who need 'em?
then, there's the rub. Ordinarily I'd be wary of a book on shrugs. Why? Because
shrugs are isolation exercises, and isolation exercises mean things like pec decs,
leg extensions, bent-over lateral raises and other crap movements.
my initial reaction is "shrugs? talk to me after you can bench 300lbs, squat
400lbs and deadlift 500lbs" (Stuart McRobert's
goalposts of decent strength achievement). I mean, why bother about training
your traps in isolation if you can't deadlift triple bodyweight? That's like worrying
about your racing suspension set up whilst driving a Vauxhall Nova (that's a crap
little hatchback car for you non-Brits reading this). Stick to the big lifts,
hold on a minute, Kelso's brilliant
Powerlifting book works on exactly that philosophy, so why the obsession with
shrugs? (This is Kelso's second book about them).
journey starts as a lanky, skinny arsed juvenile with a boney gap between his
shoulder blades. After some stumbling experimentation, he discovered the solution
- shrugs, or rather a special bent-over-shrug. His name has since become synonymous
with the exercise - The Kelso Shrug - and you get a whole chapter on it.
so you guys with a skinny middle back are sorted. Who else?
got a shrug for just about everyone. Are you a Powerlifter? Try the Bench Shrug
- Kelso claims his trainees have added 20 pounds on the bar after just a month
about the Shrug Dip or "Monkey Dips" -apparently a great serratus exercise
for you bodybuilding types out there.
who covet a big neck? Try the Wide Grip Shrugs.
onto the mythical Hise Shrug. This one is steeped in iron-lore. Skinny-arse Joe
Hise reputedly gained 29lbs of bodyweight in a month whilst doing these plus the
milk+squats formula. (the subject of Randall Strossens Super Squats). It's a strange
little movement that's supposed to increase rib cage size and shoulder girdle.
I have to admit to being a little sceptical, but there's plenty of anecdotal evidence
that swears by it's efficacy. What can I say? Have a go. If nothing else it will
condition your body to handling heavy weights for the squat.
covers a load more shrugs too.
a lot more comfortable with the second half of the book. It's straight up good
advice on how to get big and strong.
Trap Bar is given a chapter and rightly so. Kelso has been championing it for
years. If you can get your hands on one do so. It's straight up powerlifting advice
and it's great. Loads of routines to get your teeth into.
next chapter is about Rib Cage Expansion and Overall Growth. Most notably here
is the legendary breathing squat routine. It's all here and covered very well.
If you are skinny take Kelso's advice here and you'll pack on pounds. You'll find
heaps of routines, all good, that will last you years if not a lifetime.
is always complaining about not having enough time to train. Well Kelso's got
that covered as well. He's got a bunch of abbreviated routines, his favourite
being this one:
& Military Press/Squat hybrid - one horrible knackering set.
a set of breathing flies - 15 reps
a set of abdominal work - 15-15 reps
one set of DB biceps curls for vanity - 10-12 reps
out of tbe gym. One rep.
is a superb writer, he has that enviable easy reading effortless style that gives
you the impression he wrote the whole thing in one sitting and it was perfect
first time. Remember Fonzie's hair-do in the Happy Days opening sequence? Kelso's
writing is like that.
second part of the book is excellent and well worth the price of admission alone.
There you go, a brilliant how-to-get-strong book with a shrug book thrown in for
free. You can't lose.