Review of Show and Go High Performance Training to Look, Feel and Perform Better By Mike Westerdal of CriticalBench.com
One glance at just about any weight training website and you'll see that the number of people writing 'get fit now' books is nearly limitless. Unfortunately, most of the guys writing these books do a great job at promising the moon but do a crappy job when it comes to delivering results. A few however, really stick out as being top-notch experts who really know what they're talking about—Eric Cressey is one of those guys.
Eric owns a strength and conditioning facility near Boston and developed the Show and Go approach based on his years of experience training nearly every type of athlete you can imagine. A truly personalized approach for each client is the key difference between Eric's training facility and an ordinary gym. Every person who steps through the door is thoroughly assessed so that a personalized that meets their individual goals and needs can be developed.
Show and Go is a follow-up to Maximum Strength, Eric's first work. The difference between the two is that Show and Go is for the guys who really care about results. The program isn't designed for the casual lifter who spends more time chit-chatting at the gym than lifting weights. Let's take a look.
Show and Go opens with a brief introduction, providing background information about Eric and insight into his bodybuilding philosophies. He starts with the program in chapter two. First, this isn't the kind of program that you can do in the home—unless you happen to have some key pieces of equipment hanging around the house. To follow Eric's program you'll need access to a power rack (or squat rack), barbell, weight plates and dumbbells. You'll also need some bands, too.
A lot of information is presented in this chapter. Luckily, Eric's writing style is straightforward, down-to-earth and easy to follow. I know a few fitness authors who actually have some really great training programs but their writing style is so scientific that it makes it difficult for them to clearly get their point across to the reader.
An explanation of the various options that make Show and Go a program that you can personalize to meet your specific needs and goals is one of the most important parts of this chapter. Eric provides you lots of options to choose from so no matter where you are and where you want to be, you'll find something that that's right for you.
The actual exercises that make up the Show and Grow program are available online, categorized by the purpose of the movement (mobility or strength) and the phase (one through four). Because there are lots of different exercises, the bonus pack includes a video reference guide that makes it easy to find the ones you want.
For chapter three Eric takes a unique approach basically presenting 20 pages or so of 'frequently asked questions.' You might be tempted to gloss over this chapter but do yourself a favor and pay attention here. The questions are great and the responses are even better. There are some worthwhile discussions in this chapter that could really make a big difference in the degree of success you achieve with the Show and Go program.
This is followed up by a chapter devoted to presenting the 12 different static stretches that are part of the program. Stretching is a highly beneficial activity that most fitness authors either forget to include or just ignore. Chapter five covers ways that you can modify the program to meet any limitations you have, such as lack of equipment or limited mobility. The last chapter is a brief presentation of the 5 traits that make a successful athlete. I won't give away the secret here so you'll have to read the book for yourself, but trust me, Eric is right on target.
This one book isn't everything that comes with Show and Go however—Eric includes lots of great bonuses too. The first set of bonus guides is entirely focused on nutrition and includes a very thorough 66-page nutrition guide. He also includes a number of references such as a grocery planner and food log, along with several specialty nutrition plans for various types of athletes. There's even a nutrition plan just for the ladies. The other bonus pack includes the video reference guide, several specialized exercise guides and workout planners for each of the four phases of the program.
I'm happy to report that after a careful review of the Show and Go program, I can say that Eric has a winner with this one. I'm not surprised by the high quality of this work because he did such a great with Maximum Strength. Just a reminder and a warning though—remember that Eric says that Show and Grow is not for everyone. He specifically developed this program for the small percentage of guys who really have what it takes to achieve the success they want.