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Fitness Made Simple


  Forget the dumbbells, the treadmills and the circuit-training machines. According to fitness expert Mark Lauren — a certified military physical training specialist, combat controller, triathlete and competitive Thai boxer — all you really need to achieve ultimate fitness is motivation, good nutrition and your own body.

  In You Are Your Own Gym (Light of New Orleans, $14.95), Lauren and New Orleanian Joshua Clark illustrate how to tailor a complete fitness program for yourself with exercises used by the U.S. Special Forces.

  The book contains nutritional information as well as 111 exercises to work any muscle in the body, and step-by-step photos showing how to do it correctly. There also is a 10-week fitness program that requires only 30 minutes of exercise four days a week.

  You can do the workouts almost any place you can lie down on the floor, and you need only your body and a few items you have around the house — no machines — to make it work. Because there are so many exercises, you can change your workout often to build muscle in all areas — and Lauren says it burns more fat and increases the body's metabolism more than other regimens, including aerobics and weightlifting. Kandace Power Graves

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