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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 9:44 pm 
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 8:43 am
Posts: 5252
Location: New Jersey
Title: Kelso's Shrug Book
"For Weightlifters, Powerlifters, and Bodybuilders, Includes "Trap Bar" and Chest Expansion Methods"
By Paul Kelso

Substance 5 out of 5 (nothing else has more about shrug movements)
Presentation 3 out of 5 (repeats itself a lot, not especially well organized)

Table of Contents:
Chapter One: A Shrugger’s Education
Chapter Two: Shrug Variation
Chapter Three: Shrug Training for the Bench Press
Chapter Four: Shrug Variations for Other Competitive Lifts
Chapter Five: Training With “Trap Bars” and the Like
Chapter Six: Ribcage Expansion and Overall Growth
The Shrug Laws
Appendix One: Courses Using the Techniques in this Book
Appendix Two: Related Publications by the Author

Kelso's Shrug Book is a collection of writings done by Paul Kelso on shrugs. Not just normal barbell shrugs, but all sorts of variations - bent-over shrugs, chinup shrugs, lateral cable shrugs, trap bar shrugs, overhead shrugs, bench shrugs, shrug dips. Basically, if there is a limited-range stiff-armed "shrug" you can do with an exercise, it's probably discussed somewhere in here, along with ideas for using them to complete a workout, break a sticking point, or otherwise improve your performance.

The various chapters are useful for their topics - the bench chapter is all tips on improvements in the bench press, improving your arch, etc. using shrugs as supplemental training. Same with the chapter on competitive weightlifting's use of shrugs, although that chapter is only 4 pages long.

The trap bar and ribcage expansion discussions are also good but off-topic for a book nominally about shrugs, but it's good stuff. Basically they consist of routines and discussion about lifting heavy and getting bigger, and beat most routines people start with. There is a nice bonus of a clean & jerk routine using the "20 rep squat" framework, used by Paul Kelso when he was traveling and light on time.

Overall the book is good, and I enjoyed it a lot. But unless you intend to shrug a lot, or you're a powerlifter needed to work on arching, or a beginner willing to do the routines included, it's not a must have. But it's still a good purchase. Basically if you're going to shrug a lot or want to, get this. It's as thorough a look at the subject as anyone put together.

I'm a bit biased in favor of this book because it's a good read, and because Paul Kelso once gave me some incredibly useful advice about living in Japan, so I've tried to lean a little harder the other way to even out the evaluation.

Here is another review of this book, over on a submission fighting page:

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