I recently bought Convict Conditioning, and as I was in the Kindle store anyway, I ended up buying three books in total (isnt Amazon they good with their you-might-also-like suggestions?). Anyway – I think Rip is awesome, so I thought I’d buy his latest book, which is called Strong Enough? Thoughts on Thirty Years of Barbell Training. I also bought Tim Ferris’ Four Hour Body, but I’ll write about this one another time, probably.
So how is this book? Let’s say that my subtitle for it would have been “Ramblings of a wise old man”. And I actually mean this as a compliment. Rip is not an accomplished author and the book does not have an overarching narrative and whatever you need to be considered grand literature. Also, the language is not the one generally found in high literature – except maybe in the writings of a certain Charles Bukowski. But the point is – it does not matter. It is really very easy: if you are into strength training, and Rip is talking, you listen. Full stop. End of story.
What is in the book? A lot – it really is a collection of essays on various topics related to (barbell) strength training. The first six chapters (and two later on) are about proper form in the lifts. Then there is one chapter about equipment, and the other one’s – well, it is just assorted topics related to weight training, all worth reading, and probably resonating more or less with any given reader depending on his own personal circumstances.
As to be expected there are loads of broadsides against the usual suspects – Gold’s gym and its patrons, the US olympic lifting coaches, the fitness industry – and as to be expected they are generally both very funny and ring very true (I did not get the running joke about extra-terrestrials though). I could go on here, but there is really no useful way to summarise or synthetise this book – it is simply a collection of important facts and insights, told in the incomparable Rippetoe manner. If you want to know more – read the book, and learn.
If you are lifting seriously, you owe Rip anyway to his contribution to this sport, so you might as well pay a couple of bucks to show him your gratitude.
Disclosure: I have paid the full retail price of the book – the entire £6.95 – out of my own pocket, and I have not received any other benefits for endorsing this book either. The links to Amazon are not even affiliate links…