BOOK REVIEW: SEPTEMBER 2015

Title: High-Intensity 300
Author: Dan Trink
Publisher: Human Kinetics Australia 2014, ISBN-13: 9781450455275
Details: Paperback, 343pp
RRP: $33.95 OR $28.86 for Network Members when buying online HERE and entering the Promo Code network2015

Review by Peter Lawler

Dan Trink is a new name in the strength publishing industry. He has accrued his credentials from the NSCA, US Weight Lifting Association, and the Charles Poliquin International Certification Program. A contributor to Men's Fitness, Livestrong and Muscle and Fitness magazines, this is his first book for Human Kinetics.

Dan's text is a response to the international growth of High Intensity Training (HIT) and CrossFit. His introduction is explicit:
‘Fans of HIT rave about the constant variety and lack of boredom characteristic of these types of workouts... they revel in the fact most training sessions last 30 minutes or less... devotees can experience dramatic change in both body composition and performance.’

Detractors are concerned about the excessive acceleration of programs – too hard and too fast for beginners, posing risk of injury. Further, given the thrust is ‘variety prevents boredom’, devotees may become 'Jacks of all trades, masters of none' because there is no dedicated focus on a specific strength domain like power.

What Dan the Man offers is a mandatory warm up procedure for each of the 300 workouts he has devised. True to the philosophy of HIT, the centuries of workouts that fill this phone-book limit themselves to the designated time, a mere 30 minutes. Program 4 on Page 31 contains just two exercises: the prisoner jump squat and pull ups (chins) – that's the workout. By Program 249 on Page 279 there are… four! Seated barbell press, wide-grip high pulls, diagonal cable pull and TRX face pull (whatever that is). Furthermore, gentle reader, if you peruse Program 278 there is a solitary exercise for you: the military press that you are expected to lift in as many sets of eight that you can complete in 25 minutes. That is a tough call. So too workout 264: complete as many 8-rep sets of full chin-ups in 25 minutes.

This book is unique. Critics would call it shambolic, rambunctious and chaotic. In truth, it is! Your standard strength and conditioning book provides myriad exercises for a specific body zone or a training mode like hypertrophy. As an example, ten chest exercises, eight bicep and ten abdominals indexed for consultation. The proud owner of such texts does not need a GPS to traverse the exercise universe.

High Intensity 300 walks a different path. It is free-range, organically grown and 100 per cent natural with no additives. There is no cohesion in the flow of workouts from one page to the next. The author has attempted to control the chaos. There are designated chapters entitled 'Ultimate Fat Loss' 'Getting Stronger' 'Targeted Muscle Builders'. All are loose interpretations of established practice. The fat loss chapter is flogging the body for high reps and minimal rest. The exercise is irrelevant. The treadmill and stationary bike make minimal appearances. Now that is interesting! The strength chapter advocates higher weights and longer rest. The Olympic bar is strongly advocated for compound exercise sets for holistic purpose.

The concluding chapter is ‘40 Toughest Workouts’ – this means tough exercises and more tough sets for very tough people. One should anticipate exhaustion! If you believe variety is the spice of life this book is YOU!

RECOMMENDED TO CROSSFITTERS AND FLAGGELANTS.