Body By You: Starting Today [en]

[fr] Je démarre le programme Body By You, fitness "maison" avec exercices au poids du corps.

Body By YouI started the “Body By You” (Mark Lauren) fitness programme today. I probably would never have bought this book if I had just looked at the cover and “sales” copy surrounding it, but it came recommended by a close friend who actually brought a copy so I could have a look at it.

I started reading and was hooked. This is a very realistic, no-nonsense approach to getting/staying in shape, very close to the stuff I’d read a few years ago on the excellent French site I’ve always hated the idea of going to the gym. I’ve been doing judo for close to 20 years so I’m reasonably in shape compared to somebody doing “nothing”, but 40 is creeping up on me and I’m definitely not as fit as I was in my twenties (or slim, but that’s another story — they say 1kg per year, don’t they).

What I like about Body By You:

  • no-nonsense, no-bullshit approach
  • bodyweight training you can do anywhere you are
  • full and clear description of exercises, training cycles, schedule (with videos)
  • simple instructions on how to design your personal training schedule (it’s pretty straightforward)
  • 30 minutes 3 times a week!

The basic premise behind Body By You is that the best way to lose “weight” is to increase your metabolism. This means your body burns more calories just to function (better than running for hours or starving yourself with a diet that doesn’t work). The easiest way to do this is to increase your muscle mass. The exercises are designed to do just this, and as they are “global” exercises which use your whole body, they also solidify your core (back problems, anybody?)

The programme contains 125 exercises divided in 5 exercise families: pulling, squatting, perpendicular pushing, in-line pushing, bending. There is a progression in each family from easiest to most difficult. Each day you do one exercise in each family, alternating the upper-body pushing ones. There is an initial assessment to help you determine which exercise to start with, and “upgrade rules” for when to switch to the more difficult exercise.

For example, here’s the one I have trouble with for the “perpendicular pushing” family:

This means I’ll start my programme using the slightly easier “arms shoulder width” version.

I’ll finish the rest of the “evaluation” cycle tomorrow, and start with the programme proper on Monday. My arms hurt already but I’m pretty excited!

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