The Ultimate Fit or Fat: An All-New Program to Get You in Shape and Keep You in Shape

Covert Bailey, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $12.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-618-00204-7
Sixty-seven-year-old fitness instructor Bailey takes a systematic, straightforward approach to lifetime physical fitness in his final contribution to the successful two-decade Fit or Fat series. Here he begins with the basic premise that the tendency to get fat has little to do with the amount or quality of food eaten and as proof points to the ineffectual long-term results of dieting. Asserting that exercise is the ultimate control of metabolism (something diet is unable to change), Bailey claims it is the amount of fat-burning muscle that determines one's ability to lose fat (though he sympathetically notes women's lesser ability to control fat due to hormones, lower muscle mass and childbirth). Instructions for simple at-home tests allow the reader to accurately measure their own body fat percentage, lean body mass, ideal weight, ideal exercise heart rate and exercise pace, giving a starting point for any future progress. Likening his weekly exercise program to the four food groups, with three to four recommended servings of aerobics, two to three servings each of cross-training and weight lifting and one to two servings of wind sprints, Bailey offers a varied menu of exercises in each category (including a special no-barbells home weight lifting chapter for the gym-phobic), stressing the pros and cons of each and warning that exercise is not effective when the body has no time to recuperate. Bailey, in no-nonsense prose, will motivate the reader with his contagiously positive outlook and personal anecdotes. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1999
Release date: 01/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
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