Disclaimer: I’ve nothing to gain by recommending or not recommending a certain book. All opinions are unbiased and these reviews simply stem from the fact I like to read a lot and write down my thoughts. Yes, I’m geeky like that.
Paul Carter is a competitive powerlifter who shares his knowledge resulting from 20+ years in the Iron Game on his excellent blog over at Lift-Run-Bang. It was there that I first picked up small nuances that contributed to my training, such as paused squats (apparently they were a staple in powerlifting legend Ed Coan’s training as well, which should tell you something) and switching over to a thumbless grip on the military press.
Furthermore, my left hip flexor flared up several months ago. Consequently, squatting and sprinting went out of the window for a while. Even squatting to depth with a broomstick was painful, so I started doing more mobility work which helped a bit but the injury was still there.
I found the gamebreaker on Paul’s site – the good girl machine. Yes, the one old ladies use whilst gossiping about that bitch Irma from knitting class who was seen with some rich, silver-haired, handsome fella at dinner last weekend. After a few weeks of high rep rehab work on the GG machine, the hip flexor returned back to normal – and hasn’t bothered me since.
* Any book that begins with the words “Strength reigns. Strength is king.” can’t suck in my eyes. All too often we forget that we lift weights to get stronger, and that the simplest way to get stronger is increasing performance in the rep ranges most suited to reaching that goal.
Thus, if you’re DB bench pressing 20kg for 10 reps today, you better get out of your comfort zone and start pushing the envelope so that 3 months from now you’ve worked your way up to 25kg for 10 at worst – or at the very least can move 20kg for 15 reps.
I enjoyed tremendously the aspect that Paul Carter does not try to overcomplicate matters. Getting stronger is quite simple when you boil it down to its essence and you won’t find any long lost “secrets” in his book.
* Elaborate instructions on how to setup for the Big 3.
Granted, Rippetoe’s Starting Strength covers all of these lifts in more detail, and certainly if one is more inclined to appreciate the complexities of human anatomy and kinesiology, he should opt for SS. But for the regular Joe Schmoe who just wants to move more weight with good form SLL will get the job done very well.
* Training templates.
These are pretty much the meat and potatoes of the entire book. You’ve got one template dedicated primarily to strength, another to mass, yet another for in-season athletes (football, MMA, etc.) and also various ones for bodypart specialization (traps, shoulders, arms, chest, legs) aimed for advanced trainees.
From a training age perspective you probably could apply the principles in Strength Life Legacy for the rest of your life without the need to buy another training book/program. All bases from beginner to intermediate to advanced are covered in this one.
* The chapter on prehab/rehab is probably worth the money alone. If I injure myself again in training, I know where to turn first.
* Although the training information both in Strength Life Legacy and on Paul Carter’s blog is outstanding, I’ve always liked his “Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff” posts best.
Maybe it’s because I’m an opinionated asshole myself or because I think a lot about how utterly abhorrent living a life of mediocrity is and what being a man in today’s society means, these articles always resonate with me. A fine way to wrap up the book.
* I thought long and hard about some minor detail that I’d be able to point out as a flaw. The truth is, I couldn’t find anything. Yeah ok, I spotted a few typos here and there but if that’s the sharp end of my critique then you know the actual content is solid.
Whether a newbie or advanced lifter, you better pick this book up. I guarantee it’s money well spent.
I’ve seen trainers pimping their products for ridiculous prices. 47 or 67 bucks for an e-book is the norm nowadays, and some even go up as high as 77-97$. Usually the material is recycled from various sources, and once you’ve read a few dozen books on training, there’s seldom anything to be found that you haven’t heard before.
For 25$ Strength Life Legacy is a steal. And the content is top notch.
I’m really looking forward to taking one of the templates laid out in the book for a ride once I have finished my bodyweight training cycle at the end of the summer. The Strong-15 and Big-15 plans look sweet!
1. Be strong, be in shape.
2. Start your training cycle light.
3. Always try to hit new rep PR’s in training. Over time this will lead to a bigger and stronger you.
4. If you want to get good at a lift, practice that lift. The lifts actually build themselves. Use your assistance work to build the musculature involved in the lift.
5. There are too many weak-willed, intellectually immature and physically frail people taking up space on this planet already. Do not become yet another one of them.
Get after your goals and crush ‘em.
Click here to buy Strength Life Legacy (not an affiliate link).
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