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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly researched and much needed volume on bodyweight training
Bret Contreras ("the Glute Guy") has outdone himself with this book. I have been bodyweight training for about 10 months prior to this book coming out and I had learned a lot. However, even after all the research I had done, this book further enhanced my understanding of how to exercise effectively without external resistance.

Furthermore, with 150+ exercises...
Published 10 months ago by Fred

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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy
I've been training exclusively with bodyweight exercises from the book You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren for about a year now and have achieved great results. Im a big fan of this type of training, so naturally this book piqued my interest. It has good exercises, and it does a decent job of illustrating the primary and secondary muscles being worked. Overall, I enjoyed...
Published 9 months ago by Martin Palacio


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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly researched and much needed volume on bodyweight training, September 12, 2013
By 
Fred "The Book Adder" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy (Paperback)
Bret Contreras ("the Glute Guy") has outdone himself with this book. I have been bodyweight training for about 10 months prior to this book coming out and I had learned a lot. However, even after all the research I had done, this book further enhanced my understanding of how to exercise effectively without external resistance.

Furthermore, with 150+ exercises to choose from, I learned a bunch more cool exercises and some interesting twists on old classics.

If you're a beginner, this book is great. If you're an experienced bodyweight trainer, this book will give you even more insight on how to work out effectively. Many people will read this book and be blown away by the fact that you can do so much with just your body weight.

The book is beautifully presented, with each exercise and the muscles worked illustrated and fully described.

Bret Contreras is renowned for his attention to detail and effectively communicating the science of strength and conditioning. In Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy, he continues in that vein. It is a must have for every serious strength trainer.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent help to those who want to get fit wherever they are, September 26, 2013
I mostly do bodyweight workouts. I do yoga at least twice a week, which is a form of bodyweight. I do the resistance bands also. But I depend mostly on short bodyweight workouts. This book was very helpful to me. I was a bit surprised at some of the muscles that were worked in some exercises.

For example, the push-up against a counter or table works your triceps, biceps, traps and delts. I thought they worked the chest and back primarily.

This book makes it easy to decide what exercises to do in each workout. When you know the muscle group you want to hit and the exercises that make it happen, planning workouts is fun. And, the book gives not only instructions but alternatives as well. I find it a well written book that's laid out in an easy-to-follow manner. I would have liked to have seen an index so you could quickly find a specific exercise. But the table of contents pretty much does the same job in this book.

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

Chapter 1 The Bodyweight Challenge
Chapter 2 Arms
Chapter 3 Neck and Shoulders
Chapter 4 Chest
Chapter 5 Core
Chapter 6 Back
Chapter 7 Thighs
Chapter 8 Glutes
Chapter 9 Calves
Chapter 10 Whole Body
Chapter 11 Planning Your Program
About the Author

Highly recommended.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
Health & Fitness Researcher/Reviewer
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique anatomical approach to bodyweight training, September 18, 2013
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This review is from: Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy (Paperback)
I received my copy of Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy, and it's just what I wanted. I like to work out for 30 minutes or so before going to work, so driving to a health club isn't convenient. Also, I'm living on a budget so I don't want to buy fitness equipment for my home. With this book I'll be able to get a good workout anytime, anywhere. The exercises are rated from #1 (beginner) to #4 (advanced) so it's unlikely that I'll "outgrow" the exercises anytime soon. (Just try the Pistol Squat on page 122. You'll see what I mean.) The full-color anatomical illustrations are amazing, and show which muscles you're working. I know there's lots of misinformation circulating on the web about proper training technique, but Contreras seems to know what he's talking about.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing info for the bodyweight training enthusiast, October 2, 2013
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This review is from: Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy (Paperback)
Bret Contreras has produced an amazing addition to the rapidly growing body of literature on body weight strength and athletic training. Bret has included data on muscles involved in each of the exercises he describes. This is data I have not seen in anywhere close to this detail and accuracy elsewhere. Scattered throughout the book are golden nuggets of wisdom on body weight training, and training in general. These are all of the most common sense and readily applicable nature. Warnings as to over use and over training are gently inserted, not to scare, but to keep the user of this book on the right path. There is a brief section on nutrition that makes sense (eat natural foods, leaning protein heavy, but include vegetables and fruits, balancing with a few carbs. That's it). Bret does not push Paleo, either the original or Rob Wolff's version, but clearly approaches that concept.

First Bret introduces us to the concept of bodyweight training. Then he takes the parts of the body and details several exercises in each. In each of these sections, the exercise is rated as to difficulty, well described with diagrams depicting the muscles and bones and postures involved in most of them, , and then discussed in terms of the motions and sports that utilize that activity. The body sections Bret discusses are very inclusive: Arms, Neck and Shoulders, Chest, Core, Back, Thighs, Glutes, Calves. Mention is made of the grip in appropriate places. Then a chapter on whole body exercises is included. Bret finishes with a chapter called "Planning your Program" discussing Individualization, Autoregulation, Strength Balance, Training Goals, Training Variables, Putting it all Together, and Training for Fat Loss. Each chapter is clearly and simply written. Necessary words are defined right in the text. If one masters all the words Bret defines and uses, one would have a good understanding of basic anatomy of the human body. Bret has pruned the details of human anatomy down to the essentials and makes the essentials clear. There is not fluff in this book.

Bret Contreras has both a Masters degree and the CSCS certification. He has owned a strength gym in Scottsdale AZ. Bret is, according to his bio in the book, a sought after speaker. He is a peer-reviewd author and contributor to many industry publications. Currently, he is in New Zealand studying biomechanics, pursuing a PhD in sport science. In spite of all this, this book is not pedantic, but well and clearly written.

Bret has chosen an excellent menu of exercises in each anatomic area. But to keep the size of the book manageable, he has left many good exercises out. The user of this book would benefit from just doing the Exercises Bret includes. But I would recommend augmenting the lists with the encyclopedic texts "Men's Health Big Book of Exercises" and "Men's Health Power Training" by Robert dos Remedios.

This book is a reference book that should be on the shelves of every bodyweight enthusiast, and trainer. I initially bought the Kindle Version. But once, I realized the importance and uniqueness if this book, I ordered the paperback version for my library.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy, October 8, 2013
By 
Martin Palacio (L.A. California USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy (Paperback)
I've been training exclusively with bodyweight exercises from the book You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren for about a year now and have achieved great results. Im a big fan of this type of training, so naturally this book piqued my interest. It has good exercises, and it does a decent job of illustrating the primary and secondary muscles being worked. Overall, I enjoyed the read and had only the below critiques:

1. I found exercise descriptions should have been more descriptive, especially for the more complex movements like the one-arm push-up, especially since the illustrations show only the finishing positions. The devil's in the details, especially when you expect people to train alone with only your book as their guide.

2. I would have liked to see more ways to increase or decrease the difficulty of these movements or been given recommendations on how to work up to the harder exercises. Unlike with lifting weights or using machines, with bodyweight training you can't just add or remove plates or adjust a pin. Without knowing how to adjust the difficulty, the usefulness of many of these movements is highly limited. Exercise progressions and tips on adjusting movement intensity are a must for any book on Bodyweight training to be truly effective.

3. Because of the above stated reason (not knowing how to progress or adjust movement difficulty), it's impossible to create a real strength training program with the given bodyweight exercises. Yes, you can exercise, but you can't really "train" with an end goal other than to increase reps. The author's program in the back of the book is evidence to this as he does not provide rep goals for any of the exercises and oddly suggests training the entire body 5 times per week, using the same exercises. That is without a doubt "exercising" and not what I would consider strength training with clear objectives in mind. When using a good strength training program that makes use of whole body training sessions, every other day is plenty for the average person. And since movement intensity needs to be adjusted in order to keep you in the appropriate rep range for the development of strength, in my opinion, "Bodyweight Exercise Anatomy" would have been a more appropriate title for this book.

Like I said, overall, I like the book, and it does contain good information. However, I was only able to add a few minor tools to my bodyweight training arsenal that I hadn't already picked up from using You Are Your Own Gym for the last year.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy, September 19, 2013
This review is from: Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy (Paperback)
As an elite level springboard and platform diving coach for 37 years, I know the importance of strength training for reaching one's fullest athletic potential. Too often I heard athletes and coaches complain that they couldn't engage in strength training because they didn't have a weight room back home. Contreras illustrates how athletes with nothing but their body weight and commonplace items such as a chair, pole, box, table, and hanging bar can increase strength, build mass, and burn fat. I love his full-color anatomical illustrations and step-by-step instructional approach as well as his chapter for planning individual training programs. Great book for athletes in any sport, and the book should be on every coach's book shelf.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for coaches and trainees alike, September 23, 2013
As a coach I am always looking for better ways to help my clients train at home. This is an excellent resource that provides ideas for bodyweight exercises that can be implements without use of any equipment. I enjoy how the book is broken down into exercises categories as well as fitness levels, making it easy to build an at-home bodyweight program for anyone's fitness level.

The research is thorough and the text is written in a manner that is easy to follow and digest. I think anyone looking for a solid foundation of strength should start with this guide.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by a well-known name in strength training., November 21, 2013
By 
Jami Garrison "JamiRae" (Peoria, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy (Paperback)
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This is a great book that details a full variety of strength training exercises using only your body weight. While I prefer to use some actual weights for my strength training workouts, there are many times when they simply aren't available. The beauty of this particular book is that along with detailed information on how to perform each exercise, there are detailed color diagrams showing which muscles the particular exercise targets and works. Plus, there's a section in the back that goes through planning your workout so that you can develop your own routines and even to move up in challenging yourself.

when I'm traveling I rarely have access to a gym that has the weight equipment I need to complete my workouts. This book allows me to find comparable workouts that use just my body weight. With the well written instructions and advice on form, execution, and why/how bodyweight strength training is beneficial. It's a great addition to my library of fitness books and I plan to incorporate some of these exercises into my regular strength training routines.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best refernce book on bodyweight training available that I've read, October 3, 2013
By 
Randall Lindsey (Victoria, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
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And I've read a lot! Pavel, Dan John and Michael Boyle, just to name a few. Bret's book cuts through the nonsense and provides you with clear and well illustrated instructions for each exercise. You will come away from this book knowing the proper way to exercise the whole body and you will what you need to do meet your goals (i.e. strength, muscle growth, fat loss, etc.).

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their health, but doesn't want or can't invest the money in expensive equipment or costly gym memberships. You can achieve your goals anywhere and anytime - at home, work or on the raod.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for training without equipment, November 27, 2013
This review is from: Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy (Paperback)
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I've been a martial artist for years so I have (a) a long list of old injuries and (b) a desire to know and understand the details of movements of the different joints and the various muscles and (c) desire and need to build strength. This is a great book for all those things.

Exercising without free weight can give you more control and more safety - since you are only working with the mass of your own body. And most of these exercises can be done with no equipment, and some require minimal equipment - like a chair. I stick this in my suitcase so that I can exercise on the road - not every hotel has a gym.

The book is very detailed about which muscles are developed by each exercise and there is a tremendous selection of exercises. And there is a handy chart at the back which not only lists all the exercises for a particular body section, but also helps you balance your exercises (and body) laterally, vertically, and in terms of rotation. In reading this I realized I'm quadriceps dominant, which I think has been the factor that has prevented me from fixing a decade old knee problem - its the imbalance, not the tissue.
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Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy
Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy by Bret Contreras (Paperback - September 6, 2013)
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