Select one of the keywords
You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises    by Mark Lauren & Joshua Clark order for
You Are Your Own Gym
by Mark Lauren
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's a fitness book that you can use to start the new year off on the right note - You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises by Mark Lauren with Joshua Clark. Lauren is a certified Military Physical Training Specialist and Special Operations Combat Controller. But don't be intimidated by that background - his training manual is aimed at a range, from beginner to exercise junkie. The best part? No special equipment needed, just your own body and the occasional household item.

The Forward! by John T. Carnley Jr., Colonel USAF, tells us that this method 'is for real men and women with real lives' (as opposed to those who can afford a high-priced personal trainer), and that harnessing the body's potential 'is the new fitness revolution.' In his introductory chapters, Lauren reminds us that he honed his program to train those whose lives (not livelihoods) depend on being fit.

Lauren offers 125 exercises to work specific muscles, and also '10-week programs for all levels of fitness'. He explains (with research references) the benefits of interval strength training over aerobic activity for 'burning fat, as well as building strength, speed, power, and even cardiovascular endurance.' He defines Fitness, talks about 'the fundamentals of healthy eating', and looks hard at Motivation and goal setting.

The exercises themselves are split into four sections - Push, Pull, Core, and Legs & Glutes, and are labeled with level of fitness (1-4) required to do them. Each section starts with a review of the benefits of that group of exercises. Explanations of techniques include black and white photos of the steps. Quite a few exercises (like Push-ups, Crunches and Burpees) are classics, but many are new or have variations.

Lauren encourages readers to develop their own exercise regimes but also offers 10-week programs for different levels of fitness - Basic, 1st Class, Master Class, and Chief Class - and describes what you should be able to do before embarking on each level. Each program is divided into four blocks, focusing on Muscular Endurance, Strength Training, Power, and Undulating.

Whatever your age, if you can motivate yourself to start training or to raise your fitness level, then You Are Your Own Gym is an excellent resource. A note at the back mentions that a percentage of royalties are being donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which helps families of special operations personnel who are wounded or killed on a mission.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews