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Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength Paperback – November 12, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 542 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1467933120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467933124
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're reading this I guess is because you have an interest in bodyweight training, at the moment this is the one stop book on upper body strength training, period.

Though, bare in mind it's not everything bodyweight, it focuses solely on upper body strength development in a gymnast's way, it's not a gymnastic skills manual (no cartwheels, swings, shoulder inlocates and the likes) it's not about conditioning, it's not about GPP (general physical preparedness), it's not about plyometrics or anything else. Now, don't get me wrong, this book is for EVERYONE, it teaches you how to develop ridiculous amounts of strength, all the way to iron cross, planche and more. You decide how far to go in your journey, it provides you the knowledge for such amazing goals.

The fact the author has personally answered all questions on [...] forum shows you how he keeps his feet on the ground. There's no hype. He doesn't try to sell you anything, he's just so passionate about the subject to feel the urge to share it.

I'd rate the book 9.5 out of 10 just because being self edited and published leaves some room for improvements, in particular for the visual appealing and layout. I'm pretty sure it will easily become a best seller in the hands of a publisher like Human Kinetics.

As others have said before me you will end up comparing his work with the few other books available on bodyweigth training.

The following rating is based on the fact that Overcoming Gravity has set the standard.

Naked warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline. 2.0 don't even bother with this one, more hype than contents. 2 exercise progressions in it. (one arm push-up and one leg squat)

Convict conditioning by Paul Wade. 3.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a long time follower of Steven Low's blog [...] and an avid student of gymnastics and bodyweight training. My favorite thing about the book is the progressions. Often times I find that many other authors have progressions that are too fast or difficult to follow. But in Overcoming Gravity, the progressions are in much smaller steps which allows for the reader to pick up at his or her ability easily and immediately begin developing their strength. This book does not require that you must already have a foundation in gymnastics or bodyweight training which makes it a fantastic resource for beginners, but beyond that, it's also an amazing resource for even advanced gymnasts as the progressions continue on to even the most demanding movements like inverted crosses or elevators.

Overall, it is a plethora of information, almost too much information to retain from a single reading. But that shouldn't stop you from using it as a reference tool. If you're debating between buying Overcoming Gravity and Building the Gymnastic Body, Overcoming Gravity is the definite winner. It is more in depth, more complete, and easier to follow as well as actually implement. I started playing around with the various progressions the first day the book arrived. My brother started following the planche progressions the week after Christmas, and he's already close to holding a straddle planche in less than 2 months. If you purchased Building the Gymnastic Body and felt you were left hanging by the lack of programming discussion, this is your solution as well.

Steven Low does an excellent job of thoroughly covering programming to the point where you can build your own routine without requiring the assistance of a coach. The book covers so much ground it's remarkable.
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Overcoming Gravity is a veritable compendium of information on how to improve in bodyweight strength and mobility from the level of complete novice through expert. Mr. Low is well versed in the fields of exercise science and kinesiology, and he applies this knowledge towards a greater understanding of the process of bodyweight exercise. This book will give you a solid foundation on how to build your own gymnastic or bodyweight strength routine: How many days a week to train, which exercises to choose, how to do those exercises, how many reps, how many sets, etc. The book also contains impressive chapters on common injuries, how to rehabilitate, and how to prevent in the first place. Mr Low might not be the coach of national champion athletes, but he has a deep understanding of the subject and the knowledge and language to explain the how and why of it all to the layperson. I highly recommend this book to any person looking to advance in bodyweight exercise strength and skills.
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Format: Paperback
If you are interested in bodyweight training, gymnastic moves or training theory - buy this book.

Over the years, I've read a lot of exercise literature and I have lifted a lot of weights. I study the human body too, so I'm well above averagely interested in how the body responds to training.

This book is literally a groundbreaker and it will become a classic. It opened my eyes to new concepts and I would compare the impact it's had on me to that of great books like Starting Strength and Stretching Scientifically. The theory is laid out in a way that is more accessible than in both of these other two books, but a lot of the concepts presented here are "newer" in a sense. They have been around for a long time, but it's likely that many people have never heard of them. So if you are interested in the theory, it's an interesting read for sure. Since Steven is a physiotherapy student in addition to being a former gymnast, there is a lot of focus on injury pre-/rehabilitation as well. And that's a welcome resource to have, since this type of training is very hard on the body if done excessively. The author is not very conservative either, and is constantly keeping up to date on research and developments in this field of science. So it's quite cutting edge and not very dogmatic.

About the book itself, I would say that the layout and wrapping is quite simplistic. There are quite a few typos here and there. I wouldn't get caught up in that, this is the first edition and it is not a coffeetable book. What it is, is a tome of knowledge that contains everything you need to know to get into serious bodyweight training in addition to the basic concepts of training that can be applied to weightlifting as well. When I say tome, I mean that it is over 500 pages and quite sizeable.
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