Favorite!), Leg Press, Barbell Shrug(Reverse Grip), Barbell Shrug and Barbell Shrug, Wide Grip. Yeah, right. Just point me to the weight room and I'll figure it out on my own if you want me to do that.

    There are some good, large color photos of all the exersizes which is why I gave it 3 stars and not lower but if you're looking to be inspired or want a good workout program, save your money and look elsewhere....more info
  • Great plan to get in shape
    So, I went to the doctor for a yearly physical (the first in a long time), and found out my cholesterol and blood presure were high. I really didn't want to start taking drugs, so decided to get back in shape. To make a long story short, this book has a detailed work out plan that helped me to drop my cholesterol from 280 to 205 in about eight weeks.

    Ok. . .so the workouts have to be a part of a generaly healthfull life style. You have to eat right, and get a little cardio in as well. I do find it extreamly helpfull that this book presents a schedule to follow, and changes every three weeks. The workouts are separated into beginner intermidiate and advanced, each lasting about six months with rest weeks recommended at periodic intervals. I started with the intermidiate level and found it challenging but doable. Each workout (three different workouts done once per week) takes me a little over an hour.

    The beginning of the book is a lot of information on the muscles themselves. . .names, types, etc. I read it in an evening and found it interesting enough. There'a a short section on diet, and then a detailed description of the exercises with pictures. This is VERY helpfull when trying new things like the "thin tummy". Sounds strange, but believe me, if you try to do ten or twelve, you'll learn to respect it. After that comes the workout schedules in detail. It's quite different from the way I was used to working out. Triceps and biceps on the same day? He advocates working opposing muscles on the same day. Seemed a strange idea, but hey, it works. Also there's the use of tempo, say 321. That's lower the weight for three seconds, rest for two, then lift for one (basically as fast as you can. Try a bench press with a 613 tempo for a few reps.

    The book is well worth getting if only for the workout schedules, but I think you'll find much more. . .and live healthier....more info
  • Good book
    Great book worth buying . Lots of helpful info for all stages of people trying to get fit....more info
  • Makes things too complicated
    I bought this book back in 2005 and made progress, but lets be serious...I was an untrained n00b, anything would have given me progress. The book takes the matter seriously, but truth is, it over-complicates training; but who could blame them, no way you can keep selling monthly issues of a magazine unless you follow as a philosophy to over-complicate training regimen and dress up the same lame exercises into different variations.

    In reality, all you really NEED is the main exercises, the compound ones, like squat, deadlift, press, bench press, clean, and anything else that assist those exercises like rows, pull-ups, dips, etc.

    And I have NOT found a book to teach you this fundamental exercises and to guide you towards doing some real work, better than 'Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore'.

    Get it and learn the fundamentals, after that you can do whatever you want, but at least get your foundation in order....more info
  • Transformational
    Following the workouts and nutrition advice in this book have been the only way I have ever gained weight in an exercise program. The focus on building the connective tissues, tendons and joints while not overtraining is emphasized in this book with tremendous results. My old weightlifting injuries have been rehabilitated through these programs, and the results are noticeable from one week to the next, especially when the programs shift gears. Even better, my progress does not atrophy if I take a week or two break since Ian King's programs build a solid foundation that literally builds onto your body. This is my second time through the program (after taking a break with no access to a gym) and I have already gained 6 lbs of muscle in my first 6 weeks. I have never been so humbled by a workout program! If you follow the program to the letter, expect a deep burn in your muscles and you will be so sore the next day you will feel as though you worked out twice....more info
  • Great book for beginner muscle building
    Unlike most workout books, this book goes through a lot of detail to show how and why muscles get big. It gives great scientific insight about the muscles, along with great illustrations.

    Upon receiving the book, I started seriously working out for the first time in my life. Six weeks into the beginner's program, I am starting to notice a lot of differences in my body. All of my muscles are a lot more defined and hard. The book provides really easy information to follow, along with pictures to explain everything.

    The only reason I am giving this book four stars instead of five is because the exercise descriptions are lacking (in some cases, not all). For example, the supine hip extension exercise just assumes that you will be able to know how to do it wit JUST and illustration. In addition, I really don't get the purpose of some of the exercises (they are either extremely easy or difficult), but this most likely will vary from person to person.

    As a beginner, this is definitely a great book to get to set some sort of foundation. I found the explanation of muscles very helpful and informative. It also provides a clear and concise way of going about workouts, along with rest period and alternative cardio-work. While the book is lacking very descriptive detail (for some exercises) it is good. I would have liked to had more information on supplements and steroids (it does lack this). Nonetheless, this book a great start for anyone looking to begin building muscle.
    ...more info
    worth the money -- the pics are used to explain the proper form for the movements and the book contains helpful info as well as a full set of workout routines (in three stages based on experience). an excellent book....more info
  • KING, Ian and SCHULER, Lou: "Book of Muscle: the world's most authoritative guide to building your body"
    ONE title.
    TWO editions.
    ONE binding.
    "Book of Muscle:
    the world's most authoritative guide to building your body",
    "Men's health the book of muscle:
    the world's most authoritative guide to building your body".
    "trade cloth" (hardcover/hardbound).
    There is none (to date) in "trade paper" (softcover/paperback).
    Two editions:
    ISBN: 1579547680 (1-57954-768-0) "direct marketing hardcover";
    ISBN: 1579547699 (1-57954-769-9) "hardcover" (trade cloth).
    Looks to be the Same Difference.
    The 768 version MIGHT be issued by;
    the 769 version MIGHT be issued by
    Go for whichever one is
    - available
    - affordable
    - presentable

    The 768 descriptive page doesn't let you Search Inside;
    the 769 descriptive page allows you to "Search Inside".
    Even should you opt to order the 1579547680 one (used),
    you can get a crack at the CONTENTS over at 1579547699.

    No, I didn't give you a clue about whether the book is
    any good or what you should be studying/doing additionally;
    nevertheless, since these two editions aren't cross-refrenced,
    you're "hearing" about the existence of BOTH versions here....more info
  • Not for the serious body builder
    The concepts in this book are very interesting and if a person wants to have an excellently toned body, this would be the book for them. However, the emphasis is not on serious high intensity workouts for the person wanting major gains in size....more info
  • The one to get
    I bought this book for myself and my son after seeing one my brother had purchased. This is a fantastic book. It covers everything you need to know about the muscle system and how it works and how to work your body for the best results.

    Every Excercise is explained and has phographs so you can be sure you do them correctly.

    There is an excellent program designed to get the best from your muscles and it is adaptable to your needs. You will not need any other book if you purchase this one.

    I am a woman and am following this program. It is really worth it. You wont regret it....more info
  • Buy this one.
    I started working out 2.5 years ago. For the first 1.5 years, I followed advice of Lifetime Fitnesses' trainers (they're big, they're buff, they're beautiful) and got practically NO results. NONE! 1.5 years of strenuous working out and what did I have to show for it?!?? An inflated ego that had thought it gained something, but really gained next to nothing. Then I realized that I'd spent 1.5 years in the gym with nothing to show for it and decided I should dig for resources that would allow me to prove and verify myself. After all, working out is a science, and if the tests are performed correctly, should yield nearly consistent results each time (with various outcomes for specific genetic body-types, of course). I found this book to be the most systematic and thorough on the market. Instead of focusing too much on theory, it is almost entirely practical. Not only that, gives a system. It's systematic! And if any of you have pondered the nature of creation, you'll possibly have realized that a strong system never fails. Ask McDonald's, Target, the Creator, etc.

    Anywho.. It's been 1 year and one month since I started the program. Since I'd been working out with little results for the previous 1.5 years, I started in the intermediate section. I copied the workouts into an excel spreadsheet with 3 extra column's for Date, Weight, and Reps... in order to keep track of what I was doing and when.
    I became vegetarian halfway through the program with an emphasis on veganism (which cleared up my acne, woo!), which I thought would make it more difficult to build and retain muscle.
    Since starting I've actually lost 10 lbs, but have gained a lot of muscle. VISIBLE muscle. In fact, my family members and friends ludicrously ejaculate fervent ego-boosting praise of my acheivements. I'm not a muscle head... ability to build muscle doesn't exactly run in my family. But each month I'm getting more and more of the Adonis like stature. I estimate in 6 more months, I'll have reached my ideal physique. Well muscled, nicely defined, but not grotesquely ripped. And all on a healthy vegan diet, with few soy protein supplements....more info
  • Best Weightlifting Book I've Found
    I recently finished the intermediate program from this book and am very happy with the twenty pounds of lean muscle it helped me pack on. I've been lifting seriously for fifteen years but spent most of those years struggling to put on just a pound or two. With The Book of Muscle, I was able to work out half as much for ten times the results.

    Unlike most of the lifting books that I've looked at, The Book of Muscle actually presents information and a workout plan that works for more than just those who are discovering weightlifting for the first time and will see huge improvements from any program. Those who are already very familiar with High Intensity Training (Killing yourself and then resting completely the next day or two) might not find much new here, but it still lays out the science of all the lifts, stretching, nutrition, and resting in a well-written and interesting style. Unlike many books, The Book of Muscle lays out the workouts in tables that can be photocopied and taken to the gym, or you can easily transfer the info to a spreadsheet, which is what I do.

    I'm looking forward to using the advanced routine to pack on another twenty pounds....more info
  • best workout/lifting book (that I've seen)
    This book really does deserve a 5 star rating. It does, for many reasons, but foremost because relative to ALL other lifting books, this one is one covers all the bases! It is written well and does a good job explaining all the stuff surrounding muscles and muscle building. The pictures are well done and neatly illustrate how to do the exercises. The programs are well designed for pretty much all people and take you through a good progression of low weight to heavy weights. There are lots of exercises to do and they keep on changing, so someone with a short attention span like myself won't get bored! All in all, this book separates itself from it's competitors in it's professional presentation, content and thoughtful and straightforward routines.

    I'm on the 7th week of the intermediate program after completing the beginner program. So far I've gone from 165 lbs to 178! All of this came at around 2/3s of the way through the beginner program (right when you start changing from low weight to heavy weight). Everyone really should start at the beginner program! I found it difficult and I was already in shape! If this book doesn't kick your butt you're doing something wrong. Don't flatter yourself thinking you'll get better results by starting at the intermediate program, just start at the beginner program unless you are very experienced. Chances are you bought this book because you ARE a beginner, so don't flatter yourself!

    Caveats: With all the hoopla surrounding supplementation, I'd have appreciated more talk on supplementation. The first few sections in the beginner program are a tad confusing. Such a strong focus on rear lat pulldowns and military presses can injure one's shoulders. ...more info
  • Pound for pound, this book was worth buying.
    the most comprehensive book on muscle building i've read. it includes every topic related to body building and health, as well as basic weight-lifting work outs and diets focused on gaining muscle mass. the book is illustrated with live photos and referrenced physical drawings of muscle groups. i recommend buying the hard cover, as you will probably referrence it regularly. ...more info
  • Great book
    I bought this book mostly for my dad who always complains that he needs to work up to compound exercises, which is partially true. This book has everything planned out for two years if you start at the beginners workout, diet and breaks included. I have started the intermediate workout because I am tired of spending hours online creating my own challenging routine, I now have an extra half hour each day. This is definately a great book, especially for beginners who are unaquainted with a majority of the exercises....more info
  • best of its kind
    For years my weight-lifting regimen has been an amalgamation of falsehoods, facts and assorted advice from friends and magazines. Any gains would always plateau after several months of lifting. I was spending time in the gym but not seeing results.

    This book changed that. The workouts in the back come from years of research. They work. I've seen increases in strength and size. And because of the cyclic nature of Ian King's programs, I continue to see gains.

    This book divulges the mechanics of muscle growth. It gives specific nutrition guidelines. And the routines in the back produce real gains.

    This book will give you all the information you need to lift weights. No gimmicks. No quick fixes. Just good information.
    ...more info
  • Kindle bad, paper good
    I will gladly change this rating from a 1 star to a 5 star if Amazon can tell me how to do one simple task: There are workouts in the back of the book. I want to print a page so that I can take that page to the gym with me to workout.

    With a paper version of the book I can copy a page (or three since the workouts are in A, B, C sets for a week) and take it to the gym with me. I can take notes one it and keep track.

    With the Kindle I can't even really read those workouts - not even when zooming in on the image. And even if I could I don't think the Kindle would be practical for viewing the workout and trying to take notes on it in the gym.

    The book is really in three sections (as I recall... I don't have it in front of me right now) a) good info about how the body works, b) excellent descriptions of all the exercises, and c) Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Exercise Programs.

    C is a section you will use 3 days a week for years.
    B is a section you will refer to occasionally to make sure you have the form correct and don't hurt yourself.
    A is a section you might go back and read every five years.

    On the kindle A is easy to read. B is more challenging, and C is almost impossible.

    Amazon - Please find a way to let me print a page from the workouts section of this book (c)....more info
  • Too much of a good thing
    On the plus side, this is probably the best book I've ever read on the subject of weight training. On the down side, boy, there is so much to each work out that it is overwhelming.

    I've been weight training for over 5 years and have used Body for Life and a number of the Men's Health training books. This volume, far and away, has the greatest number of new exercises to be used each week. In the intermediate program, e.g., there are 3 separate workouts to be alternated. Perhaps if someone has a half an hour a day to review the exercises, another 40 minutes to do them (and to tote the handsome volume to the gym), these are reasonable....but for someone who has other responsibilities, kids, job, home, this is a fairly time and concentration intensive program.

    That being said, I would certainly endorse this book for anyone who wants a genuinely serious, long term program. Too often, the Men's Health "Bibles" are limited programs, leaving the lifter who is committed with wondering "what next". This book provides enough variety and different routines to make it a great long term investment....more info


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