I read this book “You are your own gym” by Mark Lauren when I was on vacation. I didn’t have any fitness equipment -we were staying in small hotels in the French countryside- and the book claimed to be “the bible of bodyweight exercises”. We were cycling every day but this was mainly recreational cycling and sight-seeing. I was thus looking for body weight exercises to do some kind of weight training.
Mark Lauren trains the American military’s forces. His training philosophy is to make bodyweight exercises a priority. According to him you don’t have to go to the gym at all to get in shape ; a 20-30 minute high-intensity bodyweight workout 5 times a week is enough.
After a few chapters about nutrition and training myths, 125 bodyweight exercises are described. There are a lot of push-up / squat / lunge variations, exercises such as dive bombers, burpees etc.
A few exercises were totally new for me like this one called “Bam bam”, which is possible to make on the corner of a bed in a hotel room:
I was surprised to realize one-legged squats (still assisted with a chair) were so challenging.
Legs, butt, shoulders, chest, triceps, abs can indeed be very well trained with only bodyweight exercises. However, the main disadvantage of his method are all the back/biceps exercises.
Doing exercises like this on a door just seems too risky for me. What if I break the doorknobs?
And you have a very bad grip when doing pull-ups with a towel on a door like this. What if the door moves or shuts with you hanging on it?
So I ended up doing a few series of push-up variations during the week and that’s about it. I guess I just prefer to workout at a gym. It takes my mind off of how long I’m there and it helps me just zone out so much better.
What about you, do you train at home on a regular basis? Do you believe that short, 20 min high-intensity workouts can really get people in shape?