I've never met Jim Stoppani, but I know we have at least three things in common: 1) We were both formerly Science editors of Muscle and Fitness magazine; 2) We both have a fascination and enjoyment of deep science or the minutiae that most others aren't that much into; 3) We both work out regularly and seriously. That's saying a lot since most of the staff of current bodybuilding and fitness magazines would have sand kicked in their faces if they ever went to the beach. But one look at Stoppani (that's him on the cover of his book) and you quickly realize that this guy is no armchair philosopher when it comes to bodybuilding. Stoppani served as the science editor of Muscle and Fitness and Flex magazines from 2002 to 2013. Prior to that, he had earned a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Connecticut. He later did post-graduate work in muscle physiology at Yale University School of Medicine. As such, Stoppani is well-qualified to write a book about how to develop muscle and strength. The fact that he also obviously trains himself, as he isn't shy about showing his multi-tattooed body (he is his own exercise model in the book) adds credence to his writing since he has both academic as well as practical gym experience.
His book, Jim Stoppani's Encyclopedia of Muscle and Strength, provides details about 381 exercises and 116 training programs. The first question a potential reader of this book might ask is: Why is a book such as this necessary considering the plethora of information available about how to train on the Internet, with most of it being free of charge? Definitely, a salient question. While there are countless exercise videos and websites available that seek to instruct about proper training, it's also true that anyone can post such videos, or set up exercise and training websites on the net. There is no requirement for any level of education or experience. As such, the large majority of sites and videos set up to educate about training are often inaccurate, dangerous, or just crap.
This is evident if you go to a gym such as Gold's Gym in Venice, where I train. You will quickly observe that at least 95% of those training in the gym seem to have no idea of what they are doing. They make up their own, often potentially dangerous, exercises. It's clear that they have never consulted any authoritative book or video that teaches both proper exercise form and how to put together an effective training system for building muscle and strength. This is where Stoppani's book can be a definite asset. In nearly 600 pages of text, he covers all the nuances and various systems and tricks needed to build muscle.
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