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Book Review: Alpha Male Challenge by James Villepigue

alpha male challengeThe Alpha Male Challenge is a pretty entertaining book by James Villepigue, whose work I first encountered with The Body Sculpting Bible For Men. AMC promises to Burn Fat, Build Muscle, and Adjust Your Attitude. It is that last part that makes the book so entertaining.

I share the author’s opinion that modern man today is much, much softer and weaker than the generations that preceded us. My grandfather is a World War II veteran and what passes for work and work ethic these days makes his skin crawl. He was from a generation that did what needed to be done, without excuses, and without handouts. His lifestyle was the opposite of sedentary.

I also agree that the current image of an Alpha Male is not necessarily the correct one. It is not just about being the most muscular or having the most strength. It is not about being a macho, inconsiderate brute. It is about power, compassion and strength, applied in their proper places.

What I can’t quite agree with is the Alpha Male Challenge’s methods to change your attitude. As far as the exercise and nutrition portions of the 10 week program, there is little here that will be unfamiliar to anyone with a couple of years of consistent weight training and study behind them. I do like the emphasis on life movements, however–there is a lot of jumping, twisting, running, pushing, and pulling that many workout books do not take into account while they are lauding the benefits of a zillion preacher curls and triceps kickbacks.

But as far as the 10 weeks of attitude challenges…if you think you need an attitude adjustment to be an alpha male I would as yourself if this challenge would help you. This is one of the assignments (paraphrased)

Go to a place of business. Ask questions of the merchants. Let your arms swing by your side. Look people in the eye. Spend one hour doing this.

I don’t know about you, but going down to GNC and asking the merchants to tell me about the products is not going to make my testosterone or confidence soar. I have never been extremely introverted, so perhaps that is who these challenges are geared towards: the modern day man who is so lacking in confidence that simply standing up straight and making eye contact will help him feel more self-assured.

There is nothing wrong with that! But if you consider yourself a self-confident person I would be wary about buying this book for the attitude adjustment portion. But as far as building lean muscle and getting your nutrition dialed in, James Villepigue always has great ideas. He is passionate about his field and I believe he cares about helping people, not just making a buck.

I am a fan of his books and can recommend them wholeheartedly to newcomers. But if that is you, don’t be afraid to experiment with other routines and variations of movements and exercises. We’re all different and I do not believe that the one-size-fits-all approach to exercise programs can benefit every body type and physiology for very long. Don’t be afraid to test things out. If you’re interested in biofeedback testing, it can be an easy way to determine which movements and rep schemes are best-suited to your situation.

Lift heavy, have fun, and enjoy the journey. You’re only doing it wrong if you’re not having fun!

Josh

Strength training for body and mind

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