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Product Details

  • Series: 2 Fitness Favorites from Exercise Guru (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First edition (May 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743211448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743211444
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #819,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Edward J. Jackowski, Ph.D. is the CEO and founder of Exude Inc. It is the nation's largest motivational and one-on-one fitness company.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter Two: Identifying Your Body Type

Everyone naturally has a body type or shape -- Hourglass, Spoon, Ruler or Cone. These shapes are for the most part genetically predetermined. Recognizing and understanding your shape is the key to a successful fitness program. To achieve a leaner, more toned and better proportioned body you must recognize what you were born with and adjust your exercise plan accordingly. In my previous book, I articulated as no one had ever done before the difference between a standard cookie-cutter exercise program and a targeted exercise regime that would yield the desired results.

Here is an example of why understanding your body type before you begin exercising is critical to escaping your shape. It also explains why most people who are currently exercising fail to meet their goals. Say your wife playfully tweaks your ever-growing love handles or you find you no longer fit into your favorite jeans. What is your first reaction? If you are like the majority of Americans, you hit the gym and shell out good money for the advice of a personal trainer who looks like a clone of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He leads you through a series of exercises as he explains in a vague way what his particular exercises will do for you. You vow to attack the newest wave of steppers and lift weights for 2 hours every day. Simultaneously, you declare that nothing will pass through your lips save a carrot stick and tofu until the weight is lost. The experience of throwing yourself headlong into an exhausting physical and mental realignment without a clear sense of the results you have a right to expect leads, understandably, to failure. What's missing? Since you have decided that fitness will be a priority in your life, you need an exercise program that will deliver results! The first step in achieving these results is to recognize and identify your unique body type. The next step is to create an individualized plan that you will enjoy and master.

WHAT'S MY TYPE?

If you took a hard look at thousands of people's bodies, you'd notice the same thing I have: that people fall generally into 4 categories. Some people are bottom heavy, some are top heavy, some are naturally well proportioned and curvaceous and others have few curves. You too are either a Spoon, a Cone, an Hourglass or a Ruler. Whatever your body type is, it is basically determined by genetics. As you enter adulthood there are certain factors that influence how your body looks: how active or inactive you were growing up and are currently, the sports you participated in, your childhood and adolescent diet, how much time you spend sitting, and, most important, the variety of exercises you have performed over the years that have either enhanced or bulked certain regions of your body.

Your body type has nothing to do with how tall, short, skinny or fat you are. It has nothing to do with how much you weigh. Nor does it have anything to do with your innate athleticism, age, agility, coordination or fitness level. In fact, even your diet (food intake) has nothing to do with your body type. For example, if you are a Spoon and you are 5 foot 6 inches and weigh 140 pounds, you can diet and lose 10 or 15 pounds. But you won't significantly improve the way your body looks, especially your problem areas, by dieting alone. The only way I can transform you from a ladle to a demitasse spoon is by getting you to exercise properly for your type. You can be a fat Ruler, a thin Spoon or a skinny Hourglass, for example. No matter what your type, weight or fitness level, you can improve them.

Identifying your body type is simply a matter of observing how your weight is distributed on your frame. No one body type is better or worse than another. While you cannot change from one body type to another, you can improve your shape and make the best of your body type through proper exercise. Some of you may want to lose weight and inches throughout your body; others, just inches. Some will want to trim their thighs, stomach or other specific areas. Whatever your goals, it's paramount to identify your shape in order to exercise appropriately.

Identifying Your Shape

First use the following questions to determine what your body type is. Then take a look at the illustrations of the four types. Do you recognize yourself? If you're still unsure, read the detailed profiles for each body type.

Determine Your Body Type

Do you tend to carry weight in both your upper and lower body, yet are more slender through the waist? Is there a significant difference between the circumference of your chest and your waist (or between your hips and waist)? Does your body appear balanced and curvaceous when you look in the mirror?

If so, you are an HOURGLASS.

Do you carry most of your weight in your hips, thighs and buttocks? Are you more slender on the top? Do you tend to gain weight or carry extra weight from the hips down? Do your eyes go directly to the lower half of your body when you look in the mirror?

If so, you are a SPOON.

Are you pretty much built straight up and down with very few curves? Is there little difference in the circumferences of your chest, waist and hips? Do you tend to put on weight around your midsection?

If so, you are a RULER.

Do you tend to carry most of your weight in your back, chest, arms and stomach? Are you more slender from the hips down?

If so, you are a CONE.

Important Facts and Tips

  • Most women are either Spoons or Hourglasses.
  • Most men are Rulers or Cones.
  • If you are overweight, it may be more difficult to determine your actual body type. You may be caught between body types.
  • You can be thin or fat for your body type, as well as short or tall for your body type.
  • Although it is not very common, some women are flat-chested Hourglasses. Remember that determining your body type is about proportion. It is the total circumference of your back and chest that is relevant, not the size of your breasts.
  • Some female Rulers naturally have big breasts, though it is not the norm.
  • Although Spoon women are relatively small to medium chested, you could be a busty Spoon, though your hips and thighs will be comparatively larger.
  • Your "diet" has very little to do with your body type, but it does directly influence your scale weight.

Still Not Sure?

If you are having problems determining your body type, it is probably because you are carrying extra weight. Fear not, simply follow the Hourglass workout until you shed off some of that weight. As you become slimmer and your natural shape begins to emerge, you can start adding some resistance and weight to your exercises. I find that many women look in the mirror and have eyes only for their problem areas. I can't tell you how many women misdiagnose their body type as a Spoon. They are all obsessed with the size of their thighs. A woman who is 5'8" and 170 pounds, who bulks in the arms and the thighs and is more slender around her stomach may think she is a Spoon because she has very big thighs. But in reality, she is an Hourglass with a tendency to bulk down below a little faster than she does up above. I call this type of woman a bottom-heavy Hourglass. She bulks both above and below but more on her bottom half. Because she is overweight by at least 20 pounds, a lot of that extra weight is emphasized below. She only thinks she is a Spoon because she dislikes that part of her body so much.

In truth, you're only temporarily caught between types. Deep down you are a pure Hourglass, Spoon, Ruler or Cone and you're overweight. You cannot be anything else. For example, you can't be a top-heavy Ruler, because someone who bulks only on top by definition is a Cone. Nor can you be a top-heavy Spoon, because that would make you an Hourglass. If you are larger throughout any one part of your body, you are either overweight and/or bulkier due to the type of exercises you have been performing.

TAKING MEASUREMENTS

I strongly recommend you take measurements prior to starting your body-type fitness routine. (See the section below for directions.) If possible, have a friend or colleague take them for you because it is very difficult to precisely or accurately measure yourself. Each time you turn and twist to get a measurement, it throws off the reading. Your measurements are important because they're a definitive indication of your body type. They are also a good way to track your progress so you can make adjustments to your workouts as necessary. You may find that quantifiable improvements come in inches, but not scale weight. If you are overweight, and need to lose both inches and weight, you may need to adjust your caloric intake and/or diet. Once you see your problem areas start to shrink, you will become even more motivated to continue with your workouts. I suggest that you record your measurements every 30 days.

Keeping track of your measurements will help you adjust your workouts to meet your goals. Let's say you are an Hourglass and two months into your workouts you notice that while you're losing inches from your hips and thighs, your upper arms and back aren't responding as well. That typically means that you are not doing enough of your upper-body routine and/or aerobic exercise. Knowing that, you can adjust your workouts so that your upper body begins to change at a faster pace. You may also find that after losing a certain number of inches throughout your body that you don't need to lose as much weight as you first thought. You may have started out thinking you needed to lose at least 15 pounds, but after two months find you have dropped two dress sizes though lost only 5 pounds. I have seen countless clients, both men and women, lose just a few pounds but more than 10 inches from their body.

H... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

The workouts are also fun and challenging, giving 3 levels for each workout.
Sassy Girl
Buy this book and figure out what your shape is, and also learn why jumping rope is the best cardio exercise around...
Shaz
This is a fantastic book that will make you look at exercise in a whole new light.
Jeep Girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 105 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
I can't say enough great things about this book. Within the first couple of weeks of starting this program, I noticed big differences in my weight and how my body looked. The workouts are for your specific body type and they are not hard to do, nor do they require a gym membership. I have always gained and lost the same 10-15 pounds and could never rid myself of those "problem areas" even at a my healthiest weight. Now the weight is staying off and the problems areas are REALLY going away for the first time ever. I have lost around 8 pounds and even more inches. It is exciting and motivating to see this happening. This book definitely helps you get results that last. I feel healthy and strong and I love exercising -- and that is a first for me.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a former rugby player four years fom the game I was a little skeptical about some of the exercises. I very out of shape and had put on considerable weight. (I was considered an over-weight ruler at the time of purchase). When I first read the book I laughed at the idea of using a 10 to 20 lb body bar. I also did not except the idea of not doing any type of squats. After all, at the height of my rugby participation I was squating 305lbs for 8 to 12 reps. I gave it a shot anyway.
When I first started the program I was a tight 40" waist I now wear a loose 36" waist. I'm not sure of my weight because I tried not to get fixated by that figure because I have a big frame.
Don't let the title fool you. It does take effort on your part and it is a good safe work out. A little weird at first but with a little dicipline it becomes second nature.
My only beef with the book is the author's tricep exercise. I didn't get much out of it so I modified it to overhead. I also cheated and did some other exercises every once in a while to keep life interesting but mostly stuck with the program. I would recomend this book.
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63 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Finally, a book that offers sound, effective fitness advice. Before I had gyms, classes, and every exercise tape imaginable with no results (unless you count bulking up). Now I am losing weight and inches and look forward to my body type workout routine. Finally a great workout and RESULTS without lifting all these heavy weights. I wish I had found this sooner!
If you have been working out to no avail then you have to learn to work out according to your body type. This guy knows what he is talking about plain and simple. This is a must read and the best money I have spent on fitness.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
I started to get serious about exercising about 4 years ago. I began running on the treadmill and lifting weights a couple times a week. I became addicted to exercising after I lost 10 lbs in a month. I stuck with this workout for a few years and although I was down to my desired weight, the "problem areas" were still apparent. Frustrated, I slacked off around the holidays last year and gained 10 lbs. AHHHH! At the end of January (I'd had enough of trying to stuff my legs into my favorite jeans) 2002 I discovered Escape Your Shape. WOW! I absolutely love this book! I am an hourglass and I was doing squats and lunges as part of my routine...no wonder my legs never got any smaller. After 3 months of EYS workouts I lost 10 lbs and many inches...wearing a size 6 comfortably. I have never felt so good about myself. This is truly an amazing approach to the correct exercises for your body. I havent performed a squat in over a year! If you stick with this (its kind of tough at first) you WILL see results!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is good to have overall. I have been following my shape's workout routine based on this book and I feel better than before. I still go to the gym to workout a few times a week even though this book's regimen does not require any gym equipment. One thing about this book is that it covers all body types that you may not be interested in reading about. For me that was somewhat of an inefficient use of this book. It would be better if there was a book catered for each body type categorized by this author. I also substitued dumbbells for the weight bar as that's less expensive and easier to find.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Shaz on July 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
If people were exactly alike, then one type of exercise or workout would work for everyone, right? Well, we know that people are different, and so does Edward Jackowski. He classifies people into 4 different shapes: "hourglass" (gains evenly on top and bottom) "spoon" (those who are heavier on bottom than top) "cone" (top-heavy people, who are generally at higher risk for strokes and heart attacks) and "ruler" (pretty much the same measurements from chest to hips- like an hourglass but with a thicker waist). Each "shape" has exercises that are perfect for them, but there are also exercises that they should avoid. I.E. "Spoons" should never use stair climbers/steppers, walk outside or on a treadmill on an incline, do squats or lunges or rollerblade (think of those Olympic speed skaters legs!). These things will only add to the bulkiness of their bottom. Instead, they should focus on fast walking or slow jogging (without hills or incline), biking (stationery or outdoors)with light resistence only, and all variations of chin-ups, pull-ups, and push ups, just to name a few.
It's amazing how easy this program is. The "work out smarter, not harder" concept proves true- you'll see results pretty quickly without having to kill yourself in the process. Buy this book and figure out what your shape is, and also learn why jumping rope is the best cardio exercise around...
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