Fitness Authors’ Favorite Exercises Part One

As part of our month-long health and fitness celebration, we thought it would be fun to ask fitness authors what their favorite exercises are. I used to work for a publisher who released a ton of fantastic fitness books, so I got in touch with some of the authors there to find out. Not only do they tell us why they love these exercises, we also got them to fork over samples from the books so you can see how each technique is done.

Today we feature three exercises, and we have three more to come. Before February, we’ll have you a whole fitness routine built out of fitness authors’ favorites. Of course these don’t make for the best routine, as they don’t combine to get a total body work out…for that you’ll need to get the books. But why not give one of these exercises a try before your lunch break tomorrow? Fifteen minutes a day can make a world of difference, and if you exercise before lunch you raise your metabolism.


Special Forces Fitness Training book coverSpecial Forces Fitness Training: Gym-Free Workouts to Build Muscle and Get in Elite Shape

Author Augusta Dejuan Hathaway has a master’s degree in Kinesiology. He served as Fitness Coordinator for Kaneohe, Hawaii’s US Navy and Marine Corps Base. During his tenure, he received a Civilian Appreciation Award for his impact on overall solider fitness. He is currently the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for the US Army base at Ft. Benning, GA. When he’s not conditioning soldiers for combat, DeJuan is a professional mixed martial artist who remains undefeated. (Learn more about Augusta Dejuan Hathaway.)

Hathaway’s favorite exercise move is the Belasco. He says, “it was one of the drills we did in training. It was always a tough drill mentally and physically, so I named it after one of my best friends that was one tough dude—Belasco.”


Perform this drill as quickly as possible. Exercise distance can be longer or shorter than 10 yards.

  1. Start facedown on your hands and feet with your knees off the ground. Your knees shouldn’t 
touch the ground throughout the exercise.
  2. Bear crawl forward 10 yards.
  3. Immediately perform 10 push-ups and 10 mountain climbers.
  4. Bear crawl forward another 10 yards and repeat 10 push-ups and 10 mountain climbers.


Medicne Ball WorkoutsMedicine Ball Workouts: Strengthen Major and Supporting Muscle Groups for Increased Power, Coordination and Core Stability

Brett Stewart is a National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT)-certified personal trainer who has raced dozens of triathlons, multiple marathons and even a few ultra-marathons. From co-founding the ESPN Triathlon team in 2004 to directing races and triathlons, Brett spends a majority of his time working and participating in fitness activities and competitions. He is the author of more than sixteen books; you’ll find his favorite exercise in Medicine Ball Workouts(Learn more about Brett Stewart.)

He says, “For an individual exercise, I really don’t think you can beat the wood chop. With a medicine ball, or even a sandbag, you can get a full body workout that engages your lower body with a squat, your core by keeping you tightened up right through the twisting, and your upper body by using your arms, shoulders or chest to press the ball or the weight above your head.” The wood chop targets the quads, glutes hamstrings, abs, deltoids, triceps, and even the erector spinae…though I’m not sure what that is, Brett will let us know how to work it.

Exercise: WOOD CHOP

STARTING POSITION: From an athletic position, hold a medicine ball to your chest with your arms bent and initiate a squat: Drop your torso straight down until your legs are past parallel; your butt should be as close to the floor as you can get without falling backward. Don’t let your knees bow inward, that can cause injury. Slowly bring the ball toward your right foot using your arms. Your shoulders and hips should remain pointing straight forward. Don’t lean to the right because the imbalance of the weight helps to work your left obliques and to maintain proper position.

Pressing through your heels, raise your torso straight up and lift the ball up and toward the left side of your body. When the ball reaches your left shoulder, twist your core to the left and continue pressing the ball directly overhead, with both arms fully extended, back straight, head up high and looking to the left, and your entire core engaged (abs and glutes contracted) to keep you in a stable position. During the twist and top position, your hips should be pointing forward as much as possible.

Slowly return the ball back to the starting position in a controlled manner. Repeat to the other side. That’s a single rep.

Paleo Fitness book coverPaleo Fitness: Primal Training and Nutrition to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy

Darryl Edwards is a movement therapist who specializes in fitness and diet focused on the paleo lifestyle. He is a regular contributor to Paleo Magazine and and frequently presents at paleo fitness conferences. He is the founder of “primal play,” a fitness method for those who hate to exercise. Edwards is a self-described “former coach potato” who has been featured in Men’s Health, Women’s Fitness, Top Santé, Elle, Men’s Fitness, The Daily Express, Health and Fitness magazine and BBC London radio. (Learn more about Darryl Edwards.)

Darryl says his favorite exercise is the Fireman’s carry. He says, “As well as lifting and carrying weight—it’s a practical skill to help an injured party.”


  1. Hold your partner’s right wrist with your left hand and place it over your right shoulder, across the back.
  2. Squat down, keeping a strong and solid back position. Place your right hand behind your partner’s right leg and your arm behind his or her right thigh. Use your leg muscles to rise from the squat and position your partner’s right thigh over your right shoulder as you stand up.
  3. Keep your back straight and support your partner’s body with your shoulders, adjusting the weight to ensure it’s evenly distributed across both shoulders.

Cover the distance required. To put your partner down, bend your legs slightly until your partner’s feet touch the ground and they are in a safe position.


If you enjoyed these exercises, check back soon as we have three more coming up…or if you hated these exercises, check back soon, as we have three more coming up. Either way, you know where to turn for a closer look at the books shaping our world.