It seemed kind of strange to think that this feature has been around for years and I have never used it, that is the email to post feature…
For this entry into my blog I want to share a recent book I read, which is what I do around here, and I want to share a story of how I came across this author.
First off, anyone who has read my blog for a while knows that I do take fitness seriously, and that I am currently going down a road to personal fitness that is more akin to development over the long term and not just for hypertrophy.
With that, a friend of mine and I had just gone to lunch and we were talking about how life was before covid and how we used to be more involved with the gym. He remembered that I had let those days go of going to the gym and he wondered what I had been up to. I told him about Convict Conditioning and how it had truly changed my perspective on what physical fitness should look like.
He kind of laughed at me and told me that stuff was lame, and not a broad or deep enough perspective into the art of callisthenitcs. “Have you heard of Steven Low and his book Overcoming Gravity?”
Well, obviously I hadn’t because he began telling me about what the book was about. Even mid conversation I pulled up library genesis and started looking for the text. Sure enough, it was there and over the next 48 hours I began reading the massive tome on gymnastic conditioning until I had fully engulfed the text and understood the basics.
The Basics to Bodyweight Conditioning
In all reality, I am not an expert. I am guy who started off in middle school swimming after school and taking that sport to its logical conclusion in high school: swimming in high school. Granted swimming did become a kind of gateway to another watersport that I think is highly under-rated and under-appreciated: water polo. But I digress.
You see, physical fitness had been about participating in a sport and performing at a very high level all growing up. Then in my twenties, fueled by unrealistic expectations of who I was supposed to be and manipulated into thinking I was more important than I really am, my rageful pursuit of hypertrophy was what dominated my world view.
It was when I started cutting back from the gym, due to covid regulations, that I started to discover a new world of difficulty that I had never understood. I mean, I could lift twice my weight off the floor. I could press my weight over head. And I could press one and a half times my weight off my chest… But a pistol squat? Get our of town. That’s when I started my journey into the beginnings of body weight fitness.
Now, I didn’t go into bodyweight conditioning for long for my first go at it. I got bored of doing the same stuff over and over again (ironic, weight lifting is really no different). But as the pandemic’s lockdowns and restrictions waged on, I knew that I needed to continue learning about bodyweight exercises or get weights. You guessed it, I bought weights like a good little consumer trying to find the shortcut to a toned physique and mass of muscles.
When I started experiencing pains in my joints, I discovered that I needed to reasses my fitness from the ground up. And that is exactly what I did when I learned about Convict Conditioning, I had to real learn to rebuild my strength from the joints outwards.
Enter the Expert to Body Weight Conditioning
Truthfully, I don’t really know much about Steven Low or what he is all about. But sometimes you don’t have to know much about an expert to know that the information that they are sharing is expertise.
As I discovered how gymnists train and the terminology that they use to develop tremendous strength in their sport, I found my self desiring for my self the kind of strentgh and mobility that comes with training the body against the weight of the body. And I found myself wanting that for the whole of my life and not just for a few years of looking shredded and feeling body bound.
See the big things that attracted be to Overcoming Gravity were the progressions into deeper levels of strength while attaining more profound mobility in my limbs. This is ultimately what I desire for my fitness. And it took stripping away all the ego, the misconceptions about the body and the slot machine of social media the surrounded my worldview to see that I want is to have the power and flexibility of learning how to use my body.
Steven Low does a great job teaching that the real difficulty in becoming truly bodyweight powerful is learning how to develop routines that progressively build overtime. And that skill of building routines is, from my perspective, what will set someone up on their journey to an understanding of physical fitness that can’t be attained through just lifting weight, running another mile, or taking another more exotic supplement.
The root of fitness means to be fit, and there is no better way to determine if we are fit than to take our body and leverage it against the world and see if we can overcome gravity.
Your Fitness Journey
Tell me about your fitness journey. Are my thoughts out of whack or do they make sense? Do you believe that weightlifting is superior to bodyweight training? Or are you aware of a methodology of personal fitness that isn’t readily known? Comment below.