If you want to get into shape, Coss Marte will happily help you. He just won’t listen to any excuses.
The self-proclaimed former “fat, dying drug kingpin” turned fitness guru just released his first book “ConBody” ($17.99, St. Martin’s Griffin). It outlines the popular exercise regimen he honed during his time behind bars which now lures devoted clients to his Lower East Side studio.
Marte, 33, says it’s the perfect routine for everyone, using resistance based on body weight.
New York City apartment dwellers take heart: You don’t need a lot of room for push-ups, squats, crunches and other muscle-building moves.
“People need to realize what they are capable of doing with their body,” Marte told amNewYork. “If I did this in the worst circumstance you can be in, then you have no excuse. All you need to do is use what you’ve got.”
Part memoir, part instruction manual, the book follows Marte’s fitness journey, which started after a doctor at the Ulster Correctional Facility told him a fatal heart attack was likely to kill him within five years. Marte was 24-years-old at the time and struggled with obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
“I always wanted to do a book,” the Lower East Side resident said. “I had the whole training program written down and the nasty prison food recipes.”
Highlighted with black and white photos of Marte carefully demonstrating his routines, the book outlines exercises and how he moderated his diet over time — no easy task with prison food.
He outlines the meals: thin beef patties, a porridge-type food and other unappetizing offerings. Sometimes he created his own “prison burrito” consisting of ramen noodle soup, cheese rice, Doritos, Slim Jims and other items from the commissary. (He includes that recipe in the book as well.)
Marte switched to fruits, vegetables, canned seafood and chicken breast with the help of family members who sent him food every month.
The ambition he showed while selling drugs is now reserved for growing his business. Marte hopes to open nine more studios in the city and tristate area over the next five years. Online courses are set to launch next month.
He also makes a point of hiring other formerly incarcerated people as trainers in his gym. (“Nobody hires ex-cons,” Marte writes.)
“We have a social movement behind our mission,” he said. “People coming out of the system have a very, very difficult time. Everyone we have worked with has not returned to jail.”
That’s a message Marte hopes his clients receive during their grueling workouts.
His 63-year-old mother is a devotee of his regimen. And his 10-year-old son tries to keep up with some of the exercises.
“No matter what, just get moving,” Marte advised. “If you continue and you are consistent, you will see results.”