84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2010
Am I really the first girl to review this book? Wow...So I was browsing Amazon.com for Marine Corps history books for my Dad and came across this book...for myself. I found the personal approach that MGySgt Roarke used by sharing his background with the readers really made the program seem real...and not some fad like the late night infomercials you see on TV. It was almost as if I was sitting listening to him explain these things to me. The layout is simple and VERY easy to follow.
The photos in Appendix B that show the proper way are very helpful,especially to someone who hasnt "PT"ed this way before. Sometimes positioning, especially if you've never done an exercise, can be difficult or cause bodily harm. Some slight modifications to some of the exercises to make room for my "girlie" parts, but otherwise fantastic. I've also found that in the past I have been missing a lot by not properly stretching. What a difference that is making in my "PT." The nutritional information in Chapter 8 "Chow" was fantastic. I have learned so much that I have already lost 4 lbs by changing my eating habits while working out my own personal EPRS schedule similar to those in Appendix E.
My favorites section was Chapter 10: Excuses, Vampires and Useless Information. In the past, I've always had excuses and/or emotional vampires to keep me from achieving my personal fitness goals. This book DESTROYED all of that an opened up a new mindset. I didn't go on a diet because of this book; I made a life change....AND IT HAS BEEN INCREDIBLE.
Thank you MGySgt Roarke for breaking this down for those of us who haven't served in the USMC. Thank you for the tool to change my life!
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2010
As a Marine myself I found the stories hilarious! The advice strait to the point and on the money. The Master Gunnz took a hard look at physical fitness and found a way to get it done no matter what the situation, the guy even worked out while in Combat. If he can do it I feel like I can do it to. I really enjoyed the book and like the idea that I don't need a lot of fancy gear to get my work out on! His advice is easy to read, easy to follow and repeatable. That is how we measure success in the Marine Corps. It is also great to hear a Marine who is now retired, talking about staying in shape for life. Once a Marine always a Marine! Buy the book, I highly recommend it. Bates Desert Tactical Boots
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2011
"Corps Strength" is a breath of fresh air in the overhyped, and often dishonest physical fitness book genre. True to his character as a senior Marine SNCO, MGuns Roarke simplifies physical fitness and avoids blowing smoke. MGuns clearly explains fitness concepts and how the average man or woman can implement MGuns' workouts into a hectic life.
As a retired Marine, I'm somewhat biased but if MGuns' concepts were just window dressing I wouldn't have bought the book. There is an abundance of military themed fitness books and products on the market. Most of them are unrealistic, and are unsustainable in terms of time and resources. I would venture to say that most people who buy these products quit after their false enthusiasm wears off. Navy Seal fitness books are great for Navy Seals or Seal prospects, but most of us are not nor will be Navy Seals. By contrast, MGuns' Roarke's book is easy to read, his plan simple to execute, and above all it's realistic. Those characteristics set MGySgt Roarke's book far apart from any other book or product in this category. Whether you're a teenager or part of the middle age brigade (OOH-RAH!), MGuns program is adaptable and doable. The plan can be tailored to whatever state of physical fitness you're in, and even those who are injured can make basic use of some of the plan's elements.
I e-mailed MGuns with some questions, and he immediately responded. How many authors do that in this day and age? I have bought two copies and plan to purchase more to give to other Marines and others who can make use of this book. Because of its simplicity, realism, and its no gimmick approach, I give this book 5 stars.
MGuns: Thanks for writing this. It was long overdue!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2010
I have read hundreds of books on fitness. Some were good others better and some did not deliver much of anything.
Corps strength has it all and then some,straight and direct it is a must read for anyone who wants the truth on fitness training. 5 stars are not enough. I purchased one in paperback form and also one for my I-pad. I will refer to this book over and over and I can not wait for the author's next book.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2011
In this very useful guide, you get all the information you really need for lifelong health and fitness.
I think of the varying levels of quality I experienced in regard to physical-training (P.T.) sessions, when I was in the Marine Corps. This program compiled by Master Gunnery Sargeant Roarke is very similar to the rigorous routines we experienced as students in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. The instructor course was only six weeks, ...but what a profound effect it had! Everyone went home much leaner and meaner! Although Mr. Roarke is retired, the Marine Corps would make a good investment by hiring him as a consultant to further establish this program
throughout the U.S.M.C.
This book is NOT one of those glossy tomes of narcisism that promise you a glamorous body for the beach!
This is a book for PRACTICAL fitness!
This is a guide for all those people who work in some manner of job that demands peak performance. This book is for those who go into harm's way, probably in some variation of a green, black, or blue uniform. This is the training you REALLY need, if you are serving in the military, police, or emergency services. This book is also for those who work in other fields that are highly physical. A construction-worker, farmer, or full-contact martial-arts athlete will appreciate this information too.
The bottom line: You can get very tough and very strong with only a minimum of equipment. A Marine, regardless of his specific job, must maintain himself in fighting-condition. Deploying overseas, one does not always get access to a gym. Marines IMPROVISE! Much of the excercises in here are body-weight excercises. If you put the effort into it, you can get amazing results from even limited facilities.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2011
Don't be fooled by the size of this book. Sometimes great things come in small packages. While only 120 pages, CORPS STRENGTH contains "real fitness for real people" - life changing, vital information and techniques about health, exercise, diet and having the right attitude about health and fitness combined with a fun, down-to-earth writing style that I have NOT found in any other book on the subject. Retired Master Gunnery Sergeant Paul Roarke served 28 years with honor in the US Marine Corps and this book takes his deep knowledge and experience and combines it with his own unique style and approach to health and exercise. His specific techniques and routines not only are "common sense", but they actual work EXTREMELY WELL for almost everyone - but only if you follow what MGySgt Paul Roarke tells you to do. Whether you are 20 or 60+ years old, buy this book and read it! It will change your body, improve your overall health and change your thinking in many positive ways.
CORPS STRENGTH is an easy, fun read and you really get a good feel for MGySgt Paul Roarke as both a dedicated marine and a real person. Read this book, do what it tells you and you will get into the best shape of your life with high levels of energy and a little "Semper Fi" spirit. I really liked the author's approach to "working fitness", which is targeted to working men and woman, including people in the military, police, fire or other similar professions, and is designed to be able to do at home, at the gym, outdoors or even when traveling on business or pleasure. Forget about complicated workouts, fancy gyms, or trying the latest diet fad. This book takes you though the full range of pre-workout and post-workout stretching, creating an exercise plan (PT), and walks you through many great exercise routines and fitness techniques, with practical advice about eating healthy ("chow"). For me, one of the most important chapters was about "Excuses, Vampires...", and was helpful in getting my thinking right about exercise and fitness...and not letting the excuses that I have made in the past about exercise, healthy living and proper diet get in the way of a balanced, healthy life.
The other thing I loved about this book is you get a real sense of Paul Roarke's spirit, personality and style, and his down-to-earth approach about life and incredible dedication and passion. This book introduced some really cool workout ideas that I am definitely going to implement in my workout routines, like "kettlebells" and "weighted vests", that I have not seen before. Paul Roarke's approach for "elite fitness" goes WAY BEYOND the standard US Marine Corp fitness program and includes and integrates effective ideas and techniques from many good sources, and strongly encourages the reader to do a wide variety of physical activities, including running, walking, biking, swimming, stretching, pull-ups, push-ups, etc. that keep the program interesting and varied and help to really work all the various body parts and muscle groups. You should definitely BUY this book and READ it...it will change you like forever if you do what MGySgt Roarke tells you.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
This book, in my opinion, is the best fitness book on the market, Period. If you follow the Master Gunz plan as outlined, you'll be in top fitness condition. What I really like...this is NOT some "pie in the sky" workout routine that makes you look like a million dollars in a few weeks. What this plan does is put your body in top physical condition, and keeps you in top shape. You're not going to need a bunch of machines, expensive milk shakes, tasteless protein bars, or useless infomercial items. What you need is very minimal. The plan itself calls for 1 hour workouts, which is great for people on a busy schedule. The book and the plan are very easy to read and follow. The chapters are laid out so anyone can understand how to follow the routine. I really enjoyed reading the humor stories, which keeps the reader interested. I just cannot say enough about this book. This program and book are the real deal, from a real Marine, with real fitness experience. The exercises shown in the pictures are very easy to understand. The chapter on chow, or food for the non-military types, is also a nice blessing. Read all the reviews here, buy this book, read it twice, follow the plan, and you will get as strong as a bull in a very short time. Got questions about the program or book? No problem, just email the author and you're sure to get a very quick answer. NOW GO BUY THIS BOOK! Thank you Master Gunnery Sergeant for such a great book and fitness program!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2012
Having served in the military and law enforcement community for almost 20 years, I recommend this book as a sensible alternative to Xfit. It presents a very common sense approach to functional fitness. It eliminates the need to learn and execute Olympic lifts and gymnastics moves of questionable use in everyday life. Heavy weights and high-rep Olympic lifts for time is a recipe for disaster and it's hard to be functional when you're constantly recovering from a back/shoulder/leg injury. One of the best parts of CS programming is the constant inclusion of push ups/pull ups/abs and interval based cardio. Having taken a multitude of military/LE tests, I can tell you that they all include at least two of those four variables. Including them in your programming is essentially studying for the test. Additionally, pulling/pushing/running are constantly used in daily life in the .mil/LE world. CS rep numbers also challenge the user without breaking them. This is critical as you try and make it to 20 years (retirement). My only critique is I would like to see more description with the Kettlebell moves. But, a user can watch Jeff Martone on Youtube and get that sorted in short order. This is one of the best and most economical programs around and I would recommend it to anyone who is crunched for time and yet counts on fitness in daily life. Good on ya' Master Gunz.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2011
I was looking for a fitness program that fit into my busy schedule, was easy to stick with, and required minimal equipment. This book fit the bill perfectly. Paul Roarke has relied on his vast experience in U.S. Marine Corps to create a no-nonsense, hi-intensity program that anyone can easily adapt to fit into even the busiest of life schedules. He provides numerous examples for customizing his routines to work in a gym or outdoors using available objects to build overall conditioning and strength for real-world application. The hour-long routines are easy to follow, are nicely varied and provide quick results when combined with a healthy eating program. I will say that if you want to build huge muscle mass, this book's probably not for you. However, if you want to increase your strength, endurance, and lower your BMI, then you need to get yourself a copy. Other reviewers have found that it is a little light on nutritional advice, so you will need to look elsewhere if you are looking for detailed menus. If you apply common sense to your eating habits as Paul Roarke suggests, you will find your body composition quickly changes by following his "PT" routines.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2010
I did two tours in the Marine Corps and focused on fitness before and during my service. I lapsed in exercise afterwards and this book helped me get back on track. In just a few days of using Master Gunz suggestions I have trimmed my mile run down by two full minutes, and that is with the addition of a 20 pound vest on.
I bought two copies as my son is enlisting in the Marines; he learned so much from it that he now wants a kindle version as well so the original book doesn't get damaged. I have read numerous books on fitness and exercise regimens in my tour in the Marines as well as in my schooling and career as a Registered Nurse and Chef, this book tops them all. It is easy to grasp the principals the author conveys and turn that into a top notch workout. My son has boosted his run time as well as his lifting capacity just with some of the suggestions the author mentions.
I cannot say enough about the book, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention the website [...]. The author provides valuable resources here, as well as some good advice for the best gear and other topics. For example, he discusses jogging in Bates Boots versus running shoes. Something we hadn't even considered in my sons training. Obviously something vital for anyone to get used to before boot camp and we found that after running in boots, there is a significant improvement in timed runs when he wears his running shoes. That improvement is from just from one suggestion from Master Gunz. Not to mention the internet sources he provides for quality products like KettleBell USA, their handles being properly suited to help my son train for the Marine CFT.
Get his book to garner the fitness knowledge learned over decades serving in the Marines Corps, as well as learning exercise pitfalls to avoid, let someone who has the proven experience steer you to a better workout and the benefits and rewards that ensue.
I'd also recommend getting one for friends and family members, physical fitness is always a good gift.