Book Review: More Muscle
By Ron Avidan

More Muscle was written by Ken Sprague, a best selling author and founder of the first Gold's Gym. More information on how to get this book, published in 1996, can be found at the web site of Human Kinetics.

The people who read and reveiwed the book found it to be informative, easy to understand, and quite interesting for the average person who wants to have 'more muscle' and get into shape. However, for your benefit, included here are the preface of 'More Muscle', the Table of Contests, and a little bio about Ken Sprague.


The genesis of More Muscle goes back more than 20 years when I was owner of the original Gold's Gym in Venice, California. The notes I began jotting down on both the practice and scientific basis of weight training had the makings of a book. In fact, I remember the original working title: Gold's Gym Science of Sport - a mouthful of pomp and circumstance.

My work at Gold's Gym offered a unique vantage point. The world's most "hard-core" bodybuilders, weight lifters, and professional athletes trained there, hour after grueling hour, to meet their lofty goals. And the few exercise scientists who were, at that time, studying the effects of weight training, followed the champions' every footstep.

Many of the gym members were everyday people, from all walks of life, with more modest training goals. Some were weight training for fitness, some for improved sports performance, some to achieve a more attractive appearance. Yet, however different the training goals for elite and average lifters may have been, all lifters had one thing in common: a desire for physical change.

More Muscle will help you achieve the positive physical changes you seek. If you are a high school or college athlete who wants to improve your strength and power, a well-developed bodybuilder who wants to look even more cut and buffed, or a fitness enthusiast who lifts regularly at home or the gym to get in better muscular shape, this book is for you.

In More Muscle you'll find man exceptional features, including the following:

  • A no-nonsense explanation of why weight training works.
  • Information-packed sections explaining the capabilities, special stresses, and the care and repair of the weight trainer's body.
  • Chapters that address your specific training goals. Is it more muscle mass you want, more strength, or more muscular endurance?
  • Fully illustrated exercises for both free weights and machines
  • Sample basic, advanced. and sport-specific lifting programs.

More Muscle is a composite of the training programs and opinions of those thousands of successful gym members, from Arnold Schwarzenegger who I saw every day in the gym, to men and women less renowned but equally content with their weight training achievements. More Muscle is also a personal statement, based on my 35 years of weight-training experience and a formal education that includes a Phi Beta Kappa key in science.

Part I prepares you for the training programs to come with a foundation of muscle building knowledge combining practical experience with the latest scientific research. Broad concepts of biology and physics are presented in terms of their significance for the weight trainer.

Part II is devoted to training, both how-to advice and supplementary information that brings the advice to life. Your personal training goals determine which training approach is for you: more muscular strength and power; more muscular endurance; or more muscular mass.

Part III is full of sound strategies for nutrition. weight gain or loss, and injury prevention; strategies that have worked for a generation of champions.

Let me add a final, important point about you and More Muscle. Whether you want more muscle, more strength, or more endurance, the two most important ingredients in reaching your goals are motivation and expertise.

Here is the table of contents of the book 'More Muscle'.

Table of Contents

Part one: How the Weight Trainer's Body Works

Chapter 1: Basic Muscle Science

  • Muscle Work Through Contractions
  • The Operating Strength of Muscle
  • Overload; The Driver of Muscle Changes

    Chapter 2: Basic Cardiovascular Science

  • The Weight Trainer's Unromantic Heart
  • Blood and Gases
  • Transporting Heat, the By-Product of Contractions
  • Cardiovascular Training: The Basics
  • Super Strength and Cardiovascular Endurance Don't Mix

    Chapter 3: The Mind Body Connection

  • The Brain: A Living Computer
  • Smarter Nerves
  • Tissue Remembrance: Returning after a Layoff
  • System Interactions
  • Motivation: You've Gotta Want It!

    Chapter 4: Genetics

  • Who has more muscles, Mr. Universe or Miss America?
  • Interfering with Nature: Steroids
  • Genetics and Physical Characteristics

    Chapter 5: Age Specific Training Factors

  • Kids and Weight Training
  • Adolescence: The Growth Spurt
  • Getting Older (than 30)

    Part Two: Getting More Muscle From Your Training

    Chapter 6: More Muscular Strength and Power

  • First of all: What is Strength?
  • Strength and Power: The Dynamic Duo
  • Sets, Reps, Weight, and Training Days
  • Strength and Power Training Programs

    Chapter 7: More Muscular Endurance

  • No Pain, No Gain?
  • The Connection Between Strength and Muscular Endurance
  • Stick to Specifics
  • Muscular Endurance Training Programs

    Chapter 8: More Muscle Mass

  • Want Big Arms? Work the Legs
  • The 'Pump-Up". Extra Energy for Working Muscles
  • Bodybuilding: Isolation Exercises
  • Muscle Mass Training Programs

    Chapter 9: Lifting Techniques and Tips

  • Thigh Exercises
  • Calf Exercises
  • Chest Exercises
  • Back Exercisers
  • Shoulder Exercises
  • Biceps Exercises
  • Triceps Exercises
  • Abdominal Exercises

    Part Three: Maintaining the Weight Trainer's Body

    Chapter 10: The Table to Muscle Diet

  • Well Balanced: A Little of Everything
  • Counting Calories
  • Basic Nutrients

    Chapter 11: Weight Gain, Weight Loss

  • The Body Feeds on Itself
  • Gaining Muscle while Losing Weight? It won't happen.
  • Bulk Up, Cut Down
  • Spot Reducing: It's in the Eye
  • Selective Muscle Loss
  • Getting Better, not just Bigger
  • Crash Weight Loss: A Homeostatic Shock!

    Chapter 12: Training Safely and Nursing Injuries

  • Rules for Safe Training
  • Emergency Treatment: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
  • Common (and Uncommon) Muscle Injuries
  • Long Term Maintenance Strategies
  • Returning after a Layoff

    About the Author

    Ken Sprague is a pioneer and a giant in the fitness industry. He owned and operated the original Gold's Gym in Venice Beach, California, for more than a decade. Under his leadership, the gym grew from a small business that grossed less than $20,000 a year to a world-famous, multimillion dollar conglomerate of fitness related businesses and entertainment events with more than 400 locations worldwide.

    Because of this great success, Ken has been featured in hundreds of magazineand newspaper articles as well as on many television shows, including 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, and The Regis Philbin Show.

    Ken has 35 years of practical weight training experience as well as a Phi Beta Kappa science degree from the University of Oregon and advanced training in sports physiology and psychology. During his career, he has used his expertise to train dozens of world and national weight lifting and bodybuilding champions. He has also shared his knowledge by lecturing on weight training and by writing several books on the subject. The Gold's Gym Book of Weight Training, Ken's first book, raised the public's interest in working out with weights and was a catalyst for the fitness boom of the 1970s and 80s. His other books include The Gold's Gym Book of Strength Training for Athletes, The Gold's Gym Book of Bodybuilding, The Athlete's Body, Sports Strength, and Weight and Strength Training for Kids and Teenagers.

    As an organizer of weight training and bodybuilding events, Ken has also been very successful. During his years at Gold's Gym, he directed National and International bodybuilding championships, Mr. America competitions, National Powerlifting championships, and the first women's bodybuilding exhibition. Today, Ken continues- to write, teach, coach, and lecture about weight training. In his leisure time, he enjoys doing carpentry, taking fossil hunting field trips, and cross training with his wife, Donna. and their son, Chris.