Monday, June 08, 2015

Raw Vegan Bodybuilding by Sivan Berko (Book Review #48 of 2015)

Raw Vegan Bodybuilding: How To Gain Muscle And Stay Fit On The Raw Food Diet (Vegan bodybuilding, Raw food, Bodybuilding, Raw Vegan Diet, Raw Food Lifestyle, Fitness)
I bought this book because I am a lacto, ovo vegetarian who does weight training and I have read other books on bodybuilding. The comment every bodybuilding book and website makes about a vegan diet is that it's hard to get enough complete proteins. Berko disagrees, especially if you go raw vegan as cooking leeches nutrients from the vegetables. She recommends the Graham diet of 80% carbs, 10% protein, 10% fat which is much different that most others I've seen.

The pros:
Berko gives a basic overview of the muscles involved with bodybuilding. Basic exercises and routines are described. The book includes some anatomic diagrams of the muscular system. She also provides some examples of meal plans. Berko explains vegan science without adding much political rhetoric or calling it the cure for cancer.
There are some (apparently) patented techniques in the book like MaxPain. This can be either a pro or a con. MaxPain is simply a diminishing set where you have a goal to do 70 reps of a lift in as few sets as possible (aiming for 4). Only 2 minutes of rest between sets.

The cons:
English is not her first language, evident immediately from the unedited foreword. Whoever edited the actual text did a decent job, but there is still a lot of awkward English.
Her daily diet consists of 2-3 heads of lettuce. The second meal of one day includes "a head of lettuce." My target calorie intake to add bulk for weightlifting is over 3,000 calories. That is a whole lot of vegetables!
There are no diagrams of the exercises described. There is no system of Day 1: A, B, C for D reps with E minutes between... etc. You have to put it all together.
She always has you train to failure, which other body builders disagree with on the merits. When you're lifting, this requires a spotter so you don't kill yourself in your garage (ie: wouldn't work for me at 5am).

In all, I give this book 2 stars out of 5.

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