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You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises for Men and Women

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Providing the only exercise equipment anyone will ever need again, this guide presents to the public, for the first time, the most elite Special Operations fitness exercises to fit their schedule and their wallet. Providing the most effective, efficient, inexpensive, and convenient routine for exercise available, this simple program requires no gym or weights—only the huma Providing the only exercise equipment anyone will ever need again, this guide presents to the public, for the first time, the most elite Special Operations fitness exercises to fit their schedule and their wallet. Providing the most effective, efficient, inexpensive, and convenient routine for exercise available, this simple program requires no gym or weights—only the human body. For thousands of years—from Ancient Greece’s Olympic athletes to tomorrow’s U.S. Special Forces—humanity’s greatest physical specimens have not relied on fitness centers or dumbbells, but have rather utilized their own bodies as the most advanced fitness machines ever created. These 107 exercises are presented in a clear, concise, and complete manner for men and women of all athletic ability levels.


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Providing the only exercise equipment anyone will ever need again, this guide presents to the public, for the first time, the most elite Special Operations fitness exercises to fit their schedule and their wallet. Providing the most effective, efficient, inexpensive, and convenient routine for exercise available, this simple program requires no gym or weights—only the huma Providing the only exercise equipment anyone will ever need again, this guide presents to the public, for the first time, the most elite Special Operations fitness exercises to fit their schedule and their wallet. Providing the most effective, efficient, inexpensive, and convenient routine for exercise available, this simple program requires no gym or weights—only the human body. For thousands of years—from Ancient Greece’s Olympic athletes to tomorrow’s U.S. Special Forces—humanity’s greatest physical specimens have not relied on fitness centers or dumbbells, but have rather utilized their own bodies as the most advanced fitness machines ever created. These 107 exercises are presented in a clear, concise, and complete manner for men and women of all athletic ability levels.

30 review for You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises for Men and Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vhalros

    This book,is, as the name suggests a book describing body weight exercises, and a program to use them to improve ones physical fitness. Many of the exercises actually use some equipment, but they are items one might easily find around the house; books, broom sticks, and other miscellany. The book starts off with what is a lot of non-sense, disparaging weight training as "non-functional"-- which explains why it made me strong enough to do most of the advanced exercises in the book. While there ar This book,is, as the name suggests a book describing body weight exercises, and a program to use them to improve ones physical fitness. Many of the exercises actually use some equipment, but they are items one might easily find around the house; books, broom sticks, and other miscellany. The book starts off with what is a lot of non-sense, disparaging weight training as "non-functional"-- which explains why it made me strong enough to do most of the advanced exercises in the book. While there are certainly silly ways of doing weight training, it is disappointing that he Lauren needs to condemn legitimate training methods in order to make his own work seem superior. As if there were only one way to train! There are compelling reasons to use body weight training, and his book could stand on its own with out hating on other training methods. The chapter on nutrition is also disappointing; there is some good information in there but it is all mixed in with what are nothing but persistent hearsay (ex. "eating every 2-3 hours will boost your metabolisim"); no sources are given. Next comes the descriptions of exercises. Since your only way of increasing resistance with body weight exercises is to progress to similar but more challenging exercises, you need many more exercises in a body weight book than you might need otherwise, and this book includes enough of them to keep most people busy for a long time. The illustrations are pretty good, but the description of form is often lacking (often only a few lines). A person with good intuition about how to move their body will be able to make good use of them, but I'd be slightly worried about a less athletic person. Still, with caution, I think most people will be able to make use of the exercises in this book. Next comes a chapter describing several sample exercise programs. He has three, for three different levels of fitness. They all use the same basic periodized approach, but with harder exercises/longer intervals/etc. I already have my own thing going on, so I haven't tried any of these programs, but they seem pretty reasonable to me. The novice program might be a bit too complicated (i.e. for raw beginners, periodization probably isn't immediately necessary), but it would work. Finally, there are appendixes. One of which lists a few simple items you can use to enhance your workout. The other one contains essential information about programming-- so I'm not sure why it is in an appendix instead of the programming chapter. The stuff here is pretty much required for making the programs work. Although I've been critical, I think overall this is a very good book. Especially compared to the other body-weight/minimal equipment exercise books I've seen-- it is more comprehensive than Pavel's "The Naked Warrior" and more accessibly than Ross Enamait's "Never Gymless". I will definitely be incorporating some exercises from this book into my work out. There are a few things that could make it much better and easier to use for a novice. For example, Laruen lists several exercises that should be preformed only "after a through warm up", but never describes how one might warm up. He also stresses good form, but often fails to describe what is good and what is bad form for various exercises. These flaws and the other ones I have already mentioned prevent this from being a five star book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joe Green

    I really want to give this book 5-stars, because I think it's probably the most accessible bodyweight calisthenics book out there, but there's a few minor shortcomings that I just can't get over. The good: There's enough information in here to keep a lot of people busy for a long time... without having to dish out a whole lot of dough for gym memberships or home equipment. For my money, this book also has the best, most accessible, easiest to incorporate bw calisthenic workout routines that I've I really want to give this book 5-stars, because I think it's probably the most accessible bodyweight calisthenics book out there, but there's a few minor shortcomings that I just can't get over. The good: There's enough information in here to keep a lot of people busy for a long time... without having to dish out a whole lot of dough for gym memberships or home equipment. For my money, this book also has the best, most accessible, easiest to incorporate bw calisthenic workout routines that I've seen. My disappointment with books like Convict Conditioning, Building the Gymnastic Body and The Naked Warrior is that they either do have a very detailed routine to build upon, or they don't have routines that are easily incorporated into daily life. This book definitely does have that. The bad: The biggest issue for me, is, as thorough as the book is, that Lauren doesn't go over static holds (which are some of the best exercises for building strength and endurance with only your body) and he doesn't go over a lot of elite movements, such as a one-armed pullup and its variations, or a muscle-up. Furthermore, as others have mentioned, Lauren doesn't provide much detail for some of his movements, which isn't an issue for people like myself who have some experience in BW calisthenics, but can be a huge knock for those who are just beginning. Also, while I obviously agree that for general fitness and strength, bw calisthenics are the best way to go, I always feel a little annoyed when bw "aficionados" disparage pumping iron too much. Pumping iron is a good thing. It's better than doing nothing, and it's still the best way to develop the legs, in my opinion. Overall, as someone who has read a lot of the bw calisthenic literature, I think this is the best use of one's money, particularly if one is not yet at an "elite" level (those who have been doing bw calisthenics for some time might be better of with something like Building the Gymnastic Body, but I personally have just incorporated what I liked about BtGB into Lauren's routines.). Dragon Door has some decent books, but it's hard to recommend them to someone when they cost $40 or so. Especially when something like Convict Conditioning--which is a book jam-packed with good information-- doesn't really provide useful examples of exercise routines (some will disagree with me, but none of the routines in CC gave me the results I was looking for). On a side note, for those who are interested in seeing what bodyweight calisthenics is capable of, check out youtube for videos of the "barstarzz", "bartendaz" and "Hannibal for King" or Al Kavadlo's website. It's pretty hard to argue with the results shown by those guys, and I doubt the vast majority of people training only with weights are capable of the feats exhibited therein. The barstarzz instructional DVD is actually a pretty good investment itself.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Íris

    I've been a strength trainee for almost 6 months now. Before that I was a couch-potato of the worst kind. I work from 8 to 6 in an office (and eventually get up to go take care of something) and when I get home I sit on the couch and watch TV and scroll through Facebook. Until then only my fingers moved in any way. Then I got a gym membership. I won't lie: I hated the first time, I dreaded the next couple times until I got used to it. But that gym was unorganized and unsafe: some machines were hal I've been a strength trainee for almost 6 months now. Before that I was a couch-potato of the worst kind. I work from 8 to 6 in an office (and eventually get up to go take care of something) and when I get home I sit on the couch and watch TV and scroll through Facebook. Until then only my fingers moved in any way. Then I got a gym membership. I won't lie: I hated the first time, I dreaded the next couple times until I got used to it. But that gym was unorganized and unsafe: some machines were half-broken, the improvised squat rack was also fixed with duct-tape and there were no Olympic barbells. I was starting to get the gym seriously and decided to upgrade to a better gym where I would pay the same each month and have access to better machines and trainers. I liked it for a couple times, but there was this problem: I could only go after work, and, apparently, so would everyone else. The membership was $US 100/month and still I have to walk through a crowd of people throwing weights all around. I didn't have a safe spot to deadlift and all the machines I wanted to use were taken. We would almost have to stand in line to use something. Then I had to take a month business trip out of the country and in that month I signed up in another gym. I loved that gym but I knew it was temporary. I grew significantly in the time span. When I came back I dreaded going back to that crowded and stupidly expensive gym, so I started searching. I had heard of YAYOG before but I thought that bodyweight can only have a limit one can achieve and then you reach a plateau. Wait, I still think that way, but the limit, in my eyes, has changed a lot. What I thought would be easy became really hard. Last week I decided to give this a go and read the book. Now this is where my real review starts. I usually make a little list of the ups and downs in the books I read (unless I just feel like writing a quick review). This is a fairly short book, only emphasizing most of its pages on how-tos to exercises and DYI workout plans. Negative aspects: - Athough Mark Lauren really wants to sound uninterested in making money out of this program - since you're not paying anyone to use your own body to evolve physically - this book is not for free. Nor could it be. But he could be a little more honest than that. - I don't know what he hates so much about gym goers. There's not a single program in the Fitness world that works for everyone. Some people like Stronglifts better than Starting Strength. Some people like Pilates better than Yoga. Some people like HIIT instead of lifting weights. It all depends on the type of person and their goals. A million different programs could work to a single person. It's just up to the person to decide what they feel best with. - He points out all the negative aspects - and some are pointed in a tremendously dramatic way - of going to the gym: Pack your bag, enter de car, drive, parking, changing clothes, saving your locker key and deal with other people in the same gym you go to. He shows things this way because he maybe thought that only people who've never been to a gym and dread going there would read this book. But further on he shows how this book is also for former strength trainees who come from the gym. Let's make some sense of this, shall we? You can't try to please and displease at the same time. It doesn't work like that. You could have written this book without indirectly dissing people who actually like to go to the gym. That's bad marketing for you. Positive aspects: - This program requires no accessories. All you need is a chair, a door, a table, a towel and, if you can afford it, a yoga mat (not mandatory though). - He doesn't impose too many rules to follow the program, but to be honest, from someone who read some literature on fitness already, I would recommend you to read more about the food part that he didn't talk much about. It's extremely necessary to know what you're eating and what's the quality of the calories you're ingesting. If you can't tell what are the nutritive differences between a steak and sweet potatoes then you need to read about it. - The book is written in an easy to understand way and has some funny and snarky comments along the way, which makes you feel at ease with the program right from the start. - This point is not much about the book, but there's an app to follow his program (both for Android and iPhone) and it's much easier to follow the program that way because of how the sets are built (unless you're good at counting reps and seconds past at the same time, I'd recommend you to download the app with the same name). All in all, I enjoyed the book and I'm following the program but it's too early to know if it's working or not. But if you're curious, well, my glutes, quads and hamstrings are on fire and I can't walk without the penguin waddle!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Yevgeniy Brikman

    The good - Badass intro. Talks about how humans have trained with bodyweight (with no gym) since ancient times (e.g., ancient Greek Olympic athletes and Spartan warriors) through today, where the author trains special operations forces. - A decent list of bodyweight exercises. I've been working out for years and still found quite a few new ideas in here, especially around how to do at home some exercises I thought always required a gym. - Includes not only a list of bodyweight exercises, but also The good - Badass intro. Talks about how humans have trained with bodyweight (with no gym) since ancient times (e.g., ancient Greek Olympic athletes and Spartan warriors) through today, where the author trains special operations forces. - A decent list of bodyweight exercises. I've been working out for years and still found quite a few new ideas in here, especially around how to do at home some exercises I thought always required a gym. - Includes not only a list of bodyweight exercises, but also a basic background of exercise, anatomy, diet suggestions, motivation to start working out, and well thought-out workout plans for trainees of all levels. This makes it a great all-around intro to improving your fitness. - Brings up some interesting research and data points. For example: 20 minutes of HIIT can burn more calories than 40 or even 60 minutes of "standard" cardio, as HIIT burns calories for many hours after the workout; the difference between being "satisfied" with a meal and feeling "full" is about 1,000 calories and the difference between feeling "full" and "stuffed" is an additional 2,500 calories! I'm going to have to do some research to check these claims. The not so good - While the list of exercises is good, it's oddly missing many well-known and useful bodyweight exercises. For example, the book doesn't cover L-sits, front or back levers, vertical jump, broad jump, running, sprinting, muscle-ups, clapping pull-ups, rope climbs, and many others. - The book takes an overly negative view on working out at the gym. Yes, there are certainly some advantages to doing bodyweight exercises, and being able to do them anywhere, but that's not the same as saying gyms are bad! Depending on your goals and situation, the gym can be far more effective. - Similarly, the book takes an overly negative view of using training with external resistance. In fact, the author takes every opportunity to talk about the advantages of bodyweight training over using machines or dumbbells, but oddly never mentions barbells, nor the fact that using external resistance has many advantages of its own. For example, there are some exercises that you can do with barbells that simply can't be matched with pure bodyweight: in particular, there's no bodyweight exercise that quite matches the impact of a 500lb squat or deadlift on the entire body. Moreover, the ability to add tiny increments to a barbell (e.g., just 1 or 2 pounds) allows for a longer, smoother progression than bodyweight movements, where you often have to make much larger jumps (e.g., two-legged squat to one-legged squat) to continue progressing. Worst of all, for many of the bodyweight exercises in the book, to do the harder variations, the author tells you to use... external weights! He typically recommends using household items (a backpack filled with books, water jugs, books), but again, this is a place where we already have a technology ideally suited to that task: it's called a barbell. The reality is that using bodyweight vs external resistance is a trade-off, with some advantages and disadvantages on both sides. I think the book would be stronger if the author acknowledged that rather than trashing one in favor of the other. Overall The book has a few flaws, but overall, it's a solid read for anyone interested in bodyweight training or an alternative to the gym. Favorite quotes "It blows me away every time I walk into a nice home and meet its proud, overweight, out-of-shape owner. They just don't get it. Your real home is not your apartment or your house or your city or even your country, but your body. It is the only thing you, your soul and your mind, will always live inside of so long as you walk the earth. It is the single most important physical thing in this world you can take care of." "Whatever you do in life reinforces patterns and habits. Quitting or coasting, when it's time to drive on, reinforces that behavior and makes it more likely that you'll do it again the next time. Likewise, every time you push through discomfort and put your goals before your comfort, your resolve is strengthened. Your behavior now directly affects your behavior in the future."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Bible of bodyweight exercises is right: this book is full of functional movements that you can string together to make one hell of a workout. All of them can be done right in your own home or in your backyard - you don't need a gym or lots of equipment. The few times he does suggest a prop, he shows a household item (phone book, a bottle, or a broom stick). Lauren shares 125 movements (with countless variations possible) to add to your fitness arsenal. The real attraction is that these things ca Bible of bodyweight exercises is right: this book is full of functional movements that you can string together to make one hell of a workout. All of them can be done right in your own home or in your backyard - you don't need a gym or lots of equipment. The few times he does suggest a prop, he shows a household item (phone book, a bottle, or a broom stick). Lauren shares 125 movements (with countless variations possible) to add to your fitness arsenal. The real attraction is that these things can be done anywhere and don't involve a lot of time. In fact, he states that you should strive for short bursts (high intensity interval training or HIIT) throughout the day for best results. You will be familiar with a handful of these moves - pushups, crunches, squats - but there will be a lot of new things too. I set the book aside several times in order to try one of his variations. You will undoubtedly discover some great challenges to add to your routine. One criticism I have is that Lauren states that cardio training is completely inefficient and a waste of your time. Theoretically, I understand what he is saying. In terms of efficiency, you get more bang for your buck with strength training, but I don't think cardio is pointless and a waste of time. I quite enjoy my cardio routines (dancing, spinning, kickboxing), and if I am having a good time and it is helping me in other ways (mental health, better sleep, clearer skin, etc.) than it is not a waste of MY time. Of course, he says this, but then goes on to say that he is a triathlete and a Thai boxing champion... and both of those sports involve a lot of cardio work. So, grain of salt and all of that. This book will not make me stop my cardio routines, but it will increase my strength training - I jumped right in with a nice routine today incorporating several of his moves like Beach Scissors, Superman, Bird Dogs, and even a Wall Handstand. I checked this book out from the library, but I will be buying my own copy - there are just so many things to reference.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diem

    Good read. Straight forward and I like the soft sell. Lauren would prefer it if you would see things his way but if you choose to be an idiot he's not going to let it ruin his life. I should only read books on fitness written by men. There's no section on how awesome I am and my inner potential. Dudes writing books on fitness don't spend a lot of time on ego-stroking and self-esteem fluffing. I like that. As the title suggest, Lauren advocates a strength/body building work out that relies on dyna Good read. Straight forward and I like the soft sell. Lauren would prefer it if you would see things his way but if you choose to be an idiot he's not going to let it ruin his life. I should only read books on fitness written by men. There's no section on how awesome I am and my inner potential. Dudes writing books on fitness don't spend a lot of time on ego-stroking and self-esteem fluffing. I like that. As the title suggest, Lauren advocates a strength/body building work out that relies on dynamic movements that use your own bodyweight rather than pumping iron or the silly contraptions taking up valuable real estate at the gym (how about 20 fewer ab machines and a few more squat racks, huh?) His workouts are short and intense and I haven't tried them yet but I'm already hurting. The section on diet is marginally helpful. He hits the high points. Eat protein. Now eat more protein. I'm planning to try his program on my vacation this year when gym access will be spotty.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    The exercises here are practically comprehensive and a lot harder than you might think. The program is outstanding, the book is decent, and the author's view of fitness is right on. I definitely recommend it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Has countless innovative body weight exercises I haven't seen elsewhere

  9. 4 out of 5

    KDV

    This book is so great. I love putting on a podcast and bear walking around my living room for a while.

  10. 4 out of 5

    starwolvie

    Reminded me of what I can do without hitting the gym. I felt that the exercises would have been better throughout the book rather than just stuck at the end. If you're reading the ebook, I'd suggest something larger than a phone! The formatting for the exercises did not suit a phone - a bunch of text then the associated pictures on the next page.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wendi Lau

    I am not sure about the exercises that use a door, seems like a painful accident waiting to happen. Everything else is good to have in a fitness regiment. I would use bodyweight exercises to compliment not substitute for endurance activities.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    No gym membership? No problem. This guy says he trained a bunch of serious military dudes using this very program with only bodyweight exercises. Lauren has a lot of interesting ideas for modifications to make any of these exercises easier or harder, and he encourages you to make adjustments according to your preference. He wants you to know that you can exercise anywhere and train intensely any time, weights or no weights, so you don't have to rely on access to a gym just so you can do the same No gym membership? No problem. This guy says he trained a bunch of serious military dudes using this very program with only bodyweight exercises. Lauren has a lot of interesting ideas for modifications to make any of these exercises easier or harder, and he encourages you to make adjustments according to your preference. He wants you to know that you can exercise anywhere and train intensely any time, weights or no weights, so you don't have to rely on access to a gym just so you can do the same routine, on the same machines, day after day.

  13. 4 out of 5

    lisa

    Excellent fitness book written by a Special Operations military trainer based on the principle that form follows function. He defines fitness as the degree to which a person possesses muscular endurance, strength, power, balance, flexibility, coordination, speed, and CV endurance. His premise is that the best way to change your overall health - and your physique - is to focus on the development of these 8 components of fitness. He argues that your body changes in order to give you the required s Excellent fitness book written by a Special Operations military trainer based on the principle that form follows function. He defines fitness as the degree to which a person possesses muscular endurance, strength, power, balance, flexibility, coordination, speed, and CV endurance. His premise is that the best way to change your overall health - and your physique - is to focus on the development of these 8 components of fitness. He argues that your body changes in order to give you the required skills to perform the activities demanded of it. Thus to change body composition, one needs to focus on creating new physical demands and developing new athletic skills. For this reason, he is not a fan of steady state or endurance training, which he believes in the end lead to muscle loss, a slower metabolism, and fat gain. Rather, his program is composed of short, intense, interval type workouts using compound movements that engage many muscles at once (high intensity interval training [HIIT]). He believes that these intense and brief (sometimes as short as 20 minutes) workouts build muscle, improve strength and CV performance, and increase your metabolic rate for about 48 hours after you complete the workout. Additional benefits: you can do these body-weight exercises anywhere, you don't need a gym or any expensive equipment, and there's a nearly endless variety of exercises to choose from! One additional note - I'm training for a half marathon (and eventually a marathon) and wanted some additional advice on how to work in the necessary distance runs without losing any of the gains made through HIIT. I emailed the author (Mark Lauren) and he responded nearly immediately with friendly encouragement and links to related training forums on his website. Very helpful and appreciated! Highly recommend this book for anyone who is serious about fitness!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Toomy

    This book was on amazon's recommended item list, when I ordered a pull up bar. For me personally, a 30 minutes/day, 4-5 days/week home gym routine is more realistic and achievable than a gym membership. Before I go any further, I want to make two points clear. 1) If you say you don't want to have a body like his, you are probably lying. You won't get a body like his if you just follow his program. Why? That's for marketing. However, if you follow his program (or other similar ones), you will impr This book was on amazon's recommended item list, when I ordered a pull up bar. For me personally, a 30 minutes/day, 4-5 days/week home gym routine is more realistic and achievable than a gym membership. Before I go any further, I want to make two points clear. 1) If you say you don't want to have a body like his, you are probably lying. You won't get a body like his if you just follow his program. Why? That's for marketing. However, if you follow his program (or other similar ones), you will improve your fitness for sure. 2) This book provides you a 10-week program with a 1-2 week break in between each 10-week cycle. It is a routine, not for one-month (or whatever length) then over. There is a lot of reviews of this books. I try not to repeat things from other reviewers. Instead, I will just express my opinion on one subject from some of the reviews I read. Some reviews mentioned some of the book's exercises use milk jar, backpack filled with book, etc, so it is not really bodyweight excises. A few of the book's exercises do need some equipment. For most exercises, the use of backpack ( milk jar etc) is to use leverage to increase the difficulty of the exercises, if you need to rank up the difficulty. let's take push-up as an example. You start from hands elevated, then flat on the floor, then with feet elevated, then maybe use backpack with feet elevated. Then you may try one arm push-up with hand elevated and so on. It would take a average Joe a long time to reach the need for backpack use, or may be never for some people.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David

    This book presents a comprehensive exercises that require little or no extra equipment. The author is highly qualified, as a trainer for Special Operations soldiers. I understand why he condemns pure aerobic exercises, but I still don't understand why he hates free-weight exercises so intensely. Perhaps because free-weights require extra equipment, so the convenience factor comes into play. In any case, the book describes a very comprehensive set of body-weight exercises. And, in case some of the This book presents a comprehensive exercises that require little or no extra equipment. The author is highly qualified, as a trainer for Special Operations soldiers. I understand why he condemns pure aerobic exercises, but I still don't understand why he hates free-weight exercises so intensely. Perhaps because free-weights require extra equipment, so the convenience factor comes into play. In any case, the book describes a very comprehensive set of body-weight exercises. And, in case some of the exercises are too easy, the author describes a number of ways to increase their intensity. I like the numerous ways in which the author suggests to vary intensity vs. volume. That approach should be useful, regardless of the form of one's exercise program.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    This fitness guide and philosophy are based upon using your own body weight and no equipment. Offers lots of exercises for varying levels of ability that you can do on your own. --Kathy S.

  17. 5 out of 5

    James

    Great no nonsense advice and workouts for anyone that doesn't like to go to the gym or workout with weights. I am incorporating lots of his exercises into my routines this summer.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Calvin

    One of the first things I had to sacrifice when the pandemic hit was my daily routine of going to the gym. Mostly I was there for the treadmill. I felt good about the aerobic exercise I was getting. And then I couldn't go anymore. Thank you covid. I started looking around for exercise routines I could do at home and stumbled across this book. Mark Lauren made a name for himself developing fitness and training programs for the United States Special Operations community. Think about it. He had to One of the first things I had to sacrifice when the pandemic hit was my daily routine of going to the gym. Mostly I was there for the treadmill. I felt good about the aerobic exercise I was getting. And then I couldn't go anymore. Thank you covid. I started looking around for exercise routines I could do at home and stumbled across this book. Mark Lauren made a name for himself developing fitness and training programs for the United States Special Operations community. Think about it. He had to get lots of guys in their top shape fast. There's way too many of them for everyone to have their own personal gym. So by necessity the program had to be something that didn't require lots of equipment. So his program was based on using body weight instead of equipment. Turns out you can work every muscle in your body one way or another using body weight exercises. And Mark Lauren's exercises will teach you how to do just that. I think what I appreciated the most about Lauren's approach was that he prioritizes function over appearance. He's not looking to help you win a body building competition. He's training guys to carry hundreds or pounds of gear into combat. My goals are more modest. I'm just looking to be able to pick up that bag of mulch and carry it from the store to my car. But yeah, I'm all in on the function over appearance issue. I was a little skeptical when I looked through the book. The exercise descriptions are very terse and the pictures are small and minimal. But when I dug into it, I discovered that the descriptions are very concise and reasonably easy to understand. Doing them of course takes a lot of work and practice. lol. Especially if you are starting from scratch. The exercise descriptions are very clear about what constitutes good form for the exercise and what signs to look for to let you know you are doing the exercise incorrectly. Most exercises have variations that make it easier or harder as needed. At the back of the book there are several ten-week programs you can follow, for people of different fitness levels. I'm currently working my way through the Beginner program and am glad I did. At the front of the book there are several chapters in which Lauren discusses his approach to diet and exercise. As you might expect he's more of a high protein and fat kind of guy instead of a high carb low-fat person. He is also very outspoken about the superiority of weight training for weight loss over aerobic training. That was a sobering thought to me. I guess people can disagree. But for now at least I'm following his guidance on these matters. When the pandemic passes I may or may not return to the gym I used to visit daily. But i'll never think about exercise the same way again and I'll never have an excuse for not getting exercise.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hrishikesh

    The book's core philosophy is using just bodyweight exercises to reach "elite" levels of fitness. Whether this is actually possible or not requires systematic study. It's a good compendium of bodyweight exercises targeting most parts of the body - most of the book is that, with the preface laying out a brief history of the author and some useful, concise points about the theory. What this book lacks is an easy way to create a set of exercises that one can follow daily. When it comes to exercisin The book's core philosophy is using just bodyweight exercises to reach "elite" levels of fitness. Whether this is actually possible or not requires systematic study. It's a good compendium of bodyweight exercises targeting most parts of the body - most of the book is that, with the preface laying out a brief history of the author and some useful, concise points about the theory. What this book lacks is an easy way to create a set of exercises that one can follow daily. When it comes to exercising, automation triumphs over motivation for most people. The list of exercises is there, the steps are laid out, the principles are explained in detail. One needs to spend an (for me at least) inordinate amount of time to actually come up with a plan that has specific exercises, the number of reps, the periodization specifics. It would have been nice if the book had included at least a few sample plans. I bought a used copy of this, and the previous owner had helpfully written down a few in pencil on the back pages. I finally managed to make better use of this book after installing a companion mobile app that has plans (but you still need to customize them). Once the ball gets rolling with the app, it's easier to consult and get more out of this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vinh Khang Nguyen

    Please don't go to GYM anymore. Why ? Because you are your own gym :) Reading this book give me an entire understanding on how my body works. And I have 2 big realizations : 1. When you work out, Cardiovascular workout is very ineffective while Strength training workout is the ultimate. It helps the body to create more muscles, leaner, and stronger in every part of the body, and it lasts the whole lot more time later on after the training. While Cardiovascular only doesn't have a long-lasting eff Please don't go to GYM anymore. Why ? Because you are your own gym :) Reading this book give me an entire understanding on how my body works. And I have 2 big realizations : 1. When you work out, Cardiovascular workout is very ineffective while Strength training workout is the ultimate. It helps the body to create more muscles, leaner, and stronger in every part of the body, and it lasts the whole lot more time later on after the training. While Cardiovascular only doesn't have a long-lasting effect on strengthening your body, it only focuses on your heart for a small period of time. So please only do Strength training workout. 2. Your body is your own gym, you can almost do 100+ different exercises with your own body without bothering to go to the gym (Unless you want to impress anyone there or find your husbands). This book shows me the different exercises that I can do with my body at my home without any equipments, upto 100+ varieties so that I could follow easily. One of the strength training exercises I have been doing for last 3 months is Tabata, which works very well. Now I feel strong, lean, and more confident :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Saad Rehman Shah

    The top rated reviews basically mention everything there is to say about the book. It's a good book, written in an easy to understand manner. I like the exercise library, and the programs. I am excited to start one of them. What I didn't like: 1. His advice to eat after evert 2.5.-3 hours every day. That coming from a Spec-Ops trainer? 2. Weird names for the exercises. Could have used standard names, would have made looking them up easier. 3. The exercise descriptions are okay, but too simplistic. The top rated reviews basically mention everything there is to say about the book. It's a good book, written in an easy to understand manner. I like the exercise library, and the programs. I am excited to start one of them. What I didn't like: 1. His advice to eat after evert 2.5.-3 hours every day. That coming from a Spec-Ops trainer? 2. Weird names for the exercises. Could have used standard names, would have made looking them up easier. 3. The exercise descriptions are okay, but too simplistic. Could have been more detailed and step by step. 4. Exercise progression charts, Convict Conditioning did a great job with those.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I love this book. As someone new to bodyweight training I loved how he broke the exercises down by muscle group and then gave plenty of variety to choose from. This book is useful for a wide range of fitness levels because he shows you how to make all the exercises easier or harder. He also explains the basic recipe for increasing or decreasing difficulty. This book empowers you to create your own workouts, at a level that challenges you, wherever you find yourself. You might just cancel your gy I love this book. As someone new to bodyweight training I loved how he broke the exercises down by muscle group and then gave plenty of variety to choose from. This book is useful for a wide range of fitness levels because he shows you how to make all the exercises easier or harder. He also explains the basic recipe for increasing or decreasing difficulty. This book empowers you to create your own workouts, at a level that challenges you, wherever you find yourself. You might just cancel your gym membership:)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    I really enjoyed this book. The book presented the reader with a lot of information about health and fitness. In the book the point of view was with the author. Mark is a trainer who traines the most elite members going into the military. The difference is Mark only uses bodyweight exercises. The reason I gave this book 5 stars is because it presented a new point of view on fitness. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good non fiction book and is into health and fitness.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sudhakar

    A great step by step book which is easy to read and week wise planner. Starts with common myths in exercising, then diet and nutrition. Continues with exercises that can e done any where anytime without need for equipment and importantly excuses.. Highly recommended to those care about health without spending on fancy gym membership.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sovit Poudel

    This was a pretty good read, compact knowledge, direct to the point. I finished reading the whole book in about 2 hours. I liked the descriptions of nutritions which were broken down in a way that is easy grasp. Although I skimmed over the exercise descriptions just by glancing at the pictures and their names, they are also well described in the book. Overall it was a nice read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alberto

    It's a motivational book which helps you discard excuses to do exercise in your free time at home. Persistence is the key word of the book. I'm following the workouts in the book and I really notice the difference.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    Simple explanations and photos of all of the exercises. I enjoyed learning about his story in the beginning. When he set out to break the underwater record and talked about how he had to keep his body relaxed and not stress because stress took up too much energy. Good thing to always keep in mind.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ash Tanasiychuk

    An impressive book packed with exercises that need little or no props. Lauren describes why you should do each exercise and provides modifications whether you're weak in that area or advanced. Well laid out by body section with tons of photos so you can see correct form.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    I work at a prison and I wondered how the inmates were sculpting there bodies so well with no workout equipment. This book gave me the information I was looking for.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mina MacGabhann

    Well put together, fairly comprehensive list of body weight exercises that you can do with minimal equipment.

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