You Are Your Own Gym review

You Are Your Own Gym

You Are Your Own Gym


Written by Mark Lauren, “You Are Your Own Gym” is another great book on the topic of body weight exercises but it’s also packed with a lot of complementary information on topics such as nutrition, strength training myths, training intensity and motivation which will surely help you achieve your fitness goals in a more effective manner.

Fat loss vs. weight loss

If you are one of the persons who believe that the main purpose of diet and exercise is to lose weight than you seriously need to reconsider your paradigm. You Are Your Own Gym will help you with this since it very clearly explains the fundamental difference between what it means to lose weight in a general sense (which can involve loosing muscle mass due to over exercising and poor nutrition) versus losing the weight which really matters, namely excess fat. After reading You Are Your Own Gym you should thoroughly understand how you can successfully start losing the right kind of weight in an effective and lasting manner. In addition, I personally think that people should stop using the term “losing weight” when they try to communicate the purpose of why they are dieting and/or exercising, instead their goals should be burning fat, gaining strength, increasing endurance or building muscle, or a combination of any of these.


Aside from being another great book on the topic of body weight training, written by someone who really knows his stuff on the topic, You Are Your Own Gym also goes into more detail on the importance of nutrition without making it overly complicated. In essence it’s essential to understand that not only the quantity of what you eat is important (e.g. your daily caloric intake) but also what kind of foods you eat and when you eat them. For people with experience in health and fitness, the information which the book contains on the topic will seem pretty basic, but bad nutrition is still one of the main reasons why so many people fail to achieve the results they seek in connection to their exercise efforts. Therefore, particularly if you haven’t given this topic much attention before, the information You Are Your Own Gym provides on the topic of nutrition is definitely worth studying.

Body weight exercises

Enough of the extra stuff, when it comes down to body weight exercises You Are Your Own Gym surely packs a punch. The exercises are categorized in four very general types namely, PUSH, PULL, LEGS, and CORE, but I’m pretty certain that you won’t be disappointed with the number of exercises contained in the book since the number easily exceeds over one hundred. What makes it even better is that it’s full of high quality illustrations which make it really easy to understand how the exercises are to be performed. However, I must wonder if the author came up with the names of some of the exercises himself, since some of the names are quite peculiar. For instance, one is called “The roof is on fire” another “Thumbs up”. Do you think you could guess what the exercises are about by reading the names only? Well, I certainly would have failed. But this is not really a problem I just found it a bit amusing.

This is what others are saying about You Are Your Own Gym

  • I opened this book expecting to find just another workout book by another fitness “guru”. What I discovered was a wonderful adventure written by a no-nonsense guy who knows what he’s doing and who presents it in a really great way. He trains for function, not beauty. And function is what gets us through life and helps us survive when called on to do so. Highly recommended.
  • I always remember a football player friend telling me many, many years ago that after he had been injured, he’d been put on a special program where he was only allowed to use bodyweight exercises to build strength and that he had originally laughed at the idea but after a couple of months of it was astounded to feel stronger and fitter than he’d ever felt in his life. This had always stuck in my head and I had often wondered about the validity of bodyweight exercise vs pumping weights. So when I saw this book I thought it looked interesting enough to buy. I could never have envisaged the way it would change my life…. If you only buy one book on strength exercises, this should be IT! As long as you are disciplined and stick with it, it WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Guaranteed!
  • I used to be super fit, cycling 50 miles a day, going to a body building gym (owned by a former Mr Great Britain) and a ton of other sports. My resting heart rate was 40bpm in the morning. I’ve since grown up, got busy and become a lot less fit. I just started going to the gym again and I thought I was making decent progress and wasn’t going to give this type of exercise the time of day. After a short period of time I was pressing 90lb dumbbells and feeling good again. This body weight stuff looked too easy. Big mistake. I’ve only just started this program but I can already tell it is a lot better for my body and it makes the gym feel easy – no matter how hard you push it at the gym.
  • I purchased Convict Conditioning over a year ago and have been following that plan, and it is working well for me. I purchased “You Are Your Own Guy” a few days ago to see if I could expand my knowledge of body weight exercises.                                                                                                                                                               Pros: I did book mark several body weight exercises which I will add to my routine at some point. I also found his back story to be very inspirational.                                                                                                                          Cons: The dietary section was basic, but I didn’t buy the book for dietary information. Many of his exercises are simply isolation gym exercises which he suggests you can substitute with common household items in place of barbells/dumbbells. Many more of the exercises are simply yoga exercises. I do feel this would be an excellent book for people who are just starting out on a good health/fitness journey. I feel Convict Conditioning is a better choice for someone who is strongly experienced in health and fitness.

Conclusion on You Are Your Own Gym

Overall, You Are Your Own Gym is a well rounded book. It covers many important fitness topics and delivers a pretty good value when it comes to the main topic which is bodyweight exercises. Some topics, like nutrition, could be covered in more depth, but for people without prior background knowledge it already contains a lot of essential information. All in all, I truly believe that you will not be disappointed by giving this book a try, especially considering its pretty low price tag. You can order a copy from here.

Yours truly,

Johnny Z.

P.S.: If you’re also as crazy about bodyweight exercises as we are you should also definitely read Convict Conditioning.

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