By Sal | December 1, 2010
It's a rare occasion these days when an exercise and fitness book isn't steeped in hype and gimmickry. All too often books and other learning materials that are geared for fitness professionals and fitness consumers employ a style-over-substance approach. Thankfully, "Anatomy of Strength Training," doesn't follow this formula, and as a result this book is a much-welcomed and needed breath of fresh air.
Manocchia, the owner and founder of La Palestra Center for Preventative Medicine in New York City, has taken 5 essential exercises and constructed an effective and efficient strength-training program that addresses the entire body. Too often, in an attempt to reinvent the wheel, fitness authors lose sight of the simple fundamentals. In "Anatomy of Strength Training," Mannocchia makes it very clear that his book is all about the basics, and that since the body moves in only 5 different ways - flexion, extension, adduction, abduction and rotation - his program will encompass these movements in all of its exercises.
The 5 essential exercises are deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, chin-ups and the ab wheel. These exercises, and all of their variations, provide the basis for a complete and extremely challenging program. The book includes a detailed progression complete with sets, repetitions, the weight progression and rest periods that lead from the beginner to the advanced levels. If you are unfamiliar with any exercises in the program - or their variations - the instructions and photographs in the book coupled with the programming details will give you all the information you will need to share these exercises with your clients. Every coach and fitness professional needs to be familiar with these 5 essential exercises and use them with all clients.
I do not believe in giving away details of books and other information products that I recommend because good products need to be supported through purchases, thus rewarding the creator. However, I will use Manocchia's own words in describing his program and philosophy. "There are NO SHORTCUTS! I in no way want the reader to assume that this is a 'seven-minute-a-day' deal. That is simply not ever the case. I am, and always have been, vehemently opposed to the idea of 'shortening' or 'condensing" the time required to be healthy and fit...The focus is specifically on how to maximize the quality of the process by organizing and simplifying it."
I recommend "Anatomy of Strength Training" to all athletic and fitness development coaches.