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on 13 October 2013
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on 22 August 2015
Sensible, practical advice and direction for anybody who doesn't have the time or desire to go to the gym or has realised that gyms are businesses and have very limited additional contribution in getting somebody in shape. Technique is key to get the most from the individual exercises and these were explained thoroughly. In reality, unless you want to become a bodybuilder this is all you need.
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on 26 September 2013
I have to admit that I find most books on exercise actually quite dull reading yet paradoxically something still draws me to them in search of that magic elixir of life. I almost didn't buy this however because of the quite extortionate price.

Nevertheless I found it an absorbing read and one I constantly refer back to. I am now 52 and wish that this book had been published 30 years ago. Nevertheless I am where I am and have used this as the basis of a revised training program.

I am amazed by some of the earlier quite vitriolic comments - I don't really care whether Paul Wade is his real name and whether he was in San Quentin etc or not. It did help to provide a theme however and I would like to think its true but in reality that wasn't the point.

His 6 sets of exercises really gripped me and I have pledged that I will somehow progress to the master stage on all 6. I don't agree with everything - the earlier stages in each of the 6 are bordering on the ridiculous but then it doesn't matter - in my view you enter where you believe you are in the process. The earlier exercises can however make great warm up routines and also I use them as finishers where I can't make my desired rep range. I also still use weights - eg the pistol squat is insufficient by itself and still needs to work in tandem with the deadlift and barbell squat imo. The press up is worth complementing with the bench press. I would also say that the abdominal master move should surely be the Hanging V-Raise, not just the leg raise. It should also rank with the full body ab roll out, which is also a stunning ab exercise.

I cannot understand why he cannot use conventional terminology - e.g. the pull-up and chin-up are universally accepted as being a function of palms out and palms in and change the nature of the exercise. I find like most chin ups to be easier (or less difficult) than pull-ups. The sentry pull-up is known universally as the muscle-up. Maybe therefore he really did go to prison!

Yet overall a superb read and perfect for gymless workouts. In essence you could do most without a gym and with access to only a pull-up bar (and / or gym rings) and arguably an ab roll-out wheel. If those don't exist when on holiday and no equivalent then use one arm table pull ups or door pull ups (if it can be wedged in one position) and sit ups etc (or a vertical pole for the flag - see next book!)

As a coaching manual, Paul Wade has produced a real gem and I have no regret in buying this and the sequel, which has also influenced my training program. The slight criticisms I have made simply mean each reader may wish to make his own tweeks from reading other books but don't really detract from the impact of the book

I recommend this to anyone as 'must' reading.
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on 3 November 2015
Great book and good condition on arrival. Just starting the training program so I will update again when I know more. But the theory and reasoning for it seem great and is put very well in a manner everyone can access and understand.
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on 19 September 2012
This important book will be a classic. It cuts through layers of modern fitness dogma and provides a roadmap for real strength & vitality. Be warned, the approach to fitness suggested may not be suitable for all. Strength training is a journey, not an instant fix. If you don't want to take the time to invest in your own fitness, look elsewhere for 'instant abs'..... good luck. If you want strong joints, and build the body you were meant to have, buy the book.
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on 16 June 2014
love it.
Please don't be put off by the title, the knowledge and instruction in this book is pure gold.
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on 30 January 2014
This book has convinced me that calisthenics have a place in EVERY training program. Very useful information which could benefit all athletes, most coaches and a good section of the general population. Great exercises, good progressions and good advice but I would like more evidence for some of the statements and the programming could be better.
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on 3 November 2014
I bought this on a whim after seeing it mentioned somewhere.

I have struggled with my weight all my adult life and I have lost count of the number of times I have joined a gym to get "sorted out".

I find gym based exercise utterly tedious and the atmosphere can be quiet oppressive.

This book appeals to me because you don't need any specialist kit.

I now find myself doing wall pushups whilst waiting for the kettle to boil etc.

I am already able to do a few of the exercises at a higher level than the first couple so I am quite pleased.

I really like how each exercise has many progressions.

I coach children to play rugby union and some of the techniques will be useful to get them started with some basic strength and conditioning work.
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on 27 March 2014
This book has transformed me and my lifestyle. I started off as a 'accomplished' athlete. Or so i thought. Whilst undergoing the training methods in this book, whilst still competing at my normal sport. I have witnessed huge gains in strength and stamina, but also muscle bulk. I have forfeited my gym membership and now only do bodyweight exercise. The progression was extremely fast from when i started to where i am now. I would recommend this book to anyone. This isnt just a book for exercise and achieve what you physically want to achieve it is a way of life and gives you so many more benefits than just abs from hell and pecs that can lift your body up one handed. I have been converted, and i will never stop doing these exercise.
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on 11 January 2013
Have bought this book in the past but lost it, so was replacing my of the best books on strength building i have ever read and hands down the best on bodyweight exercises....using progressive a means to get stronger
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