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4.2 out of 5 stars96
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 1 December 2005
Despite the Waltish title and schoolboyish cover, this is a valuable book for anyone thinking of improving their fitness with a military aim in mind.
It starts with general fitness and exercise routines you can do at home and outside for no (or barely any) cost and then builds up from there, all the way to truly expert level.
It even covers diet in detail, an area which almost all exercise and fitness books aimed primarily at men do not cover well. And being aimed mainly at men, it (sensibly, rather than sexistly) presumes zero knowledge in this area: it provides a two weekly shopping lists from each of which you can make a week's worth of healthy food.
Some of the reviews here say that this book tells you no more than what you might already know from armed forces PT training. Yeah, well, maybe. For those already in the forces, I think it does a good job of setting out a training plan of gradually increasing toughness. Plus it keeps reiterating the "no magic answer" point: you've simply got to put the time in. It's also a handy reference book. But, crucially, it is an excellent starting point for those OUTSIDE the forces (and so without access to expert PT advice) but who are thinking of joining.
A sports nutritionist in my family has questioned the credentials of Mr Weale and his collaborators to give the nutritional advice in the book - but have agreed that all of the dietary advice is sound.
So I'd especially recommend this to anyone considering joining the forces (particularly the reserves, as they are to a much greater degree personally responsible for ensuring that they meet the military fitness standards), provided they keep away from trying out the pre-SAS, Commando and Para selection stuff too early.
But for anyone needing to ensure they are MILITARILY fit, this book is definitely worth the price.
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VINE VOICEon 3 February 2005
O.K. I will tell you now, this book is good. I recently bought Chris Ryans SAS Fitness Guide and being honest I was disappointed. If you have bought the same book (Chris Ryan) and thought the same, or perhaps thought that it was good then I seriously recommend that you buy SAS Fighting Fit.
Firstly as the name suggests it is geared towards getting you the reader through SAS, Para and Royal Marines Commando's selection. I myself am planning to join the latter and I honestly belief that this book, provided that I stick with it, could be the one thing that genuinely does help me.
Now of course this not only a military book, there are many comparisons in it that are military associated, but that doesn't mean that it is just for people like me. It is a great beginners, intermediates and maybe even advanced guide for anyone who wants to get fit. As the first page states, it is a no bullshit guide. It does exactly what it says on the tin.
However, if you are say a bodybuilder (your kind are discussed quite a lot in the book) then don't buy this. This is not a book that aims to get you looking like Arnie, afterall how many Para's, Marines or SAS guys have you seen that look like that. No, this is a muscle building, fitness building, stamina building and most importantly self-esteem building book that does not focus on any one particular thing.
If you want more info. then read on, otherwise simply buy it now.
This book starts you off by telling you to undertake a pulse rate fitness test, it has an easy to understand results table that puts you into a category. I was a 60-70bpm, thus fit but nothing special. Then it gives you a measure of your weight and height table which tells you whether you are under or over weight. The great thing about these is that you can't really kid yourself. If you are unfit and / or fat then you are going to find out. After all of this you enter pages upon pages of illustrated exercises that require a floor, some endurance and determination (and the occassional barbell or dumbell set).
After this section there are a few chapters that explain to you how to put it all together, not a programme (yet) but simply recommendations. Then we reach the programmes / diaries of what we should be doing to get fit. I havn't started yet but I can already tell that yes it is going to hurt, yes there will be hard times ahead, but also YES this is going to work.
Tied in with all of the above are map reading skills and camping techniques. Perhaps more for a military person but actually more aimed at those people that may enjoy hiking. These skills could be absolutely essential. There are also dieting tips and such.
The book itself is 174 pages long, and is quite small (pocket size almost-but not quite) don't judge a book by its cover!! this is truly outstanding (I am only 17 and can make perfect sense of all of it and so on...)
There you have it, if you are merely interested in getting fit buy it, if you want to lose weight buy it, if.........................................and of course if you want to join the military, say the SAS, Para's or Marines or maybe the regulars then this is ideal. The best fitness and overall better health book in years.
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on 10 May 2004
This book really is very helpful. There is a general section explaining general theories about losing weight, increasing fitness and strength, and improving general fitness, a section regarding nutrition and diet, a section about skills and equipment needed for training if a reader is considering joining the armed forces, and several exercise regimes, ranging from four weeks to four months in duration, of varying difficulty, all of which are tailored to specific goals. At one end of the spectrum is a program for people with a low level of fitness who want to improve fitness and lose weight, but can only spare a little time to exercise, at the other end of the spectrum are intensive training programs for those considering joining the Paras, SAS or Commandos.
A nice feature of these programs is the way they are tailored to the requirements of the unit they are designed to train you for, ie the Paras program involves lots of 'tabbing' (high speed marches over moderate distances with weight) and speedwork, while the SAS program involves a lot of long, hard marches over hard terrain with heavy pack.
The book also has a lot of information on the requirments to pass selection for the Royal Marines, and the British Army, as well as its elite Regiments (SAS and Paras), which provides excellent goals for those who are seeking to join them to work towards.
Although a large majority of people who follow this book will probably not have the eventual goal of joining the SAS, your eventual goals should still be high to gain the most from the book; the beginner and intermediate programs are very good but if you use them alone you will only be using 30% of the book.
Currently I am following the intermediate plan, and intend to progress to the full 'Fighting Fit' program, and perhaps after that one of the top level programs in the book. At the beginning that seemed impossible to me but, having followed the book for only three weeks, I can now imagine myself doing those high-difficulty programs, even if I am not fit enough yet.
Following the program I have lost weight, gained strength, and most importantly I am much fitter, and have not picked up any kind of injury.
An excellent book, useful to anyone, but especially for somebody considering a career in the forces.
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on 2 March 2010
The greatness of this book is in its simplicity and accesability; it is so easy and pleasurable to read. Of course it is not a ground breaking method of getting fit and of course you will find techneques on the internet to get you fit, such as strength training on Youtube, but you will not find a better single overall strength, stamina and suppleness regime. You will read it for an hour and then itch to get outside and pound the track running.

I used this book to learn and get inspiration to build up my stamina by running and this book is directly responsible for me a 36 yo desk bound civil servant to be able to run 10 miles over hills in an hour which I understand exceeds what the SAS require in selection for those of you nutters that really want to go for it. I just brought a fitness book becuase I'm a vain sod who likes to see his cheek bones and abs and look good. It just so happens it was the best buy I have made.

For the sake of a few quid, you have nothing to lose.
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on 4 March 2002
A great book to read in order to get fit and stay fit. Written in a humourous way I am using it to get fit for the recruitment selection centre for British Army. It has pictures and worded easy to follow instructions to carry out basic strength building excercises and also some interesting training techniques to make endurance training more interesting.
A must for all those wanting to get fit
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on 18 June 2007
I bought the large-format, illustrated version of this book back in 1993 when I was getting fit to join the TA, and found it to be invaluable; at that time there was simply nothing comparable available for people who wished to advance their fitness levels beyond the lightweight, lycra-clad lunacy of Mr Motivator. Needless to say the programmes in this book were extremely effective in storing up the cardiovascular and muscular fitness that was necessary for lugging enormous rucksacks across rough country. It is still relevant, although I suspect that the dietary advice and equipment pages could do with an update, since so much has come onto the market since that time. Read, digest, put into practice and watch the weight drop off. Just don't expect the edition to include a free bit of black tape to paste over your eyes for the class photo.
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on 28 September 2005
This book is great! I recommend this book to people wanting to: 1 - get fit for the armed forces and special forces (there is also fitness programs for Marine Commando's, Parachute Regiment and SAS recruits) 2 - to get fit for general day to day civi life.
There is information foods, excersises, survival techniques, SAS selection and alot more, great buy!
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on 10 April 2013
This book is ideal for those that are very new to fitness and will get you up and running with some basic knowledge. It seems to be aimed at improving your overall fitness to get you into "basic training" rather than SAS elite stuff.

If you can:
- run 10 miles
- 50 push ups
- 10 pull ups
- 50 sit-ups

Then there is no need for this book, needless to say i was a little disappointed as i was expecting something more "SAS" - if that's all they do then i could join now... But, i seriously doubt it is. Better off Googling "MFT28 programme by Greg Plitt", that's more hardcore!
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on 25 October 2001
This book is a fantastic read and I recommend it to anyone seriously thinking to trying to get fit. The book is broken down into 3 sections: Background of fitness, Diet, and fitness programs. All sections go into great depth.
The book is written in a friendly yet humorous way and is extremely well structured. The use of diagrams and points of interest are well highlighted. There is a lot of well explained additional information such as navigation, hiking and obviously the selection for the SAS and other Special forces.
Without a doubt, worth the money and more!
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on 10 November 2002
I have been following the fighting fit program for some time now. I am not using the routine because of military interests but simply as a means to boost my levels of fitness. I have found the book to be factual to read without simultaneously being dreary. All aspects of fitness are covered, from diet to aerobic to anaerobic work outs.
If, unlike me, you are looking to join an elite unit in the British Army, or any other for that matter, there are also additional programs catered for that particular need. Having read the programs (but not tried them), I think that they cover all areas of elite soldiers training necessities, as well as advice on obtaining extra information regarding first aid, and map reading requirements.
A point emphasised in the book is that the only way to make the programs work is to stick with them. If you do you will find Adrain Weale`s Fighting Fit to be a major step on the road to greater physical capability.
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