T Nation

Made to Order muscle

I ordered Target Bodybuilding by Per A. Tesch after reading Mike Meija’s Made to Order Muscle(issue 131). This book interested me because I often debate with the guys at the gym about which lifts will cause the most growth and why. So I was pretty amped to get some evidence to back me up. I don’t want to say it’s complete garbage, but SAVE YOUR MONEY!

Disappointmen set in before I even opened the package. This thing is tiny! Only 25 pages longer than My current hard copy of T-mag. Trying not to judge the book by it’s size, I set out on the fully twelve minuets of reading.

Tesch starts out by explaining how he went about measuring the effects of the lifts he picked. basically after an excercise subjects tested via MRI to establish values for that excercize (what part of the biceps did the most work etc.). He gathered transaxial images every 1/2 cm along the area the lift was expected to work. Then gave the reader the results and his insight as to what this means to bodybuilders. Or did he?

First he tossed all MRI images taken so carefully every 1/2 cm and gave us just one. Sorry Mr. King, I know your the best strength coach in the world, (one of, if not the) but were gonna have to take that preacher bench from ya. you see it’s pointless. Perhaps Dr. Tesch is right but he will need to explain why before I take him off my jackhole list.

I also found the lifts he picked very incomplete. He found time to include “Standing Biceps Curl with EZ Bar and Arm Blaster” but left out things like the preacher curl. My biggest gripe is the book covers upper arms and legs, thats it. Do they not have chests, backs, or shoulders in Sweden Dr. Tesch?

Well mabey we can at least gather some insight from Tesch’s opinions on the results of his research. He wrote the book and he is a PhD/professor of physiology, surely getting paid. Tesch evaluates each excercise with only three sentences that you too could have easily written just by looking at the picture of the MRI.

Let me say that Mike Meija was not fully advocating this book. He was just basically saying that it was available and it was about the same subject as the article. I haven't burned the book yet and may in fact reference it in the future. I just feel it fell short of what it and Human Kinetics claimed it would be. You might be saying "Hey bud, chill out. What do you want for 20 dollars anyway?" Well the T-Mag is only $10 more for 6 times the print and 10,000 times the info.

Okay–so you didn’t like the book. But why do you compare it to T-Mag? Just review the book. Everyone here knows how cool T-mag is. And if you like preacher curls so much, then do them. Take as much information from as many different sources and then apply it to your life. Keep what you think is good, and disregard the rest.

Thanks bro, JD doesn’t seem to, but I appreciate that you took the time to give us your opinion about the book. It seems fair enough, I imagine that if anyone out there loves the book they will be sure to let us know.

I love the book. My biggest gripe with it is that it doesn’t cover chest, lats, or shoulders – only legs and arms. But it does show you for legs and arms exactly which muscles are activated and to what extent for a large number of exercises. And if Ian King or whoever disagrees with Tesch, then they’re wrong; Tesch has the MRI’s to prove it, which are far more reliable than anecedotal evidence.

I think the reason for arms and legs only is due to the fact that it uses MRI. I don’t believe they could have done an MRI of the chest area while lifting weights.

Does it really matter if all bodyparts weren’t used? If the evidence holds true for biceps and legs there shouldn’t really be any reason for it not being able to carried over to the rest of the body. A muscle is a muscle right? While it isn’t 100% proof, it is quite a bit of evidence supporting their hypothesis.