After some 20 years as a highly respected aerobic fitness instructor and health promoter--one who rarely uses the phrase "lose weight"--Kathy Smith is shifting her priorities. "I would never want to choose, but if I could only do one form of training from now on, I'd give up cardio and focus on weight training." A strong statement, indeed! The title of this, her fourth book, suggests Smith's goal is to help exercisers lose weight. But as readers work through the engrossing chapters on physiology, exercise basics, and making the shift from aerobics to weight lifting, Smith says they'll note that weight loss is simply a pleasant by-product of the true benefits generated by this straightforward, nonthreatening weight-lifting program.
Smith believes in the power of consistent, progressive exercise with free weights and weight-lifting machines to counteract the muscle loss and slower metabolism that naturally come with age and typically cause the pounds to pile on. Her 12-week "mini commitment" eases newcomers into a comprehensive program of weight lifting and sensible eating, and includes weekly checklists for tracking workouts and meals. Large photos accompany clearly written descriptions of more than 60 stretches and exercises, nicely organized by muscle group (chest, back, abdominals, and so on). Just pick a gym or a room at home, and Smith will provide the routine. Advocates of her popular fitness videos (more than two dozen to date) will appreciate Smith's natural warmth, encouragement, and intelligence throughout this motivational book. --Liane Thomas