Although my back injury prevents me from engaging in vigorous exercise I do try to keep abreast of what's going on in the world of strength and fitness training. I recently stumbled across a Dragon Door book called Convict Conditioning. Written by an ex-con it details the system he developed to become scary strong and fit inside the joint. Utilising nothing but bodyweight exercises, the book can trace its heritage back to old-school strongman The Mighty Atom.
What's refreshing about this book is that not only does the author explain the reasoning and history behind his system, he also lays out a foolproof guide of how to progress from absolute beginner to master athlete. I've read a lot of exercise books and while many offer explanations of certain techniques and some sample routines, few- if any- lay it out in such a clear, simple way as Convict Conditioning. Based around six main exercises, it takes you step-by-step through the program. Take press ups, for example. This section starts with standing, wall press ups for those with little conditioning, and then builds gradually- level by level- towards the peak movement: the one handed, handstand press up. It's as simple as that. Get the book, follow the routine- with clearly pictured and described guides to each of the exercises- and get strong. And the best part is that you don't need to buy any expensive or fancy equipment; or even go to the gym for that matter.
Quite simply this is one of the best exercise guides I've ever seen.