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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the best!!!
I have currently in my library "Convict Conditioning", "You Are Your Own Gym" and "Overcoming Gravity" all of which have their merits. Overcoming Gravity is geared more towards gymnasts with an excellent level of information and good progressions although it is a little dry. Convict Conditioning is an exciting read and introduced me to the harder...
Published 12 months ago by timG

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its OK!
This would be a great book for a complete beginner wanting an insight into calisthenics, and wanting to learn how workout. It is a good book for more experienced people to use as a reference when they want to make progressions on techniques they have already learned. However, the workouts are pretty standard and nothing unusual, so if you are more experienced it probably...
Published 13 months ago by Reviewster


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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the best!!!, 24 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Exercise (Paperback)
I have currently in my library "Convict Conditioning", "You Are Your Own Gym" and "Overcoming Gravity" all of which have their merits. Overcoming Gravity is geared more towards gymnasts with an excellent level of information and good progressions although it is a little dry. Convict Conditioning is an exciting read and introduced me to the harder levels of bodyweight strength but I found fault with some progressions not leading well to the next. You Are Your Own Gym is aimed at everyone but does not have a linear progression system, it does have a good fitness regime and exercises for everything.
Where Complete Calisthenics scores above all these is with a greater emphasise on progressing strength, its layout is such that each exercise listed contributes to getting to the next. Also the introduction pointing out the strengths/ weaknesses and unique aspects of calisthenics is very good and marks it above Convict Conditioning and You Are Your Own Gym which though inspiring do make out that calisthenics is the answer to everything.
The only minuses I found were the nutrition section which is back to basics - no bad thing but some readers may expect more detail. The other minus is in the push up section which is not organised as logically in terms of progressions as the rest of the book. This book is also superior to the others in that the explanations are better and photography much clearer. All in all for a serious guide to all things bodyweight this is the best of the best. (in my humble opinion).
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COMPLETE Calisthenics., 30 July 2014
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This review is from: Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Exercise (Paperback)
Seriously, this book is very complete, in my opinion anyway. It has more than enough information for basically every single calisthenics move you could think of, yes even the planche and dreaded things like that. While some say it's lacking in the nutrition department, I think the information provided is fine. I didn't buy it for nutritional information...
The book is hefty, I thought it'd be smaller, but no, it's a good, A4 sized, over 300 pages thick volume.
It has very clear progressions for each exercise.
There are a few programs to follow located at the back of the book.

Equipment needed:
-Sturdy chin-up bar (I have one of those cheap 'Iron Gym' things, and have done for years, it suffices)
-Large, stable push-up stands or parallettes (Parallettes can be made cheaply from wood, like seen on the cover or made from pipe, for large push-up stands, if you have Beachbody's old PowerStands, those metal ones? Those are very sturdy and large enough)
-Dip bar (Most designs will be good enough but a parallel bar set-up in your garden is preferred, they're relativity cheap to make)
-Space to move, about 2 x 2 meters with a wall to lean on should be about OK. (It all depends on your height)
-Chalk, powdered, solid, liquid, it all works fine (I have liquid chalk which I also use for rock climbing.

If you're looking to gain strength this is a good book for you, it has helped me progress in bodyweight training, like, a lot. I can't see any faults with this book at all. There are progressions for exercises and even programs for beginners to advance at the back of the book.

Also, thought I should mention, this book DOESN'T cover usage of gymnastic rings, if you want a book more gymnastics based then try: Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength
Try and get a used copy if you can, it is pretty expensive.

Thanks for reading.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 5 May 2014
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This is by far the best book I have read on body weight strength training. It goes far beyond the one arm push up/ one arm pull up/ one legged squats, etc that other books talk about. Whilst it includes these exercises it also includes jaw dropping exercises like the planche, planche push up, front, back and half levers, dragon flag, human flag, etc.

No other book I have read gives you progressions for these exercises. The progressions that Ashley gives you are fantastic, clear and realistic. The workout programmes at the end of the book are much better laid out with much clearer goals to follow than other books too.

I'm not knocking other books on this subject but I wish I'd come across this one first. I wouldn't have wasted time and money on the other ones. I honestly feel like I can get to the point where I can do planche and dragon flags, Tec after reading this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Was hesitant to buy But glad I did :-), 24 Mar. 2015
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Was a but hesitant to buy this book, thinking what can it teach me that I can't learn off youtube?

But I ordered it anyway thinking maybe I can learn a few Calisthenics exercises for my core, after all I've seen that guys that do a lot of calisthenics have really strong cores than the bodybuilders eg; Dragon fly's and the Human Flag WTF?!!#

I only ordered this yesterday and got it today, had a quick skim, thought I'd try the first exercise called the scapula push ups, its under the warm up stretching part of the book, but after doing the recommended 10 I felt muscles groups and mobility in my upper back that I have probably never used in the gym, like ever even with all the fancy equipment.

I'm so pleased with the purchase the exercises are broken down and explained in 1,2,3 picture illustrations, and am really looking forward to some of the other exercises that I never even thought of, like having your feet planted mid wall and doing pressups using your feet digged in mid air against the wall and using your core muscles, brilliant.

My Parallel bars arrive tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to these challenging exercises, I really recommend this book you won't find most of these exercises on youtube and even if you do they are not broken down in so much simple details so anyone can do them
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive with good illustration., 29 Nov. 2014
By 
Alsatian1 (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
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Very comprehensive. It has great photos, and lots of explanation. The author is also motivational without being in your face, and encourages gentle advancement. I got it as an ebook for my kindle fire HD, and while it is good, I found its the sort of book I would rather have physically so I can flick back and forth easily. It has increased my strength massively without really bulking me out, which is nice as I like being slim and fit rather than large and muscle bound.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best on the subject, 9 May 2014
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One of the best (if not the best) books on the subject for beginners to advanced. Had this almost two weeks now and have gained so much strength and knowledge! Must buy book of the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Calisthenics bible, 23 May 2014
By 
J. M. Adams (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Exercise (Paperback)
I really enjoyed Ashley's previous 'The Bible' series, and began to check out some of the videos on YouTube and read his blog (that might come across as a bit creepy, erm). There's a succinct style to his writing, terse and straight to the point, that I enjoy, so had to check out the book.

There's a lot of information here on everything an athlete needs to know about body-weight training. From the simplest of exercises to full-blown routines; using the principles described in the book will provide anyone with the means to become truly powerful and challenge the gym-mythos. Even if the reader has some calisthenics experience, I found there are some elements and new perspectives to be taken from the book that can aid in one's training.

The book features images that are large and clear, a no-nonsense attitude to training and exceptional food advice. It is large too, great for just throwing down on the floor and using as a reference. The book could have done with some better proof reading and there are a few editing mistakes. I also think that some of the most simplest exercises can be too much for some as body-weight can be an immense shock to the system, so perhaps a foundation level of training was needed? It's something that is rectified later in the book's training plans, even if the initial information can be overwhelming.

It's an exceptional book for newcomers and experienced calisthenics practitioners alike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ., 29 Dec. 2014
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This is an excellent book, my training has progressed more following the advice contained inside. I am not only seeing an improvement in my physique but also gains in strength on a weekly basis. Some stubborn body parts have even responded where weights have failed. To say i am happy with this book would be an understatement
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CALISTHENICS BIBLE!!!!, 30 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Exercise (Paperback)
This book truly has all you need to progress in calisthenics from the very bottom to the extreme advanced movements. It includes workout programmes to take you through the progressions until you have enough strength to attempt the more advanced stuff.
Complete Calisthenics is a truly great read and when paired with my crossfit training has made a formidable combination... I would highly recommend this book to anyone who takes their training seriously.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent investment, 29 Mar. 2015
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This book has completely changed my view of fitness and conditioning, im a staunch weight lifter of 10 years and would split my training routine into different days isolating diffent muscle groups as im sure most of us do. Initialy it did feel like I was going against the grain however I stuck it out and have been following the routines suggested and it really does work. Ive built my own parallettes as suggested in the book and I am going to completely moveover to functionl finess now as the movements are more dynamic and benifitial to thewholebody, the information and pictures in the book are invaluable expesially for the stretching amd flexibility routines, all in all im very inpressed and would definitely recommend it for its simple approch.
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Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Exercise
Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Exercise by Mr Ashley Kalym (Paperback - 14 April 2014)
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