Last week, more than three years of hard work came to fruition with the publication of my book, co-authored with Coach Andy Baker of Kingwood Strength and Conditioning. The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After Forty is available from Aasgaard Press at a pre-sale discount until the beginning of December 2016.
The entire book is built on a theme I've been harping on for years now: If exercise is a medicine (and it is), and if it is the most powerful medicine we have in our arsenal against the chronic degenerative diseases of aging (and it is), then we should prescribe it - as a medicine.
This means we must specify the type, formulation, dosage, route of administration, frequency, duration, and therapeutic targets of our exercise medicine. We must prescribe an exercise medicine that is safe, with a wide therapeutic window, effective against the processes that drive unhealthy aging, comprehensive in its effects, and as simple and efficient as possible.
The problem is, most doctors, coaches, personal trainers, and the general public don't think of exercise medicine that way, if they think of it as medicine at all.
That's changing. The Barbell Prescription is going to help change it.
This book is for everybody. No, it's not Weightlifting For Older Dummies. It's written at the same level as Starting Strength and Practical Programming. Like those foundational and essential texts, The Barbell Prescription is not a "do this" cookbook. But anybody can read it if they put forward just a small fraction of the effort they're going to need when they go to the gym.
When I set out with Andy to write this book, I had three major purposes in mind:
1. End the argument. In Part One (WHY), we demonstrate
why strength training with barbells is the exercise prescription of choice for middle age and beyond, because nothing else comes close for safety, therapeutic window and dosing, completeness, simplicity, and effectiveness against the Sick Aging Phenotype. The argument is over. Definitively. QED. Case closed.
2. Formulate the Medicine. In Part Two (WHAT), the reader is introduced to the exercises and the training environment. This is not a replacement for Starting Strength , which remains the definitive analysis of the barbell movements. Part Two is rather an overview of the primary movements, their essentials of performance, and the alternatives available for Masters with certain physical limitations. Most importantly, Part II illustrates exactly how the squat, press, deadlift and bench press precisely fit the requirements of a General Exercise Prescription for the aging adult.
3. Write the Prescription. In Part Three (HOW), Andy and I provide the most exhaustive presentation, anywhere, ever, broken down by both training level and decade of life, of programming theory and practice for adults over forty engaged in training. Program templates are presented as prescriptions, and protocols for rational individualization, modification, sustained progression and troubleshooting are presented in depth.
Whether you're a relatively fit 52-year-old man who wants to get still stronger, or a 75-year-old lady who wants to arrest muscle loss, or a 90-year-old WWII vet who knows he's not done yet, the prescription is a program.
The programs are here.
We set out to make this book the definitive text on training for strength and health in middle age in beyond.
We succeeded. Your prescription is available for pick up. Time to take your medicine.