The Physics of Resistance Exercise

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Doug Brignole

Every year, countless individuals engage in a resistance training program in an attempt to either enlarge their muscle size for enhanced physical appearance, increase their muscle strength for improved athletic performance, or maintain the ability to perform the activities of daily living that are important to them. Most of these fitness enthusiasts perform standard resistance exercises, as recommended by fitness professionals, personal trainers, and friends, or as presented in books, magazines, and websites. These standard resistance exercises are generally effective for the first few months of training, during which time most new participants experience gains in both muscle size and strength. Sooner or later, however, they encounter either an exercise-related injury or a muscle-development plateau.

When faced with exercise-related injuries, most people discontinue their resistance training program altogether. When faced with muscle-development plateaus, many people increase their training volume by performing more exercises and more sets of each exercise. For those individuals who have less favorable musculoskeletal genetics, high-volume resistance training typically leads to overuse injuries that can become chronic problems. For those exercisers who have more favorable musculoskeletal genetics, high-volume resistance training may be effective for eliciting additional gains in muscle size and strength. Adherence to high-volume resistance training programs, however, is physically demanding, mentally challenging, and time-consuming.

Thankfully, there is a safe and productive alternative to high-volume resistance training, based on more appropriate exercise selection and more effective exercise performance. In The Physics of Resistance Exercise, Doug Brignole presents a physics perspective for maximizing muscle development by doing the right exercises and doing them right. Doug applies his extensive knowledge of biomechanics to both the principles of resistance training and the practical applications of exercise performance.

The first 17 chapters in this one-of-a-kind book clearly explain the physics principles that are essential for optimal performance of all resistance exercises. Doug demonstrates an unusual ability to simplify complex biomechanical concepts through excellent examples and precise illustrations, so that readers can make appropriate practical applications to their exercise selection and execution.

The next eight chapters in this revolutionary book discuss specific resistance exercises for essentially all of the body’s key larger and smaller muscles. Doug details the strengths and weaknesses of various exercises, presents the most effective exercises for enhancing muscle development and avoiding injuries, and describes how to properly perform those exercises for best results.

Doug’s understanding of physics principles and musculoskeletal biomechanics is exceptionally impressive, as are the physique titles that he has achieved by putting this knowledge into practice throughout his 40-plus years of championship bodybuilding. As a former Mr. California, Mr. America, and Mr. Universe, Doug certainly knows how to train hard in the weight room. Equally important, Doug also knows how to train safely and efficiently (with fewer exercises and sets), by ensuring that each exercise provides maximum stimulus to the target muscle(s).

If you would like to enhance your muscle development with more productive exercises that offer lower injury risk and higher training effect, then you are reading the right book. You will definitely gain greater understanding of how your muscles work, how to work your muscles, and how to think critically about each exercise that you perform.