Strengh Sensei Bookshelf

Strength Training Anatomy

There is no debate: Frédéric Delavier has set the standard as an illustrator for all things strength and conditioning. And the book that ensured his legacy was Strength Training Anatomy. Now in its third edition, this full-color text with over 600 illustrations has sold over a million copies.

Much more than an illustrator, Delavier has walked the talk in the Iron Game as a powerlifting champion in France. Academically, he has lectured at biomechanics conferences in Switzerland, and his lectures earned him the Grand Prix de Techniques et de Pédagogie Sportive. Delavier was also the editor and chief of the French magazine PowerMag.

Coach Charles Poliquin believed that strength coaches should have a working understanding of anatomy and biomechanics, whether that knowledge came from formal academic classes or self-study. After all, doesn’t it make sense that understanding how muscles function should be a prerequisite to designing a strength training program?

If a client wants a program to develop the abdominals, shouldn’t their personal trainer know how the rectus abdominis and the psoas function — and the difference between the psoas and the iliopsoas? If a bodybuilder wants to improve their calves, shouldn’t they know the fiber make-up of the gastrocnemius and the soleus and how the movement of the knee affects which muscles are emphasized?

It would be nice if every strength coach or personal trainer studied Gray’s Anatomy in- depth and hands-on experience working with cadaver dissection. However, what’s most important is to have an understanding of how our anatomy affects movement. This is where Strength Training Anatomy comes in.

With over 600 full-cover illustrations, Strength Training Anatomy highlights the primary muscles affected during popular weight training exercises. Delavier also shows important surrounding structures, including bones and connectives tissues. This third edition includes common injuries and suggestions on how to exercise safely.

Whether you’re a personal trainer, strength coach, or you just want to know how your muscles work, Frédéric Delavier’s Strength Training Anatomy is a classic that belongs on your bookshelf.

[You can purchase Strength Training Anatomy: 3 rd Edition from Human Kinetics at]

Lead photo of by Miloš Šarčev

For ways to keep your body loose and functioning properly, get our Mobility Webinar and join the Dojo of Strength, which has monthly programs and articles from Charles Poliquin and our team of coaches. 

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