BOOK REVIEW

Title: The Modern Art of High-Intensity Training
Authors: Aurelien Broussal-Derval & Stephane Ganneau
Publisher: Human Kinetics Australia, ISBN: 9781492544999
Details: Paperback, pp224
RRP: AU $39.99 OR $31.99 when you use the code HK20 to SAVE 20% at the checkout HERE.

Review by Tony Boutagy, PhD, AEP, AES, ESSAM

This is one of those rare books that combines equal amount of theoretical information with practical, usable technique and programming advice! Broussal-Derval & Ganneau provide the reader with detailed descriptions of 40 major exercises, 127 workouts and 15-week programs. The training plans span from moderate to extremely difficult and will keep even the most devoted trainee busy (and sore!) for many months and, as such, is an extremely welcome addition to both the trainer and trainee’s library.

Section 1 comprises five chapters that cover the theory which lay the foundation that the all the exercises and workouts in book are built upon. Here, the authors explain the principles of training: progression, continuity, variety, non-linearity and load/recovery. The next chapter covers the physiology and bioenergetics of exercise, followed by a chapter on the potential elements that interfere with positive training adaptation. The final chapter in this section covers everything you ever wanted to know about warm-ups

Section 2 includes four chapters that cover in detail the technical aspects of the primary strength exercises: the clean and jerk, snatch, bent over rows, squats, bench press, deadlifts, pull-ups, push-ups, dips and the core. For every movement pattern, several derivatives, variations and unilateral versions are explained, including the use of kettlebells, tires, sandbags and ropes. These chapters provide some of the most detailed variations and explanations of advanced compound strength training exercises in print, making the text an invaluable addition to the desk of every personal trainer.

Another welcome addition to the text is a chapter devoted to running, running mechanics, with tips and programming advice.

A real highlight of the book is that for every primary exercise (and for every exercise derivative) that is described, the authors provide a sample workout emphasizing that movement pattern with a suggested set, rep and rest scheme. This - combined with the final chapter that outlines a 15-week program - gives the reader immense practical information that can be used for one’s own training or to guide the programming of our clients.

The Modern Art of High-Intensity Training is a must-read for not only CrossFitters but also anyone who designs programs that use advanced compound strength exercises and wishes to gain a greater understanding of exercise technique, safety issues, movement derivatives and the programming science and practical program variations.