Fitter Faster

The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day

 Fitter Faster

Author: Robert J. Davis
Pub Date: May 2017
Print Edition: $16.95
Print ISBN: 9780814437711
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814437728

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There are lots of reasons why many of us find it so difficult to exercise. Let's start with perhaps the most common one: too little time.

Consider the official recommendations from the federal government and health authorities. We're supposed to get at least 30 minutes, five days a week, of moderate aerobic activity (meaning things like brisk walking, biking, or doubles tennis). In addition, we're told that we need two or three days a week of strength-training exercises that target all the major muscle groups. Add to that at least two or three days of stretching exercises. Phew! It can be exhausting just imagining how to fit all that in, much less doing it.

A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that about 80 percent of American adults fail to meet both the aerobic and strength-training guidelines. That's not surprising, given the time required. The shocking part is that 20 percent manage to comply, though I suspect that a good chunk of them are stretching the truth.

Something else that keeps people from hitting the gym is that they don't like gyms. And it's easy to understand why. Working out alongside spandex-clad people with perfectly sculpted bodies can be intimidating, to say the least. And knowing what exercises to do and how to use the equipment, some of which resembles what you might find in a torture chamber, can be overwhelming. Taking classes can be a solution, but dragging yourself to a 6 A.M. boot camp or ending the day with a pedal-till-you-puke spinning class is many people's idea of hell. The fear of looking silly in front of others also keeps people away from gyms, as does the monthly cost of membership.

Then there's the problem that, for many of us, exercise itself is no fun. Or downright unbearable. That feeling is often reinforced by images we see on TV. Shows like The Biggest Loser feature overweight people forced to run on treadmills until they drop while being berated by trainers. I don't know about you, but I can think of lots of things that I'd rather do--cleaning animal cages at the zoo or sitting next to a screaming baby on an airplane among them. Infomercials for programs like P90X or Insanity make exercise look so grueling that I get exhausted just watching from my bed.


This book is about overcoming those barriers--to redefine exercise so that it's less time-consuming and intimidating, and more convenient and enjoyable. To do that, I've teamed up with personal trainer Brad Kolowich Jr., who has years of experience working with both celebrities and ordinary folks of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels.

Brad and I have developed an easy-to-follow workout plan that requires as little as 15 minutes a day. It provides aerobic, muscle-building, and fat-burning benefits that are similar to--and potentially even greater than--what you'd get from regimens two or three times longer. We accomplish this by incorporating high-intensity interval training (HIIT), in which you go hard, then easy, then hard, and so on for a total of 10 or 15 minutes instead of exercising at a constant rate for 30 minutes or longer. In addition, we use circuits for strength training, in which you move relatively quickly from one exercise to the next and thereby cut the length of your workouts. Some of our routines further increase efficiency by providing aerobic and strength benefits at the same time or working multiple muscle groups. Our regimens are designed as accordions so that on days you have extra time and want to exercise longer, you can easily do so.

All our workouts can be done at home or outdoors, which means you won't need to join a gym or worry about scheduling around gym hours or class times. You can exercise at whatever time of day or night is most convenient for you. No fancy or expensive equipment is required--just a set of dumbbells.

In addition, the Fitter Faster plan includes two key features to reduce the drudgery of exercise: choice and variety. If running on a treadmill (or running, period) isn't your thing, no worries. Within the structure we've laid out, you'll be able to choose activities you find most enjoyable, whether walking, hiking, biking, dancing, or doing yoga. What's more, the program is customizable, with beginner, intermediate, and advanced plans, so you can select a level that's right for you and challenge yourself with new exercises as you progress. Further, we mix things up with a different routine every day of the week, which will help prevent boredom.

Of course, lowering barriers is meaningless if an exercise plan doesn't produce results. Ours does. Using the workouts in this book with clients of all types, Brad has seen tremendous improvements in their endurance, strength, and body fat.

Excerpted from FITTER FASTER: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day by Robert J. Davis, Ph.D. and Brad Kolowich, Jr. Copyright © 2017 by Robert J. Davis, Ph.D. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

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