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Book Review: The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden

I was cleaning out the trunk of my car and came across a box of books and other literature that I haven’t touched since I moved from my last job. On top of the stack was a mid-size paperback book with an athletic looking Casey Viator on the cover. It was Ellington Darden’s The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results. Seeing how it was Sunday afternoon and the Lions had the weekend off, I decided to reread it. I was quickly reminded why it is one of my favorite books.
One of the most valuable and entertaining portions of the book is when Ellington interviews two different characters from the “iron game.” Ben Sorenson is questioned for several pages by Ellington and gives thorough accounts of what bodybuilding was like back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Ben was a manager for one of the largest gyms in the nation at that time, and he paints quite the picture of what bodybuilding was then and what it’s grown into now.
The next interview is with one of my favorite personalities in the book. Kim Wood talks more about strength and conditioning from a coach’s perspective. There are some good bodybuilding stories in there too (which are about him). There are great pictures of Kim’s house, which is an awesome museum of strength and conditioning materials. There’s pictures of his son John Wood, who is an excellent business man and has a few great websites. If anyone is looking for some great training tools, go to www.functionalhandstrength.com and visit him (take a look).
For the majority of the book Ellington talks thoroughly about where the ideas and research stemmed from that formed the many fundamental principles of “HIT” training. He even throws some discussion in about the long time debate over Form vs. Intensity. Added to that, he writes clearly about how these principles can and have been implemented in strength and conditioning protocols for over decades.
This is a great read and it’s a quick read. One of the greatest things that this book is going to give its readers is a long list of names of people who have played a huge role in the evolution of strength and conditioning. This book is a great beginning to a strength and conditioning library.

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