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Reviews

 
 
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9/10 My Search for the Holy Grail of Fitness.....
 
By Sgt Will Mueller, USMC / Beaufort, SC USA

For years I have been searching for the "Holy Grail" of fitness. Being an active duty Marine, my state of physical fitness is a huge priority. I have used several different aproaches; from the Matt Furey bodyweight calisthenic routines, which were great for a time but were lacking in the extreme strength gains that I want, to the Crossfit craze, which made me stronger but also made me chubby and lose cardio stamina. Kettlebells, on the other hand, had a great effect on my stamina and strength, but I still did not make the gains I have with only three weeks of the Purposeful Primitive regimen.

I can't say enough about the Purposeful Primitive. Like I said before, I've only been using this routine for three weeks and have already seen the gains in both strength and cardio stamina that I need.

 
9/10 Strength and fitness, presented as it should be!
 
By Ryan Wann / Yorba linda, Ca, U.S.

This book presents strength and fitness in a way the speaks to the uninformed and the highly educated. Marty Gallagher uses plain English to describe the foundational truths that academia seems to enjoy over complicating with scientific jargon. I have a graduate degree in kinesiology and work with the general public. I not only learned from Mr. Gallegher, but also found effective ways to communicate to my clients. Purposeful Primitive should be looked to as the basis of what physical culture should be today. A must read!

 
10/10 Marty Gallagher - The Master of Iron!
 
By Michael Krivka, Senior RKC / Gaithersburg, MD, United States

Marty Gallagher, the author of "The Purposeful Primitive" is a legend in the Powerlifting community. He not only held World and National titles, he has coached others to those lofty heights as well. As a writer he has penned over a thousand articles on training and has written two other books in addition to The Purposeful Primitive: Coan: The Man, The Myth, The Method and Strong Medicine. He is currently working on several other projects that will be released in coming months - all with his trademarked "in your face" style of writing that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until you understand what he is trying to impart.

The Purposeful Primitive is Marty's "magnum opus" and contains the seeds of greatness. His dissertations on training, periodization, nutrition, and related subjects are required reading for anyone who is serious about developing absolute strength and keeping it. Let's put it this way: Marty is a SME (Subject Matter Expert) for the U.S. Navy SEALs and works with them several times a year on their strength and conditioning requirements - and has been doing it for a number of years. He also does consulting for the British SBS and SAS as well as other Tier One Spec Ops personnel. If you are thinking that you want to have the same "insider knowledge" that these guys have then you should get a copy of The Purposeful Primitive and study it from cover to cover!

 
10/10 If you are a student of the Iron Game, if Marty writes it, read it!
 
By Mark Reifkind / San Jose Ca

Unless you were a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter in the 70's, 80's and 90's; or even if you were, you would be hard pressed to find more and better information about the real world of training than in Marty Gallaghers lastest epic, The Purposeful Primitive. Marty is without peer as a writer in the Iron World, combining a rare and unique ability to transmit inportant training and historical data at the same time making it seem like he is just telling a story to his training buddies. Marty last book about the greatest powerlifter in history Ed Coan: THe Man,The Myth, The Method was just a taste of the information and in depth insight Marty has given to the critical aspects of body transformation in The Purposeful Primitive. Covering resistance training, cardiovascular work, real world nutrition info from the trenches and the rarely examined but critical aspect of the mental game Marty hits on all cylinders in a very easy to read examination of how to REALLY change your body the way it's been done by experts for many years. He backs it up with many examples of regular people using his techniques with great success. The fact that Pavel considers Marty his mentor should say it all.The fact that Marty writes so well makes reading everything he writes a joy. I love the in depth look at the Iron Masters; the guys I grew up idolizing and patterning my training after.Information, inspiration and motivation all in one incredible book. Great job Mr Gallagher, can't wait to see what you come up with next! Rif

 
10/10 The best book on weight training I've ever read
 
By Sladd / Los Angeles

I've read several books on weight training over the years, starting with Randall Strossen, culminating with Pavel's Beyond Bodybuilding. A lot of great stuff out there, but this just blows them away. Gallagher has a very engaging writing style and his knowledge is second to none. I recommend this to anyone interested in weight training - should be the start of their collection if they are just beginning, I feel. Worth every penny.

 
10/10 A master piece on the world of strength.
 
By Ken Kaiser / Westminster, CO USA

If you are a power lifter Gallagher's "The Purposeful Primitive" is a must read. Templates and training tips from the worlds greatest power lifters and strength athletes are interspersed with prose that will amuse, delight, and educate anyone interested in the world of strength training. I have already read and reread the gems of knowledge that Gallagher has mined from the minds of the experts in lifting, mental focus, and nutrition. As a fellow lifter said, "If reading this book doesn't put pounds on your total, you ain't paying attention".

Gallager's ability to enlighten us regarding the greatest lifters the world has ever known is worth the price of the book in itself. Yet this book is so much more. (The section on the transformation of obese individuals who Gallager put on power lifting programs should be required reading for every spandex wearing personal trainer and internet "fitness guru" on the planet.)

Are you all about getting bigger and stronger, are you driven to constantly lift more weight, do you find yourself enraged by the "get fit quick" schemes/devices on TV and the internet, are you constantly searching for hard cold truth on improving power liting performance, do you eat, drink, sweat and bleed iron? If you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions then you need to make Gallager's master piece a part of your strength library.

 
10/10 Simply fantastic...
 
By Brett Jones, MRKC, CSCS / Pittsburgh, Pa

I have just completed my first reading of Marty Gallaghers's new book The Purposeful Primitive (notice I said 1st reading) and have been educated, challenged, validated and entertained. This fitness book contains true "fitness wisdom" and is a must have for trainers and trainees alike.
Not a fluffy feel good approach to what is referred to today as "fitness", the Purposful Primitive is a clear distillation of a simple approach to strength, nutrition, cardio and the mental side of performance. Simple does not mean easy as you will earn your primitive stripes!

Brett Jones, Master RKC, CSCS

 
10/10 Holy Sh*t! It's about Freakin' Time!!!
 
By Zach Even - Esh / Edison, NJ

I haven't even read the entire book, and I am FLOORED with this information. POWERFUL, INSPIRATIONAL AND PRACTICAL...Oh yea, the workouts I've read, the info prescribed, all of it will transform anyone into a freakin' animal!

Where was this stuff when I was a competitive athlete! This is going straight into the hands of the Coaches at my gym for education and inspirational purposes.

This book is about what training should be and unfortunately is not in way too many places. It is long overdue that we have such a book like this!

The photos, the stories and the workouts are so freaking inspiring, it makes me wanna drive right back to my gym and kill the weights! I am fired up and please don't take this as arrogance, but, I rarely endorse other products! This one is amazing!

I'm getting the inside look at how men of amazing strength trained, how powerful gyms were formed, the type of foods to eat for super human gains in strength and he development of lean muscle.

Marty, I never met you or ever spoke with you, but damn do I feel like we're related! Thank you sincerely my friend, this is the kind of stuff that is near and dear to my heart.

When I was a teenager, you would find me awake at night, at 2, 3 in the morning, reading Arnold's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, planning my workouts, getting pumped up looking at the old school bodybuilders in the endless black and white photos.

It's too bad this book wasn't available for me back then, but hell, I'll take it now!

I am grateful beyond words!

In Strength,

Zach Even - Esh

Owner, Underground Strength Gym
http://ZachEven-Esh.com

 
10/10 Inspiring
 
By Boris Bachmann, RKC / Des Moines, IA USA

It has taken me several days to digest "The Purposeful Primitive". It is an amazing read - a straight-forward, no-nonsense, practical, and at times humorous account of legendary athletes, trainers and teachers' approaches to creating strength and health. The book is so extensive in its breadth, covering not only strength training, but mental approach, diet, and cardio-health, and refreshing in its reflection that it almost make you think "Well, that's it. I guess there's nothing left to say - he's just about covered everything!" If you have any interest in strength sports or just lifting, you will love this book. I recommend it to anyone without reservation.

 
10/10 Pure Gold
 
By Jason Wood RKC ZR / Denver,Co

I just got Purposeful Primitive by Marty Gallagher. Marty is a 3 time World Master Powerlifing Champion and has been a strength and fitness writer for over 30 yrs. This book big...473 pages big, I have had it less than 24 hrs and have read some of the best quotes about strength training I have ever read. Marty quotes his old Zen power coach "you think you 're training hard until you get sucked into a training group , a group way smarter and way stronger than you". Better to train in a dump with superman than a posh palace surrounded by low-pain tolerance politically-correct metro-sexual sissies!!!
Pure Gold

 
10/10 "THE" book for all who love the iron game
 
By Gil Flores / San Mateo, CA

Congratulations to Mr. Gallagher - he has written "THE" book for lovers of the iron game. He takes you there - right there with the big boys, and you feel like you are a part of the action! I really think that this book is more valuable than we know at this date and time. I highly recommend this book - a must have for the ironman's library. Kudos and thank you Mr. Gallagher.

 
10/10 Invaluable Resource
 
By Chris Sullivan / Knoxville, TN, US

Marty has either trained with, coached, or been close friends with some of the strongest men to ever walk the earth period. His breadth of experience is unmatched. You simply cannot argue with results. You do not have a strength training library until you include this book.

 
10/10 No Nonsense Advice From A Master
 
By David Girdley / Orlando, Florida United States

This is the most authentic - useful - information on how to develop strength I have ever seen. Marty Gallagher is a true "Master" of IRON SKILLS! He is a great writer and the book is hard to put down once you start. My advice - buy it!

 
10/10 The dog's b******s
 
By Gavin Pollock / Cockermouth, UK

The headline will make more sense to a Brit perhaps, suffice to say I was very pleased to receive this book. It's clear, well written and full of information.

 
10/10 READ THIS BOOK NOW
 
By BILL / Vernon, FL USA

Marty Gallagher has cut through all the crap that is modern "health and fitness" to give you the simple truth. The truth is painful. It won't be easy. But it will work. And that's what is different from all the "new weight loss secret" "easy" "medical breakthrough" garbage we are bombarded with incessantly. Rather than being disheartened with the work ahead of me, I became excited to finally have the knowledge... the tools needed to achieve what I want for me and for my family. I have a quiver full of arrows that I can draw out whenever I hit an obstacle. In the three weeks since I've read this book I've actually cut down the time I spend working out. I'm eating delicious food, real food, to satiety. I've lost 8 pounts of fat. I have energy to spare and oh, by the way, I have only pulled out a couple of the arrows in my quiver. And if you haven't figured it out yet...I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED.

 
10/10 Good men stepping up
 
By Mike Edwards / Gainesville, FL USA

(Marketing) tyranny gets a foothold when good men stand by and do nothing. Its great to see the good men - Marty, Pavel, and the rest of the Dragon Door authors - stepping up with the no-nonsense info. Marty Gallagher has given everyone not only cut and dried templates for optimizing health and fitness, but a very entertaining and down to earth read. If this book can't do it for you... fold your cards.

 
10/10 Definitive
 
By Patrick E. / Los Angeles, CA

I'm 27, have power lifted since I was 13, fought MMA since 1999 and played football before that. I live for exercise and training. I love all the info I can get my hands on, watch or hear.

This book is the Bible of training for strength, cardio, nutrition and mind. Marty leaves no stone unturned. Growing up on Ed Coan and Kirk Karwoski, this book had high marks to meet just by mentioning their names in the pre-release. It delivered in spades. THE Definitive book on fitness.

Bravo Marty, bravo.

 
10/10 A Must Read for Beginners, Intermediates, and anyone with a love for the history of the Iron game
 
By Robert Dorf / Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

Marty Gallagher has written a book on the crossroads of bodybuilding, power-lifting, and fat loss, one that I've enjoyed more on each reading.

Marty coached or met everyone who was anyone in the world of Power lifting in the 80s and 90s, and he fills the book with anecdotes that give a real feel for the characters that made a half-underground sport what it was. Marty's prose style is concise, engaging and accessible. For me, these looks into Iron History were the strongest points in a very strong text.

Marty also uses these anecdotes to great effect when discussing training styles and nutritional strategies, building his recommendations for various phases of body recomposition around the greats he trained with or coached. Marty's genuine love of the sport shines through. The tales of strength he shares are inspiring, and he has a knack for presenting even the roughest of his subjects with their humanity intact.

The training and diet information are comprehensive. Marty is a big believer in old school training splits and volume, and he has plenty of experience to back up his position. It's an approach to training that will seem revolutionary to someone caught up in the unproductive isolation and machine training so many unqualified trainers end up foisting on their clients.

On the downside, the training section will be most useful for beginners and intermediate trainees. Marty's weight training recommendations are excellent, but many more experienced lifters are already following similar programs. His cardio and diet recommendations are very solid, but not likely to change the way more experienced lifters train or eat (it's another case of "I already do that"). On the other hand, even advanced lifters will benefit from seeing this information laid out so clearly, and a reminder to do what you already know you should can be very useful.

Marty also doesn't make much of a distinction between training for Body Building, Power Lifting, Strong Man Competition, Olympic Lifting, Martial Arts, or other strength sports. To a more advanced lifter who knows where he wants to fit in the strength game, that cuts into the book's utility.

The place where the book most left me wanting more was in its reticence on the subject of steroids. It's a tough subject to honestly discuss. Talking about it opens you up to attack from the For The Children crowd and scares the heck out of the majority of the market. Athletes don't want their reputations tarnished by the public admission that they were using, and supplement manufacturers hate admitting that their spokes-user did not achieve twenty inch biceps at three percent body-fat solely through the use of their products.

So, Marty doesn't talk about steroids much. We miss out on part of the story of power lifting and bodybuilding in the day, and we're left wondering about the differences in training for those who use and those who choose not to.

Despite minor criticisms, this remains one of the best books I've seen on weight lifting and body recomposition, possibly the best single volume of its kind currently on the market. I very highly recommend it.

 
10/10 If you are into strength training, this book belongs on your shelf.
 
By Pete Pickering / Massapequa, New York

A truly great book. Clearly written, lucid, easy to apply. Took me back to when I used to read John McAllum's articles in the old Strenght & Health. In 1962, Bill Pearl and Reg Park were my idols as well. This has the same "Real Deal" info.

 
10/10 This book is superb
 
By Don Rankin / Birmingham, AL

I am not a body builder; although I was first introduced to weight training in that manner over 50 years ago. I have spent most of my life/energy in full contact karate. About 4-5 years ago I re-discovered kettlebells and the works of Pavel Tsatsouline. I had a brief experience with KB's as a teenager before they disappeared from the American scene.

I have read and re-read Gallagher's book. It contains basic principles that every serious fitness nut ought to know. I wish I had had the wisdom of this book when I was a teen/young adult. Attitude/training/eating, etc. are covered in this work. Gallagher is not spreading BS. If you are serious, GET THE BOOK THEN READ IT and DO IT. You will save yourself a lot of time. SOUND Wisdom.
Thanks Dragon Door.

 
10/10 One of the best books on the market today
 
By Jeanette Santangelo / Greece, NY, USA

I bought this book for my husband and he is thoroughly and completely enthralled with it. He reads a little every night as he wants to take everything in. There is so much useful information in it --- he has already started putting some of the principles to work. Thanks for a great book and keep up the good work.

 
10/10 The Purposeful Primitive provides pleasant provocative perusal.
 
By John Devine / Culleoka, TN USA

Buy this book! It is great for unskilled and skilled body builders or fitness trainers alike. It is a fun read of the experience of proven top winning body builders and what they thought made them great. It includes lots of gossip about their lives and historical, "I was there," material.

 
10/10 WOW!
 
By Robert M. / Knoxville, TN USA

Having lifted for years I thought I knew all that I needed to know. Techniques, schedules, and progression. However, having started the new ideas and process that this program offers I realize that I have more to learn. I have not been so sore in the last few years. I am hoping that this will transfer into my martial arts training.

 
10/10 Fascinating piece of work
 
By Michael Dyer / Houston, TX

I don't think I've ever seen a strength book quite like this one. It provides not only practical advice, but adds a mature philosophical and historical dimension that adds real gravity to the work.

 
10/10 The greatest bible of strength training since Dinosaur Training
 
By George / Stevens Point, WI USA

Finally, a book that covers all aspects of strength training and fitness in great detail: exercises, routines, the mind, and nutrition. There is something in this book for everyone regardless of their goals. Whether you're young or old, or a novice or a veteran; if you only want to read one book for all of your information, this is it. Since I read the book and followed the programs I have lost pounds of fat and gained pounds on my lifts. The warrior diet really works. The real life examples are very helpfull and inspire one to work to their max.

 
9/10 Strength training as Literature
 
By art lee, (D.Sc.Med. physiology/surgery, MD) / atlanta, GA

I started training for Master's rowing four years ago with strength coaching from a bodybuilder, very traditional nutritional advice: eat less and rowing cardio emphasizing steady-state and later, intervals. Missing were key elements that Purposeful Primitive makes clear: 1]Lift priorities(squat, press, deadlift); importance of strength endurance (kettlebellls) as a special form of cardio; usefulness of calorie tracking heart rate monitors; nutrition strategies that complement intense training; accessible mind strategies: will vs enthusiasm in diet, importance of visualization in perfecting technique, developing the empty mind for perfect mindless focus.
I believe that I could be a year further in my athletic quest if this book were available four years ago.

 
10/10 A valuable reference material for any lifter.
 
By Darren Lamar / Temple, OK USA

The stories of various lifters from the past was worth the price of the entire book. I really enjoyed reading how some really strong people trained and got where they did. This book gave me more insight into all the aspects of training; I had been neglecting the mental aspect of lifting and I have found new value in cardio training. I will use this book to reference back to during the coming months and years to help my training to continue forward.

 
10/10 Great information
 
By Kevin / Yongin, South Korea

I just received my copy of the book two weeks ago. I have read it and picked it apart and it is still giving me tips, insights and ideas how to make myself better. I enjoyed the stories and the ideas. Well told and amazingly written.

 
10/10 I highly recommend it
 
By Wolfgang Hasenmaier / Stuttgart, Germany

I`m a strength addict with a passion for hardcore training and the history of strength. Within 3 decades I have never read an author in the strength field as magnificient as Marty. I have not yet read the book except the 1 st chapter which is a 10. Marty never has disappointed me as an author so I keep me the enjoyment til end of year when I`m in the finishing stage for a raw powerlifting contest. Plus I have platinum reading to look forward to.

 
10/10 Interesting SUbject Matter
 
By Com. Atl / EUbank, KY USA

I have been reading and rereading The Purposeful Primitive for the last couple weeks now. It is very holistic and detailed, so once over is just not enough to absorb the encyclopedia of info that it presents. This is typically how I "absorb" books anyhow...I drain them dry.

I am struck by Mr. Gallagher's choice of subject matter. A couple of non-traditional subjects stand out so I want to discuss them here. It seems odd that a self proclaimed muscle head is exploring this type of info.

First of all his section on the mental and spiritual connection as being a fundamental aspect of athletics left me really inspired and impressed.

Another area that has not really progressed into fitness mainstream is his discussion of raw and organic foods.

I am impressed at his diet choices. Though he recognizes that there is NO magic bullet diet that automatically works for everyone he champions the Parillo Nutritional System and the Warrior Diet. He believes that these systems can be used alone or in cycles to keep the body progressing. He presents all of the info you need to begin with either system.

His cardio section discusses non-mainstream approaches to cardio as well as set in stone methods like steady state. I love the discussion of "3rd Way" cardio and it's ramifications.

I also appreciate his section on fasting. To see a powerlifter talking about the benefits of fasting is extremely refreshing.

Last but not least his simple machine free methods for strength training appeal to my own primitive inclinations.

I just continue to be impressed with this book.

 
9/10 Back To The Basics
 
By Ron Prestage / Your location here Nelson New Zealand

The Purposeful Primitive is a great read and contains many timely reminders that optimum results in strength and body shaping endeavours comes from hard work, heavy weights, basic exercises, healthy food and some aerobic content. Marty Gallagher is a fine researcher and writer and we are fortunate to have him working in our sphere.

 
5/10 Buy for the lore, not for the tips
 
By Privacy Please / Anytown, USA

A few comments:

1. The profiles of the various lifters are terrific and worth the price of the book. That said...

2. The training exercises are disappointing -- I doubt that any of the superstar lifters profiled do any dumbell triceps extensions or Romanian deadlifts, for example. As Pavel says, "to press a lot, you must press a lot."

3. The book barely talks about the role of doping -- Bednarski and dianabol is one mention that I can think of in the book. I have known and trained with several of the lifters mentioned in the book -- all were dopers. Hardly anyine can squat 1000, BP 700 and/or DL 900 without serious pharmalogical assistance. The drugs don't lift the weight but they do permit lifters to train harder than they otherwise would be able. Downplaying the role of dope in lifters moving amazing poundages does a disservice to the young.

4. The book also fails to emphasize the role of body type and mechanics. The best squatters are compact, the best BP-ers are barrell-chested and the best DL-ers have long arms and huge hands. If you want to excel in weightlifting/powerlifting, you need to figure out what your body is built for.

5. Ignore the power-walking crap -- I'm surprised that Pavel would endorse a book that embraces "the dishonor of aerobics." Sheesh...

 
10/10 Entertaining, informative and ecclective
 
By Honkey / Maine USA



At first, when I started reading, I thought that I ended up buying a book on powerlifting and body building. I was a little dissapointed.

HOWEVER as I got into the book I realized this book is an enormous eclectic collection of weightlifting/ressistance training, nutritional guidence, cardiovascular work, medative and mindset work
and a whole lot more.

As a recovering cardio junkie I realy appreciated the explanation of the 3 types of cardio. There are many examples of what proffesional athletes have done to garnish success and importantly HOW A REGULAR GUY WITH A DAY JOB CAN APPLY THESE PRINCIPLES.

Another pluss, the book is nearly 500 HUGE pages. These pages are in normal size print, with no unneccesary photos to fill space and there is no 30 or so pages at the back of adds. This book is big and there is ALOT of info in it. I will keep this book around and use it and revisit it like the enormous refference manual that it is.

Final praise, beyond being informative I realy enjoyed reading it.
This book is primarly about lifting when it comes to exercize,
I love the book and guess what, I have always been a cardio guy, I never lifted a weight before I got into kettlebells 4 months ago. It has inspired me to add squats and deadlifts to my training.

I still read and gained usefull knowledge from every word.

 
10/10 Hard to put down
 
By David Whitley, Sr. RKC / Nashville TN USA

The Purposeful Primitive is one of those books that reads like good fiction but contains a wealth of training information. Marty Gallagher is the perfect combination of coach, fan of the Iron, technician and storyteller. Much like John McCallum, Marty's writing causes me to identify with the people in the stories while absorbing the practical knowledge. His passion for all things related to strength is apparent on every page. I know this will be a book that I will continue to reference for years.

 
10/10 Breath Taking
 
By Peter Baker / Tampa, FL

It's amazing what Iron knowledge and good writing skill can achieve. Put the two together you get Gallagher's book. It is like an anthropological case study of weight lifters and their community. The book has templates for programs which, when stripped down, go to the basic fundamental laws of cycling. And when he says cycling and periodization, he means it. You will not want to stop reading this book. When you do, you will wish it were not over. It is packed full of information, anecdotes and unadulterated truth. My only gripes are as follows: exercise descriptions could have been clearer for my taste, and it was pretty much focused (or seemingly so) on the males, though I believe the information within is applicable to all. This book is to the strength community what fire was to humans.

 
8/10 The best writeing style you will ever see in a fitness book!!
 
By John Baumchen / Lennon, MI USA

I think that if some one is new to fitness or the iron game they need to purchase this book. The history is so interesting and is told as a series of short stories. Each story though is a building block for what is to come in the latter half of the book. Sometimes we all need to be reminded of the obvious or what should be obvious and this book does that well. The templates and such are very useful for someone that has a lot of anxiety about doing their own program design. In my opinion the mental training discussions in this book are worth the price of the book even if everything else is not new to you. Since the mind is truly the final frontier for so much of what we can become to not use it to its full potential during your training or weight loss is simply a waste of your most significant resource. After all it is our mind and all it's abilities that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

 
8/10 Solid, but could have been more compact
 
By Joe Fay / Washington DC

I enjoyed reading the book and learning about the training routines of the athletes featured as well as the amalgamation. There was a lot of useful information. However, the book probably could have been shorter. While every book of this size and type has some info that appears redundant or superfluous, some of the essays really seemed unnecessary.

The only real problem I had with the book was the cardio section. I rowed competitively for nine years and the assertion that using light hand weights while walking outstrips rowing as a cardiovascular activity is one of the most bogus things I've ever heard. There are any number of negative things to be said about rowing as cross training cardio, but lack of cardio development is not one of them. In fact, the two sports with athletes possessing the ability to pump the most blood with their hearts over a protracted period of time are rowers and speed skaters. Maybe the author was using a different definition of cardio.

Aside from the cardio section, I have really enjoyed the book and will be incorporating the training methods when I lift with my classmates. I'm always on the lookout for good training ideas, as I'm a law student right now and lift to stay in shape.

 
10/10 old school
 
By Jeff Hackett / Wellsville, NY USA

I totally loved the book. Especially how Paul Anderson did heavy partials and lifted and played golf at the same time. Bill pearls two hour marathon workouts is a great contrast to Mark Chailets once a week singles. And where else can you find the polar oposite diets in the Warrior Diet to John Parrillo's mega calorie regime. What this book really shows is that there are many ways to be successful and that they can be rotated to get the best and strongest body that can be achieved.

 
10/10 Concisely this information plus your willpower always gives results
 
By Rob Cole / Jackson, TN USA

I was an amateur powerlifter in my twenties and was blown away at how much of my own training practices are so thoroughly explained and expanded upon in Mr. Gallagher's book. Thank you Dragondoor for such a concise presentation of Old School ways that when applied ALWAYS work!!

 
10/10 Top Notch
 
By T.Hildreth, Powerlifter / Westminster,Colorado USA

I have read everything (or pretty close) on strength training and this is in my top 5 for absolute must reads if your interested in improving your physique. From average Joe to elite powerlifter, there is something for everyone in this masterpiece. The mental/psychological section of this book is worth the cost alone and seperates it from all the others. I will probably have to buy a second copy because I have a feeling I'm going to wear this one out. Worth every cent and then some.

 
10/10 A great resource
 
By Matt / Seattle, WA USA

This book is a great extension of a lot of the principles I've been working on from Pavel's books. I'm not planning on bulking up like the Iron Masters, but I'm looking forward to applying the synthesis Marty has provided to my own fitness. Add in the Mind and Nutrition information, and this is just a fantastic resource for all-around health.

 
10/10 Amazing Read
 
By dantheman / St. Louis, MO

Definitely take some time out of your day to read this mammoth of information. Plenty of good stories and solid training information to keep you busy for more that a good while.
People don't seem to understand the part on switching up the two diets and why they don't get it is amazing to me. CYCLING just as with weights must also be done with your diet. Your body is amazing at being able to adapt to where what you do and put in your body will no longer have an effect. That's the point of the two diet variations, so you can CYCLE them. Re-read if you don't understand this please.
The training programs are definitely sound and solid. I loaned my book out to my friend though so he could have a taste of what it has to offer. I'm planning on buying a power rack within 2-3 months, I will then implement the training information in this book. I'll come back on the forum and post my progress.
Thank you for this strength classic Marty!

 
10/10 A Treasure Trove of Training info and ideas.
 
By Steve Adams / New Hope, MN USA

It's hard to decide where to begin in reviewing Marty Gallagher's Masterpiece. He is among the very best athlete-turned-writers I have ever read. I very much enjoyed his history's of great lifters like Paul Anderson, Ed Coan and Dorian Yates, to name a few. I have enjoyed trying some of the training programs that Marty outlined in his book. His ideas about aerobics for "Widebodies", guys like me who lift and are middle aged make a lot of sense. This book is simply one of the best, if not THE best workout book I have bought.

 
10/10 The best I've ever read!
 
By Franklin B. Herman, RKC / LIttleton, MA

This book must be savoured as a quick read does NOT do it justice. Some of the photos are so compelling that they tell complete stories. Gargantuans of size and stature that I had never heard of before like Ken Fantano, George Hechter, Pat Brego, and Anatoli Piserenko will forever haunt me when I try to find excuses to skip a training session.

For the last three weeks this book lies open on my kitchen table as every meal requires a re-read of another ditty. Some of the stories are so vivid and detailed in their presentation that they elicit in me ear-to-ear grins or vulgar outbursts of joy. As predominately one who trains and instructs almost exclusively within the RKC Hard-Style system, at first I was aghast at only a fleeting mention in this huge tome of the kettlebell as an amazing strength and conditioning tool. Then I as I read and re-read, I realized that the dumbbell and barbell free weight centric tools discussed in detail in this book were the implements Marty has used over several decades and he knows them best. And at the end of day, only a little imagination is necessary to modify his recommended routines and splits into ones with kettlebells.

Some have criticized this work as being a compendium of routines and ideas available in other publications. If this is the case, I challenge anyone who can come close to the way in which they are presented here with such enthusiasm, sense of balance and beauty, and breadth of knowledge.

 
5/10 Save your money and buy Beyond Bodybuilding
 
By Matthew Green Uk / Manchester, UK

Yes this is a good read and very good value but its also hugely overhyped and very cluttered.
The book ranges from being very basic and excellent for beginners (the cardio section is nicely broken down and the mind stuff is a good intro but as someone else said, its high school stuff) but then it lunges into advanced stuff that is pretty useless unless youre a pro bodybuilder or PLer. Realistically, what percentage of readers actually want to look like Dorian Yates? 11 case studies of very similar men is pretty boring for a non-PLer. Either write a book for competitive PLifters and serious BBers or write a book for the average trainee- this just doesnt work.

The worst parts are some of the Iron essays about the guy who beat up a mullet gym member or the guy who wasnt allowed to train in an underground gym because he was a yuppie. These stories are pathetic, immature and indulgent. Its this sort of attitude from these sort of sad men that give strength and weight training a bad name and drives people to Pilates and Taebo. If you think 'choke-slamming a mullet' makes someone a 'real man' then youve got a very dim view of life. Plus the story sounds made up.
And as for Heavy Hands- give me a break. I'd feel more dignified doing Fire Hydrants in a Body Pump Class.

Bottom line- if you want to get strong and big, buy Beyond Bodybuilding- it blows this out the water.

 
10/10 Before you dip, grip, and rip, what should you be thinking about?
 
By Bob Ross RKC / Arizona

The mind essays section will answer that question in depth.Our minds are the strongest part of the equation in anything we do.Is yours mentally tough enough? Do you want to learn about secrets that are unveiled in The Purposeful Primitive? Read it,learn,apply it and watch out!

 
10/10 Great old school training book
 
By Daniel Gallagher / Cedarhurst , New York 11516

This book is a breath of fresh air...

In a time where it seems everything is geared toward making things easier to do, This book brings you back in time when hard work was the staple in weight training and sports in general...

If you are looking for the magic, secret routine where you can workout 2 times per week WEARING AN IPOD ,200.00 SWEATSUITS using nothing more than 5 lb CHROME weights and making incredible gains wihout even breaking a sweat. THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU....

This Book is for the people that understand the concept of putting in hard ,brutal work into routines that have been proven to work for a hundred years with basic equipment (MEANING ITS THE EFFORT BEING MADE, NOT SOME NEW SCIENTIFIC PRACTICE)by some of the strongest men ever to walk the earth !!!!!!!!!!

 
9/10 An Instant Classic
 
By GravityFighter / U.S.A.

As always, Marty Gallagher delivers the goods.
This book is a first class ticket to bigger Powerlifting totals.
Thanks to Pavel and Marty, you have no excuse for being weak.
I rate this book a solid 9.
I reserve the 10 rating for Pavel, his books, dvd's and Kettlebells are the Best.

 
10/10 I am very impressed!!
 
By George E. Butler, aged, injured strength trainer / Detroit, Michigan USA

It took a while to get into the book, but once I did I was totally impressed. I hope I can apply the reasoning to kettlebell training because that is what I am using at this time. When I return to freeweights, there will be no need for other guidiance, than "The Purposeful Primitive". Great book, tons of wisdom!!

 
10/10 An outstanding book on fitness
 
By Kang / USA

I'm currently on the second reading of this book, and I can't say enough about it. I would easily put it right up there with Beyond Bodybuilding in Dragon Door product, and in my opinion, is one of the four or five fitness books worth owning today. Marty has done a wonderful job of making the secrets of fitness understandable to the lay person, and the book almost reads like an NLP book - here is how the masters did it, here's how you can apply their secrets to yourself, work hard and see the results. After feeling pain in my shoulders from what I discovered was overuse injuries, I pulled back and applied what I have learned from this book. Now, I not only don't feel the pain, my strength and overall fitness has improved. I have to note that the book is not a cure all, but a tool that can take your fitness to the next level.

I can't praise this book enough! Add it to your library now!

 
10/10 An Outstanding Presentation to the Health of Mankind
 
By Dr. Steve Karg, DC / Rockford, MN USA

Marty Gallagher's book "The Purposeful Primitive" is an outstanding presentation of written words that will physically transform the lives of those who read it. One may at first think his book is just another one about how to exercise and eat the best way, but it is much more than that. He brings the reader back to the proper essentials of physical fitness for the creation of a more healthy mind and body. He takes away the confusion that plagues the diet and exercise world. Marty tells it to you straight and honest and puts his information into terms the average person will understand and be able to begin doing the next day. I wholeheartedly support his book and effort to convey to the public the correct way to achieve a healthy new you. Believe me, this book is the real deal and if you put effort into his suggestions, you will receive results.

 
10/10 Wow i think i can really see my self going all the way with this book
 
By Jesse Navarrete / redondo beach CA USA


Well the book Is very informative and ive been skipping around the book im a bit over weight so went ahead a nd looked at the cardio and the nutrition, i bought a heartrate monitor and im beginning to use it. Now the only negative thing i can see is that its alitle confusing as far as the perio...some thing i cant even say it lol.For instance a list for the nutrition would have been great, again maybe its in there i just havent gone through the whole book. i hope my info has been helpful! thank you

 
10/10 A Lifetime of weightlifting Information - All in one package
 
By Bob G. - Personal Trainer NY / Massapequa, New York USA

I'm 51 years old and have been heavely involved in Exercise, Nutrition and Physical Culture for the past 36 years. I've explored , studied and applied dozens of strength / bodybuilding protocols over the years, which I've learned from the greats of the past.

The Purposeful Primative is an incredible exercise book, that covers all that anyone needs to know, in order to gain significant strength and high levels of muscular bodyweight. Marty Gallahger boils down the basics of what physical transformation requires - large compound free weight exercises, solid programs (designed to fit your individual needs) + extreme levels of hard work (applied on a consistent basis).

This book is filled with incredible exercise tips and precise weightlifting illustrations. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is serious about making it big in the iron game. Excellent book value - the training information is easily worth 10 times the price you pay - Bob G.

 
10/10 Outstanding Read
 
By Vince Cover, Judoka and BJJ Purple Belt / Lodi, OH USA

I've competed in powerlifting, wrestling and grappling since I was a teenager. I experimented with some of the "New" methods of training but was still left wanting. It is a breath of fresh air to look back at some of the "Masters" to reinforce that training doesn't have to be so complicated. This book will add to my arsenal to remain competetive in grappling deep into my 40's and hopefully 50's. Thanks to Marty and all of the other animals that added to this book.

 
9/10 The shed, the pond, the iron, the life. . .
 
By Will Williams, RKC since April 2005 / Suburban Philadelphia

In keeping with the highest standards and traditions of storytelling, Mr. Gallagher has given us the exposition necessary to understand where the street science of 3-5 reps, high tension, and American Hard-Style was born. There is no text out there that serves as both a desk-top reference and story of origin for many of the training templates we all use today. If you have read 'Beyond Bodybuilding' or 'Enter the Kettlebell', and you observed the simplexity in structure of the 3-5 x 3-5 training templates, then reading The Purposeful Primitive and discover who the men were that grinded away in basements and dungeons to give us the proof that those numbers work best for raw strength. Mr. Gallagher spins a tale of short strength at the bar, long strength on the road, and smart delivery of nutrients to fortify the mechanism. Long before my bookmark had reached halfway, this book had changed my life. "Doing fewer things better", indeed. As few as living, training, refueling, and rewiring. Read this book and be the transformation.

 
8/10 Interesting Insight Into Powerlifting/Bodybuilding World
 
By Anton Iskerskiy, RKC / Red Bank, New Jersey

Overall the book provides an interesting insight into the world of competitive powerlifting and bodybuilding. On the upside, I really enjoyed "Mind Game", "Nutrition" and "Cardiovascular Conditioning" sections. They provided interesting new concepts and encouraged further research and experimentation.
On the down side, I felt that workout routines outlines were of limited use to someone not looking to compete in powerlifting or bodybuilding event. Although, someone who is looking into these activities may find them useful. Also, I did not particularly care for biographies of athletes outlined, but I can see why the author would want to include profiles of athletes he considered to be his role models.
However, I really failed to see the purpose of several essays in "Iron Essays" section starting around page 192 and ending around page 209. Such rants really cast a shadow over overall excellently presented material.

 
10/10 Great Info
 
By Harry / Philadelphia, PA

I haven't even finished the book and I am already using some of the ideas. It appeals to one's common sense as well as to one's intellect.

 
10/10 absolutely awesome
 
By graeme / Townsville, QLD, Australia

clear, concise and very informative... very well written book full of information that even the untrained novice could follow quite easily and achieve great results as long as they stick to the program....
all the reviews that seem to saying this is a bad book, must be written by either mullets or people who can't see the power rack threw the colour coded dumbbells at their globo-tech gyms....

whats going to be the next piece of litrature that you are going to be penning???

 
10/10 The Iron Lovers Manual
 
By Matt / Fort Walton Beach, FL

This book is full to the brim with iron knowledge. It's incredibly well crafted and Marty has hit the bullseye with it. I've been addicted to iron for some years now, striving to hit that 500lb deadlift mark and falling short at 455lb. I just pulled 495X1 the other day after putting that Iron Lore to the test! Old school is definetly the best school. If you take everything out of this book that you can there is no stopping the growth. This book is a definite read for anyone, bodybuilder or powerlifter.

 
5/10 Not what I expected
 
By Loyal Party Member since 1991 / San Diego CA

I hate to say that I was disappointed in this book. Everything else I have bought from Dragondoor through the years has been excellent.

I read all the great reviews from Pavel, Rif, Kenneth and Danny J. and I pretty much do whatever they say but it seems like I did not get as much from the book as they did.

In Dan John's review he describes this book exactly how I would describe his free books (from the ground up and his notes) maybe it's just because I don't know that I don't know? I don't know.

Im sure Marty Gallagher is an excellent coach and person but the party leaders make it seem like he is well.... Dan John.

 
2/10 Hype
 
By Keith Sinclair / North Wales, U.K.

This is possibly the most disappointing book I have ever bought. I've bought a lot of books by Pawel, all of which have been excellent. It was on the basis of Pawel's recommendation that I bought "The Purposeful Primitive". I'd say that about one tenth of the book is worth reading and about half of the interesting material is anecdotes about various lifters. As far as training advice is concerned then it's pretty poor. If you want to know how to do various lifts then read "Beyond Bodybuilding". If you want to know how to lose fat then read "Russian Kettlebell Challenge". I agree with my fellow-countryman from Manchester; the tough-guy tales just leave me cold. In my country we call that kind of behaviour "bullying". Gallagher seems like a good guy and has a lot of knowledge but he doesn't get that knowledge across very well.

 
10/10 Changed my World
 
By Gilbert E Quintanilla / phoenix, Arizona United States

Marty Gallagher's The Purposeful Primative has changed my world. For the last eight years I was gaining ten pounds a year no matter how much cardio or strength training I did.

From reading Marty's book, I learned what I was doing wrong and I was able to structure an exercise, and nuitrition program that enabled me to lose 40 pounds in 34 weeks. I was 59 years old, 273 pounds at 5ft 8inches and at 41% body fat. I'm now 233 at 29% body fat. I still have a way to go to get to what i'd like to be at but thanks to Marty's book, I know I will make it.

I liked this book so much that I bought a copy for one of my sons who was a college athlete but now with a desk job is starting to put on a little weight. I give this book the highest rating possible becasue it did for me what no other exercise book was able to do.

 
10/10 A must for your toolbox
 
By Frank / North Carolina

The only complete,honest, gritty and real book on all things strength and fitness in extent... do yourself a favor... buy it.

 
10/10 The Physical Culture Classic of the Twentieth Century
 
By Stanford Lee / Brooklyn, NY USA

Marty is a prolific writer capturing the essence of Physical Culture and providing a wonderful snapshot of what REAL training is all about. This book belongs in everyone's library. An excellent mix of essays, true accounts, and useful information on Training (both Mind and Body) as well as world class nutritional philosophies. Its a Bible of Training templates modeled after the greatest powerlifters and bodybuilders of our time. There is no other book like it.

 
10/10 Excellent book
 
By Martin / Waterbury, CT

This is an excellent book. I was someone who already worked out seriously with kettlebells and I wanted to alternate to a cycle of more common powerlifting exercises, while returning to the kettlebells for the next cycle. The author gave me just the information I needed along with a lot of great general health and fitness information.

I highly recommend this book, and in fact already have to many of my friends. I also recommend the weekly podcast featuring Ori Hofmekler and Marty Gallagher. This is a great resource to combine with the Warrior Diet. Just do a search for Ori Hofmekler radio and you'll find it.

 
10/10 A must have, you can't miss this!
 
By David H / Covington, Indiana USA

Marty hits a home run with this book, if you haven't got it yet stop hesitating and snatch up your copy today! You can use this book as stand alone for training, or as a supplement for good ideas and reference. I have NEVER seen so much usable knowledge in one book before, The Purposeful Primitive is an absolute gold mine. You will go from slapping yourself to laughing uncontrollably, picking it up is the easy part putting it down however is next to impossible. The best book on strength and fitness I have ever laid my hands on, in it Marty clears away all the smoke and mirrors on your quest from lazy and flabby to a hard and lean machine. I recommend this book as essential to your library, a masterpiece by all rights. There Is No School Like Old School!

 
10/10 Hype?
 
By Mike Circharo, Personal Trainer / Nashua, NH USA

I think the book was great, I am not a power lifter myself but I respect Marty Gallagher a tremendous amount. I think this book was a must read for any trainer/strength coach looking to increase their knowledge in PL'ing. Thanks DragonDoor for the recommendation.

 
10/10 Not just for men
 
By Crystal / Elk Grove, CA USA

This book is awesome. It is not just for men. I read it from cover to cover in a few days. This book has everything I've been looking for as a beginner who wants to get strong and lean. But it also has something for every step of the way, even up to the competitive level. After 2 weeks of the Squat, Bench, Deadlift 3x/week along with diet and cardio I am hooked. It's intense hard work, but I am seeing changes already and look forward to all my workouts.
Marty is a fantastic author whose knowledge of weighlifting is immense. His book is for anyone who is serious about getting stronger and feeling better.

 
8/10 Good
 
By Sven / Germany

Good book and nice reading.
Just sad Marty keeps mentioning the guy who broke his leg and ruinated his career.

The Program is ok, but If you read Pavels book you better follow that.

 
10/10 If You Aren't Afraid Of Success Than This Book Is For You
 
By Sandy Sommer, RKC / Towson MD USA

Would you like to get leaner? Stronger? Train smarter? And learn how to do it while reading great prose?

Well then, this book is for you! Marty Gallagher tells great anecdotes while communicating clearly what it takes to succeed as a strength athlete.

Everything Marty shares is applicable to you. I don't care if you're a world class power lifter or someone in need of a complete overhaul then you should invest your time and money in attacking this book.Everything is broken down into it's essence. The question becomes, not can you but will you?

My 74 year old dad read some of it and asked me to get him the book for Father's Day. Done. And I know it will give him some new stuff to consider.

 
8/10 Interesting
 
By / Hellertown, PA

The book is extremely well written. Besides kettlebells and trampoline I have begun, do to this books influence, to lift free wieghts again. I love historical accounts and I guess cross disiplnary examples and this book has it. I love the go heavy philosophy and taxing your muscles. This goes well with my personality as the author shows the same for individual lifters in this book.

 
10/10 Truly an Encyclopedia!
 
By Alexander Goetzfried RKC / Hampton Bays, New York United States

Marty Gallagher's "The Purposeful Primitive", encapsulates every aspect of the iron game, a truly complete encyclopedia with everything from weight training, to nutrition, to cardio broken down as completely as possible with something for everyone. The completeness of the information was not what I enjoyed the most however. My love from this book comes from Marty's excellent writing abilities, and all of the stories of hanging with old school, hard core, and crazy powerlifters. A must read for anyone concerned with health, strength, legendary figures, and just good old fashioned hard core stories!

 
10/10 Undeniable Truths We All Need to Face
 
By Mark / Castle Creek, NY USA

At first. I thought this book was geared only to weight fanatics. However, I read on past that and in to the deeper meaning in this book. This book covers the three most important aspects of training for strength and fitness. Strength, cardio, and mindset are those three. I will say that the mindset part is easy to overlook, but do not do yourself this disservice since the chapter is well worth the read. You will be exposed to present and past masters of the various strength and fitness disciplines. Being exposed to all this, you really can't help but take something away from the experience. The underlying truth of the book is that there is no real substitute for hard work, whether you want to bulk up or slim down, this book has good information for you.

 
5/10 Should've stayed on purpose
 
By AndyM. / Martin, TN, USA

This book does contain plenty of useful information. The problem is that the author has buried it in the middle of a bunch of crap. The majority of the book is taken up be various bios and gym stories. These might have a place in a history book, but are slightly ironic in a book subtitled, "From Fat and Flaccid to Lean and Powerful."

If you are looking for body-weight exercises, try Convict Conditioning. I have not read many of the company's other weight training manuals, so don't have alot to compare too. The Purposeful Primitive does do a good breakdown of deadlifts and other exercises, though. The photography and layout of the book do make it easy to read and understand.

 
10/10 Eye opening!
 
By Michael McCollum / Alexandria, VA USA

This book really opened up my eyes and got me to focus on a goal. I am in my second week of the basic power lifting program (12 week program designed for obese folks). Though the weights are below what I have done in the past, the difference comes in with full range of motion and a pause. I am more aware of my nutrition and the need for cardio since reading this book. I knew the concepts and this book gave me the knowledge and the courage to make a goal and I plan to stick to it.

 
10/10 The first book you should ever read
 
By ScSmokey / Lawrence, KS USA

If you ever plan on doing anything in fitness or strength this should be the first book you ever read. There were so many simple details explained that modern fitness gurus don't even acknowledge, that I couldn't stop reading. These tactics can be applied to any form of training and produce amazing results. I will forever refer back to The Purposeful Primitive to set me straight if I am lost in my training.

 
10/10 A Must Read!!
 
By John Spezzano / Los Angeles, CA

I've been making my way slowly through Marty Gallagher's brilliant book, The Purposeful Primitive. For a low-tech guy like me, this book was an OUTSTANDING purchase. You don't need a bunch of equipment and the only gadget he espouses is a heart rate monitor.

Marty's background is in both power lifting and Olympic lifting. He is kind enough to break down 40 years of knowledge into the key elements for the reader, and half the time he's making you laugh out loud! He touches on lifting concepts (obviously) as well as how to train mentally.

Even more impressive to me, though, was the cardio and nutritional tips that Marty includes in the book. Given my kettlebell background, I wasn't looking to change the tools I use, but the cardio and nutrition info that Marty imparts has made an immediate impression on me and my body.

If you have hit a speed bump in your training, or are just interested in reading a well put together book, get The Purposeful Primitive, you won't be disappointed.

 
7/10 To be Read as Anthology only
 
By Mike Slattery / Madison, Wisconsin, UNITED STATES

When one reads the bio of Marty Gallagher--the man has penned many hundreds of well-received articles on fitness and training--one wonders how it is that he has not written a high profile training book himself. Unfortunately, the moment one picks up "The Purposeful Primitive" one begins to understand.

The book is essentially a collection of articles lacking any cohesion. This in itself would be fine, were the volume intended as a compendium, an anthology of the opinions of other writers; but, packaged as Gallagher's own "Purposefully Primitive" system, the work is hopelessly muddled.

For a start, Gallagher brings no new or original ideas to his writing. This book is essentially just a series of analyses of the writings and theories of others; all great lifters, nutritional thinkers, athletes or famous bodybuilders. You guessed it; this is just a collection of "as told to" articles. Unfortunately for the willing reader, these are utterly contradictory. In one section, the reader is told that low reps and high sets are the best approach; in the next, a "one set to failure" philosophy is heartily espoused.

Most confusing, perhaps, is the section on diet. The chapter on Parillo's method (high carbs, multiple meals a day) is immediately followed by a chapter on Hoffmekler's "warrior diet" (which advises lower carbs and only one large feeding per day). Both views are inherently opposed, in theory and practice, and Gallagher lacks the mental power or knowledge required to unify them. This kind of messy juxtapositioning occurs throughout the book.

The reader is just left scratching his or her head as to what the "Purposeful Primitive method" actually is. This is because there isn't one. The book has been clearly marketed as a singular "method" of training and nutrition, purely to improve sales. If you think a book has an "advanced new method" which will improve your strength, fitness and physique, you're more likely to buy it, right?

Gallagher's capabilty as a writer is also very up and down. His grammar, vocabulary and capacity for exposition verge on excellent; however his approach is hit-and-miss. At times he displays some real charm--for example, his wonderful discussion of his home cooking. Unfortunately, such gems are intermingled with a lot of real ego, and an undeniably vicious streak. The book, for some reason, is peppered with the author's own references to how incredibly popular he is--particularly with the opposite sex. In one particularly revolting section, he writes about how a young child gets his nose broken while playing stickball with a powerlifter; and the reader can sense Gallagher snickering in the background. Most grown-up readers will not share the joke.

That's the bad. But this book does have it's "pros", and they are significant. It's a huge 400+ page resource on training and nutrition. If you set out reading this book to learn a unified new system, you'll be very disappointed. But view it as what it is--essentially a stack of old, fairly high quality magazine articles about famous athletes and writers--and this book, while not golden, certainly has gold in it.

 
10/10 EXCELLENT
 
By BRIAN RANERI / COLUMBIANA ,OHIO USA

GREAT BOOK ENJOYED IT VERY MUCH.WITH ALL THE INFORMATION I READ THRU INTERNET AND OTHER RESOURCES PUROSEFUL PRIMITIVE BROUGHT ME BACK TO REALITY AND REMEMBER THE BASICS AND FUNDAMENTALS THAT WE TEND TO FORGET.MARTY GALLAGHER DID A GREAT JOB

 
9/10 What a great, comprehensive fitness plan.
 
By Jared Disbro / Heidelberg, B-W, Germany

I really enjoyed reading this, and devoured it immediately. Mr. Gallagher's prose style is easily digested, and makes the reader eager to come back for more. It shows what is needed for fitness at the highest levels in a concise manner. I just wish the cover of the book explained that more--it would create a wider audience. I didn't know what the book was really about until I cracked it open and dug around. I'm glad I did though because now I have fitness goals that are clear and easy to enact! I especially liked the mental game parts, and as a musician completely agree with the visualization exercises. Great book that could benefit from clearer advertising.

 
3/10 Disappointing......
 
By Hunt / Pittsburgh, PA

I ordered this a couple of months ago all hyped up after reading reviews, especially pavel's forward. However I found it highly inferior to Pavel's own work. There is way too much random crap in here and way too much of the same stuff repeated over and over. When I finally got down to the actual training stuff I found it kinda incomplete feeling. What annoyed me the most was the lack of specification of load. Maybe i'm just spoiled by Pavel's ever-so-precise

The full color picks were nice however. But I wouldn't recommend this to regular people, powerlifting-fanatics for sure, but there is just way too much stuff the average person doesn't want to sift through.

Overall I was just dissapointed. Maybe because everything else I've ever bought from dragon door has absolutely blown my mind (naked warrior, PTTP, BB, viking conditioning, convict conditioning) i just expected too much.

 
10/10 Function over form...YES!
 
By Lawrence / Texas

Have been savouring this book for weeks now and am ordering another copy to give to a friend. Began training with weights at 13 and got serious about it in high school, and more so in the military. Im now 45 and wish this approach had been in print back then. In those days, most of the books on weight training seemed to focus on bodybuilding more than strength training. So... I read Weider et al. All good guys with something to teach, but here, in "The Purposeful Primitive" I've found a training approach that mirrors my attititudes and lifelong goals. Always more concerned with function over form and that is what leaps off the pages of this book! Id been overusing isolationist movements my whole life and engaging in what I now know is "volume training". Thank you Marty Gallagher for injecting new life in an old dog's training regimen! Barbell, weights and food from the grocery store! (and kettlebells of course)


 
10/10 Superb Training Manual
 
By Bale / Utah

The Purposeful Primitive is the premier weight training book in my collection. It explains iron training in detail and has many useful training routines that produce results. Since purchasing the book I have bought two more copies and given one to my two son's and one to my nephew.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, man or woman, who wants to get into shape using weight training.

 
9/10 AWESOME
 
By Rocco DeStefano / Strongsville , Ohio, USA

There is something for everyone in this book, No stone was left unturned.Would recommend this book to anyone looking for one book that will provide info on so many different topics.

 
8/10 Primitive yes, purposeful... somewhat
 
By Keith Nelson / Minneapolis, MN, US

I love the writing style, and the great anecdotes, and oodles of different traiing schemes. However, There are many pieces that my analytical mind sought, but did not find. I was disappointed in that there were no complete program options. What I mean by that is that there was nothing in terms of acute variables... such as reps, sets, loads, tempos or rest periods... I can certainly invent my own, but that is not what I paid 40 bucks for...

 
10/10 Great book, the glowing reviews are true !
 
By Wade Cottingham / Dallas, USA

Great book, just what I wanted to design a really sound workout program.

 
10/10 A Must Have Book
 
By Adam Mundorf / Clarksboro, United States

The quality of this book is top notch. The information is a must have for anyone that's into lifting and overall quality of life.

 
5/10 Need Ph.D to understand
 
By Richard Carney / Jacksonville, FL, USA

For us old guys who are starting at ground 0 in fitness, this book can overwhelm you. So much information to absorb. Hey guy's, try to bring the cookies down to the lower shelf so we mortals can understand it. On a positive note, I still enjoyed my purchase.

 
10/10 Excellent Resource
 
By Brian Friedman HKC, FMS, CYI / Winter Garden, USA

It's all here: the history, the methods, the templates, and much more for the strength enthusiast. I should say for the serious strength enthusiast. Pavel refers to Mr. Gallagher a lot when it comes to strength training. Now I understand why. Get this book.

 
10/10 Learn the secrets of the worlds Elite!!!!!
 
By Hunter B. / Cincinnati, Oh

I just finished the Purposeful Primitive and I am so excited to start fully implimenting Marty Gallaghers "amalgamation" of some of the worlds elite in the areas of resistance training, cardio, and nutrition!! Marty bears all and doesn't hold anything back and takes pride in smashing conventional fitness myths, only to leave us with THE most proven and effective methods of the fitness elite! I especially enjoyed the Mind Methods section where Marty outlines the technique to increase strength on top lift sets by 10-15 percent, simply by preparing the mind!!! Do yourself a favor and transform yourself from Fat and Flaccid (or scrawny for that matter) into Lean and Powerful! You will have no doubt in your mind how to do it after this spectacular read!!!

 
9/10 The Purposeful Primitive approach to age, infirmity and weight
 
By Doug Marriott / South Lebanon, Ohio, USA

I bought the book to get advice on how, at 70, I can lose weight and regain a moderate degree of fitness. I took a while to plow through the accounts of super strongmen which were interesting but did not appear to relate to my question. Then, in the middle of the book, some useful advice appeared on weight programs for the faint of heart. These have been worth the cost of the book, especially the concepts of whole body training rather than the spotting one is forced into on weight machines. Stories of physical wrecks being turned around and made into successes were encouraging but lacked detailed advice on how others might follow in their footsteps. I would like to have seen more of the "primitive" philosophy applied to those of us who need it most, i.e. we in the worst state of disrepair who want to fix the problem, and less on the people who already have the message, and merely need thir ideas reinforced. Overall a good thoughtful read. 9 is good in my view. 10 would have to be truly fantastic. I would recommend it to others for its alternative look at life.

 
10/10 Entertaining, Interesting, Informitive
 
By Jim Boston / Houston, TX

If you're curious to learn how elite lifters achieved amazing results, you'll love this book. These athletes did not all train exactly the same way. Some believed in more frequent training. Some trained less often. Some trained to a max lift in each workout. Some rarely ever did. However, all approached their craft with dedication, intensity, and enthusiasm.

The book is well written and enjoyable to read, not only for the training insights, but for the biographical information about such strength luminaries as Paul Anderson, Bill Pearl and Ed Coan.

I highly recommend it.

 
10/10 Required Reading
 
By Tom Gelveles PT / Brightwaters, NY

The book is clear, concise and to the point. The section covering the mental aspect of lifting is worth the price of the book. This book is a must in every strength training library,

 
2/10 Very Disappointing
 
By Dr, Rob Paige / San Diego, CA

I love Dragon Door and Pavel's work. Let me say this upfront.

This book however, is the most disappointing product they have ever produced. It is filled with outdated information that is just not used much. It is very limited application to most sports. Much of the material is redundant. I like things where you can read on Monday and use on Tues. There is hardly anything in here that fits.

The information on Diet is contradictory if not outright confusing. How can you have a 6+ mean a day plan next to a 20 hour fasting plan? Most of the mental training is High School stuff.

Mostly, virtually ALL of this information can be found on the Internet free.

Pavel's books help. This is just hype. Save your money until your favorite Commrade prints a new text.

 
10/10 Good Book
 
By Barry Martin / Roberts, Idaho

It's everything you said it would be. Nice work.

 
10/10 It`s the recurve bow and timber VS. the compound bow and carbon fiber!
 
By T. Pestun / Michigan

This book is high quality. The pictures,color,headers and border are top notch. It`s obvious this book`s final visual appeal was well thought out. I really liked the exercise descriptions along with the pictures. Outside of the training information I really like the writing style and great stories. The book kept me smiling, it was hard to put it down. The best thing about this book is that it reminds me of the history and the people I read about when I started to train. It wasn`t about bodybuilder against powerlifter, it was just train hard like the the "Greats" did. To say the book is motivating is a understatement.

 
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