Book Review: Power Speed Endurance by Brian MacKenzie
Brian MacKenzie’s book is a good read. I have been reading it since last year and am now reviewing it again after having completed the first half of the book. The book covers some interesting topics such as power training, speed work, high intensity interval training (HIIT), and even strength training.
There are many chapters with different types of exercises. Each chapter starts off with a short description of what the exercise is and then goes into detail about how it works. Some exercises include a warm up, cool down, and other details like muscle groups involved or rest periods between sets.
The book does not go into great depth on any one topic but rather presents them all in a logical order so that readers can pick out which ones they want to focus on next. For example, there is a section on speed work and the book gives examples of each type of workout. These workouts usually involve several exercises done at various intensities.
A typical set might consist of 3 reps with 50% effort followed by 2 reps with 75% effort, etc.
Another chapter discusses HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This involves doing multiple sets of very short bursts of intense activity separated by recovery periods. The book states that one of the main benefits of this style of training is improved cardiovascular fitness (VO2 Max).
From my own experience, this style of training is very intense and you are usually sore for several days after a session. In fact, I have even heard that some elite athletes cannot stand more than one session per week because their bodies need more time to recover.
The last major chapter covers strength training. This consists mainly of free weight exercises rather than machines. I personally prefer free weights over machines since you use stabilizer muscles to balance rather than anchoring yourself to the machine.
He advocates that beginners should start light and focus on proper form before moving up in weight. The chapter then lists a number of compound exercises such as barbell and dumbbell bench presses, squats, deadlifts, cleans, and row variations.
In conclusion, I would say the book is well worth reading. While some of the topics are covered elsewhere (such as on this site), they are presented in a logical, easy-to-follow format that should be beneficial for anyone interested in improving their fitness.
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