As the release of the second installment of The Natural Method trilogy nears, I am getting asked “what is the difference between the first and the second book?” and also “do I need to get both?”
Simply put, the first book can be summarized as “to become a well-rounded athlete, do X, Y and Z and this is why“. The second book can be summarized as “and this is how you do X, Y and Z“. Do you need to get both books? In the words of Stu McGill anytime he’s asked a training question, “it depends”.
If Fitness History is of interest to you, wanting to know where the method came from, how it was created and tested, and on whom, or how to conduct a training session and in what specific order, then yes, get both books.
If having a methodical, well-crafted approach to create an all-around fitness program for your clients, group or individuals, with built-in systems to track and measure progress, establish baselines and remove uncertainties of training, once again the answer is yes.
If you’re only interested in reading about and applying the broken down movements mentioned in the first book, in detail and suggested execution, listing their benefits and specific how-to, then no, you don’t need the first book as the second one is a sufficient stand-alone exercise guide.
Let me pitch you the need for both, though. The word “guide” is relevant because having just an exercise guide shows you only how to do an exercise and its benefits on a given body part, or aspect of performance. Think of it like a cook book: how successfully can you compose a meal if you only have a list of ingredients and cooking techniques, but no recipes? The veteran chef (or seasoned trainer) knows how to combine the “ingredients” and the “techniques”. But how many fitness instructors, trainers, coaches actually only use a miss-mash of exercises strung along without a real purpose or plan?
The final aspect of the pitch is simple: it’s only a couple bucks and you can read it in about an hour or so and reference it any time.