This is a ‘You Are Your Own Gym review’. If you are looking for somewhere to buy the book, I would recommend purchasing it from Amazon.
Okay, so I don’t normally do anything like this, but with the health and fitness industry starting to lean towards more home workouts and more specifically bodyweight workouts, I thought this would be the time to have a look at a book that has sold thousands over the last few years – “You Are Your Own Gym – The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises”
You Are Your Own Gym Review – Let’s start from the…..start!
So I did what any person should do before reviewing a product and I went out and bought it from Amazon. It took about 12 days, from me ordering the book online to the book arriving at my house. Not too bad I suppose, seeing as I have ordered other books off Amazon, and they have taken almost a month to reach me! Not Amazon’s fault however, this was due to the seller.
Okay so what were my first impressions of this self proclaimed ‘Bodyweight Bible’? Well I did what any other reader would do and flicked forward a few pages to the contents pages.
First few chapters go into a little bit about him and how he came to write the book. The next few chapters go into why we would want to use bodyweight exercises and strength training, and chapter 5 talks us through exactly what fitness is.
Next, he talks about the nutrition side of things, common strength training myths and chapter 8 talks about motivation – something a lot of people struggle with.
Chapter 9 goes into detail about intensity of the workouts, and chapter 10 provides us with specific workout routines
We finally reach the bodyweight exercises on chapter 11 and he then provides us with specific workout routines in the final chapter.
The book is then finished off with 3 appendix sections.
So what now? Well let’s read it of course!
You Are Your Own Gym Review – Who is Mark Lauren?
According to his book and some information I managed to grab off MarkLauren.com…
Mark Lauren isn’t your typical trainer; he doesn’t train your average person, in-fact he works with the most elite people. Mark, a Military Physical Training Specialist has trained well over 700 trainees hoping to become part of the Special Operations community.
Having been on the receiving end of some grueling tasks and training regimes, Mark has used his knowledge and experience to devise workout plans that can be performed anywhere, at anytime with minimal amount of space available, resulting in him being handpicked (by the Advanced Skills Training Commander) to ensure trainees were able to physically complete. In his time as a trainer Lauren’s workouts have resulted in a 40% decrease in student injuries and failures – proof that Mark’s programs are very effective.
In his spare time Mark is a keen Thai boxer. After 3 years of training and completing Mark became the FL IKF Middle Weight Champion in Phuket, Thailand.
You Are Your Own Gym Review – Chapter 3-6
In chapters 3, 4 and 5 Mark basically just talks about what bodyweight exercises are and how they can be used in a workout program. He walks the reader through some pretty basic fitness principles
, and also outlines the importance of strength training – and why traditional cardio is not necessary.
Chapter 6 goes into a little more detail however. In this chapter, Mark focuses on the nutrition aspect of health and fitness.
He starts off by introducing nutrition, and talking about how we should have more protein in our diets, and as a personal trainer and fitness coach myself, I completely agree with Mark.
Mark goes in to details on all the different aspects of nutrition including; the science behind carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
If a ‘trainer’ or a ‘nutritionist’ ever tells you to cut fat out of your diet, then stop listening straight away. We need fat in our diet, and without fat our body just simply wouldn’t be able to survive – and Mark explains this well in the nutrition section of the book.
After walking you through the ins-and-outs of nutrition, Mark gives you a simple calculation that can be used to help you lose weight. (There are separate calculations for both men and women)
He doesn’t stop there however, people would come to assume that the book can help them lose – which it most defiantly can – but not that, Mark also walks you through how you can gain weight as well. So for those of you looking to pack on some muscle, then this book could be just what you’re looking for.
You Are Your Own Gym Review – Chapters 7-10
Chapter 7, 8, and 9 walk you through a little more about strength training, motivation and the intensity of what your workout should be.
In chapter 10, ‘Training Tools’ Mark shows you the different ways each exercise and workout can be made harder. So for example, you could perform a pushing movement with a pulling movement. This type of workout is called a ‘Push – Pull Ladder’. What you are doing is combining two different exercises together.
There are 13 different training tools to choose from.
Chapter 11 – The Exercises
This chapter is pretty self explanatory. The chapter consists of 80 pages worth of exercises. All these exercises are aimed at targeting a specific muscle group. Most exercises just require the body, but there are some exercises that will require some apparatus – like some towels or books.
Mark Lauren – The Bodyweight Bible - Chapter 12
In chapter 12 you are given a 40 week workout program. The program consists of a 10 week Beginner program, a 10 week 1st Class program, 10 week Master Class program and finally a 10 week Chief Class program.
Each week is split into days, and in each one of these days you are given a set of exercises to perform. (Note: you are not required to workout every day)
Finally Mark finishes the book off with some household equipment you can use, and explains a little bit about the science behind the book.
So there you have it a complete breakdown of “Mark Lauren’s - You are Your Own Gym”
You Are Your Own Gym Review – The Cons
Nothing’s perfect – and if you ever find anything that is then let know! Now in this short section all I am going to do is tell you about the things, that I don’t like. They are not necessarily the views of other buyers, and also keep in mind I am certified personal trainer.
Firstly I don’t like the way Mark tried to convince the reader that Bodyweight exercises are only way to train.
Yes bodyweight exercises were around along time before any machines and corporate gyms came along. But we do live in the 21st century now – times have changed!
When I train my clients, I do get them to eat more protein, and Mark heavily emphasizes this, but something that he fails to emphasize as much is the importance of fiber in our diet. Yes he talks about it, but fiber has just an important role in being healthy, fit and strong as protein does.
That being said, when ever I have a new client, I always start them out on bodyweight exercises. I think it’s a great way to work them in nicely. My belief is that if you train a beginner too hard to start with, they’ll rebound hard and be put off exercising for a long time – something I don’t want.
I like the way the book is set out, and I also like the way the pictures are laid out in “The Exercises” chapter. Very clear images leaving no room for confusion.
There are tones of pros about the book, and the pros do heavily out-weight the cons. Just being a personal trainer myself, I needed to highlight the two cons I talked about above.
If you were to ask me the question “Do you think I should buy the book?”….my answer would be yes, I think you should.
It’s a great way for a beginner to start exercising, and also those who struggle with motivation.
You Are Your Own Gym Review - Conclusion
If you are a beginner then this book is great for you. If you’re looking to start losing weight and exercising at home, then this book is great for you. If you are looking for a book that shows you the basics of nutrition and strength training, again this book is for you.
Just remember, that everything Mark talks about in his book isn’t the be-all and end-all of health and fitness. The book can used as a great reference if nothing else.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, of course I would. It is a great book for beginners and the more advanced, and it is also a great resource for those who don’t have much time on their hands due to other commitments.
I believe everyone, no matter who you are will learn something new from reading Mark Lauren’s “You Are Your Own Gym – The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises”