By Mike Lorenzo
Before I respond to Mr. Lorenzo’s ‘book,’ I should let the reader know what my experience is in the subject if I am to have any credibility.
I have been lifting weights and running for over 20 years. In high school, I participated in track, cross country, and power lifting, and I was fortunate to have excellent coaches. And to this day, I am continuously looking for ways to reach my goals and improve my performance. My routine changes often depending upon the specific goal I am working on at the time. I am not claiming to be an expert by any means, but it doesn’t take an expert to see that this author has little knowledge of his subject.
So let me start with the title itself. Can one grow muscle, get ripped, and build strength all at the same time? Quickly, even?
A men’s health article may say yes. However, the experts, along with any real experience, tell us “no.” Many long and scientific articles have been written on the differences between strength training and training to build muscle mass (hypertrophy training), and it is generally agreed today that these are quite different. As far as getting “ripped” and building strength at the same time, forget it. These are opposing goals.
I have many quotes that would demonstrate that this author is in no way qualified to give advice regarding weight training, but one should suffice for anyone who has ever grabbed a barbell:
“Deadlifts are an exercise that are also done while you are in a standing position. You are going to be taking a kettlebell and swinging it out and up in front of you straight off the floor before placing it back down and repeating the action.”
The author clearly describes a kettlebell swing, which is very different from a deadlift, the most basic, and arguably most important, lift in powerlifting. This destroys the whole book. I’m sure (or at least hope) that it will be corrected before anyone else reads the book, but Mr. Lorenzo’s credibility cannot be restored.
When discussing the “big four” lifts, the author says:
“…You are going to realize that your form is going to begin to break down after you have reached five [reps] anyways.”
Is that so? For strength gains, we may want to limit bench press and deadlifts to sets of five, but not for “explosive muscle growth,” and certainly not for “getting ripped.” Regarding squats, most trainers agree that sets of 10 are best, regardless of your goals, but especially when training for size.
The author later states that cardio, such as long distance running or cycling, is the preferred supplement for reaching the goals stated in the title. But again, these are opposing goals. For six years this reviewer lifted weights and trained for long distance races. My strength and size stayed mostly consistent. When I cut out the running, I gained 30 pounds of muscle without making any other changes. This gain, however, took a year and a half, which hardly qualifies as “fast.”
The author’s book is about 35 pages. There is no “trick” to be learned within those pages for anyone who has ever lifted a weight. And as the basic information is filled with misinformation, it is the wrong choice for a beginner regardless of the price.
Update: Take a look at the Amazon reviews for this book. They sound suspiciously enthusiastic and similar.