Disclaimer: this is an independent review and is not endorsed in anyway by the author. I do not receive compensation for book sales resulting from this review.
I’ve been pushing to finish an ultra-long review of Congruent Exercise. “Ultra-long” because I was weaving in so many different ideas into the review, that are important to the discussion, but not absolutely necessary. Well, I’m about to be without internet access for a few days, and in light of those additional discussions not being absolutely necessary, I have decided to write a short and simple review, and release it immediately.
I’ve made this decision because it needed to be made — because there are things about this book that need to be said.
A book that says things about exercise, that absolutely needed to be said.
This 68 page manual is the greatest manual on exercise ever written, and it appears I am not entirely alone in this sentiment.
What is Congruent Exercise?
CE is the follow up manual to Moment Arm Exercise, or MAE, with updated ideas and discussion by the author, Bill DeSimone. Not only is the book up to speed with Bill’s latest conclusions, but the ideas within are condensed, simplified, and as easy to understand as they will ever be (unlike MAE which was not written with others reading in mind, but was instead written primarily for Bill’s personal use).
This simplification is done without compromise in any way or to any degree.
Is CE better than MAE?
Without a doubt, yes. Bill’s writing has improved dramatically, yet it retains his sense of humor which makes an “exercise book” actually enjoyable to read, not to mention, easy to digest. CE is a technical manual with revolutionary concepts that even the lay gym goer can grasp with little or no difficulty. This is the call sign of someone who is a true master of their craft/profession.
In addition, CE contains more and better explanations for suggested exercises, as well as improved picture quality. You are shown exactly what you need to be shown.
For the first time ever, Bill DeSimone also digs into “core work”, including the muscles of the spine and abdomen, which I suspect many have asked him about for years now.
If I own MAE should I buy CE?
Yes. Bill’s explanations have not only become clearer in some areas, but have quite literally advanced.
If I’ve seen Bill’s 21 Convention presentation, should I still buy CE?
Yes. Bill was limited to 90 minutes in that speech, given well over a year ago. That video is awesome, but this book has a lot more content than the video.
Why is CE the greatest exercise manual in history?
Because for the first time in human history, someone has brought biomechanics to the discussion of exercise, thoroughly, clearly, and definitively. That someone is Bill DeSimone.
Biomechanics as it relates to exercise is the single most fundamental concept possible to the discussion, yet up to this point, has been ignorantly and/or arrogantly dismissed. Yet, biomechanics is as fundamental to exercise as the discussion of oxygen is to breathing, food to nutrition, and the existence of organisms smaller than we can normally see, to human health.
Every article, word, text, video, and media item in existence on the subject of exercise, from every website, every book, and every interview, from every author in history, does not compare to the importance of the sum of knowledge Bill has formulated and presented in Congruent Exercise.
I mean that literally. While this may not have been the direct intention of Bill in writing the book, the most important personal conclusion I walked away with is that without biomechanics, there can be no discussion of exercise. To do so is complete nonsense.
And no one understands biomecahincs as it relates to exercise like Bill DeSimone. There is not a single other trainer, author, blogger, or “fitness celebrity” who is even remotely close to understanding, practicing, and celebrating the very simple discoveries Bill has made and presented in this manual (which is not to say other great minds in exercise do not exist — many do — but they are up to this point NEVER the ones that are popular).
The human spine is a pyramid, and loading it from the top down is antithetical to the basic function and design of the human body — ie, barbell squats are one of the most fundamentally ineffective exercises imaginable, in spite of all the lore and myths surrounding this magical exercise with “super duper benefits” that even in the best of circumstances, can never outweigh the reasons to completely and totally avoid this exercise, forever.
Compare that, a conclusion I walked away with from the book, to this bout of insanity — tantamount to putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound (discussing finer points of an exercise that is fundamentally flawed to the highest of degrees, completely in-congruent to the human body, and is outright dangerous to your health, short and long term).
Looking at Rippetoe’s qualifications I’d say follow his advice to a T and you’ll be safer, stronger and healthier than you’d be listening to most anyone else.
Yeah, that, or you’ll fast track your way to becoming a quadriplegic.
And of course, don’t forget this for added insanity.
While I wish the book was even longer, and contained even more exercises, more discussion, and entire sections criticizing the insanity that is currently the status quo of the “fitness world”, I am utterly happy with this book, and give it my highest recommendation.
Bill DeSimone deserves a nobel prize.
In exercise, the buck starts and ends with biomechanics. Anyone that argues with this premise after buying Congruent Exercise is arguing with basic human physiology, and is likely a complete fraud, patently dishonest, or is just an idiot stuck in his ways “cause that’s what he’s always done and it hasn’t caused a problem” — yet.
Biomechanics is king. The fitness world is a sham. Congruent Exercise rocks, as does Bill DeSimone.
— Anthony Dream Johnson
Edit: I suspect people are going to go apeshit over my jab at barbell Slowking Mark Rippetoe, so I’ll quote myself in a comment just below.
People aren’t de-facto stupid for doing or recommending squats
They only become as such when they understand basic biomechanics, and continue to sell them (barbell specific squats), as a legitimate exercise. Keyword there is “continue” (as well as barbell).
Mark Rippetoe is someone who will promote barbell squats to the day he dies, even if it’s death by barbell squat.