You Are Your Own Gym

Mark Lauren
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts



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This is a review for the 3 workouts on the intermediate DVD in the You Are Your Own Gym set by Mark Lauren. For more details about Mark and general information about the DVD set, please see my review for the Novice DVD.

Set, Equipment, and Music: The set reminds me of an abandoned warehouse and has a definite industrial feel to it. No equipment is needed except for a mat if you are working out on a hard surface. Mark keeps a towel and water bottle on a small table that is off to the side. The music is instrumental. It is not meant to help you pace the workout so itís pretty non-descript. I find it neither distracting nor especially motivating.

Mark is alone in the workout. He wears athletic style tops and either pants or longer shorts. He does the workout right along with you.

On the intermediate menu you have the choice of introduction, warm up, timed sets, ladders, circuit training, and the cool down. The warm up is the same for all three workouts and is also the same warm up on the novice DVD. I suspect it will be the same on the Advanced DVD as well. After you do the warm up, it takes you back to the menu to choose your workout. After you complete your workout the DVD goes straight to the cool down segment.

Warm Up (approx. 5 minutes): Internal/External Arm Rotations, Big Arm Circles (forward & back), Bow & Bend, Full Body Circles, Bent Over Torso Twist, Front Lunges, Up & Down Planks (from high plank to low plank and back up).

Timed Sets is based on 20 seconds work, 20 seconds rest and is just over 19 minutes long. You do one exercise 6 times in a row before moving on to the next exercise. You do 4 exercises total. The exercises are Dynamic Squats, Military Press (Inverted Shoulder Press), fast swimmers, and mountain climber variation.

In Ladders there are two exercises that alternate that make up a round. A round consists of 1 rep of each exercise, then 2 reps, all the way up to 4 reps before you go back down the ladder to eventually be back at 1 rep. You do this 2 times before moving on to the next round. There are two rounds in this workout and it clocks in at about 19 minutes.

Round 1 exercises: side lunges, one legged Romanian dead lift
Round 2 exercises: push-ups, thumbs up

Circuit Training has a work/rest ratio of 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest-transition in each round. The circuit is made up of 4 different exercises. The exercises are star jumpers, half dive bombers, side V-ups, hip raisers. You do these 4 exercises in a row following the work/rest ratio and that makes one round. You repeat the circuit 6 times, and after each completed round you get a 30 second rest before starting the next round. This workout lasts 17 minutes.

Cool down/Stretch (approx.. 5 Ĺ minutes): standing quad stretch, wide leg forward fold (left leg, then right), seated hip stretch into seated twist (each side), angled childís pose (left, then right) and supine chest stretch. This is also the same cool down/stretch from the novice DVD and I suspect it is the same for the advanced DVD as well.

Overall Impressions: The workouts on the intermediate disc are definitely ratcheted up from the novice workouts and are suitable for intermediate to low advanced exercisers. I found the 6 sets of Military presses in timed sets very challenging and my shoulders and back felt it later that day and the day after. Also, the half diver bombers in circuit training really fried my shoulders and chest. Mark does a great job of explaining each exercise and demonstrating the correct form. The pace is again very deliberate so you can focus on form and holding the move for a count versus keeping up with a certain pace. What is missing from these workouts are modifications for injury, for impact, and for joint issues. If you donít have significant needs for modifications, these are great solid workouts for the target audience. Advanced exercisers can go faster or do the full versions of these exercisers to increase the intensity. These workouts have made me a fan of bodyweight training and of Mark Lauren's approach and style. I imagine I'll purchase more of his workouts in the future.

Instructor Comments:
Mark is a pleasant instructor and it helps that heís easy on the eyes. He is professional and encouraging and there is no talk about looking great in a bikini or being able to take your shirt off. His talk focuses almost exclusively on form and on offering encouragement.

Sabine Reuter

02/16/2015

This is a review of the You Are Your Own Gym DVD set by Mark Lauren.

Mark Lauren was in the military as a Special Operations officer. In addition to his missions, he eventually became charged with the task of developing body weight training routines that could be done in small spaces for all Special Operations personnel. Although he is no longer an active service member, Mark Lauren has brought his expertise on bodyweight training to the home fitness market.

The You Are Your Own Gym DVD set workouts came directly from the book Mark published by the same name. The set consists of three different discs: novice, intermediate, and advanced. On each disc, there is a warm up, 3 different main workouts, and a cool down. So all in all you get 9 workouts. I paid about $25 at Amazon for the set. Although the front of DVD case says they are 20 minute workouts, when you add in the warm up and cool down the total workout time ranges from 23 minutes to 35 minutes.

What follows is a review for the 3 workouts on the Novice DVD, which is geared towards the beginning exerciser or someone getting back into fitness after a long break.

The set reminds me of an abandoned warehouse and has a definite industrial feel to it. No equipment is needed except for a mat if you are working out on a hard surface. Mark keeps a towel and water bottle on a small table that is off to the side.

Mark is alone in the workout. He wears athletic style tops and either pants or longer shorts. He does the workout right along with you.

On the novice disc menu you have the warm up, timed sets, ladders, circuit training, and the cool down. The warm up is the same for all three workouts. After you do the warm up, it takes you back to the menu to choose your workout. After you complete your workout the DVD goes straight to the cool down segment.

The warm up lasts just over 5 minutes and has the following exercises: Internal/External Arm Rotations, Big Arm Circles (forward & back), Bow & Bend, Full Body Circles, Bent Over Torso Twist, Front Lunges, Up & Down Planks (from high plank to low plank and back up).

Timed Sets is based on 20 seconds work, 20 second rests and is just over 14 minutes long. You do one exercise 4 times in a row before moving on to the next exercise. You do 4 exercises total. The exercises are Sumo Squats, Pointers, Mountain Climbers, and Swimmers.

In Ladders there are two exercises that alternate that make up a round. A round consists of 1 rep of each exercise, then 2 reps, all the way up to 4 reps before you go back down the ladder to eventually be back at 1 rep. You do this 2 times before moving on to the next round. There are two rounds in this workout and it clocks in at about 17 minutes.

Round 1 exercises: Back Lunges, Four Count Burpees (no jump at the end)
Round 2 exercises: Pointers, Thumbs Up

Circuit Training has a work/rest ratio of 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest-transition in each round. The circuit is made up of 4 different exercises. The exercises are Dynamic Squats, Inverted Shoulder Presses, Fast Swimmers, and Mountain Climbers. You do these 4 exercises in a row following the work/rest ratio and that makes one round. You repeat the circuit 4 times, and after each completed round you get a 30 second rest before starting the next round. This workout lasts 13 minutes.

The cool down is about 5:30 minutes long and has the following stretches : standing quad stretch, wide leg forward fold (left leg, then right), seated hip stretch into seated twist (each side), angled childís pose (left, then right) and supine chest stretch.

Overall Impressions:
The workouts on the novice disc are suitable for beginners to intermediates. Mark does a great job of explaining each exercise and demonstrating the correct form. The pace is very controlled which makes it easier to focus on the correct form rather than having to keep up. What is missing from these workouts are modifications for injury, for impact (although there are only three exercises; mountain climbers, burpees, and dynamic squats, where there is any impact demonstrated), and for joint issues. If you donít have significant needs for modifications, these are great solid workouts for the target audience. I imagine advanced exercisers would find this level too easy, even if they added additional weights (thus defeating the purpose of a bodyweight only DVD) due to the choice of exercise and deliberate pace of each workout.

Instructor Comments:
Mark is a pleasant instructor and it helps that heís easy on the eyes. He is professional and encouraging and there is no talk about looking great in a bikini or being able to take your shirt off. His talk focuses almost exclusively on form and on offering encouragement. While he may not be Mr. Personality, I found him to be professional while also exuding warmth and kindness.

Sabine Reuter

01/15/2015