Here is a review of the latest Verkhoshansky text.
This manual is definitely a worthwhile purchase and I'd make sure you are familiar with some of Verkhoshansky's work before reading it (mainly I'd read the articles on Methodology first from his website).
Now for some objective critical thoughts:
1. The book is WAY more explicit and defined than any other Verkhoshansky text I have ever read (which includes Supertraining + Addendum, 1st SST Manual, All of his English SSTM articles, etc.).
-To give examples: multiple terms are put in bold and then defined in a subscript at the bottom of the page, this includes different terms associated with biodynamics, along with the classification of the 5 different 'strengths' associated with SST.
2. The research experiments and equipment that they used to test certain parameters (EXS, MXS, Reactive, etc.) are cited and explained adequately.
3. Of course as is the case which all of his texts, there are some general syntax errors, missing words, etc. but if you have above sufficient reading level and comprehension of the English language you will be able to get around them just fine.
4. In one section of the book (I believe it to be in the SST in Cyclic Sports) he used the term 'Conjugate Method' (which is often associated with the Westside Barbell system and the training that goes on their); this is obviously not referring to Westside Barbell but to the Conjugate Sequencing System or as is usually referred to in this manual, the Block Training System (BTS).
5. The programs are far more adequately explained than in the previous addition; explanations of 'why' are given (which in the last chapter of the book is something he talks about about the difference between periodization and programming), which can help a coach understand why each mean and method is placed before the previous (which he talks about with his principles of interrelation, superimposition, etc.)
6. Appendix 3 (about warm-up) is a great overview with tons of research citations about the importance of what is called 'warm-up load'. Natalia Verkhoshansky goes into great detail using empirical and anecdotal evidence as to why a proper 'warm-up' is important in order to enhance performance and too decrease the risk of injury.
7. The final chapter of the book is my personal favorite; it delves into the genesis of the BTS and what got Verkhoshansky thinking in the way that he did in order to formulate his methodology. Furthermore, it explains the difference between periodization and programming and gives reasons as to why Verkhoshansky was a critic of Leo Matveyevs' model (this was mainly due to the fact that Matveyev did not view training as an adaptation process, which Verkhoshansky did).
To conclude, as I said above, this is definitely a worthwhile purchase for a coach of any sporting discipline. If you wanted to start somewhere with Verkhoshansky's work I would start hear and then go back thru Supertraining, the 1st SST Manual, and all of his articles and books. This book hopefully will help clear up all of the confusion, misconceptions, etc. that have been associated with Verkhoshansky's work.
I hope this review helps all who read it.
Ryan Williams USA