Lift with Your Head

Lift with Your Head: The Training and Movement Philosophies of the Physical Subculture is anything but “just one more fitness book” to jam onto the shelf. Whether you’re toying with the idea of starting out, getting back into shape, or whether you’re a fitness fanatic, this is one book you can get into and get a lot out of.

Author Chip Conrad (owner of Body Tribe Fitness, a private gym in Sacramento that hosts art exhibits and speakers such as Found Magazine folks) has a snappy, down-to-earth, buoyant voice that belies his pleasure in a physically fit lifestyle. But he offers so much more than smart, unconventional exercises and diet advice. The first half of this book is alive with his philosophy on working out, living physically, and … life.

So many books merely offer instruction. Lift with your Head offers insight and reflection. If deep down you’ve always had the inkling that we should play and have fun in order to live well, this book will articulate why that’s valid, even vital. If you hanker for recess in your adult life, if you are turned off by today’s corporately-run gyms, if you want to feel better without all the drudgery of “three 12-rep sets” and 12-week programs, this book will oxygenate a flame in you that has been quietly flickering. Passage after passage, Chip’s thinking certainly resonates with mine.

The nuts and bolts? At the risk of cheapening it by spitting out some gems out of context – cleans, windmills, farmer’s walk, deadlifts, beating tractor tires; dumbbells, kettlebells, clubbells, sandbags.

I must give props to the page design. Every clean, tidy, page is loaded with images - of real people enjoying using their bodies, not the soft-porn types of images you find in many fitness books.

I’ve got a lot of fitness books jammed onto my shelf. This is one of the few I’m taking from the bedside into the gym.

Lift with your Head is self-published and available only through the Physical Subculture Web site, for $21.95.

An excellent article about Chip's philosophy and his book is in the Sacramento News & Review.

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