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Men's Health Your Body is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. 28 Days to a Lean, Strong, More Muscular You! [Kindle Edition]

BJ Gaddour
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Book Description

With Your Body Is Your Barbell, a reader will have no excuse not to get into the best shape of his or her life . . . simply, easily, and in just 6 weeks in the convenience of his or her own home.

Metabolic training expert BJ Gaddour, CSCS, whom Men's Health magazine calls one of the 100 fittest men of all time, has created a remarkably efficient and effective body-transforming workout and nutrition program based on just a handful of simple moves, the Bodyweight Eight. These no-equipment-required exercises are all one needs to build a strikingly symmetrical, perfectly proportioned, and classically beautiful physique, just like BJ's.

Once readers master each legendary fitness feat with perfect form, they will use BJ's scalable, step-by-step progressions to go from ground zero to superhero. From these exercise variations, readers can construct hundreds of personalized workouts. Dozens of sample routines are already demonstrated through big, bold how-to photographs within the book and organized by goal, duration, intensity, and targeted body zone. This is the only book a man or woman needs to achieve the body he or she has always wanted anywhere . . . and without gear.

Editorial Reviews Review

About the Author

BJ GADDOUR, CSCS, is a master of metabolic t raining and an expert on bodyweight-only exercise. The CEO of, he is the creator of the bestselling Men’s Health DeltaFit 82-Day Speed Shred System set of eight DVDs. He lives in Milwaukee.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4274 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale; 1 edition (May 13, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,136 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bodyweight book I have been waiting for May 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have tried taking up bodyweight exercise for a long time and read most of the well-known books on the subject, but I never seem to get past week 1 or 2. “Convict Conditioning” convinced me that bodyweight exercise is the way to go, but the writing was over the top and the progressions were simultaneously too slow (one month of wall pushups) and too extreme (I will never be able to do a one-handed handstand pushup). Al Kavadlo's books are beautifully photographed and seem to have good progressions, but they lack schedules and routines that novices like me need. Besides, I want to buy one book on this topic, not 3 or 4. “You are Your Own Gym" is a nicely-polished 'cookbook' of bodyweight exercises, and is very popular but it was actually my least favorite of the group.

I had never heard of BJ Gaddour, but he sure knows his stuff. While the writing could be a bit more polished, this book is absolutely my favorite of the bunch. His approach, including the pairing of pushing and pulling exercises, makes a lot of sense to me. The book is centered on 8 main bodyweight exercises with 5 “Levels” or progressions in each. I am starting on level 1 of all 8 (see the Table of Contents for specifics), and I think they are good exercises for a relative newcomer like me.

The progressions seem logical and each main exercise includes 3 subtle “Regressions” and “Progression” to make the exercises slightly easier or harder. His explanations on how to position your body are excellent, probably the best of any fitness book that I have ever read. They might be a bit too detailed for someone who is more experienced with bodyweight exercises, but I found them very helpful.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource! May 13, 2014
Although I've never met BJ Gaddour in person, I know that his reputation in the S&C industry is impeccable. BJ's passion for strength training and body recomposition shines through. Having written a book on bodyweight training, I tend to be skeptical of other writers who tackle the same topic. It can be challenging to receive a well-rounded workout while only using one's body for resistance, and many strength experts fail to incorporate certain key exercises and produce comprehensive training programs. When I received "Your Body is a Barbell," I was blown away by the quality of BJ's book, not only with the formatting, but also with the exercises, descriptions, photos, and programs. In short, BJ nailed this one! I recommend it to anyone interested in bodyweight training (let's face it, we all need to know about bodyweight training - not only does it lay the foundation for free weight training, but we will all find ourselves traveling from time to time without gym access, and we need to know how to train our bodies properly without weights). Nice job BJ, I love this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a former yoga and Pilates instructor, I didn't need to be convinced that you could achieve impressive results using your own bodyweight. I'm pretty enthused about the trend toward bodyweight fitness. There are two things that make this guide useful to me: 1) the clarity of the organization and 2) the guide to progressions.

As others have mentioned, the book presents eight base exercises and then variations and progressions for all of them. These are not randomly chosen exercises; there are four for the upper body and four for the lower body. Upper body work is balanced to include two "push" exercises (pushups and handstand pushups) and two "pull" exercises (rows and pull ups). Lower body includes two exercises that emphasize the hip joint (the hip thrust or bridge and the hip hinge) and two exercises that emphasize the knee joints (squats and single leg squats). Gaddour goes into just the right amount of detail to explain the philosophy behind the choice of exercises. While he does mention a few aesthetic considerations, the majority of his explanations are functional (and thank goodness). While the program is pretty "straight up", his progressions also include suggestions to include rotation, something many traditional strength training programs usually leave out.

As someone who isn't naturally strong, particularly in my upper body, it's very frustrating to read other guides that say things like "the only way to learn to do a pull up is to do a pull up" or "if you're really serious, you can do this". In contrast, Gaddour has a five-step program to take you from what he calls "Ground Zero" to "Superhero". (I suspect most of us will be perfectly happy with "Advanced" or "Intermediate".) For example, to get to a pull up, you start with a hang, or the "bottom" of the pull up.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY well structured May 16, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got the Kindle version of this book and skimmed through it yesterday. I think it is very good for a someone looking for something simple and something structured to get them started with bodyweight fitness.

It gives you 8 exercises: hip thrust, push-up, deep squat, row, hip hinge, handstand push-up, single leg squat, and pull-up.
Then it gives you a billion progressive variations of each of these, going from exercises so easy I can't imagine anyone who isn't a quadriplegic not being able to do them, up to versions that look very advanced. Each exercise gets it's own chapter that does nothing but give you progressive variations, and variations on variations. The progressions are the real meat of the book. It's easy to progress in weighted exercises, you just add weight, but this makes progressing in these 8 exercises that clear and that simple.

Then the book takes these 8 exercises and shows you how to build different workouts with them based on your goals such as strength, endurance, time-saving, and many more.

Then it gives you a bunch of bodyweight cardio exercises to add in to all this. It starts with breaking down the burpee so you can learn good form and gives a whole chapter of variations and progressions from rank beginner to advanced. Then it gives a ton of other bodyweight cardio exercises to add into the mix.

This book is very well structured. If you are want a clear starting point on how to get into body weight fitness, I think this is your book. It's what I've been looking for. For the price I paid for the kindle version, I think it is a very good deal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was a gift.
Published 3 days ago by Jane Myers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by G. Fieldhouse
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great way to train
Published 10 days ago by Lefty Brams
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Book
Great Book, working on a new year plan
Published 12 days ago by Ray
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the best book about bodyweght training.
I bought this book only because I the others readers' reviews made me curious. I have some books of bodyweight training, and some dvds too, and exactly as the Amazon costumer says... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Sandro Fabres Viana
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing worked great best thing to have on long trips were I can't make it to a gym.
Published 29 days ago by Andrew P. Sena
5.0 out of 5 stars Merrill Bruce Lyman
They ought to restock this book in the store. It is a best book on exercise.
Published 1 month ago by Merrill Bruce Lyman
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great book really helps you get stronger. Will definitely recommend it to friends.
Published 1 month ago by SHARPE1FITNESS
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for men! Workout at home and be in the best shape of your...
Great book, everything you need is laid out clearly and concisely with lots of easy guides to follow, a chapter devoted to each "bodyweight 8" exercise and it's... Read more
Published 1 month ago by giant_robot
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
just what I've been looking for
Published 1 month ago by carol clausen
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More About the Author

BJ Gaddour, CSCS, is a bodyweight exercise and metabolic training expert. Named one of the 100 Fittest Men of All Time by Men's Health magazine, he's the creator of the Men's Health fitness DVDs DeltaFIT Speed Shred, 10-Minute Torchers, Bodyweight Cardio Burners, and Bodyweight Muscle Burners. He is also the CEO of


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