Combat Fit by Gabe Suarez Book Review

| September 5, 2016 | 3 Comments

In the last two years I’ve become more and more interested in fight focused fitness. Before then, I worked out because my dad told me to, or because it was for a sport, or because I wanted to be attractive. I never really had a “higher purpose” until recently.

One of the people that motivated me to get more “fit for the fight” was Gabe Suarez of Suarez International. Gabe’s about 10 years old than I am, but he’s in better shape. Functional shape. Deadlifts, dips, pullups, pushups — the big gross muscle movements that are more about power than they are about appearances.

So, I was pretty excited to get an evaluation copy of “Combat Fit,” hoping to get some insight into his training methods and mindset.

I was surprised that the book was more about diet than it was about exercise.

General Information

  • 65 pages
  • $15
  • Paperback (no eBook version available)

Topics Covered

  • Why fitness is important for self defense
  • Pitfalls of the modern lifestyle (sedentary life + poor diet = slow death)
  • Problems with the usual modern diet
  • Why some current medical metrics don’t apply to the civilian defender (e.g., BMI)
  • What Gabe eats and drinks (slightly modified Paleo diet)
  • Fundamental movements of a workout (including cardio vs strength training, and High Intensity Training)

My Impressions

The tagline for Combat Fit is

How To Get Lean, Strong, And Fighting Fit for Unfit Gun Guys

If this is the premise of the book, then Combat Fit does a good job explaining why fitness is important, suggesting an overall diet plan, and cautioning against preventative medicine over preventative fitness.

However, I feel like the book would benefit from more exercise-related material. Gabe already posts his version of Workout of the Day (WOD) on WarriorTalk. It seems worthwhile to port that material into the book.

If the audience is someone who knows nothing about diet and exercise, they deserve more content on the workout side. It is much easier to have poor form, or talk oneself out of working out (“I don’t have the right equipment,” “everyone at the gym will make fun of me because I’m fat,” etc) than it is to remember not to eat rice.

Gabe writes a lot about mindset and putting in hard work in general. I would have liked to have seen that applied to the exercise part of the book.

1/3rd of the book is devoted to exercise, with only 13 pages devoted to the discussion of athletic movement, or specific exercises like a weighted pullup.

I’d also like to see Gabe’s overall bulk/lean cycle, with directions on how the reader can figure out what cycle will work the best for their own bodies.

If you are looking for a scientific, technical explanation about diet and exercise, this book is not for you. Gabe also has a machismo-rich writing style. Being half Hispanic myself, this does not bother me, as it reminds me of part of the culture I grew up in. You may or may not care for it.


This is a much needed, no-bullshit perspective on a gunfighter’s greatest threat: their own out-of-shape bodies.

Double the content and keep the price the same and I’d recommend this book to fellow students. I’ve trained with many, many adults who are winded after running a single fight-focused passthrough, or want to sit down after 30 seconds of weapon retention drills.

As is, I’d recommend buying a different book from Gabe, and visiting WarriorTalk to learn more about what Gabe — and the other SI staff and alumni — are doing to stay Combat Fit.


I received this book for free as a thank you for my review of another Suarez International book, Killing the Active Shooter. I was not asked to review this book in return, nor was there any explicit or implied compensation for my reviews. These are my honest thoughts.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

3 Comments on "Combat Fit by Gabe Suarez Book Review"

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  1. Drew says:

    Thanks, and a I appreciate your honest feedback.

    It’s refreshing to see.


  2. Finn says:

    Okay, but if(sedentary life + poor diet = slow death) then (active life+good diet=quick death).

Post a Reply to Finn