Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Martial Arts, Unarmed Self Defense, Hand To Hand Combat, and Physical Fitness

You Are Your Own Gym--Bodyweight Exercises

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After ten years working local freight and cycling 90 miles a week, I was in decent shape for a truck driver. Then the economy dropped through the floor and I ended up a line driver, sitting on my butt 12-14 hours a night five and six nights a week. Fast-forward three years and I was horribly out of shape. I had all the flexibility of a coma patient and nearly as much aerobic capacity as a terminal emphysema sufferer. I had even lost my regular bid where I was getting home every morning and the company was sending me out for a week at a time, so I was staying in hotels and struggling at times to eat properly. I had an old Soloflex at home, but what good was that doing me six hundred miles away? I needed a workout I could do anywhere, it needed to be fairly short in duration and needed to have maximum impact. Oh, and it had to be something that could take me from coma patient to functionally fit.

Then I found Mark Lauren and his book "You Are Your Own Gym". (Mark's Bio) I checked out what people were saying online, I looked at his videos on youtube. I took a shot at trying to go at it from the book alone. I struggled, not sure I was setting up the program properly. I overreached my abilities, I got frustrated. I believed in his program, I just needed better guidance especially since I was at such a disadvantage.

Fast-forward a year, Mark came out with a video. "You Are Your Own Gym" on three dvds. One for the novice, one for intermediate, and one advanced.

I have been working on the novice for over sixteen weeks now. You may think to yourself, "Well, it must not work because he hasn't advanced." Not at all! As I said, I started in a big hole. Frankly, that I haven't injured out (I'm 48 years old and packin' a now-shrinking belly) is in itself testament to the level-headedness of his program. The novice program has challenged me for four months now. I'm getting to the point that, instead of merely being able to do the exercises and hoping to make it through, I'm starting to be able to focus more on how hard I can push. I hope to start the second disc probably the first of next year.

So what has sixteen weeks got me? Up two inches on my chest, down four inches on my belly, and down two inches where I wear my pants. I haven't measured my arms, but my biceps and triceps are looking much better. My wife says I'm getting my "bike legs" back too. 

I encourage anyone who has seen the P90X commercials and been tempted to try it, but felt that due to age or fitness level it just was too much--give Mark Lauren a good hard look. Check out his youtube videos. See what people say about his books. I really like that he's not a screamer, there is little hype. His approach is very much "stay in the game, rest if you have to but get in the game; keep showing up".

Thanks.  That seems like a good program.


--- Quote from: inconel710 on September 19, 2013, 01:24:40 PM ---Thanks.  That seems like a good program.

--- End quote ---

I think it is a great no-nonsense program. No hype, just hard work and results in time. No miracles.

A few random things about Mark: his military background is in the Air Force as an air combat controller. He ended up an instructor at one of the schools they go to.  He's also an accomplished Thai boxer. You can watch him KO a guy in Thailand, about one minute into the second round. It's on his youtube channel.

Adam Campbell:
I highly recommend yoga myself. I know a lot of guys aren't into it — but being the only guy at yoga class isn't really a BAD thing! However, the first time I went to an actual yoga CLASS, I went with girls I knew so I wouldn't feel like the creepy guy sitting next to the playground in a van with no windows.

You can use DVDs and other methods to learn it, but here where I live, I have access to free classes and/or "pay what you can" (where we each toss in $5) several nights per week.

The best way I can describe yoga is that it is essentially lifting weights, stretching, getting a full body massage, and visiting the chiropractor all in one workout.

I have a friend who refuse to check it out who is into hard core hiking and having some troubles with his foot after an 800 mile hike. I keep telling him it would help and would make him a stronger / faster hiker but he refuses to listen. So I told him to get a product called "yoga toes" (hahaha) to stretch out his feet, which he did and is saying that it helps quite a bit — and still won't listen to me about the benefits of yoga.

i hate yoga, but it works.

i'll have to check this guy out, but i have been doing p90x and it is really good. back in the day people were in great shape with only body weight exercises. we can still do this today.


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