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Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning


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Table of Contents

Muscle physiology; neuromuscular anatomy and adaptations to conditioning; the biomechanics of resistance exercise; bone, muscle, and connective tissue adaptations to physical activity; bio-energetics of exercise and training; endocrine responses to resistance exercise; cardiovascular and respiratory anatomy and physiology - responses to exercise; physiological adaptations resistance and aerobic endurance training programs; age- and gender-related differences and their implications for resistance exercise; the psychology of athletic preparation and performance - the mental management of physical resources; performance-enhancing substances - effects, risks, and appropriate alternatives; nutritional factors in health and performance; eating disorders and obesity; principles of test selection and administration; administration, scoring, and interpretation of specific tests; stretching and warm-up; strength training and spotting techniques; resistance training; plyometric training; speed, agility, and speed-endurance development; aerobic endurance training; training variation - periodisation; rehabilitation and reconditioning; facility layout and scheduling; developing a policies and procedures manual; facility maintenance and safety.

About the Author

Thomas R. Baechle, EdD, CSCS, *D; NSCA-CPT, *D is the executive director of the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists Agency, the certifying body for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He has been a state and regional director of the organization, was president from 1983 to 1985, and served as its director of education from 1985 to 1990. He is an associate editor for NSCA's two periodicals--the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and Strength and Conditioning. In addition, he serves on NSCA's Tests and Measurements Committee, Research Committee, and Past President's Committee. Dr. Baechle has received various honors and awards from the NSCA, including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Outstanding Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year in 1985. He is also a professor and chair of the Department of Exercise Sciences at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

For 20 years Dr. Baechle competed successfully in weightlifting and powerlifting, setting various Midwest records. For more than 20 years he has been involved in the strength training and conditioning of college athletes. Dr. Baechle is certified as a Level I weightlifting coach by the United States Weightlifting Federation, as a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the NSCA, and as an Exercise Test Technologist and Exercise Specialist by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). He has written numerous articles and is the author of several popular texts on strength training. He has held various offices at the state and regional level in the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and is a member of NSCA, ACSM, National Association for Physical Education in Higher Education, and the National Organization for Competency Assurance.

Roger W. Earle, MA, CSCS, *D, NSCA-CPT, *D, earned his master's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in exercise science. In 2008, he became the Professional Education division director at Human Kinetics. Previously, Earle was the associate executive director for National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certification, where he was responsible for developing the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) certification exams. He also previously served as the head strength and conditioning coach and a faculty member of the exercise science and athletic training department at Creighton University in Omaha.

Earle has over 25 years of experience as a personal fitness trainer for people of all age and fitness levels, and he frequently gives lectures at national and international conferences about designing personalized exercise and training programs. He coauthored the first and second editions of Fitness Weight Training and coedited both the NSCA's Essentials of Personal Training and the first and second editions of Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning.


"The second edition of Essentials is outstanding- a must read and reference for anyone in the field of strength and conditioning. No other text compares to this work."
David Pearson, PhD, CSCS*D
Human Performance Lab, Ball State University
Board of Directors, National Strength and Conditioning Association
"The 'Essentials' text reflects the most comprehensive and up-to-date review of Strength and Conditioning information available to the public."
Anthony A. Abbott, Ed.D., CSCS *D, NSCA-CPT, *D
President, Fitness Institute International
Former Commanding Officer, Apollo Recovery Team
"'Essential'The title says it all! This new edition makes an already outstanding book even better. It compliments both the scientific and applied aspects of strength and conditioning and is a must for anyone working in the field, seeking NSCA certifications, or interested in pursuing the strength field as a career."
Kent Adams, Ph.D.
Strength Physiologist, University of Louisville
"This book is... an absolutely necessary reference for all personal trainers, strength & conditioning coaches, educators, students, and athletes who are serious about knowing the nuts and bolts, and underlying principles, of strength training and conditioning!""
J. Henry Drought, CSCS *D, NSCA-CPT *D
Owner, Personal Trainers Strength & Conditioning Consulting
Board of Directors, National Strength & Conditioning Association
"This book will provide the necessary tools for the novice to build a strong foundation of knowledge on which to build. It is also the perfect reference text for those more experienced in the health and fitness profession."
Jaynie B. Schram, MPH, MS, PT, SCS, ATC, CSCS *D
American Specialty Health, Manager Health Services
Executive Council member and chair for NSCA-CC, 1994-1999
"The first edition of Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning was touted as the first professional textbook to assist practitioners to develop strength and conditioning programs. Though there are fewer chapters with changes to some chapter titles, the Second Edition provides the reader with better defined chapter content covering more detailed information with current references (i.e. chapter name has greater emphasis on issues confronting the female athlete). The addition of a chapter overview and knowledge application section will assist the reader's understanding of the material presented. Among strength and conditioning textbooks, Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning continues to be the leader for this content area across many professional domains."
Kathleen M. Laquale, Ph.D., LATC, LDN
Professor, Bridgewater State College

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