Pushing Yourself to Power

Pushing Yourself to Power

ISBN: 1-932458-01-8
Reviews: 104 customer reviews
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Pushing Yourself to Power is in stock and ready to ship!

Based on the most effective and comprehensive strength and fitness system ever taught, Pushing Yourself to Power provides you with everything you need to achieve your natural, God-given strength and fitness potential. Whether you simply desire to slim down and shape up, or your ultimate goal is to build your maximum, all-around functional strength, athletic fitness, and natural muscularity, Pushing Yourself to Power offers complete training strategies specifically tailored to your goals.

Author and internationally renowned strength and conditioning coach John e. Peterson shows you how to use the world’s oldest, most reliable, and effective strength-training exercises to create the superior physique, strength, stamina, and power you’ve always dreamed of having.

Whether you’re a beginner or a world-class athlete, you’ll find complete training strategies to take you from where you are today to where you want to be in the future. Precisely illustrated with hundreds of detailed photos, you’ll see clearly how to perform every exercise in all its variations.

If you’re looking for a complete exercise system that will give you the results you’ve always dreamed of, does not require a gym or expensive exercise equipment, and can be done anytime and anyplace—Pushing Yourself to Power is for you!

About John e. Peterson:

JOHN PETERSON, internationally renowned strength and fitness coach and creator of the Transformetrics™ Training System, knows the painful reality of struggling to overcome physical adversity. At the age of four John was a victim of the dreaded disease polio, which left him with horribly misshapen legs that doctors were forced to break and reset—all without anesthesia for the ...

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E. Fox
E. Fox wrote...
"Very good book"
Apr 07 2007
If you're interested in learning Charles Atlas type 'Dynamic tension' exercises, than this is the book for you. I've been training many years, and in addition to weight ...
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... training, bodyweight calisthenics, and Isometrics, I occasionally use this type of training. Unlike his new book on Isometrics, where I essentially learned nothing, I did learn a few good techniques and methods in this book. It's a decent book and it's not a bad addition to any fitness Library.

J. Plescia
J. Plescia wrote...
"If you need to get into shape. This is the book."
Feb 20 2007
As a retired Police Officer with disabilities, I was no longer able to keep my body in shape. After doing some research I found "Pushing Yourself to Power" a weightless workout ...
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... by John Peterson. In my case I will never be hundred percent like I use to be, but my body is now much toner and have more endurance then I have had in a long time. Thank you Mr. Peterson

Jojoleb "jojoleb" wrote...
"Surprise! Here's a book that delivers what it promises"
Feb 15 2007
If your first and foremost question is `does this method actually work', I believe the short answer is 'yes,' but whether this actually works for you will depend on your ...
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... fitness goals. If you want further information read on, but essentially this is a well thought out and--yes--genuine method of exercise. I was VERY skeptical prior to purchasing the book, but I'm now an ardent fan of both Mr. Peterson and his program. This is not to say that the book is without its issues (see the Caveats and Controversies section below). The five star rating reflects the fact that Mr. Peterson has resurrected an older, neglected method of exercise and put together a comprehensive, readable, and usable manual. Where else can you buy a quality exercise program for under 20 bucks!

The kinds of exercises that comprise Peterson's Transformetrics program are as follows.
The first group is comprised of isotonic exercises (those with muscle movement) and are emphasized the most in the program. The three varieties are below:

1. DVR: Dynamic Visualized Resistance--Muscles are tensed maximally and then moved through a specified range of motion. (e.g. a simple example would be to `make a muscle' by flexing at the biceps. Keep the tension high as you extend and flex the arm)

2. DSR: Dynamic Self Resistance--One limb acts in resistance to the other throughout a specified range of motion. (e.g. `make a muscle' by flexing the right biceps. Using the left hand grab your right fist. Now extend and flex providing resistance by opposing the motion of your right arm with your left hand)

3. PC: Power Calisthenics--these consist of variations of push ups, sit ups, squats, kicks, chin ups, pull ups etc. He recommends impeccable form and which of these are the highest yield exercises. Of these he most highly recommends the Furey (`hindu') push up, the Furey (`hindu' or `gama') squat, and the Atlas pushup. For more advanced exercisers he adds the Furey bridge (a modified wrestler's bridge).

Isometric exercises are also used, but less emphasized in this book. Peterson stresses that there is a general misunderstanding of the Atlas program in that people describe it as a regimen of isometric exercises, when in fact very few true isometric exercises were part of the Atlas program. Most of the exercises therein were DVR, DSR, or PC in nature.

ISO: Isometrics--Muscles are tightened and held in a position without motion. This can be as simple as pushing your left hand with your right hand as hard as you can without any movement or sitting in a `chair' position against a wall without movement

He does not promise `something for nothing.' When done properly, these exercises are HARD. Some of the hardest exercises I have ever done. You need to concentrate and really tax the muscle groups until they are fatigued. If you put in the work, it does pay off surprisingly.


The book is broken up into different chapters. The initial chapters outline his approach to fitness and profile his heroes of physical culture. The purpose of these chapters is to outline his philosophy, methods and to identify role models for the reader. All of this is meant to prepare and energize you for the program that lies ahead. Despite my utilitarian view of such things ('just get to the exercises!'), the chapters are short and succinct but are indeed inspirational. They lend an important dimension to the book.

There is a chapter on deep breathing, joints/mobility, and the first exercises for chest and pectoral development. There is a chapter on nutrition and unlimited energy. Then Peterson gets to the heart of the book with a DVR routine and chapters on other areas of development (abdominals, neck, shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, etc). There is then an additional chapter on the importance of PCs and pictures to show correct form.

In general the bulk of the exercises in this book are of the DVR and DSR variety. They look simplistic on the surface, but when done correctly are very effective. In combination with the PCs they have been very effective for me personally in developing both muscle definition and strength. Once you get the hang of it, you could make up your own DVR and DSR exercises. As you get more familiar with the methods, however, you realize that there is a real method to this form of exercise. Peterson generally shows those exercises that give you the best leverage and approach the muscle groups at the most effective angles. Most are incredibly effective. A few are still a little awkward for me. (I also have found that at least for me it is much harder to do leg exercises DSR/DVR style than it is to do upper body exercises. This may improve over time...)

Some exercises are repeated in different sections. (Most prominently featured in this way are the Furey push up and the Furey Squat.) Peterson does this to 1) stress the importance of an exercise; and 2) because some exercises fit well into different sections of the book which is divided up by routines to cover specific areas of development (e.g. abdominals, neck, shoulders etc.) rather than a laundry list of individual exercises.

The book is written in a conversational style. Quotations are thrown in from Nietzsche to Miss. Piggy. All exercises are well described and the photographs of the author demonstrate proper technique and form.


Below are some of the more controversial aspects brought up by the book. They do not negate the value of the book in any way, but may be areas that the author would like to explore or clarify in future books.

STRETCHING: There is a section regarding `limbering up' which is mostly focused on joint mobility but has no real section regarding stretching exercises. I have continued doing my own stretching exercises as the DVR, DSR, and ISO exercises really tense one up. Peterson feels that the exercises themselves lead to improved mobility and from the pictures he appears to have Gumby-like flexibility. It may well be that as one becomes more advanced these benefits are more evident. Nevertheless, at this point in the game I still need to stretch. A section on stretching would be a welcome addition.

STRUCTURE: Peterson spends only a little time on making recommendations regarding the actual structure of a workout. In this sense, the book is more an encyclopedia of this kind of exercise than a `how to' manual. This is not necessarily bad. He stresses many times that workouts must be individualized and making blanket recommendations about repetitions, tension applied, and exact mix of the exercises is up to the reader. He does state that he does the breathing, `limbering up', and chest exercises every day and then adds on other components. It might have helped to have written out beginner to advanced workout plans to guide the reader.

"MEANINGLESS REPITITIONS": Peterson states that his method avoids meaningless repetitions of exercises. Later on he recommends mega-doses of push ups and squats as a recipe for success. Technically speaking, these exercises are highly effective, so one could certainly argue that said repetitions are not meaningless. People may have changed their lives by doing 500 to 2,000 push ups and even more squats per day but at this juncture, this is not possible for me. It would also take a lot of time away from the other exercises in the book (see `Time Component' below). This then leads back into questions regarding structure of the workout. (I have chosen to combine the various exercises in my own way. Personally, I have chosen to emphasize the DVR/DSR exercises with ISOs and PCs added in as time allows, but that is my personal choice and not the author's recommendation...)

HOW DO I NOTE PROGRESS: For PCs it's easy to count repetitions. For DVR, DSR, and ISOs, however, you can calculate the repetitions but cannot verify the load. This initially bothered me. The idea of gauging 'low', 'medium', or 'high' tension was frustrating. There was no way of measuring the actual pressure/resistance from rep to rep or day to day. With weights you know exactly how much you are lifting from session to session and you gauge progress by the increment in pounds. With exercise bands you don't have an exact number but at least you can see the progression in terms of the tension number of the band that you are using.

Oddly, as you do the DSR,DVR, and ISO exercises more, this becomes less of an issue. You guage the tension as low, medium, or high instinctively and so long as you see progress you are satisfied.

AEROBIC COMPONENT: Peterson states at one point that if more rapid weight loss is desired, one should combine the program with 30 minutes of aerobic activity. In his ideal world this would mean 20 to 30 minutes of Furey squats (~500) which at least from this vantage point--6 weeks into the program--is not possible for me. I have stuck to my previous method of aerobics which are basically exercise videos at least three times per week (30 to 40 minutes). On those days I add on 20 minutes of Peterson's exercises. I try to add more later in the day if possible. For most people, aerobics are an essential part of a workout. I also believe that aerobics, when done properly and safely, are the best way to lose weight. There are no specific recommendations or demonstrations of aerobics in the book, other than those mentioned above.

TIME COMPONENT: Peterson make stresses that you can work long or hard but not both. Hard work can yield a more efficient program with the same results as other programs that require more time. He feels that the Transformetrics program is highly time efficient. This may be so. However, if you take the recommendation to do 300 Furey pushups (15 to 20 minutes if you do them non-stop, all in a row, and need no breaks) and 500 Furey squats (another 20 minutes if done in a row) and add on to this 20 minutes of DVR/DSR/ISO exercises you would need about an hour. For the neophyte like me who can't do all those pushups and squats in a row without taking a break, this would take considerably longer. I have limited my exercise time to 45 minutes to an hour in the morning. I combine selected exercises within this time frame. True to Peterson's prose, you can easily add on extra DVR/DSR/ISO exercises throughout the day. They require no equipment. ISO exercises have also been handy in keeping me awake through long presentations and meetings. For the beginner, at least, I would make sure you have 45 minutes worth of time to seriously exercise. It may well be that 20 minutes is enough to maintain muscle strength and mass once the desired level has been achieved. (It also seems clear from reading the book, that Peterson probably exercises for himself in the morning, takes a run every day, and probably participates in teaching martial arts during the day. He may have a lot more time to exercise than the average person and is far more active during the day than most of his readers...)

WRITING STYLE: Some have remarked about Christian references in the book and some have felt offended by this. As a non-Christian I wasn't in the least offended by these references. Apart from suggesting to his readers to read the Bible, he openly states that he can't make decisions about religion for his readers. Atheists and others may disagree with me, but I think the references to religion reflect personal nature of the narrative and not an attempt to convert/overly coerce the reader to his way of thinking. These references--and references to anecdotal experiences, Uncle Wally, Grandpa, etc.--are important in a sense because they allow you to get to know Mr. Peterson more personally. People may be taken aback by such an intimate expression in a workout book, but I think there may be a purpose to this as well. Peterson goes to great lengths to describe his personal heroes at the beginning of the book. These heroes are meant to inspire the reader to work harder and commit to their workout. The bottom line, however, is that the major protagonist--if I can use such a term--of the book is Mr. Peterson himself. He is presenting the material and he is the role model/poster child for the book. He is presenting a novel method of exercise that is foreign to many readers and a method that is scoffed at and shunned by many experts. Because he is the role model, he needs you to know he is an ethical person. If you know him more personally and trust him, you are more likely to try his methods and stick to it. I think this is also why he chose to write the book in a more conversational and colloquial style rather than using a more clinical tone in his writing.

In the same vein, the tone of the book can be a little `manly' or `macho' at times. Certain words (I haven't heard the word `pansy' refer to anything but the flower itself in over 25 years) or phrases (if you can do this exercise then "even if you're a woman, you're a man") might offend some readers. Once again, these phrases aren't dwelled upon and you get the sense that Peterson is simply a plainspoken kind of guy. In fact, after reading the book I think Peterson would be horrified to find out that anyone was offended by his language. But even with that in mind, I believe that some readers will take offense at some of these phrases. Nevertheless, the phraseology doesn't take anything away from the usefulness of the exercises.

"I VANT TO LOOK LIKE ARNOLD": This is one of the most controversial aspects of the book and appears to have generated a lot of negative reviews. I think it is also a point that disappoints some readers, so it is a very important to understand that Peterson's goals are different from Arnold's. To put it simply: IF YOU WANT TO LOOK LIKE PETERSON, USE HIS METHODS. IF YOU WANT TO LOOK LIKE ARNOLD, LIFT WEIGHTS.

He says it at the beginning of the book. To paraphrase: he is in most of the pictures in the book. If you don't like the way he looks, you might as well put the book down now. My guess is that Peterson himself IS the true poster child for his method. I have no doubt after reading the book and doing the exercises that he practices what he preaches. That said, if you want to look like Arnold, you will need to buy the New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding and get to the lifting. This may not be good for your joints, ligaments and tendons (see below), but as `built' as Mr. Peterson is, he is a far cry from Arnold at his prime.

I think this is basically straightforward. Peterson's ideal is the Grecian ideal of the well proportioned man. There is more of a `golden mean' in his conception of strength. He is NOT interested in looking like a professional body builder. He believes that this is not 'natural' fitness, increases muscle strength that is not 'usable' because the bodybuilder has such limited flexibility and requires the use of steroids (his allegation, not mine). This is best explained by his 7 attributes of fitness--Strength, Flexibility, Endurance, Speed, Balance, Coordination, and Aesthetics. His look is more like Michaelangelo's David than the Incredible Hulk. So it's all a matter of what YOUR ideal is. Peterson's book will give you added strength that is functional strength--you will be able to move your body through space and against gravity without compromising flexibility. If you want to deadlift 500 pounds this is the wrong training program for you. That being said, this program will not make you a good pole vaulter, a long distance runner or, a graceful ballerina. You need to choose the program that fits your goals. For most people, I think his definition of functional strength is what they are looking for. Strength without compromising flexibility is far more useful for everyday life than being like Arnold in his prime. In fact, Arnold `bulked down' since he stopped his weightlifting career so he could rejoin civilian life.

The load on your muscles in bodyweight exercises are limited by your body weight. Once you can do a set of 7 push ups without a pause, you may have reached the maximum ability of the push up to increase the size of the involved muscles. However, you will gain endurance and definition from repetitions. The load on a self resistance exercise is limited to your maximal effort at self resistance. If your idea of strength is hypertrophy and the ability to lift a heavy load, you will need to pursue weight training. If your idea of strength is increased endurance, moderate hypertrophy, and muscle definition, do it Peterson's way. Weight training (so long as you don't injure yourself) is probably the most efficient way to build muscle out there--that's why it's so popular. Bodyweight exercises and self- resistance exercises may be more limited in terms of hypertrophy but can give you gains in other areas.

This book is NOT about maximal muscle hypertrophy, its about building functional hypertrophy, strength, and endurance. I think it delivers. Remember that a sprinter needs to train in one way and a long distance runner another way. A sprinter can run fast for short distances, a long distance runner runs more slowly but runs longer. This does not mean that one of the runners is less of an athlete. You can't really criticize the sprinter for only running short distances or the long distance runner for lack of speed off the blocks. Peterson himself courts this kind of criticism when he disdains the 'overly developed' and muscles of weight lifters and states his opinion that they have large, 'non-functional' muscles. The power lifter's muscles are quite obviously functional in lifting large amounts of weight for short periods of time. Moreover, this only describes those who choose to use weight lifting to hypertrophy their muscles to the extreme. Most of us try for a happy medium between raw strength and endurance.

Chances are you will have much larger muscles than average if you can lift your body weight numerous times the way Peterson advises and you will also develop endurance. However, you will NOT develop muscles that look like Arnold in his prime. Moreover, doing well in Peterson's program will help you most with activities that are similar to the exercises that you are doing for his program. Weight lifting will help you most with activities that are similar to weight lifting. Once again, expectations are important. 1000 push ups per day will not maximally improve a bench press and a bench press will not maximally improve your ability to do 1000 push ups per day. Lesson: if you want to improve your bench press, go ahead and bench press. If you want to do 1000 push ups per day, get down and start pushing. A lot of the negative reviewers seem angry that Peterson's program didn't help them improve on their weight lifting goals. But then again, weight lifting doesn't improve their ability to do many Furey push ups. Once again, most of us want a happy medium--a blend of these two methods. That being the case, you have to exercise using both those methods. (That's why I have not and will not completely give up weight training.)

NOTE: Peterson's book is not free from odious comparisons--in this way he opens himself up to the kinds of criticism noted above. He points out that he knows many a weightlifter that can bench a gazillion pounds but who cannot do even 20 Furey push ups. They probably can't walk a tightrope or belly dance either. But that's not the point. One has little to do with the other. The goals are different goals. People have their own definitions of `functional strength' and 'athleticism' etc. If your goal is to bench press, go ahead and practice bench pressing. If your goal is to maintain Peterson's definition of functional strength, the program will work for you.

ANTI-FREE WEIGHT BIAS: Make no bones about it, Peterson is vehemently anti-weight lifting. He does NOT say that weight training will not build muscle. He says that it puts strain on joints, ligaments, tendons which lead to tissue destruction. That weight training also leads to overly hypertrophic muscles that are stiff, have little mobility, and cause pain. He does have a number of vignettes to illustrate cases of over lifting causing injury.

However, as most of us know many people lift weights, don't overdo it, and have seemingly healthy and productive lives. As others have said, weight lifting does not necessarily lead to muscle injury. Others have also pointed out that the recommended calisthenics (high volume push ups, squats, chins, pull ups etc.) are essentially weight lifting of one's own body weight and can also put strain on joints, ligaments, and tendons. Peterson tells us of his own shoulder injury which he feels was caused in part to a regimen of high volume Atlas push ups.

I will say that the potential of injury from DVR, DSR, and ISO exercises is probably exceedingly low. But as with any exercise, you need to `listen to your body' as Peterson says repeatedly and stop when stopping is appropriate. I also believe that the PC exercises are probably less dangerous than traditional weight lifting as one has more control of one's own body weight than a 300 lb barbell when doing a bench press. If you are feeling strain while doing a push up you can stop and roll over. If you feel strain in the middle of a bench press, you still need to put the weight down in a controlled manner before you can stop. (This may not be true for the handstand push ups which is shown as an advanced exercise. In that case, ones own body weight needs to be put down in a controlled fashion in order to avoid injury. Interestingly enough, Peterson demonstrates this in one wearing a weight vest...) However, there is still the issue of repetitive motion injuries and strain with mega-repetitions of calisthenics. Proper form may alleviate this, but if you can get carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive typing it must also be possible when doing push ups or squats 300 to 500 at a shot.

WHAT'S REALLY WORKING HERE?: There are those skeptics that might posit that the exercises that are really helping here are the PCs. If you can do numerous push ups, squats, pull ups, chin ups etc., you will develop both muscle hypertrophy and strength. As I have followed Peterson's advice and used the DVR/DSR/ISO exercises in conjunction with the PCs, there is no way to separate out what is working. What I will say is that the DVR/DSR/ISO exercises are far more challenging than I would ever have thought and DO tire the muscle groups exercised when done correctly. I had been doing chin ups prior to the program and couldn't eek out more than a few. After starting the program, I am now able to do 10 to 15. Still at the beginner range, I guess, and not quite a marine (20 required) but getting there. Anectodally, I have to believe that the DVR/DSR/ISO exercises are contributing here. I have had an increase in muscle hypertrophy, improved strength and endurance, and have not experienced muscle strain or joint pain. All this while avoiding weights and exercise bands over the last six weeks. In this sense, the program really does work. Does this mean I will completely give up weights and exercise bands? No, not completely. But this book gives me real alternatives.

A number of reviews of the book on the web (although not here on Amazon apparently) feel that this book is just promoting the same old `Atlas nonsense' and that people who promote this type of exercise are just out to `make a buck.' It should be noted that Peterson's book is less than half the cost of the Atlas program. If he wanted to make even more money, he could do this by selling the book at two or three times its present cost on his website. He could also make even more money by recommending supplements and selling exclusive equipment on his website. Better yet, he could sell it in installments a la Atlas and really rake in the dough.

This is not the case. I'm sure he's doing quite well, thank you, but he appears to be coming by it honestly. If people don't like the book, they can easily return it. As to the equipment--none is needed (except for the minimalist pull up bar). The price of the book is perfectly reasonable given its size and the material within. The workout may be `old fashioned', but what's new here is how well it is presented. (If you have doubts on the presentation aspect, take a look at the Sandow & the Golden age of Ironmen website that Peterson recommends in his book. You can look at some of the bodybuilding manuals of days gone by. Peterson sorts through the material and culls the best exercises and presents them in an effective and easy to use way. This, in and of itself, is worth the price of admission.)

Once again, he doesn't promise `something for nothing.' You really DO need to work hard at these exercises. It is really easy to back off and make a DVR, DSR, or ISO exercise that much easier. As YOU provide the leverage, you really need to concentrate and actively participate in the exercises in order for them to work. Some may find this a difficult task.

My personal theory is that you can combine many methods to reach a desired result. With exercise, you reach certain plateaus and need to change things up in order to improve. Pushing Yourself To Power adds some exceptional weapons to your arsenal. There are really three programs in one here--a DVR routine, sectional exercise routines, and calisthenics--that will enhance your exercise experience. For these reasons alone this book is well worth buying.

Robert P. Ruschak
Robert P. Ruschak wrote...
"True natural fitness"
Jan 19 2007
Being an Atlas student for some time now, I'm glad to see a book that will help keep physical culture alive. Mr Peterson does a great job in the presentation of his system. The ...
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... photographs and text leave no question as to how an exercise is to be performed. I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone wanting to get fit naturally.

mattyb "mattabo" wrote...
"solid work-out opportunities"
Jan 07 2007
There are many good excercises in this book. It is remarkable how fatigued one's muscles can become without using any exterior weights for lifting. If you cannot look ...
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... past a number of borderline misogynistic passages, as well as a whole lot o' bible-talk, than you may want to look elsewhere for a book on bodyweight excercises. But if you can focus on the excercises and ignore the authors agenda and personality, you will find a valuable resource here.

Thorulf "Norseman" wrote...
"When you can not access a gym..."
Jan 01 2007
Free-weights and machines are a proven means of excercise. However, what do you do when a gym is unavailable? You can still build strength by using your own bodyweight and ...
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... self-initiated resistance. Mr. Peterson has given us one of the best excercise books I have yet seen. Within you will find a straight-forward guide to excercises that will improve your strength, power, endurance, and flexibility. I particularly recommend this book to martial-artists and military personnel. In fact, being a veteran, I can verify that the content of this book is superior to the average military PT programs. Mr. Peterson's inspiration for this program comes from Matt Furey, Charles Atlas, and Earl Liedermann.
The excercises demonstrated in these pages are those that many of us know, as well as many that will surprise us...with interesting variations for all. Some of these excercises have conditioned martial-artists and athletes for centuries! You can utilize this program anywhere!

Fernando wrote...
"I was looking for pure fitness, I found it"
Dec 26 2006
I own Combat Conditioning by Matt Furey and it teaches the best Power Calisthenics in the world. Peterson uses the best of Furey, Atlas and Liederman's techniques along with ...
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... his system of Transformetrics. If you put your ego aside and "I want results today" mentality away, you will evolve. On the contrary, you do get results from the exercises shown in this book every single day even if you don't see it.
As for the debate on Calisthenics vs Weight Lifting, both are great for developing muscles but if you do both in excess, it will lead to injury. Combining both styles of fitness along with proper nutrition can give you a Greek God look. I must say that Calisthenics can be very theraputic for injuries and overall gives you more energy.
Peterson's book has the fitness principles that are practiced by some of the world's toughest men. If Calisthenics were for "amateurs", then why is it the core of fitness for any Military force in the world?

Steven wrote...
"Best $20 I've Ever Spent"
Dec 15 2006
This book changed my life. His words really motivated me. The diet is simple and gives you a ton of options. You'll never go hungry. The exercises really work. Bronze Bow ...
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... Publishing has got a website with a lot of info and a forum where Mr. Peterson is an active member. Just do yourself a favor and buy the book. Trust me.

Jeff A. Stucker
Jeff A. Stucker "Jeff A. Stucker" wrote...
"Fantastic workout -- no equipment needed"
Dec 05 2006
After comparing reviews, I purchased this book and got something better than I hoped for! With a clear introduction and great illustrations, John Peterson guides you through a ...
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... plan for fitness and series of exercises that don't need any equipment. (That means my wife and I will save $1000 by not buying that elliptical trainer we were going to get. Wow.) The only exception is a chin-up bar if you want to put one in a doorway. I haven't, yet.

But it's the surprises that are fun to share:

* The warm-up and excercises include full range of motion for all major muscles and joints, so I'm improving in flexibility as well as strength.

* It's a fully balanced workout. After just a few days, my neck and back feel healthier than they have in years.

BIG SURPRISE #1 - There's a cardio component. I didn't expect this, but I now have my winter routine, when I can't get out and run because it's too cold! This will keep me fit for cross-country skiiing.

BIG SURPRISE #2 - I travel every now and then for my work, and this is a fitness plan I can do in my hotel room in just a pair of shorts or skivvies. The routine is barefoot. That means I can leave all my workout clothes at home and don't even have to pack my running shoes to get a full-body solid workout every day!

For solid fitness, I'm devoting 30-45 minutes a day. (Plan on an hour or more a day for exceptional fitness.) The excercises can be broken up through the day, but I'm working the cardio component up to 20 minutes nonstop. (It's mostly pushups and squats, so my runner's build muscles are adjusting. At this pace, it will take another week.) You can see I'm just starting, but I know this is a long-term solution. It just feels right: that good feeling when you've had a solid workout all over -- with no stressed joints or strained muscles.

The excercises take mental focus and constant body awareness during the routines. Beyond the core workout, you have hundreds of options to choose from for long-term fitness and focused development. These factors will reduce the boredom aspect we see in so many routines.

One recommendation: consider the spiral edition. It's handy to lay the book open flat as a reference when learning the excercises.

Hoke wrote...
"Everything you need for a better you; commitment and motivation"
Nov 16 2006
I got my book in the mail today and it was so interesting I read it straight through. The book is really sound and lays out a clear plan for getting just about anyone into ...
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... great physical shape using no special equipment. This was my reason for the purchase as I live in the middle of a small village with no gym available.

I was a sergeant in the Army and had to lead soldiers in a lot of the exercises listed here. The techniques are effective and this book offers better ways to implement them than the Army did. Somehow I am guessing they consulted the smae materials when putting their respective programs together.

The author introduces some cogent arguments against weight training and in favor of more natural methods. His emphasis is on finding equilibrium between 7 components of fitness: Strength, Flexibility, Endurance, Speed, Balance, Coordination, and Aesthetics. He also has plans that will ease people into conditioning programs.

This book introduces a system of total body fitness that can be used by just about anyone, anywhere. There are no tricks or gimmics, just sound physical fitness advice. The only thing that will hold a person up is there own motivation. At $20 it is better than buying the latest fitness gadget.

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