Keys To The Inner Universe

by Bill Pearl

This massive tomb is bodybuilding legend Bill Pearl's condensed but complete collection of accumulated weight training knowledge. Written in 1982, it's one of the classic books on weight training, as much a collector's item as it is a reference.

The book starts with a brief autobiography by Pearl, followed by a couple of sections about why weight training is beneficial for everyone and about the psychology of training and success in general. There are also short sections on energy systems, muscle physiology, and nutrition, which are not entirely accurate but are a satisfactory primer for the uninitiated. There is a short section on anabolic steroids and an interesting piece paying homage to Eugene Sandow.

The next several hundred pages of the book consist of exercise descriptions. These are categorized into sections based on body part groupings. For each section, you get a brief overview of training that body part, anatomy of the body part, and pictures of the equipment needed to work that body part. Next, a plethora of exercises are listed for that body part, showing you pictures of start and end position and a paragraph or so description of the exercise. To say the listing of exercises is complete would be a gross understatement; there's over 200 exercises listed for the biceps alone. There are some anatomical inaccuracies (e.g., targeting the "inner pecs") in these sections, but overall, the section's usefulness far outweighs the occasional misinformation. Unfortunately, there's very little information in the way of suggested organization of routines; there's exactly four sample routines in the entire book.

Overall, the body part exercise sections make this a valuable reference for any strength trainer. Although some of the information is not scientifically correct per se, it's still worth adding to your training library. Overall grade: B+.

Bill Pearls Website



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