Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bret Contreras addresses bodyweight training in forthcoming book (awesome!)

Bodyweight Strength Training.

Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy — due for release in September 2013. For more, including the book’s contents, head to the Human Kinetics page for the book >>

Bret Contreras — one of the most reliable sources of strength and conditioning information on the Internet turns his attention to bodyweight strength training in his forthcoming book.

I’ve been in around every corner of the Internet in an effort to find the best sources of information on strength, conditioning and sports specific training. To my mind, Bret Contreras aka “The Glute Guy” is the best source I’ve found (

For one, he respects good science and is able to spot nonsense and fake ‘gurus’ when he sees them. Secondly, it turns out he’s studying his PhD in Sports Science at the university I work at (AUT University in Auckland).

So it’s fair to say that I’m excited about diving into Bret’s new book — Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy.

Readers of my previous posts on functional fitness here and here will know I am a big fan of bodyweight training done well and with good progression. Later I found out that Bret also believes that anyone embarking on a strength training programme should begin with basic bodyweight movements before loading plates to a bar. His reasoning is the same as mine — you need to establish a foundation of good form and ensure joint mobility is respected and developed early on. Bret elaborates:

“Bodyweight exercises lay the foundation for future training success, and correct performance requires a precise blend of mobility, stability and motor control”.

Bodyweight training can be progressed to challenge your muscles incrementally and therefore strength and muscle mass can be further developed. **I personally think that the one leg (‘pistol’) squat is one of the most gratifying exercises to master.**

For the past 9 months I have been loosely following Paul Wade’s Convict Conditioning advice and progressing bodyweight movements, so I know it works and it is an incredibly fulfilling way to train (I feel as if I’m ‘gaming’ the system by using the minimal amount of equipment). In fact, my home gym merely consists of a resistance band, foam roller and a 20kg kettelbell I use solely for high rep swings.

The reason I’m looking forward to Bret’s take on bodyweight training is twofold: (1) I’m intrigued by what can be achieved sans-equipment, (2) Training without equipment seems to be a forgotten art.

For all the articles and websites you’ll find on loading plates to a bar you’ll find only a few reliable sources on training without the need for plates. Those that are good stand out a mile and I’m certain Bret’s book will be a tremendous addition to the subject of bodyweight training simply because he approaches training scientifically and walks the talk.

The book is rich in illustrations and from the 8 page sample it looks eye-catching and easy to read. Check out the sample here >>