How is your pandemic going? Are you bored yet? Or too anxious to be bored?
I am sure you have seen enough of people's online workouts and tips for keeping fit while stuck at home (but for the record, try out www.fitnessblender.com for free workout videos that are great!).
Perhaps fitness videos or apps are not your thing. Can I interest you in a fitness book? You know what books are right, those things made from paper...with a spine...and a cover...and you need to hold it in your hands and it has no battery or buttons?
If books do appeal to you, than I suggest checking out Complete Calisthenics, by writer and personal trainer, Ashley Kalym.
What are calisthenics? Bodyweight exercises such as planks, push ups, sit ups, pull ups, handstands, etc.
You should know that THESE EXERCISES ARE HARD! They all start with basic versions for beginners, but as a personal trainer myself, I can tell you right now, a lot of people will not even be capable of the beginner version. For push-ups, for example, he does not seem to allow push ups from the knees. His beginner version is just elevating the hands. My advice is to start with a goal of 1 repetition and build it up from there. Even if you only do 1 rep, you will still be getting stronger if you are consistent. As soon as possible add a rep and keep adding.
The exercises in the book are not equipment-free. You need a pull up bar, but these are inexpensive:
A plyometric box is also useful, though you could also use a step platform in a pinch. You also need parallettes, though Kalym provides instructions on how to make them yourself. But you can easily find various kinds online such as these:
Part I of the book starts with a definition of calisthenics and goes through the risks and benefits plus required equipment.
Part II is about nutrition, rest and recovery.
Part III includes warm up and mobility exercises for every part of the body with extensive written instruction and photos.
The chapters in Part IV are the exercises, also very detailed in instruction and with photos and including:
- Push ups
- Pull ups
- Floor core exercises
- Leg raises
- Lower body (squats, curls, etc.)
- Conditioning (i.e. cardio)
Part V is putting it all together into training programs.
I definitely am impressed with this book. Normally, I find it hard to 'read' to learn physical tasks but there is so much detail in the straightforward instruction and teaching points as well as photos with each exercise, that it even works for someone like me.
So yes, I recommend this book. If the idea of something like a fitness class or video or lifting weights bores you to tears, but you want to get strong and fit, than this may be the book for you. You can work through it at your own pace (hey if it takes you the whole damn pandemic to do 1 real push up, so be it!), but if you do start consistently doing these exercises, believe you me, you will be a ninja!
I actually think I may go through the book myself and see how many I can master. Why the fuck not, there is not much else to do right now!
Disclosure: I was sent this book to review but all opinions on this blog are my own.