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Edited by R Eston, T Reilly. UK: Published by Taylor and Francis Group, 2001, £27.99 each, softcover, pp vol 1 302, vol 2 298. ISBN vol 1, 0415236134; vol 2, 0415251885
This two volume series is aimed squarely at lecturers and students of human movement and sports science, although high level coaches and those in the sports medicine and fitness industries may also appreciate its contents. The two volumes are of equal size, and, although containing tests for capacities including body composition, proportion, size, growth, and somatotype, the title of volume 1, “Anthropometry”, masks some important information contained therein.
Having reviewed the literature on each topic, chapter authors generally describe and critique current assessment techniques for each of the capacities mentioned above, then provide step by step procedures for the accurate and reliable acquisition of data. The reader is also provided with normal or comparison data so that the application of these tests and measures can be discussed. I was particularly pleased to read the chapters in part 4 of this volume, which is entitled “Special considerations”. This section contained chapters on body image, basic statistical treatment of data, and adjusting for differences in body size through dimensional scaling.
I did, however, find one or two problems in the early part of this volume. This second edition was published in 2001, so it is understandable that the work does not contain some of the changes to standard landmarks and techniques published by the International Society for Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK) in recent years. Of greater concern though was the credence given to the outdated and highly questionable use of skinfold regression equations for the prediction of % body fat in the practical section of chapter 1.
The second volume contains assessment tools for neuromuscular function, pulmonary and cardiovascular function, the efficiency of energy systems, and regulation of energy expenditure and exercise intensity. The chapters generally follow the same format as for volume 1, with many examples of real data for students to appreciate the quantum of each measure. Several parts of this volume, including chapters on thermoregulation, heart rate, and perceived exertion, as well as submaximal exercise performance should also appeal to professionals in ergonomics and human factors.
On balance, I believe this two volume set to be of great use in the training of future professionals in the sports science field. Both volumes are well priced and may be purchased separately. They are easy to read, contain plenty of illustrations and figures to support the text, and provide a useful synopsis of current assessment practice within the discipline. However, readers should not expect this book to provide much information on strategies for modifying these biological capacities. These discussions are beyond the scope, and not necessarily the intent, of the publication.
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