There are numerous books about bodyweight exercises and how these exercises can transform your body and your attitude. One book that caught my eye is titled, "Your Body Is Your Barbell" by BJ Gaddour. The author's goal is to provide the bodyweight exercises and exercise workout routines that a beginner and a top athlete can use. My book review will look at all the major exercise and training programs offered in this book.
Section One - Chapters 1 through 3 expounds upon the benefits of bodyweight training, the importance of nutrition, and how to leverage your body to increase or decrease the intensity of each exercise and/or the difficulty of each exercise.
Section Two - Chapters 4 through 12 concentrates on eight bodyweight exercises and the five levels of difficulty for each of the eight. The eight exercises covered are: hip thrust, pushup, deep squat, row, hip hinge, handstand pushup, single-leg squat, and pull up.
A chapter is dedicated to each of the eight bodyweight exercises (chapters 5-12) and shows you the benefits of each exercise, and how to perform it. There is a step-by-step exercise progression that will take you from level one to level five, and then shows the top variations of each exercise.
Section Three - Chapters 13 and 14 are the bodyweight exercise programs designed by Gaddour. He takes the eight exercise moves that have been learned and applies them to various exercise routines.
Chapter 13 is called "The Bodyweight Burners Program" and each circuit in this program requires that you do all eight exercises.
Chapter 14 has eight challenging routines. The eight routines are pure power, super strength, the eight-minute workout, bodyweight builders, the minimalist, ultimate upper and lower body workouts, and the shredder.
Section Four - Chapter 15 and 16 is all about burpees and bodyweight cardio exercises. The burpee is considered to be one of the toughest bodyweight exercises to do. The four lower-body intensive cardio moves are called jumping jack, skater jump, ski swing, and sprinter. The four upper-body intensive cardio moves are called mountain climber, donkey kick, breakdancer, and chop. Each exercise has at least one variation. Incorporating these exercises into a cardio circuit will get your blood pumping.
"Your Body Is Your Barbell" is one of the best "How-To" books on bodyweight exercises I have ever read. From start to finish, BJ Gaddour painstakingly lays out his case that everyone should do bodyweight exercise routines at home. I was most impressed with the flexibility built into his workout routines and the progressive levels of each exercise presented. This book actually is for the beginner and the top athlete.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to do bodyweight exercises or who is already doing bodyweight exercises.
Let me know what you guys think and as always, Good Health!
Gaddour, BJ. Your Body Is Your Barbell. Rodale Books, 2014.