Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength by Steven Low (2011-11-12) Paperback – November 12, 2011
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- Item Weight : 3.36 pounds
- Paperback : 542 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1467933120
- ISBN-13 : 978-1467933124
- Product Dimensions : 8.5 x 1.23 x 11 inches
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 39662nd Edition (November 12, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #936,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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THE GOOD: packed with quality information, everything you need to understand the ins and outs of "bodyweight" workouts, or what used to be called gymnastics.
THE NOT SO GOOD: This book is in bad need of an editor. There is far too much redundant information and all of it could be compressed and better organized visually so that the book could be both lighter and more useful as a quick reference as well as a tome. I hope if Mr. Low releases a new edition, that he's able to afford a professional editor to hammer this book into an easier-to-digest format. I believe if it were better organized and better formatted, that this book would grow its readership. And it definitely deserves readers.
The book discusses in-depth the:
- Biology behind improving your strength or aerobic capabilities.
- How to develop the right kinds of goals that you can actually work toward.
- The progressions for bodyweight training in a format that's similar to videogames like Diablo or WoW.
- How to determine the number of sets and reps you need to do.
- How often you need to workout.
- Notes the times you should actually skip a workout.
In the past, I would workout without seeing improvements. Now with this book, I have seen objective improvements in my strength and capabilities, to the point where it is actually fun to "level up" and see what I can do next.
The last page is a nice, one-page summary of creating a workout plan.
This is *THE* workout book I have always needed and wished to have, and highly recommend it to anybody that wants to develop a workout plan (even if it's just pumping iron vs bodyweight). It is like having a personal trainer, without forking out a huge sum of money, but getting better advice.
Also the author of this book is still very active in helping and supporting those who need it. I submitted a routine for critique on his reddit page and he responded to me in less than 24hrs with great advice and how to change and alter the routine.
My ending thoughts on this is, I am damn impressed by this book.
This book also focuses more on the higher-end skills, so you aren't wasting time skimming past pages about how to do a pull-up or some other basic movement. It also is very focused on explaining the progression and discusses the relative skills or strength you should have at each level, so you can have a general idea of how far away you are from being able to do some skill.
Top reviews from other countries
I've always thought i'm pretty strong as i've been weight training for 10 years and always been quite good at body weight exercises like pull-ups, press-ups etc. But! since buying this book and doing some of the basic gymnastic moves, i've used muscles that you can't train with a pair of dumbells and they're very hard. Gravity is one hell of a workout, because that is what you're pushing against to acomplish the routines in this book.
As the book's title says, this is a systematic approach so it starts with the basic moves and then builds up bit by bit to the advanced (super-human moves), which means anyone can bennefit from buying this book. You get detailed pictures and written descriptions of every routine, of which there are loads.
EQUIPMENT - If you want to try and replicate all the routines in the book then you will need to purchase some gymnastic rings (i got mine on amazon) a good pull-up bar - one which you can get your body over the top of and a set of paralell bars. The paralell bars may sound a bit extreme, but these arn't the olympic size ones that need to be bolted into the floor, i got some which are about 1.5 meters high and 2 meters long. I needed to purchase all these as the nearest gymanstics centre is 100 miles away and i don't have a good park anywhere with bars etc.
RESULTS - Since purchasing this book i've hardly used my weights, apart from some specific exercises which help strengthen the body to acheive certain routines from the book. Although i don't train just to look good when i'm at the beach, the results you get from bodyweight training like a gymnast are amazing. You know what gymnasts bodys are like, very ripped, amazing abs, big shoulders-(men) slim waist etc. I've been using this book for several weeks now and although i was in good shape before, i'm starting to see more definition on my whole upper body and my abs are popping out like never before! The reason for this is because alot of the routines you're engaging all your muscles at the same time in away no weights routines can emulate.
FUN - It may sound stupid but learning these routines and trying to advance to the harder routines is alot of fun, hard work and very tiring but alot of fun and much more enjoyable than pumping iron for 90 minutes.
Put simply this book is a MUST buy for anyone looking to improve their strength and conditioning.
That said, once you get around the fact that it's a book for beginners and coaches alike, you can begin to see through the extraneous scientific information and get to the information you need for training (ie, the exercises and progressions). There's a lot in here, it's good stuff, it's clearly well-intentioned and, aside from the fact it's taken me 3 weeks to be able to 'work it', it seems very very useful. You won't run out of progressive exercises - that's for sure!
I would have liked more information on the handstand as it is fundamental to gymnastics but I believe there is a book dedicated to that from the same publishers.
All in all its good reference material and worth having on your bookshelf.