Boot Camp: Be All You Used to Be

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A former Navy fitness instructor presents a no-nonsense exercise program using the techniques--and language--of basic training. 100 photos. Index.
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Overview

A former Navy fitness instructor presents a no-nonsense exercise program using the techniques--and language--of basic training. 100 photos. Index.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684848990
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 1/6/1999
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter One. WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?

Chapter Two. REPORT FOR DUTY, FAT ASS

Chapter Three. THE CHOW HALL: Don't Eat Without Thinking

Chapter Four. GET IN STEP, RICKY RECRUIT

Chapter Five. SPREAD 'EM

Chapter Six. MOVE YOUR BUTT

Chapter Seven. DO IT ANYWHERE

Chapter Eight. REVEILLE!

Chapter Nine. THE HUMP

Chapter Ten. READY FOR A STRIPE

Chapter Eleven. WHAT NOW, SARGE?


A Note to Mom

Definitions of Boot Camp Words and Other Important Fitness Terms

Appendix A: Body Composition Tables for Male and Female Recruits

Appendix B: Oxygen Consumption Formula

Appendix C: Norms for Trunk Flexibility Test (Men and Women)

Appendix D: World Wide Web Resources

Index

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First Chapter

CHAPTER ONE: WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?

Listen up. We're looking for a few fat men and women! We want you!

You and only you are responsible for your health, but you might need someone to help you hold yourself accountable. No, this is not the government's new healthcare program. Uncle Sam is not going to give you a tax credit for exercising. You are going to get daily help from the Sarge if -- and only if -- you do your part.

You can laugh, close the book, or just plain ignore me if you choose, but the bottom line is that you picked up this book for a reason; and the reason is probably that you have let your body turn into a gelatinous blob, or you're not even able to walk up a flight of stairs without risk of a coronary. Have I struck a nerve? Did I hit home? Are your feelings hurt? One thing is for sure: I have your attention. A second thing is for sure: You found the right guy to help you out.

The first difference between the Boot Camp program and a health club or the dumbbells in your closet is that I will help hold you accountable to yourself -- and to me.

The second difference is that I will help make exercise fun. You get to play with the real GI Joe and you WILL enjoy it.

The third difference is that you can and will do every exercise in Boot Camp, no matter how unfit you are, unless you have a serious physical condition that requires medical supervision or you are totally lazy.

As you flip through this book you will see pictures of folks of all shapes and sizes. All of them are our daily victims. That's right, no models. Two of the biggest guys, Frank and Charles, are best buddies. The day we did the test photographs (to see who wouldb your attitude as well as your butt, you'll have a blast and will learn to care. I am going to kick you in the ass and hold your hand at the same time.

By the time you master the exercises in this book -- and that includes the exercise of eating decent food -- your mind will have mastered a few things, too. It will drive your body toward better health as effectively as it used to hold you back. Other incredible things will happen at the same time: You'll feel proud at the sight of your shrinking gut and butt in the mirror. You'll feel sexier. You'll think The Sarge is one helluva guy. I am a helluva guy!

How did I get to be this way? For starters, as I told you in the Introduction, Uncle Sam sent me out to sea. It was like some voice from above boomed: "Mr. Avon, can you hang on to your sense of humor when you're dreaming of girls, but wake up to a ship full of farting, spitting sailors and crop-topped Marines?" I yelled back, "Yes, Sir," then proceeded to knock myself out in the ship's gym. After my buddy Terry and I set up the weights so they wouldn't fall off the barbell when the ship listed, we started training people. What began as diversion became a profession. Now it's a passion, as well as a career, and you get to share it, recruit.

Starting out Boot Camp, you will be excited. I want you to keep that energy high every day of the program, and there are two big ways to do it.


First, do the mental exercises in this book, not just the physical ones. Some of them are wacko to the tenth degree, but they will help you break nasty habits, especially the eating ones. We have to get a little crazy to help you eyeball your bad habits and understand how much they hold you back. And, a s I said before, you will have fun on this journey, but you will also get results! You have my word. Would I lie to you?

Second, make this a team effort -- you, me, and whomever else you can drag along. Personally, I recommend that the whole family go through Boot Camp together -- at least the eating part -- or buy this book for a buddy or two. Then you can all kick each other in the rear as you go through Boot Camp together. Another way to fight the urge for a fistful of French fries is to visit www.sarge.com. And you'll hear from me on that site, so watch out.

You will begin Boot Camp with an aggressive commitment to changing your body. It comes from having an image of what you want to look and feel like, what you want to see in the mirror, and how you'll feel when you roll out of bed in the morning. Understand two things:

1. You will feel better immediately. About a year ago, I had a meeting with corporate executives about doing a fitness and wellness program for their senior staff. I have never seen a more stressful environment in my life. I have been in divorced households signing someone up for the program; I have been in corporations going bankrupt and in Fortune 500 corporations that had layoffs when their quarterly returns slumped. Never have I seen this level of stress. On Day One of their Boot Camp program, they all laughed at themselves and each other. They smiled, felt good, cracked jokes, and couldn't wait until the next session. Their company paid for three sessions a week, but many of them signed up for optional nutrition programs. They felt good! Sure, they couldn't walk down the street in a midriff-cut shirt without getting a chuckle, but they felt healthy, which is mo re important than just looking perfect. Yes, they did lose fat, but that was secondary to their immediate gains in energy, self-esteem, and fun.

2. Your expectations may be high and you may never achieve them; but stay on course and you will come very close. Have you ever heard the saying, "Shoot for the stars and you might get to the moon?" That's probably what's going to happen, because fitness is not a destination, it is a journey.

You will have rewards along the way, though. You'll feel the satisfaction of your efforts -- less jiggle when you walk, more energy when you play with your spouse. In Boot Camp, you will learn to set achievable fitness goals, then surprise yourself by exceeding them. Your goal for the first three weeks may be to just jog around the block, for example, but after six months, you may be ready for a 5K (3.1-mile) race. Your first goal for that race may be to finish it, but two months later, your goal may be to complete it in thirty minutes. Eventually, you might be able to run a marathon like other graduates of Boot Camp. Ninety percent of these people who are running 26.2 miles couldn't see their toes, let alone touch them, when they first came to Boot Camp. Running a marathon might not be your objective, though. You might just want to fit into pants you wore last year. Once you accomplish that, who knows? Maybe you'll decide to be a competitive athlete. Remember: Shoot for the stars. David Brooks, the man who did all the photographs for this book, started out in Boot Camp as a pudgy guy. Here he is five years later racing bicycles and with less than 10 percent body fat! Your goals will change all the time, so keep an open mind. Each time you progress from goal to goal, you will be moving forward -- that's fitness.

I have seen thousands of people slam their butts on a stairclimber machine and burn five hundred calories a day for the sole satisfaction of squeezing into a smaller pair of jeans. Ask Oprah Winfrey what happened when she tried that approach. She reports that within days of the big squeeze, she couldn't fit into those jeans anymore, then her weight shot up to more than two hundred pounds again. During this yo-yoing, she went to a boxing match between Mike Tyson and Tyrell Biggs and realized her weight was the same as Tyson's. The talk show queen of the world weighed the same as the Heavyweight Champion of the World! It was an unforgettable moment that stung her and helped her set fitness goals and stick with them. Way to go, Oprah! Take a lesson: If your only goal is to fit into a smaller dress or jeans, it's a shortsighted goal that will not help you get fit.

Boot Camp is not about looking sexy in a bathing suit or a tight pair of pants. It's about having fun with fitness -- like a kid -- and being healthy.

Remember when you were little and liked to go out and play all the time and run to your friend's house? You never used a car. You used your legs and a bicycle to get places and thought that was fun. My goal is to help you have that kind of fun again. I want to help you bring back your joy of movement.

The journey starts here. Boot Camp is a three-week program that starts out slowly so you don't burn out. I kick you in the seat of your pants at the same time I hold your hand and make you laugh. Am I a drill instructor? Not really. Am I tough? Tough enough. Have I killed anybody? Not yet. Am I going to start with you? I doubt it. Are you going to have fun? You bet your excess baggage!

Boot Camp is basic exercise that you can do anywhere: This is a no-frills, no-expense, no-gym, no-spandex, three-week program. You can report for duty at home, on vacation, and maybe even on your lunch hour at work. You will take this program with you wherever you go. For the next twenty-one days, this is the bible for your body.

What are you going to do? Brisk walking that may turn into jogging, believe it or not. You will do push-ups. Some of you will start on your knees, then progress to your toes. You will do dips to get rid of "Bingo" arms. (Haven't you seen those old ladies raising their arms to yell "BINGO!" and that big flap of skin is flopping like a turkey neck?) You will do abdominal crunches designed to strengthen the part that hangs over your belt. You will do the superman to strengthen your lower back and rear end. You will do other exercises to burn lots of calories and fat. And you will stretch, stretch, stretch.

Will you be a little sore after exercise? What do you think? Will you find it a little difficult to do the exercises the next day? Yyyyyes. Do you want to get in shape? Of course! In order to condition a muscle you have to stress it each and every time. And to stress it means you put a little more load on it than you think it can handle. That means if you did three push-ups a day this week, you will do four a day next week.

At this point, you might be saying to yourself, "I wish I could get rid of my bingo arms," or "I wish I could do ten sit-ups without feeling like I was going to bust a hemorrhoid." Great! Welcome to Boot Camp: Be all you want to be.

Or, are you saying to yourself, "I used to be able to do twenty-five push-ups in thirty seconds. I used to bench-press my body weight." Great! Welcome to Boot Camp: Be all you used to be.

We want a few good men and women. We want YOU!

Copyright © 1999 by Patrick Avon and Maryann Karinch

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Introduction

INTRODUCTION

Dear Reader,

You are ready for this book if your body offends you. You have found your humiliation threshold. Maybe you reached it when your beeper went off and someone yelled, "He's backing up!" Maybe you reached it when someone mooed as your big ol' butt waddled down the street. Or worst of all, when you tried to run across a parking lot someone yelled, "STAMPEDE!"

So you've come to me to make a change. You told me your gut's growing and your can is the size of Kansas. Now, I'll bet you're going to tell me you don't like exercise and want me to make you like it. Well, fragile reader, before we can know whether or not that's possible, I have to ask you two questions: What makes you think I can help you? And, if I were to tell you I can't do anything for you, how would you feel? Don't blow this second question off and go on to the next sentence. Answer it. If we are going to make any progress here, you have to trust my lead. Well, how would you feel if I told you I can't help. Discouraged? My goal in saying that is not to make you feel discouraged. It's to let you know that none of this is up to me. It's up to you, but you'd better believe I'll help just as I've helped thousands of other people over the past fifteen years get in the best condition of their lives.

It started in the early 1980s, when I was a dental technician in the Navy, but my love was fitness. Wherever I was stationed, I begged to be involved in the command (base or ship) fitness programs, which were, for the most part, underfunded and ignored. In boot camp, I was the athletic petty officer, which means I was tasked to assemble a group of smelly, homesick recruits and lean enjoy exercising and eating right, you will exercise and eat right. That's what I am going to help you do -- enjoy the process of getting healthier. Hopefully, I will (literally) have you laughing your butt off. Think about it. If you were (or are) a smoker, it's hard as heck to quit. I read a report that said it's easier to quit heroin than smoking. That's tough, but you can do it without patches or pills or any other crutch if you enjoy the process.

Boot Camp is not about deprivation -- it's about fun. I am going to assign you crazy, hilarious, wacky ways to get yourself healthy and fit, and we are going to have a blast. I am going to give you opportunities to E-mail me personally with your challenges and work with others throughout the book. This is going to be like no other book you have ever read or any other program you have tried. Strap on your seat belt and fire up your high beams: The Sarge is going to get your behind in shape.

Now, let's go!

The Sarge

Copyright © 1999 by Patrick Avon and Maryann Karinch

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2004

    Whipped into shape

    After reading this book, I am now running races and doing triathlons. I never thought eating this healthy and having such a workout regiment would make me feel so good! The only exception is after taking his advice on right foods to eat I found myself flatulating a lot. Other than that I feel great!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2004

    Funny as hell, and correct when it comes to fitness

    A friend of mine bought the book, and I read her copy. What a riot! She actually met The Sarge (we're in the Washington, DC area), and he was very nice...including when he directed her to drop and give her 20. His book is correct; you do *not* need fancy gear to be in shape and strong. You will not get big doing his workout, but you'll be strong, have endurance (he's got a great line in there about that, BTW), and not spend a bunch of dough. Having been in the military myself, I found his style of writing, which is kinda drill-sergeant-ish, totally funny. It's straight to the point and easy reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2003

    I am lazy, have no will power, hate lifting weights and this book got even me in shape!

    I am not overweight but still was out of shape (weak as a kitten and got out of breath from blinking) until I read and equally as important applied what I learned from this book. I have had a YMCA membership for months that I never used. Simply too much time and too boring to work out. The 'Sarge' gives you many things you can do to get into shape without leaving your home or buying equipment. Instead of my usual all or nothing approach to getting in shape (I work out like crazy for a month but soon get burned out on it and then loaf for a year) I applied the simple (but not too simple) approach to an easy steady routine with small changes when I was ready for them. The point is I didn't get overwhelmed so I never quit the program. I didn't see appearance changes at first but I did notice my body feeling better and that I was able to do a little more excercise just about every week. After a year I now look much better than I ever did. No, I don't look like a prowrestler but from a realistic point of view I can be proud of the changes I made.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2003

    A practical approach

    This is a terrific book to help you get started. The program works, however there is nothing revolutionary in it. Eat better and Excercise and you will be in better shape. I'd recommend it just based on the motivational factor. Take Sarge's advice from the book and buy 2 copies so you can have a friend to work with, your chances of succeeding are way higher.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2010

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