I’ve been a reader of Captain Power for awhile now and have purchased Work out, lose weight, and stop being single. While he’s a single dude, I feel a a kindred spirit with life foundational values of fiscal responsibility, lifting weights and being awesome. Plus, if I remember right, he’s from Jersey, a state I resided in for a few years after college so recognize some of the culture and attitude he describes.
While his earlier books are more humor/lifestyle books with various random stories, Pool Party is a straight up workout and diet guide to get you ready for the pool season. As one who’s goal is to not look too much like a shitty regular dude at our neighborhood pool, I appreciate his sentiment. The book’s goal is basically to get you some reasonably sized strength and muscles and to lean you out so your bodyfat is low enough for looking good.
The book itself is a fairly short, text only workout and diet guide, and is written for the dude or lady who simply wants to look better for summer. It assumes you know the basic exercises which he describes and are maybe floundering a little in the gym, just going through the movements. He dials you in to some basic principles, which he acknowledges that different approaches work for different people. I like how he gave some of his lifting numbers, and if you can’t tell from his photos, the numbers speak for themself: dude is strong, and looks great.
I like how he incorporates running (tempo runs and sprints) into his weight training regimine and has some differing thoughts from the masses on supplements. His training philosophy is very close to the one I subscribe to (though I don’t have the time to spend as much time in the gym, and as an almost 40-dude need to modify things a little) and think for the 20 to 30 dude, single or not, his guide has tons of value. Not one to subscribe to the powerlifter nor the bodybuilder template, he sort of mixes both and gives you his thoughts on things that worked for him.
Just to pick nits a little, a few things that I thought he could have done better or disagree with:
- It would have been nice to see his set/rep scheme as a straight up percent of his one-rep max so that us normal, less strong dudes and ladies could translate to the work that we do.
- He talks about sprinting twice per week. While acknowledging times of the year in which you may need to scale back, I’ve never been able to stay healthy sprinting twice per week and think a lesser approach of once per 7-10 days may have been prudent. Though I do find sprinting awesome and his assessment of the long-slow run accurate.
- I disagree with his short assessment that leg presses are a substitute for squats, but Captain really acknowledges their shortcomings so this may be just a person grudge of leg presses << squats and not a slight on the book.
If you know your way around a gym, but maybe need a little guidance or motivation and are looking for a quick lean and mean read I would recommend Captain Power’s new book The Official Las Vegas Pool Party Workout. It’s about the price of a fully built out Chipotle burrito. If you have a good protocol going, know basics of diet and have read other strength books you will likely find limited value here. The dude has found what works for him and he looks great, so for that reason alone if you’ve got the willpower and gumption to push yourself just a little further, you may find this book well worth your while.