Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength
The long awaited Overcoming Gravity 2 is finally here.
It took me some time to read it, after all it’s 600 pages of pure knowledge and wisdom.
It is 50 pages more than the first edition but it is all worth it.
Let’s get started
with a short bio of the author.
Steven Low is is a former gymnast who has performed with and coached the exhibitional gymnastics troupe, Gymkana. He has also spent thousands of hours independently researching the scientific foundations of health, fitness and nutrition and is able to provide many insights into practical care for injuries. His training is varied and intense with a focus on gymnastics, parkour, rock climbing, and sprinting.
This is your go to guy when it comes to calisthenics training. I can’t think of someone else honestly.
He also has a PhD on physical therapy which explains why the book is filled with scientific evidence that backs up everything he says.
And if it doesn’t he tells it from experience from his days in the Gymkana troupe.
Overcoming Gravity 2
To be honest with you I just started re-reading the first edition when the second edition came out.
And yes, the first edition is extremely helpful for people who like to do things themselves and don’t like expect from people to design their programs and stuff like that.
In it there are detailed explanation on how to design your program so it will fit your training goals perfectly.
This skill that he teaches is handy not just to people who are calisthenics maniacs(shout out to all the bar brothers out there) but also to people who do weight lifting.
In this skill alone he included scientific proof on how many reps we should do in order to gain strength and/or muscle.
He made those cute charts that show exactly that.
But not just for exercises with reps, he made charts for isometric exercises as well.
The part about gymnastic training progressions and many other bodyweight moves
The part with the beautiful images(thank you for updating the images Steven).
In this part of Overcoming Gravity you will see detailed images with the correct positioning of the body in various gymnastic moves.
He explains in full detail about every move. Which will help you understand better how to perform it and for what to look for when you are doing it.
In this part there is also difficulty chart of the most famous gymnastic moves.
The part about injury awareness, avoidance and rehabilitation
This is probably the one part that makes this book complete.
I mean most of the books out there provide you with few helpful advices on how to do the moves right and what not.
But in this you have a complete package that will serve you as your bible in your crusade to the promise land(can’t believe I said that).
In this part you will find exercises that will help you better understand how to work on the weakness of your body.
And how to turn those weakness to work for you.
That’s some Tony Robbins stuff right there.
Steven Low emphasized a lot on looking at the different moves as skills that we build on and develop over time and practice(!).
And here is where the book comes very handy because it will literally help you in every way of developing those skills.
Ok but how can this book help you?
Let’s say for example that you are in a plateau with the front lever.
You are doing the same old front lever advance tuck for the last two months and there is no signs of progress.
You are doing everything right, eating right, sleeping right, normal levels of stress(because who has zero stress levels right?).
This is the book you go for to see what you are not doing right in terms of training, programming or prehabing a weak joint.
You are progressing pretty well in calisthenics.
And you start doing more hand balancing. But you notice you have slight discomfort in your wrist.
Before letting this minor issues become anything serious.
You start reading this book that will help you better understand why this is happening and how to work on it.
But in today’s age of computers and laptops the reason for this discomfort is not really hard to find.
(Just did a quick stretch of my wrists after typing that on my keyboard.)
You are tired of listening to what your fitness instructor how to do shit and you just want to learn how to do it on your own.
Learning how to design your own training program is one of the main parts of this book.
Which is really simple. He explains everything about how to do it.
All you have to do is figure out your goals with training.
This guy killed it. I’m really happy for him and his progress.
If you are planning to build a small home gym like ShaunB here, I’ve wrote an article about the most necessary items that you will need.
The book is definitely a must have if you are planning to learn this body weight training from the beginning till the end.
It will be your personal adviser or personal trainer for the years that you will spend training.
You can read more about the book or buy it in Amazon.