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Training for Mass: Second Edition


Most bodybuilders operate under a simple misconception: To build muscle, you have to wear yourself out with long, draining workouts. The first edition of Training for Mass showed that this notion is false—and it explained how growth comes instead from the stimulation of brief, highly intense exercise. The Second Edition brings an even greater depth of analysis to what may be the most effective and efficient strategy of mass-building ever devised. Just like the original, the Second Edition is not a picture book. It's filled instead with serious information and thoughtful analysis—all aimed at challenging its reader to think.

All bodybuilding books tell you how to work out. Almost all offer some rationale for their advice. However, the great majority of these books commit the fatal error of basing their rationale on correlation rather than cause-and-effect. Thus many books offer poor advice, because their authors don't understand the mechanism of growth stimulation. For ages, bodybuilders have been using long workouts in an attempt to build their muscles. A few lucky individuals have success with this strategy, and immediately jump to the wrong conclusion that their training is optimal. What they don't realize is that they could have had equal or better results by performing a fraction—in some cases a small fraction—of their workload.

High-intensity training was designed to exploit the scientific finding that intensity is the only important factor for muscular growth. The Second Edition of Training for Mass explains, in detail, this mechanism of growth stimulation. It also describes the ideal way to apply this knowledge in the gym. But this isn't all armchair theory. The author and several other notable figures have used these techniques to become champion bodybuilders. At least one achieved the status of world champion by using these methods.

Changes for the Second Edition: Several key sections have been revised. A good deal of attention is now paid to the technical details of working sets, all the way down to the character of individual reps. There should now be little doubt about what an ideal workout should look like. The chapters dealing with intensity, duration, and specificity received an overhaul. Several other chapters, including Working sets, Volume and injury, Free weights vs. machines, Range of motion, Nutrition, and the conclusion have been rewritten and/or expanded. Almost every part of the book was changed at least somewhat. There are also some new appendices covering controversial topics, including a section on steroids. The new version also has 35% more content overall than the original. Beyond that, it's the same basic book: It emphasizes the use of logic in determining training routines and methods, with advice based on a combination of rational consideration and real-world experience. It's as much a book of analysis as instruction; it emphasizes theory and touts evidence; it shuns dogma and questions tradition. Like the first edition, it's full of unusual insight and instances of dry humor. It's like no other training book on the market.

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