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on 25 March 2011
Ultimately an exercise book has to be judged by the results. And the results have been fantastic.

The start of the book is mainly about the how and why the exercises work. In short by using your body weight you can exercise anywhere and by changing leverage/ angles of exercises they can be made easier or much much harder. The idea is you exercise regularly, build muscle and this muscle burns calories 24 hours a day.

The book has a detailed exercise section with a huge amount of exercises, images and good descriptions. You can either take these and make your own workout or follow one of his programs in the back. I did the latter and have loved it. I've lost inches and gained a huge amount of definition. The workout are no more then 30 minutes and mainly split into push, pull, core, legs. If you take it seriously and push yourself when you are doing it you will get results and you will know about it the next day.

One thing to add, I've got a basic pull-up bar at home (£13 in argos). I've found this has been really helpful. Between using this, a chair, a towel or any combination of the three I've been able to tackle any exercise i've come across so far. You can do it without one but having one has definitely made it easier.

Fantastic book.
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on 2 June 2011
Was looking for new ways to work out and i was definitely attracted by the lack of need for weights or gym membership; i no longer have the space for a weights bench at home with the arrival of a new baby and i just don't have the time or money for going to the gym anymore. This book is full of great ways to be mean to yourself in the name of exercise and while anyone who has trained in the martial arts will recognise many of these there is lots here to learn. It's all presented very well and the sections on periodisation and things like interval training will be invaluable to beginners, in fact my wife has ditched the pregnancy rehab dvd's and has now devised her own program using this book. The instructions for the exercises are clear and easy to follow and the photos are handy too. It's very useful to have all these execises in one place and the scope for ramping up the difficulty is huge. This book is ideal for anyone that is fed up with being a gym rat or is looking for functional strength training rather than just big pretty upper arms. I'm on my second program using this book now and i'm working towards one handed push ups for the end of the year, grab a copy!
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on 24 January 2011
This book really is a classic, in an era when going to the gym is more like playing a computer game. This book shows you how to keep in great shape anywhere anytime with little to no equipment. I know 1 reviewer made comment on equipment, but i'm sure most people have access to tables, chairs, towels, backpacks and doors, and even these aren't essential.
The book gives you the option of following one of Mark's highly effective programmes, or gives you tips on how to create your own. All aspects of fitness are included, the programme is periodised in such a way as to keep things interesting but without sacrificing progress.
I have a few books on bodyweight training, but this is easily the best. Using these books i have tried to work up to advanced exercises like 1 arm push ups and pistols, but have stalled as progressions get more intense. With this book i am making better progress than i ever have previously, and have also found some other very challenging exercises.
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on 30 June 2010
This book really is essential whether you're a casual exerciser or like me,a bit of a fanatic!!
For the beginners it really is clear,concise and very easy to follow with plenty of options to make each exercise easier or harder as required.
For the more experienced, you won't believe the results you'll get when you put down the weights and start using your body-i can safely say i haven't ached as much after a workout in years!!!!
Also included in the book are full explanations of all exercise terms and definitions (e.g. intervals,tabatas,circuits etc) and most importantly, a whole section on Nutrition(half the battle!!) plus motivational tips to help get you going.
All the pictures in the book demonstrating the exercises are very clear and easy to follow with written explanations of each including the muscles worked for each exercise
Plus,at the back of the book there are programs for beginners,intermediate,advanced and elite-everything u need to exercise at home,in the park,on holiday,wherever!

I can't recommend this book highly enough
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on 11 November 2013
I cannot recommend this book enough. I'm 50, been running, playing football for years but fat was creeping on & I was tired! Bought this book in April 2013 (writing this November 13), stopped the jogging on the books recommendation & kicked off the exercise regime (I followed it to the letter - why make it complicated??) My cardio capacity went up (!!!), I became stronger, my performance playing footie got better, started playing tennis, aches & pains disappeared, my moods improved, my wife can't get over the body shape changes. Honestly, I wish I'd got hold of this in my 20's. If it works for special ops it can work for you. Jack the gym membership, save time & money, sell the equipment you've bought & do this! & you can do this anywhere!! It is truly brilliant!
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on 2 May 2011
If you want to get back in shape or decided on doing some sport I would recommend buying this book before any sports equipment you this would be useful. If I did, I would have saved myself about 1000 Euros and achieved results so much faster. The best thing about this book is that you can actually feel it changing you body as you go - the exercises are simple and effective. Another thing I would recommend buying together with it is an interval timer (you can get one separately or download it for your ipad - there are really handy tools. I also used it together with "4 hour Body" by Tim Ferris - it has some great methodology on loosing weight among other very useful things - that coupled with this book give extraordinary results. Some weight composition monitor would help you stay motivated and monitor results - as it shows you not just how many kilos you lost but how much of your fat has converted into muscle.
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on 16 March 2013
I'm two weeks in to this book, so I can't speak to the overall results.

Nevertheless, this seems very much like the strength training plan I was looking for. It involves no extra equipment, means I don't need a gym membership and fits nicely into my already busy life.

I should make clear that I'm not looking to get buff, though apparently you can do that with Mark Lauren's plan. I run and swim, and wanted to ensure I was spending some time working on my overall strength so I can improve at both of those sports.

The initial 10 week plans require 36 minutes four times a week. This allows me to run and swim in the morning or afternoon, and use the evenings for strength training while I'd otherwise be watching TV. Using the iPhone app makes these training plans even easier to follow.

The book includes over 125 exercises, so this allows me to swap out exercises if I need to or if I get bored with the existing exercises.

The only downside is that some of the areas of the books, such as the nutrition section and the "science behind this book," are a bit thin. While the nutrition advice seems solid based on the research I've done, it's pretty high level. The same can be said for the "science behind this book" appendix. But I don't think most people will be reading this book for in depth nutrition or sport science advice. You can easily get that elsewhere (though a few recommended books would have been nice).
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on 3 December 2012
To set the picture: I've always been into sport and exercised, had a gym membership for years. Exercised for 3-4 hours, 5 times a week. Weight trained, progressively adding weights until I reached the machine maximum as well as 50“ chest, 18" arms, 30" thighs, etc...oh and picked up a hernia too.

Decided to change my approach and carried out my research, which brought me to this book. During my recover, I read it cover to cover, visited the website, sorted out my diet and got ready to train.

Following each class in turn, I've never been stronger and can even comfortably push out 1-armed press ups during the sets.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about looking after their health. It has helped me immensely.
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on 6 June 2011
OK let's start off by talking about the negatives in this book. Firstly the author has a massive downer on straight cardio work like jogging, cycling etc. He puts forward several arguments as to why cardio is simply not effective as a workout routine. I rate this as a negative because cadio DOES have a place in any workout routine. It is proven to be a great fat burner and a great way to lose weight. if it doesn't work then why does the military use it?

Secondly, after trying out the Let Me In exercises I managed to pull the handle off the door! I don't consider myself that strong so beware. So I then tried the Let Me Up exercise and snapped the broom handle I was using. I'm now using an old bar from a car roof rack between two chairs and all is good. so the moral here is check your equipment before using!

So onto the positives of which there are many.

There is a great list of exercises that can be done with little or no equipment, with loads of variations to stop the whole thing becoming boring.

The whole tone throughout is very positive and the author encourages readers to put together their own workout programs. If you don't have time to mess around with that then he has included some 10 week programs at the back to get you started.

Overall this is a great book and just proves the point that you don't need expensive equipment or gym membership to get fit.
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on 29 March 2012
I've been a dedicated weight lifter for many years now and I've long shunned bodyweight exercises, but this book changed my perspective on them.

I was VERY surprised at how much of a challenge even the beginner workouts were! They are perfect for getting in shape in 30-45 minutes per day and explain exactly what you should do and why. Bodyweight routines are especially good for people that can't make it to a gym regularly, for whatever reason (this is great for travelers and/or heavy commuters).

In this book you'll learn about different training methodologies like ladders, tabata, invertals, and more, and some workouts will have you doing many reps at a lower intensity, while others call for fewer reps but a higher intensity. These types of workouts are great for not only strengthening and building muscles, but losing fat too.

I liked how many different exercises are given in this book. It's basically a bodyweight exercise encyclopedia!

There's a little bit of information on diet and nutrition, but the focus is clearly on exercising.

The bottom line is if you want to have a lean, strong, and functional physique and aren't going for bulging muscles, then you should read this book and apply its principles and methods.

P.S. Another great exercise & fitness book I just finished is Muscle Myths: 50 Health & Fitness Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making (The Lean Muscle Series). It cleared up some big confusions I had about building muscle, losing fat, and staying healthy, and, as the title says, helped me correct quite a few mistakes that I didn't even know I was making! Highly recommended.
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