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Bodyweight strength training anatomy - Bret Contreras

Bodyweight strength training anatomy - Bret Contreras




Because you’re reading this book, I think it’s safe to say that you’re interested
in learning how to build strength and fitness through bodyweight training.
If so, that’s great! You’ve come to the right place.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve never taken more than a few days off from
strength training. Although I’ve trained in hundreds of amazing gyms, studios,
and facilities, on many occasions I’ve had to make do with what I had in my
house, apartment, or hotel room. When I first started training with weights at
the age of 15, I didn’t know what I was doing. I remember feeling awkward,
uncomfortable, and uncoordinated with many of the exercises. As a matter of
fact, I avoided most multijoint exercises because I didn’t feel them working the
way I felt isolation exercises working. Looking back, I realize that I was a skinny
weakling who possessed extremely inferior levels of core stability, single-leg
stability, and motor control. I simply wandered around aimlessly without a plan,
moving randomly from one exercise to another.
At first, I couldn’t perform push-ups so I didn’t bother trying them. In fact,
I couldn’t perform a chin-up, dip, or inverted row, either. I suspect that had I
attempted a bodyweight full squat my back would have rounded and my knees
would have caved in (the melting-candle syndrome) because my glutes were
incredibly weak and I had no knowledge of proper form. It took me five years
to be able to perform a bodyweight chin-up and dip.
I’ve spent the past 20 years learning as much as I can possibly learn about the
human body as it pertains to strength and conditioning. Had I known then what
I know now, I could have accelerated my results by several years by sticking to
a proper exercise progression system and program template. I venture to guess
that I could have been performing chin-ups and dips within my first year of
training had I possessed a sound understanding of form, exercise progression,
and program design. I want to go back in time to help my younger, confused
(but determined) self. I wish that the current me could mentor the former me
and teach him the ropes.
Flash forward 20 years. I feel great, my joint health is outstanding, my strength
levels are highly advanced, and my muscle control is superior. I’m now able to
achieve an amazing workout using just my own body weight and simple house-
hold furniture. I lean my back on couches in order to work my glutes. I hang
on to tables and chairs to work my back and legs. And all I need is the ground
to work my chest, shoulders, legs, and core.

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