My Gay Toronto - Pumped


reviewed by Bob Manders

The world of fitness and training has a plethora of books and instructional guides, and today I present to you a new one: "Strength Training", by DK publishing. It is a beautifully illustrated guide with tons of information about how to train well. You are lead through each exercise by well designed figures performing  in sequence, leaving very little to the imagination about what to do and how to do it. They are anatomically detailed too, showing precisely what muscles you are using. There are acres of charts from which you can use to create you own perfect workout. Strength Training also covers how to train for different sports, for different body types and conditions. It is thorough in its encyclopedic data base of physiology, and applied science.

I read Strength Training from the point of view of a semi-pro bodybuilder. While I have few questions about the quality of the content, I do have to wonder about its presentation. Who is the target market? The title is a clear statement of specific goals, yet the content is so general that it belies its nature. "Strength Training" suggests muscle-pumping, heavy-duty workouts. The illustrations, mostly of fit women and men, are something quite different. For general fitness, the contents are perfectly fine, but the title itself may turn off many women who would benefit for the training system it describes. Generally, most women want to lose weight and get fit, shying away from any implication of building muscles. Many guys would be attracted to the hard core muscle title, but be disappointed by the generalized fitness/healthy lifestyle content. In other words, you really can't judge a book by its cover.

There are graphs and charts galore. They are beautifully laid out, if you have the time and determination to plow through the layers of data. It is not easy reading, being more like a text book written by committee. If the workout systems in "Strength Training" are applied, any person can make progress. The questions are: who has the patience to digest a book that they discover isn't for their particular ambition: and how many will miss the golden opportunity because it didn't seem appropriate at the time?

Strenth Training - published by DK ( and it can be purchased for $25.95 at, Indigo, Chapters or online through

Bob Manders is a personal trainer and bodybuilding coach.
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