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

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,582 ratings  ·  238 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 171 pages
Published by Light of New Orleans Publishing (first published May 30th 2010)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Yevgeniy Brikman
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jacob McConville
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely Epic
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Benjamin Shurance
Jan 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: body
The irony is not lost on me, that the last book I reviewed was a critique of the militant manhood culture of white evangelical Christianity, followed by this by a Special Ops trainer. Thankfully, no Christianity was implicated in this one (although I could have done without the militarism and chauvinism which occasionally surfaced).

I have been doing some bodyweight exercises over the past year and this book has a good amount of helpful information and ideas.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is so great. I love putting on a podcast and bear walking around my living room for a while.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Wendi Lau
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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.
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book gives you information on fitness in a very palatable way.
Fitness has different facets to it and it depends on our choice how many of it we plan to attain and maintain.
If you wanna train your muscles with out gym equipment it gives you many ways and exercises on how to do it.
Here are the downsides and upsides. Some of the downsides can be cancelled out by the upsides in the book.

Downsides :
But the downside of the book is that some exercises still require you to have equipment, not
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
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
Vinh Khang Nguyen
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Kevin Peat
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fitness
This is a comprehensive fitness book and is more than enough on its own. I use a doorway chin-up bar in place of broom handles and table tops. They are affordable but be sure to get a height adjustable one to enable all ranges of movement. I concur with every positive review here. Building muscle is the best way to lose weight. The fewer excuses there are for you to avoid doing exercise the more likely you are to do it and the shortness in duration of the routines that Mark sets will mean you ar ...more
Saad Rehman Shah
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it
The exercises and variations and demonstration photos are 5-stars (I love a good bodyweight workout), but the author's tone is off-putting (I did not need the anecdote about obnoxious and immature bar-hopping in New Orleans, or the assumption that women only work out to look good in bikinis), which bumps it down for me. Also, I read the kindle version, which is inconvenient for flipping between the programs and the exercise descriptions. If you're planning to use this for regular workouts, you'r ...more
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Terry Heller
Probably the best guide I've seen to working out at home without specialized equipment. The author was in the military's special forces before becoming a fitness instruction for special forces troops, and some of the exercises are insanely difficult, but the book also has a good guide to exercises for beginners, and for people who may already be athletes but are unaccustomed to bodyweight training. ...more
Feb 26, 2021 added it
Skip the whole front bit, you can use the programs to gain plenty of strength using the providing variations and programming. Use weights to progress some of the exercises or you can use a gallon of water or rocks or whatever but know this will limit some of your gains eventually - tho unless you wanted to be a powerlifter it probably doesn't matter. Find some fun other physical activity to balance it all out, walks, rock climbing, wtv. ...more
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libby
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.
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Today, I am an international bestselling fitness author who has prepared over 700 trainees for the extreme demands of the most elite levels of the U.S. Special Operations Community. After winning several teen bodybuilding titles, I started my military career as 1 of 12 out of 100 trainees to graduate the Pararescue / Combat Control Indoctrination Course.

Not long after my military service, I traine

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