These are some of the resources have contributed greatly — some more than others — to my understanding of training, nutrition, and injuries. Also, there are different types of equipment I have used personally that are effective for bodyweight strength training. If you are looking for further education, check out these resources.
Overcoming Gravity Second Edition and Equipment
- Overcoming Gravity (2nd Ed) is the premier book on gymnastics and bodyweight strength training. This 598 page bodyweight training Bible is 8.5″x11″ and weighs more than 3 lbs. It contains scientific information on strength training, guides you about how to construct a workout routine, and delves into lots of other workout factors such as cross training, nutrition, and sleep that affect training. It also looks at health and injury management to keep you healthy or help you get back to performing great, a sample programming section about routines, and a large exercise library for mobility, flexibility, and strength progressions to get you strong and awesome strength movements.
- The Iron Gym doorway pullup bar is a solid way to be able to perform pullups in your home without venturing to a gym. This is one the most common way to get set up to do pullups and other hanging bodyweight movements easily.
- Titan’s Wood rings are one of the best quality and bang for buck rings currently. They can be mounted outside or even on the Iron Gym inside. If you are getting a different pair of rings, I’d suggest they be wood and not plastic. The reason for that is wood is less slippery and feel better than plastic, and it also holds chalk better than plastic.
Set gymnastics and/or bodyweight programs
If creating your own routines with Overcoming Gravity is not your cup of tea, here is another option.
In general, most of the gymnastics or bodyweight programs out there are not specifically geared toward teenagers and adults. GMB Fitness is an exception. Many of their programs are geared toward teenagers and adults who have no previous gymnastics or bodyweight training experience who want to learn more. They have programs ranging from improving movement skills to flexibility to floor, parallettes, and rings skills. If you’re interested in training programs that are made for you to follow rather than constructing your own routines like in Overcoming Gravity, GMB is a great choice. Check out GMB Fitness.
Beginner level materials
- Starting Strength (3rd Ed) by Mark Rippetoe is one of the best books on introductory barbell training for the aspiring athlete.
- Practical Programming (2nd Ed) by Mark Rippetoe was written specifically to introduce you to periodization and long term planning of workouts so that plateaus aren’t an issue.
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (4th Ed) by Haff and Triplett is a solid introduction to all of the factors that go into training. This is the book that is also used for NSCA’s CSCS and CPT, which are some of the main athletic and fitness trainer certifications.
- Parkour Strength Training by Ryan Ford and Ben Musholt is the current book for those who want to learn about application of strength training to Parkour. This book does not instruct on many of the more complicated techniques within Parkour. If you are a traceur or interested in Parkour and already learning the techniques from coaching or self taught, this book will help you improve much more quickly.
- Overcoming Poor Posture was released by Jarlo Ilano of GMB Fitness and I in December 2017. We wrote it to dispel many of the myths surrounding posture, pain, tight muscles, movement and how to refine posture to improve health and performance. It’s much smaller than OG2 and a very quick read and easy to get started if you’re new to exercise or more experienced.
Intermediate level materials
- 5/3/1 (2nd Ed) by Jim Wendler is likely the best intermediate training structure for those looking to make gains in strength training. Wendler’s system provides the necessary stimulus to continue to make training improvements while managing fatigue very efficiently.
- Science and Practice of Strength Training (2nd Ed) by Zatsiorsky and Kraemer delves much deeper into programming and periodization methods than Practical Programming.
- Functional Movement Systems by Gray Cook is an introduction to screening methods that can predict injury. Gray’s Functional Movement Screen is used by many professional organizations for their athletes such as at the NFL Combine.
- Clinical Sports Nutrition by Burke and Deakin is basically the Bible on nutritional needs for sports. It goes into all of the factors associated with nutritional needs for sports by looking at the physiology, protein needs, energy requirements, weight loss and making weight, bone health, iron depletion, aging populations, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, diabilities, and issues with traveling and stress.
- Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition by Kelly Starrett is a great book about soft tissue optimization, movement, and positioning the body during exercises. Highly recommended. The two main critiques I have are along the lines of this in-depth review, and there isn’t much information about how to make “soft tissue fixes” more permanent. For example, if you have tight muscles, sometimes the issue not to do soft tissue work or stretching. Instead, muscles may be tight because of pain, instability, or weakness. Addressing the pain, instability, and/or weakness is the key to resolving the muscle tightness, not beating the soft tissue into submission with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or stretching. This is the main reason I recommend it as an “intermediate” material as those who are intermediate tend to have a better handle on how the body works and problem solving skills with the body and movement.
Advanced level materials
- Supertraining (6th ed) by Mel Siff with expanded additions from Yuri Verkhoshansky builds on one of the most dense reads about the adaptive response of the human body to strength training process. This book is basically a massive summation of everything.
- Periodization Training for Sports by Tudor Bompa and Carlo Buzzichelli builds on periodization knowledge and implements it for training into sports.
Page still Under Construction