French journalist and anatomical illustrator Frédéric Delavier has changed the way millions of people view strength exercises with Strength Training Anatomy (Human Kinetics, 2010), and now, in a new third edition, he adds stretches for each of the major muscle groups.
“These stretching exercises are primarily for aiding function and for avoiding injury, not for acquiring exceptional flexibility,” explains Delavier. “I have also added new muscle-development exercises and have supplemented the old exercises with new drawings and annotations.” Twelve new strength exercises comprise some of the 48 additional pages in the new edition.
“In this edition injuries are discussed, such as the problems of acromioclavicular joint separation and neuralgia from bad positioning of the neck,” he continues. “But above all, what is unique about this new edition is the treatment of adaptation according to various morphologies, which have never been discussed in other bodybuilding texts. This edition features innovations in the practice of weight training and powerlifting with the aid of diagrams. The premise is that the exerciser is not the one who should adapt to the exercise; rather, the exercise needs to be adapted to the exerciser.”
With more than 600 illustrations, Strength Training Anatomy, 3E is widely considered the most compelling artwork ever applied to a strength training resource. While the illustrations showcase muscles, they also delineate how the muscles react with surrounding joints, bones and connective tissues. The book features 127 exercises for arms, shoulders, chest, back, legs, buttocks and abdominals.
Readers from athletic trainers and professional bodybuilders to casual athletes have found Delavier’s precise depictions helpful in understanding the muscles worked in particular exercises. “This book helps make you more aware of your muscles so you have another way of visualizing correct form in an exercise,” summarizes one reviewer.
Delavier’s signature illustration style allows readers to see the exercises from the inside out. “My drawing is built from the interior; this is what makes it realistic,” explains Delavier, who studied morphology and dissection extensively. “There is nothing better than drawing, by means of a pencil with help from computers, to explain a complicated thing simply.”
The author hopes his drawings help readers better understand and care for their bodies. “I would simply wish that people would be a little more conscious of their body and the way in which it functions, which can help them in many fields, because we live with our bodies all our life, and as elders say, ‘Know yourself.’ It is the beginning of wisdom.”
For more information see Strength Training Anatomy.