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on 18 November 2004
Well, what can I say now that my body isn't carrying much fat! I began this course some two months ago and gave it my all, followed every routine religiously and now I have reaped the rewards.
This regime of workouts is an inexpensive way of toning and honing your body. I can understand how some people might fall by the wayside when it comes to this sort of strict workout, but you have to be tough in yourself. And like the cliche, softies need not apply, this applies equally as well with this mode of body workout that sculptures you from head to toe.
So here I am, brand new and ready to pursue the rest of the course with gusto. I really have a lot to thank Mr Bronson for, although I'm sure he would rather be free in order to pursue his own dreams.
My whole way of eating has changed,which came about naturally and without any applied effort. Years of fat buildup dropped away to reveal my old self beneath. I really look forward to the exercises and feel that I now have more energy, although at first I felt very tired after each exercise routine.
True, this is not a workout for wannabe body builders. It is, though, a practical way to tackle and change your unhealthy lifestyle, which it has done for me.
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on 18 January 2007
There appears to be two versions of this book because people are offering used copies for sale when the book has not even been released yet. I can only guess that they are selling the older version under the guise of the new one. To clarify, I have a copy of the old one which has a pic of Charlie along with two black and white photos of a male and female. THATS THE OLD VERSION from a few years ago. The updated version released 19th Jan 2007 has just a picture of Charlie on it and has updated input from a variety of people along with a part on training with disabilities, heart problems. So if you do buy this book - make sure you get the Jan 2007 edition and do not get duped into buying the older version under the guise of it being the new one.
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on 29 January 2009
An interesting read, that does 2 things. Firstly, it improves the physique and general fitness. Secondly, it gives an insight into Charles Bronson, through his narrative and unique pictures. For the price the book is informative and good value way to improve fitness and physique on a low budget and without having the hassle of joing a gym. Great for these credit crunch days!

Perhaps the most unusual chapter is on the solitary organ- how to improve sexual stamina, strength and health of the organ in question! Possible a great confidence booster to those searching for more length, girth and performance!Throw away all those gimmicks, apparently all you need is a heavy towell!

Overall, a good book for the money and in these frugal times when we are all searching for ways to achieve the same effect for the minimal outlay.

A word for the publishers- it would be nice if the photos had better definition, otherwise the drawings get the points across.
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on 21 September 2011
I first bought this book mainly because I was looking to do a couple months of cheap, no gym, no supplements, working out. I was a bit sceptical at first, given the mentality of Bronson, my initial thought was "eithter these exercises are going to be rediculously complicated, or you'd have to be a mentalist to do them", but I was wrong - these exercises are doable for anyone, anywhere!
Granted, there are a few things the editor could have definitely sorted out in this book, so make sure you read it very carefully when you're going through the solitary workouts.
Two interesting chapters I find are the Solitary Cleanse and Solitary Organ, very detailed as well (as well as being optional, which is good for people who are either squeemish or can't be arse to exercise their member), his nutrition chapter is very informative for those who don't know enough about it, and he goes through vitamins and minerals, each of them what they do and where you can get them - was a good read even for me who I think am quite well informed in nutrition.
All in all, I'm really happy I bought this - over that period I noticed an incredible loss in body fat (mainly due I'd imagine to the ab exercises, which are some of the best I've ever learnt to do!), and a nice gain in strength and endurance.
BUT, the exercises may be simple, but by no accounts is this workout easy - it'll take a LOT of time and dedication to get through it, but by the end of the first month you will notice some brilliant gains in overall health and well being.
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on 20 January 2007
Make sure you buy the 2007 version, it has reviews from people who have used Solitary Fitness in their own homes, this book is the beginning of your fitness campagne there are some great Role Models included in the book, its an amazing read.
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on 7 May 2007
Believe it or not, I am one of those afformentioned £300+ personal trainers and unlike my lack of competition I have a degree and masters from one of the world most respected sports uni's not some premier personal training certificate..furthermore I'm a pretty well respected athlete in several sports, and i'm a stuntman!! My opinion, you could do a lot worse than paying attention to Charlie, he personifes the correct mindset with respect to training you ass off and getting results (although maybe not towards staying out of trouble..lol). Hardwork and results are demonstrated and achievable if you get your ass in gear. There isn't a better guy to hear this from than Charlie, mines a signed copy and he IS the boy!! Honestly can't critisise this much, nothing hear really to harm you. He may not quite have the most medical of backgrounds, but bhe covers the topic in both a thourough and entertaining manner. I really do rate this 5 stars as he brings across a truley disciplined approach. Alright, maybe the female model is blatentley chemically assisted, which is something Charlie is against (quite rightly so), but the book is clear, consise and thourough. Really, really good in fact, now pull your finger out and pay attention as this guy will give you a really thouough grounding. Once he is done with you go buy the Poliquin Principles (another Charlie, lol), an expensive, but extremely worthwhile investment. As Bronson says, "Pump it in, blow it out!" lol!!
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on 4 April 2003
Well, I've been lifting weights for approximately 7 years and doing other sorts of fitness and strength training such as kicknoxing for about 2-3 years but this book gave me a new change of direction.
It's good both for experienced and inexperienced people, it's basically about getting back to basics. I didn't particularly like some of the exercises, but I guess this book is based around having no equipment, but I did like the methods of training and quite a few of the basic exercises such as burpees, squats, press ups, etc. and some of the techniques.
It's not an encyclopedia of fitness or anything like that, it's aimed at people who are looking at getting fit without going to a gym, with the added bonus of having no equipment requirements.
Well worth a read, especially for £8. If nothing else, Bronco's drawings and stories are worth a read!
This book is far better than the 'SAS fitness' type ones I have seen, it focusses more on the exercises and is good for people who want to exercise and more experienced people looking at getting back to basics or a change in training routines.
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on 16 January 2003
If you are interested in getting fitter and stronger and you have little experience with exercise, and/or a tight budget, this could well be the book for you. Charles 'Bronco' Bronson delivers straight forward, easy to follow instruction on basic strength and endurance building exercises that can be done without any expensive equipment. Covering some basic warm-ups, staple exercises, nutrition and general health (as well as a lot more) the book is well structured and clearly (if not brilliantly) written. There are useful black & white photographs and some great original artwork by the man himself to illustrate the techniques required.
If you are approaching this book with a background in health & fitness, particularly weight training/bodybuilding, this book may not be for you. Although I'm sure at least some of the information in the book could be useful to anyone at any level of fitness, the Solitary Programme isn't (by Bronco's own admission) for budding Arnies. The aim of the book is to instruct an individual (male or female) on how to build a fit, strong, functional body - not necessarily a body that will win bodybuilding competitions.
If you do have a background in weight training/bodybuilding, you may find some of the information a little basic for your needs, but it is easy to be critical. At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding, and Charles Bronson is a phenomenally strong man (I once saw a TV documentary which described how he threw a fridge freezer UP a flight of stairs!) and it is documented in the book how he punched through bullet proof glass! (and he does have witnesses!)
To sum up - if you are looking to win Mr (or Miss) Universe, then this probably isn't the book for you. However, if you are looking to build a strong functional body and improve your sense of wellbeing on a tight or non-existent budget, this could be the best ...[money]... you'll ever spend.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 October 2011
I originally wrote this review for Amazon's US site, where some of the others already up (including the then "most helpful" one) were flat out wrong. There were two misconceptions in particular that I wanted deal with.

First, Bronson DOES offer a cohesive program. Those who say otherwise have frankly not read the book - or at least, have not done so in any meaningful sense. His program consists mainly of body weight exercises, although there's quite a bit of other stuff, such as isometrics, thrown in. He also assigns a great deal of importance to stretching. And yes, he does spell out exactly how to put it all together: specifically on pages 118 through to 129.

Second, while this is not by any means your garden variety fitness manual, and is truthfully not for the faint of heart, it is also neither confusing nor poorly written. Quite the contrary: it is easily the most entertaining fitness book I have ever read and is - with very rare exceptions - entirely clear. The only occasions on which I had any difficulty at all with the text was in sorting out exactly how to perform one or two of the exercises, but I stress that the difficulties were no more pronounced than with any other book on this subject. Putting precise body movements into words is always a bit of a challenge. Fortunately in our era of YouTube, it's very easy to see the exercises demonstrated just by looking them up; although on that point I should caution you that there are occasional minor variations in terminology. However, once again I stress that this is no more the case with Solitary Fitness than with any other exercise manual. And even with such minor differences, I had no real difficulty in sorting things out.

Those were the two areas where I wanted to put paid to some of the nonesense to be found in the other reviews. Having taken care of that, there are now two other things I myself would like to say about this book...

The first of these is that this is a genuinely inspirational work. We certainly don't get all the usual stuff that people think of when they hear the word "inspirational". No choirs of angels here. But far more importantly, the book is inspirational in the literal sense. It forces you to take a second look at all the reasons you have for not exercising, and face the fact that it's all a complete load. If this guy can do what he does with all the limitations that he has in his tiny cell, then I can certainly get off my behind and make something happen in my world. As it turned out, Bronson's own program is not right for me. I suffer from chronic fatigue and could never handle his approach. But he has jerked me out of my own resignation, and yes, inspired me to think more creatively about what I can do within my own limitations, just has he has explored to the fullest what he can acheive within his.

The other matter that we all need to face up to - the elephant in the room - is that there are really two quite distinct issues here: the man and the book.

The book is... Well, it's a good book. It just is. The guy knows his stuff. Obviously I can't tell you I've tried it and it works; in fact, that's the main reason why I can't give the book five stars. But as someone who has read very extensively in this field, and who at one time before falling ill worked out quite seriously, I can tell you that this book is the product of a very knowledgeable individual. As another reviewer has already summed it up: "This program wont blow you up like a bodybuilder, but get you fit like a mountain lion". That's as good a way as any of explaining what this book has to offer. Although even I must admit that I don't entirely see the need for the colon cleansing routine that's included!

As for the man... quite frankly it seems to me that most other reviewers who have addressed this issue seem either astonishingly naïve, or at the other extreme, positively medieval in their attitudes to crime and punishment. But it's not like I actually know Bronson, and anyway, you obviously have to make your own call.

What I will say is that that like it or not, it is on the cards that this man will some day be released from prison. And given that he's never actually killed anyone - or made off with billions in other people's life savings - that's not entirely unreasonable. Furthermore, writing books such as this one may well be his only real chance at building a non-criminal life for himself. It is therefore in everyone's best interests to see that he gets that chance. It's worth remembering that groups representing the victims of crime have been known to actively support increased spending on helping prisoners transition successfully to outside life. Not because the people running such groups are such a saintly bunch of martyrs that they're intent on living up to the biblical injunction to love their enemies. But rather, on a more pragmatic level, because they know full well what happens when ex-cons fail to make that transition. And they're not looking for opportunities to expand their membership.

I'd encourage anyone intent on boycotting this book to consider the real world, long term consequences of their actions should their campaign succeed - and should Bronson one day be released. Sabotaging the attempts of violent criminals to build a legitimate life for themselves may be viscerally satisfying for some people. But considered in terms of its actual likely consequences, it is not a particularly well thought out move.

Theo.
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on 24 September 2011
Written by a man who really cares about physical fitness. Bronson will really give you the push you need. Its really no nonsense and does'nt pull any punches. Theres some nice tips in the book which are really useful and its certainly worth a read.

Saying that, the diagrams / pictures illustrating some of the exercises are not good. I'm familiar with most exercises mentioned in this book and am unsure if the proper technique could be managed with some of the instructions given. Also, some techniques have no illustration, only text providing direction. If these exercises are alien to you, you'll struggle.

If your a novice to exercise who needs a bit of motivation, have a look at this. Bronson is the sort of PT that we all need, a guy that obviously loves training and has the intesity you need to give 100%. Its certainly good value and gives an insight into the mind of the author. I'm glad I've read it but cant see myself picking it up again.
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