Monday, 31 December 2007

The Professional Wrestler's Workout and Instructional Guide - Book Review

So you’re probably wondering what a fat, out of shape, unfit man is doing reviewing a book called “The Professional Wrestlers’ Workout and Instructional Guide”. Well, when I first requested a review copy of this book, it was my intention to get a close friend of mine, who just happened to be a professional wrestling trainer, to help me with my review. But then circumstances changed, so I decided, what the hell, I’ll just review the book myself!

Written by Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat, and Les Thatcher, these three men alone have over a hundred years combined experience in the wrestling business, so it’s obvious that they know what they’re talking about. This book covers quite a few topics in great detail, beginning with actually breaking into the business, to strength and conditioning, which is something you’ll need before you even start basic wrestling training, to learning the basic moves, such as bumping, running the ropes, etc.

While I found these chapters interesting, it was the chapters regarding ring psychology and character development that interested me most. Just knowing how to do a few basic moves doesn’t make someone a professional wrestler, there’s a lot more to it than that. Messrs Race, Steamboat and Thatcher go into great detail about designing a character. For instance, Les Thatcher tells a story of how one of his trainees, who was six-foot-four tall, wanted to be a high-flyer, until Thatcher pointed out to him that there are no six-foot-four cruiserweights around. They also point out that aspiring wrestlers might not get things right with their characters first time around - Kane, Steve Austin and Batista are fine examples of this.

One point that is made early on is that this book alone will not turn you into a professional wrestler. Indeed, while this book shows you how to bump, throw punches and chops and execute suplexes, it won’t actually help you unless you get into the ring and try to perform the moves there. The three writers also encourage the reader to find a proper training school, and to that end, there is a list of the top schools currently operating in the United States.

In conclusion - despite the fact that I have no aspirations to take up a career as a professional wrestler, I found this book a very good read. The insights of Race, Steamboat and Thatcher made for interesting reading, and this book is a useful guide for those wanting to break into the business.

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