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Congruent Exercise: How To Make Weight Training Easier On Your Joints Paperback – January 17, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bill DeSimone is an experienced personal trainer, having started in 1983 at the Sports Training Institute in New York City, and now with his own studio, Optimal Exercise, in Cranbury, New Jersey. Along the way, he was certified by both the NSCA and ACE, and worked in corporate, commercial, academic, and private settings. His own training-induced injuries led to his unique approach, applying textbook biomechanics to conventional free-weight and machine instruction. He first presented this material in a manual, Moment Arm Exercise, in 2004; and since then, in a series of videos on You Tube; at conferences for the NSCA, Club Industry, and High Intensity Training; and as in-services for studio and gym staff. In addition to one-to-one training in the studio, Bill consults with individual trainees worldwide. Via video, Bill reviews the trainee’s form on the equipment available to the trainee and provides an email or telephone consultation. Bill’s presentation, “Basic Biomechanics for Weight Training”, is available for conferences and staff training. Contact Bill at optimalexercise@comcast.net. For new video and updates, subscribe to the Congruent Exercise You Tube channel and Facebook page.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 76 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1467930415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467930413
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #846,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have both the Congruent Exercise and Moment Arm Exercise manuals. I cannot recommend them highly enough. I wish this information had been around twenty-five years ago, when I was just learning how to mess up my spine and joints by lifting weights. Might have saved me from a matching set of type 4, S.L.A.P. lesions and a lot of bursitis.

I found Mr. DeSimone on YouTube. I was skeptical at first, like most people are when presented with a viewpoint that conflicts with orthodoxy. Who does this guy think he is, anyway, telling me that I've been doing it wrong all these years? Turns out, he's right. He answered enough of the questions that have been lingering in my head all these years that I had to buy his material. Money well spent.
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If you are still doing heavy squats and deadlifts you need to read this book before you damage your knee cartilage the way I did. The split squat, as demonstrated by the author, is great at working the quads and glutes. To avoid overtraining read "The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer", chapter on consolidation training. Also the instruction for standing heel raise for the calves is much safer than in a machine with all that weight on your shoulders compressing your spinal discs, I was sore as hell.
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I think a lot of people will dismiss this book because it doesn't fit with the current trendy advice or the routines in bodybuilding magazines -- and that's a shame.

Here's the idea of this book in a nutshell: try to find the best of both worlds -- effective exercises that are also low-risk to joints and ligaments. Going to the gym is supposed to improve your sports performance, health, fitness, etc -- not put those things at risk. Oh, and just because the way you exercise doesn't hurt NOW, doesn't mean you won't wake up 10 or 20 years from now with joint problems. (When it's too late to do anything about it.)

Instead of *reading* this book and judging it intellectually, I challenge you to test it out for yourself! Try these methods for a few weeks. I think you'll notice a difference.

I was skeptical at first, too. Give up deadlifts? Sacrilege! After a few weeks though, I have to admit that my body is feeling better, and instead of "going downhill" like I feared I would, I'm actually gaining strength. It turns out that "soreness" I thought was a sign I had done a great workout was actually joint inflammation. With that gone, I can actually work out MORE because I'm not spending so many days recovering between workouts.

Anyway, that's my experience. I think if you've searched for this book at all you should try these methods for yourself -- that's the only real way to prove it works. I think you'll be surprised.

-1 star only because I wanted the book to be longer!
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Format: Paperback
The concept "sustainable" has been co-opted by environmentalists who want to limit how we, as a species, use natural resources. Because they underestimate how human ingenuity can impact how plentiful any resource is, environmentalists invariably err on the side of coaching us to "live with less". Someday, human ingenuity will find a way to allow us to regenerate our connective tissue and heal deep tissue injuries with cellular regenerative technology. Until then however the best way to approach exercise is with a keen awareness of our body's limitations and by minding Hippocrates' dictum, "First do no harm".

Unfortunately most fitness authorities violate this dictum by having their clients move explosively or in a manner which, despite being trendy and "fun", can lead to acute or overuse injuries. Bill Desimone is a brilliant exception and this book will allow you to train your body effectively over the course of a lifetime while minimizing the likelihood of hurting yourself or causing excessive wear and tear on your joints.

Ideally every young person starting an exercise program for the first time will read and apply the insights of this book. Unfortunately, youth is often wasted on the young and the macho attitude characteristic of the young (nothing can hurt me) keeps then from being the most receptive to Desimone's wisdom. That's a pity. Because the sooner you apply his advice, the sooner exercise can become what it ought to be: a habit that can safely improve your capacity to enjoy life to the fullest.

For those on the fence about getting this book, put your false pride aside. Don't make the mistake of thinking that following today's exercise trends (Crossfit, P90X, Insanity, muscle mag routines, etc.) will come at no cost to you. Bill Desimone discusses the injuries he suffered from not being mindful of biomechanics and he had the intelligence to re-learn how to exercise. Have the intelligence to learn from his experience!
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Bill DeSimone's CONGRUENT EXERCISE is a very short, sweet, and to-the-point treatise on how to maximize the benefits of strength training (Read: stimulus to the target muscles) while minimizing wear-and-tear on the joints and risk of traumatic injury.

DeSimone, who seems to know more about the biomechanics of the human body than almost anyone alive, explains in detail the problems with many common gym exercises, and either how to fix them, or what movements to replace them with.

While this book is essential reading for anyone who lifts weights, I especially recommend it to young people who are just beginning their training careers. The best "cure" for a serious injury is...not to have it in the first place.
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