Book Review: Complete Calisthenics – The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Exercises

We review Ashley Kalym's 'Complete Calisthenics' and find out why it's rated #1 for calisthenics
'Complete Calisthenics' By Ashley Kalym. Worth the read if you're serious about learning
'Complete Calisthenics' By Ashley Kalym. Worth the read if you're serious about learning
Complete Calisthenics by Ashley Kalym
The Good
  • Easy to understand
  • Covers all the basics and more
  • So much detail! And in small digestable chunks
  • Great practial advice - not just techniques
The Bad
  • If it came with a workout DVD it'd be perfect
  • Pictures in black & white (But who cares, right?)
  • None of these are legit bad points!!!!!
  • Price (Really good value!)
  • Easy to read
  • Quality of information
  • Exercise descriptions
  • Physical size of book (It's kinda large)

There is an X factor to calisthenics training that has so many people interested. Compared to the traditional gym workouts with weights and machines, body-weight strength training is like exercise in it’s purest form – the kind that the human body thrives on and has done for millennia. It’s emphasis on real functional strength – plyometric movements, core body strength, isometric exercises, agility, flexibility etc – is what get’s peoples attention. Plus did I mention calisthenics is free? $0 to begin. Good, right?

If you’ve been hitting the gym for years and still feel like you’re missing an element of strength, one which encompasses your whole body then calisthenics training is a MUST.

But where’s a good place to start with calisthenics training? “Complete Calisthenics” by Ashley Kalym. This book is jam packed with EVERYTHING related to calisthenics – everything!

Complete Calisthenics is the “Ultimate Guide To Bodyweight Exercise”, and it’s been receiving some seriously rave reviews since it’s release in mid August 2014. All 384 of it’s pages are jam packed with detailed ‘how-to’ advice on building strength, fitness and power – all while using little to no equipment. But this book isn’t just for the beginners. It has unbeatable advice for intermediate and extreme calisthenics addicts as well as nutrition and motivation advice and more.

But let’s start at the place everyone is familiar with.

What’s in it for the Beginner?

If you are a beginner to calisthenics, this book will cover many of the basics such as great warm-ups, stretches, push-ups, pull-ups, many upper body, lower body and core exercises etc. Basically all the good stuff that will really get you started on your bodyweight strength training journey. It teaches good form, good posture and how to target the right muscles – these things are key. Master these body-weight exercises and the sky is your limit. Complete Calisthenics covers these basics in great detail (technically and practically) so that you have a firm understanding and a solid framework in which to progress in calisthenics.

What’s in it for the Intermediate?

Complete Calisthenics is also great for intermediate level bodyweight enthusiasts. If you’ve made great progress through the beginner stages (i.e. finely tuning your form on the basic calisthenics exercises) then why not step it up a level. Tired of push ups? Move onto the pseudo planche push up. Mastered the pull up? Try some different grips (wide, close, inline) or throw in some l-pull ups. Be creative – this book is a great source of inspiration. And if you are hitting a wall, check out the great tips and advice Ashley has to offer to step it up notch by notch.

What’s in it for the Extreme?

Why would you need this book if the human flag is a cake-walk? You’re guaranteed to learn something new within it’s pages. Consume it. Every word. Master all the exercises, the nutrition, the equipment. Know what exercise does what and be an authority to those around you. If you’ve made it this far with calisthenics then you deserve to be a leader in the subject. Share the love.

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“Complete Calisthenics” really is the ULTIMATE GUIDE to the calisthenics workout. The book breaks down each exercise, each piece of equipment, each muscle movement into consumable, easy to understand chunks. That alone is worthy or your attention but the book offers so much more advice – from nutrition to motivation to recovery and countless other tips – that will let you break through to the next level.

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