BOOK REVIEW AUGUST 2016:
BUILDING MUSCLE AND PERFORMANCE

Title: Building Muscle and Performance
Author: Nick Tumminello
Publisher: Human Kinetics Australia, ISBN: 9781492512707
Details: Paperback, 360pp
RRP: $33.95 OR $25.47 for Network Members who have joined the Human Kinetics Rewards program HERE and use the promo code NETWORK16 at checkout.

Review by Tony Boutagy PhD, AEP, AES

Nick Tumminello is a highly regarded personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach and fitness educator. His previous book focused on strength training for fat loss (Strength Training for Fat Loss, Human Kinetics, 2014) and in his latest book, Tumminello explores everything a personal trainer (or interested trainee) would ever want to know about building muscle and improving performance.

The book is divided into three parts. Section One lays down the scientific understanding of the physiology and mechanics of muscle growth, physical performance and strength. This is an up-to-date and easy-to-understand discussion of program design, as well as ‘hot topics’ in the field, such as functional training, transfer of training, and exercise classifications.

Section Two comprises six chapters on exercise selection and techniques. An enormous amount of exercises are shown and explained in these chapters. Readers will benefit from the impressive diversity of exercise choices using barbells, dumbbells, cables, suspension, bands, kettlebells, body weight, ropes and even cardio options and modified strongman exercises. The section concludes with a detailed practical discussion of warm ups and cool downs, with numerous movements for the entire body. These chapters are a real highlight and strength of the text: a book which has such an emphasis on exercise variety using so many different means of loading is a very welcome addition to a trainer’s library.

The final section covers the training programs. Here, Tumminello begins with a chapter on foundational, or introduction, workouts and then has a chapter each on programs that emphasise performance, muscle growth, combined strength, speed and hypertrophy and concludes with a chapter on customising workouts to suit your needs, limitations and goals. This section is the other highlight of the text: numerous programming ideas and variations are discussed and outlined. There are enough workouts to keep one very busy for many years and ideas to reignite even the most tired trainer who has become stale with their programming!

Building Muscle and Performance is a highly recommended book for all interested in muscle, strength and performance. The sheer number of exercise options and usable programs, designed by a master trainer, makes this a ‘must-have’ for trainers and those who wish to grow and improve their performance.