Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What I am reading...

I am adding a semi-regular column to my blog called "What I am reading" for those of you who are book worms or those of you who ought to be book worms and need ideas for books one should start with!

The book I am reviewing/reading this month is called Strength Training for Triathletes by Patrick Hagerman Ed D, published by VeloPress, a division of Competitor Group, Inc. The book boasts over 75 exercises to build muscular endurance and power, and the sub title of the book is 'A sport-specific program that will improve efficiency and performance in just 3 weekly workouts.' The book is divided into three parts that focus on the scientific background and premise for philosophy of training, how to prepare for the program, and the exercises themselves.

In the first section Hagerman discusses the difference between strength training and endurance training. He juxtaposes the admonition and purpose of training for a bodybuilder vs. Olympic lifter vs. specific-sport strength builder. Hagerman also discusses the difference in format of a training session and how a specific-sport strength workout will look in comparison to other strength routines. Lastly he discusses the way that the specific-sport strength routine progresses.

In the second section the author outlines the components and preparation necessary for designing and implementing a strength program. This includes equipment and tools, the format of the individual strength session, how to choose the right exercises and a variety of sample training programs.

The last section of the book outlines the various exercises that a triathlete would use in her strength training regimen to target muscle groups that are utilized in the sport. Most of the exercises are non-machine exercises that can be performed with little more than a fit-ball, a weighted medicine ball, and some light dumbbells. This is especially brilliant for those athletes that do not want the added expense of a gym membership in their budget.

What I like best about the book, aside from the excellent content and tremendous ideas, is the authors tone and writing style. Dr. Hagerman writes in a very easy to read, smooth tone, and gives wonderful analogies and anecdotes to explain the principles and concepts he includes. The book retails for $21.95 (USD) but can typically be found for far less on or other online book sellers.