Q: I’m a personal trainer and would like to know more about anatomy, but Gray’s Anatomy is just too intense. What would you recommend?
A: Unquestionably, the most popular anatomy books for bodybuilders are those illustrated by Fredéric Delavier. His Strength Training Anatomy was the first book published by Human Kinetics to have sold more than 1 million copies. Delavier followed up that work with the fully illustrated Strength Training Anatomy for Women and most recently The Strength Training Anatomy Workout. I have all of them in my personal library.
Delavier knows anatomy and knows weight training. He studied morphology and anatomy for five years at École des Beaux-Arts, a prestigious art school in Paris, and also studied dissection for three years at the Faculté de Médecine in Paris. Delavier was the powerlifting champion of France as well and contributed to Le Monde du Muscle and Men’s Health Germany, and he was the editor in chief of the French magazine PowerMag.
Instead of memorizing isolated muscles and bones and other anatomical structures—or studying cadaver dissections—a personal trainer will get a much better understanding of anatomy studying Delavier’s books, as they use real-world examples of functional movement.
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most successful strength coaches, having coached Olympic medalists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.CharlesPoliquin.com. IM