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Fitness For Dummies (For Dummies (Health & Fitness)) Paperback – Bargain Price, April 1, 2005

66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

The original Fitness for Dummies, published in 1996, was a real breakthrough: a book that took a reader through all the fitness basics without being offputtingly complicated or insultingly simplistic. This second edition only improves on that tough balancing act.

The authors are two of the most experienced fitness writers in the business--Suzanne Schlosberg is a longtime contributor to Shape and Liz Neporent is a veteran personal trainer, corporate fitness consultant, and contributor to Shape and The New York Times. In addition to being experienced at explaining exercise, they're both exercise junkies, and their firsthand knowledge and love of the topic is evident throughout.

Each section of the book--whether dealing with basic fitness issues, cardiovascular training, strength training, flexibility, joining a gym, or exercising at home--offers a combination of well-researched, easily understandable information, combined with informed opinion. For example, in chapters discussing exercise equipment, they're able to offer personal reactions to the gear--mentioning that Life Fitness makes great exercise bikes but a treadmill they don't care for.

New information in this second edition includes "100 Reasons to Break a Sweat," featuring the latest research on exercise benefits; sections incorporating Internet fitness resources; and beefed-up exercise-video advice. That latter section includes tips about avoiding rip-offs (older videos are sometimes repackaged, with new covers promising different benefits) and a handy guide to choosing the best video instructors for different fitness levels.

The core information, though, is the best reason to buy this edition of Fitness for Dummies. Exercise science is complicated, but this book makes it as simple--and entertaining--as it can possibly be. --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"This is the most comprehensive and entertaining fitness book I've ever seen." -- Sharon Cohen, Executive Editor, Men's Fitness Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: For Dummies (Health & Fitness)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 3 edition (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764578510
  • ASIN: B003156A1E
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,154,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Sam Horner on March 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
These authors love to shop as much as they love to exercise.
As a fitness neophyte, I turned once again to the Dummies series for its comprehensive, unbiased coverage of broad topics. What disappointed me about this selection is its enthusiasm for expensive gadgetry, club memberships, and professional consultation.
Admittedly, a healthy lifestyle isn't without a price tag, but this is ridiculous. In almost every chapter of this book (including a couple devoted entirely to the subject), you can expect to find one or more words of advice encouraging the reader to go shell out some more dough for one thing or another - a heart monitor, a personal trainer, a water pack, a dietician, a special mat for stretching exercises, etc. If you bought every item they recommended throughout the course of this book, you'd spend a full year's salary and fill a bedroom with all your new junk!
While they do advise against some of the more foolish purchases, such as those fat-zapping electrodes sold on infomercials, they spend little time extolling the virtues of those invaluable exercises you can do for free - stair walking, push ups, pull ups, etc. The chapter on exercising at home is a veritable catalog of the fanciest equipment money can buy, rather than suggestions of exercises you can do on a bare floor with your own body weight.
The authors also go a little skimpy on such topics as nutrition and weight training, but make darn sure to point you in the direction of other related titles in the "for Dummies" series.
If you generally like the Dummies books, do a little more shopping before you put your faith in this one.
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91 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Uri Raz on August 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I bought this book I thought it would cover all the basics (= for dummies) and allow me to start working on my own at home.
To my disappointment this book contains very little needed info to do that.
Example - there are three pages about stretching, giving rules such as "Stretch all your muscles, not just those you've used in your workout", with the chapter describing the muscles coming up 45 pages later. I'd expect :
1. The chapter about muscles to be close to or preceding the section about stretching. The design keeps the relevant info too far apart.
2. A list of stretching excercises to be given with pictures. No excercises are given at all (though there are plenty of space given to useless pictures, e.g. of a computerized bike panel), denying me the info I need.
The section recommends buying a video that shows how to stretch. For the price of a video and a video cassete (about $300 in Israel) I could get personal training.
The "Nutrition Basics" chapter is another disappointment - five and a half pages are spent on vitamins providing less information than given in leaflets given for free in pharmacies, the section about titled "Watch Your Calories" gives trivial advice, and no table of caloric values of different kinds of foods is included, etc.
I find this book very disappointing, will not buy any other "for dummies" books, and will sell this book at a second hand books store - at least I'll get some of my money back and not waste any shelve space on this useless book.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Anderson Mills on July 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've read several beginner fitness books and I feel this is the most complete and best organized of them all. This has gotten me motivated and started on the right fitness program for me (I've since confirmed with a personal trainer). Honest and accurate fitness information is laid out in an easily understood way (without any questionable product endorsements). No "summary" style book is going to have everything, but they have enough information that you feel like everything else is fine tuning.
To address the concerns of another reviewer, the 2nd edition of this book does discuss common fitness injuries.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Kresal on June 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
If only all Dummies books were as good as this one. Extremely well-written with the most clear language one could ever hope for. Full of anecdotes, definitions, and plenty of myth busters. The personalization from the authors gets tiring ("Suzanne thinks that...", "Liz's grandmother once..."), but it is tolerable. Many, many aspects of fitness are covered in remarkable thoroughness. General weight lifting (both at home and the gym), supplements, gym etiquette, trainer tips, aerobic machines and classes, and fitness video buying are all covered with impressive detail. (If buying this book used, be sure to get the 2nd edition as it covers many topics that didn't exist with the first edition: Pilates, Physio balls, elliptical trainers, Bikram Yoga, and more.)
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Carlos Quijano Jr. on April 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you've been rather inactive in the recent past, this book will help you to get moving. It not only helped me to plan a well-rounded fitness program, but it really helped me to get motivated. The writing is clear and simple, and the authors do a good job at cutting through the jargon fog and giving you the essentials. and, of course, there's that "For Dummies" humor throughout. Best of all, it's cheaper than a personal trainer. In fact, if you need a personal trainer, this book has great advice on chooding a trainer that's right for you!
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