You Are Your Own Gym – Updated App Review!

You Are Your Own Gym - on your mobile!
You Are Your Own Gym – on your mobile!

My little internet hamsters have been reporting back to me that a lot of you are searching for “You Are Your Own Gym app reviews”. Since the authors have updated the app, I thought I would take the time to post an updated review!

(Haven’t yet read the first review? It gives a lot of background of the program and the book – you will want to check it out as well!)

Okay, first things first.  The app is based on the book of the same name – “[amazon_link id=”B004GTLFNW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]You Are Your Own Gym[/amazon_link]”, and it is unique in that it stands alone as a fitness app, as well as a companion to the book. I will definitely suggest that you buy the book as well if you are serious about following the You Are Your Own Gym program, since it really discusses the philosophy of the whole bodyweight movement, as well as nutrition and workout safety.

However, if you are a rebel and want to forge ahead with the app, here’s what you can expect!

The app has been significantly reworked, and many fantastic features have been added. Let’s go through them one at a time.

The main screen offers several options:

  • Start Working Out – this gives you several options for working out, including your standard 10-week program based on Mark Lauren’s YAYOG workouts; quick workouts for when you’re pressed for time; as well as the option to create your own  workout from scratch.
  • Exercises – here you can view every single exercise included in the program – and then some! The exercises are categorized by Push, Pull, Legs, Core, Whole Body, or you can browse the whole list of exercises available to you.
  • History – view your saved workouts which are organized by date.
  • Settings – does what it says on the tin and lets you change multiple aspects of the app.
  • The Book – gives a bit of background on the book behind the app, and provides links to buy the book, which is highly recommended.
  • Connect – provides you with links to, where there is a very active forum of YAYOG fans (look for me, I’m crispy8888), as well as links to YAYOG on Facebook and Twitter.
All of the Workout Options in YAYOG!

The workout options on the “Start Working Out” screen are great – I used to follow Mark’s standard 10-week programs diligently, but after about 6 months, I needed to modify some of the exercises due to injury (and to be honest, some of the exercises get pretty old after 6 months or so, like Let Me Ins!).

The app makes this incredibly easy to do; you can modify any of the workouts in any of the programs – so if you like a stock program but just want to swap in one or more exercises, you just need to tap and hold on an exercise in the list, where you can change the variation or difficulty of the exercise, or even swap in another one altogether.

Or, if you’re hardcore like me, you can totally build your own workout from scratch – so if you want to build a big, 30-minute Core exercise routine to look good in that Speedo this summer – you can do this as well. I love this feature, and I can save as many different workouts as I want. I have a workout for Arms and Chest, a Core Workout, and a Legs workout that I return to repeatedly.

Don't like the standard workouts? Build your own!
Don’t like the standard workouts? Build your own!

When I’m pressed for time, I find the pre-configured Quick Exercises really handy, as I can pick a Circuit workout in durations from 2 to 10 minutes, depending on how much time I have available. You can also choose the difficulty level – and again, if you need to swap exercises in and out, you can do so.

Pressed for time? Try a quick workout!
Pressed for time? Try a quick workout!

Where this update really shines is that not only is each exercise described step-by-step in picture, there is also an optional video component available for download which shows Mark himself demonstrating proper form and technique for each of the exercises.

Videos make it *so* much easier to do the exercises correctly!
Videos make it *so* much easier to do the exercises correctly!

This is beyond awesome – my biggest beef with workout books and apps is that there is no one there to show you how the moves fit together in dynamic form. YAYOG solves this problem really really well. Although the add-on is pretty big (500+ MB!), it’s invaluable to have in your arsenal. Plus it’s free to anyone who has already purchased the app.

All exercise programs and circuits in this app have a countdown timer with voice-over that tells you when to start, when there are 30 seconds remaining in your exercise, and when to stop. I love this feature as well, because I typically have my mobile up on a shelf out of harm’s way so that I don’t fall or step on it during my routine, and I can’t see the  countdown clock most of the time.

I can’t say enough good things about the YAYOG program – but I know that if you want to form some life-long good habits when it comes to exercising – and avoiding excuses – then You Are Your Own Gym is the way to go.

If you’re REALLY serious about YAYOG, grab the book – [amazon_link id=”0345528581″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]it’s available from Amazon[/amazon_link].  The book and the app are excellent companions for each other.

The You Are Your Own Gym is available both from Google Play and from the App Store. Don’t be a cheap bastard; shell out the two bucks and I know that you’ll love it.

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7 thoughts on “You Are Your Own Gym – Updated App Review!”

  1. Wow, talk about up to date. Haha
    I’ve been using the Runtastic apps for the past week and love them. There are separate apps for: squats, pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups and they integrate to show your progress for each and give you your history as well as badges. They also count for you, so when you do your sit-ups, you put the phone behind your head and it counts your actual reps. Very cool.
    This leads it to help you increase daily the amount of each exercise. Ie sit-ups has targets of 10,20,60+ for each goal.
    The drawback is these apps don’t target all the body parts I would like to target, ie more abdominals.

    So, on that one drawback I start looking for an app that works with this. First I find Gorilla Workout, but after reading reviews, they mentioned this app, which led me to find a review, which found your older review, which pointed to this one.
    Isn’t the Internet cool?
    Anyway, I might give it a try. Though at $2.99 it’s one of the more expensive apps to try blindly. 🙂

  2. Hey – I’ll have to check out Runtastic, it sounds like a nice app to have handy.
    Thanks for stopping by – if you try out YAYOG, I think you’ll find the app really flexible to accommodate all of the body areas you want to work on. And really, you can’t get a gym membership for $2.99! 🙂

  3. I spent 17 years on and off in gyms. I come from a powerlifting background. Since I’d had a year off with no training when I started using the YAYOG app I started on the basic program. I’m also 36 years old and years of lifting have caused some injuries. Got to be sensible. I’m now entering the last week of basic but looking forward to starting 1st class next.

    Initially, trying to do bodyweight exercises at a weight of 230lb was intense to say the least. Powerlifting strength does not translate well to bodyweight. I have done no supplemental cardio or anything else. I do eat sensibly. 9 weeks later I am stronger than ever, my fitness is getting better every day and I have dropped 14lb in bodyfat while increasing lean muscle tissue. For the first time in my life I can see the beginnings of a 6 pack.
    I can honestly say that for me this has been the best workout I’ve ever done. It is not by any means easy but it lets you work at your own pace but you are constantly challenged. It is always varied and though tough, it’s fun. You are never bored.

    I do now feel silly for having spent all those years wasting money on gyms doing inefficient workouts when I could have been doing this.

    I would suggest getting hold of the YAYOG book as well. There is a ton of useful information you won’t get in the app.

    1. Hey Shawn – thanks so much for sharing.

      I had the same reaction as you when I started on YAYOG: I had always been a cyclist and had recently taken up running, so I assumed I was fairly fit. But the Beginner program kicked my ass into next week. Bodyweight work is like *nothing* I have ever experienced on the road or in the gym. There’s a totally different body dynamic at work and I’ve never worked myself so hard as I have on YAYOG. The best part for me is that I swap exercises in and out all the time – and I still see results. That way I don’t feel constrained to follow a particular regimen – it’s a lot more organic for me, which fits with my whole outlook on fitness.


      1. It was definitely a shocker in the beginning but I’ve never seen such quick returns in fitness from any program. I love the ability to change variations on the fly. I finished the first level of the 10 week and am having a week off before launching into the next level.

        I’m testing the beta of the new release and as of last night’s update they’ve added the ability to share as well as showing videos during the exercise instead of the images. Helps a lot to see it in action as well as control your cadence.

        I also found Mark Lauren’s companion app on the store. It’s essentially his workout DVDs and includes the warm-up (~5 minutes), cool down (~6 minutes) and novice circuit free but you can buy the rest. It fills the missing warm-up/cool down in the app. So I can most definitely suggest adding this in too.

  4. So you mention that you like to keep your phone out of harm’s way during your workout. I like to do the same, but it seems awkward while doing ladders in particular. So, if you are doing a “let me up” ladder, do you complete the first rep, get out of position to walk to your phone in order to tap the completed reps button, return to position, do two reps, etc? I’m trying to figure out how to integrate the app into my workout without constantly shifting positions (especially on exercises like let me up) or having my phone on my person at all times. Any tips?

  5. @Ted: I’ve found that the easiest way to keep my phone out of the way is to put it on a small stepstool next to my workout area. It’s not on the floor where it’s really easy to step on (or drip sweat on – ew!), but it’s still visible and reachable when I do ladders; usually I don’t have to move too far out of position to hit the Completed Reps button. Thanks for the comment!

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