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Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy: The 5-Step Plan to Sleek, Strong, and Sculpted Arms Paperback – Bargain Price, May 11, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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About the Author

JJ Virgin is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Virgin Diet, The Virgin Diet Cookbook, and The Sugar Impact Diet. As an expert on health, wellness, and personal development, she speaks at conferences across the country and has appeared on Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, The Doctors, Today, Rachel Ray, and Access Hollywood. She is the proud mother of Grant and Bryce Virgin. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Start 'Em!

No offense to the thinnest waist in the south, Miss Scarlett O’Hara, of Gone With the Wind fame, but tomorrow truly is not another day to start your six-week program. You know the drill: tomorrow will become the day after, and then some vague Tuesday when the planets align and the moon is full.

Make a vow with me to schedule your start date right now! Pull out your calendar and choose one day over the next three to begin the program. Circle the start date on the calendar. Unless there's a real emergency, you will not move this date. And just for the record, a sale at Macy’s doesn't constitute a true 911 moment. For this program to work, you've got to take it seriously. Think of the start date like an appointment with a doctor or dentist. It may not be a lot of fun, but you respect its importance and the goal of feeling and looking your best.

Perhaps you've canceled on yourself quite a few times over the years when it came to taking care of your body. Of course, your intentions are always honorable. You mean to get started, but then you have to drive the kids to sports practice and there's that extra work project. And how in the world could you miss that two-hour American Idol special episode?

The point is, there will always be something else you could do instead of focusing on your health and well-being. Once you accept this, it becomes a case of making a formal appointment with yourself. Carve out the time, stamp it as your own, and don't allow anything to get in the way of your new goals -- short of the house being on fire or a hurricane sweeping down the street. Inform your family that you’re checking out for that time to take care of yourself.

No exceptions. No excuses. And once the results begin, you won't ever look back.

An Important Message from Me . . . to You

By reading this book, you're committing to making life changes. You're entrusting me with your valuable time, body, and dreams. I take this responsibility very seriously. I will give 100 percent back to you. I'm invested in your success. To that end, I will teach you every single tool available to ensure your victory.

My vow: There is not one thing in this book that I'll ask you to do that won't directly contribute to your goal or that I don't actually do myself. Please do every single thing that I ask of you, because skipping even one small step can make all the difference in the world.

My plan has worked for so many people, and failure isn't an option if you truly follow it.

I know you can do it, and I’m right here next to you.

Okay, enough talking. Let’s go!

Task One: Clean Out Your Kitchen

Do you want to live in an emotional war zone when it comes to food and cravings? Just wave the white flag and declare peace by kicking the enemy out of your home. Yes, it's time to do a major overhaul of your kitchen by grabbing an XL-sized garbage bag and tossing the foods that are on my ''Most Wanted Enemy List.''

Now, I realize some of you may think that you don't need to clean out your kitchen, and you're strong and committed enough to the program to peacefully coexist with the temptations that will be in your line of sight every single day. You can handle it! Maybe you have a family that can't survive without blue cheese salad dressing and large bags of chemically enhanced microwave popcorn in the house. You're going to show those diet killers that you can walk right past them every single day and not even give them a momentary glance. You might even hiss at them.

So there you are, Ms. Willpower, eating that wonderful grilled chicken salad for lunch, but in order to get to the lettuce in your fridge, you have to navigate around a big tub of homemade rice pudding. The beautiful ripe tomatoes on your counter are sharing counter space with the cheese-covered bagels you bought for your son. An innocent walk into the pantry to find some extra-virgin olive oil means facing the open box of mint chocolate Girl Scout cookies that you purchased to support those cute young carb-pushing girls.

Do you really have the kind of willpower to always say no, always make the right call, and always resist?

Hell, no!

Why would you want to put yourself through all the torment, anyway?

Yes, you could possibly do it, but then again, you could possibly skydive and live. Are you really going to take that chance with your body?

For me, it’s an all-or-nothing proposal, which is why I'm not living, sleeping, or coexisting with the enemy. I’m tossing it out before that box of chocolate calls to me late at night, saying, ''JJ, I’m here. Come to me just for a minute. You miss me. You know you do. Let’s talk.''

This is a time when you need to practice tough love and just get rid of any foods that will derail your plan, including these culinary culprits: cookies, cakes, pastries, white bread, bagels, doughnuts, chips, dips, creamy dressings, and anything -- or should I say everything -- that comes in a box and is full of preservatives. Say bye-bye to the fake butter sprays, the microwave popcorn, and those sugary ''healthy'' (I’m rolling my eyes here) yogurts with fruit on the bottom.

Say these words with me: ''There is no such thing as a healthy light Thousand Island dressing.'' It’s chock-full of chemicals and sugar, which masks the fact that the fat has been taken out.

My eating plan, which I'll explain in the next chapter, is clean and free of chemicals. You will see amazing results when eating real foods that don't wreak havoc on your system. That's why now is the time to get rid of foods that are full of ingredients you can't pronounce.

If you can't pronounce it, don't even try it. Just introduce it to Mr. Hefty Bag. It’s not real food.

Surprisingly, there are a number of chemically based foods lurking all over your kitchen. For starters, get rid of anything with the word ''diet'' in it. Diet foods are mostly not food at all but chemistry experiments. In order to take out the sugar or fat, more sugar or fat has to be added, depending on the promise of the food. Foods that are nonfat are usually higher in sugar. There is also a heap of chemicals thrown in to keep them semitasty. Not only are these foods horrendous for your system (and stop you from losing weight as your body goes into shock mode to process the chemicals), but they're not even satisfying. Ever eat a diet ''food'' and then crave the real thing before you're even finished taking the last chalky bite?

Chuck all diet anythings into the trash. This includes the heavily processed, chemically based diet meals from whatever popular and well-advertised diet plan of the week you're following because some celeb says she dropped 50 pounds and now lives in a bikini even when it's ten below outside. We're happy for her, but we don't need the frostbite or the tasteless, freeze-dried, chemically enhanced, crappy diet foods.

So just understand that you will not be having what she's having.

If you feel bad about throwing out perfectly good food, put it into a big bag and donate it to your local homeless shelter or food bank.

Foods to Toss

The Obvious Ones





White bread in any form, including bagels, bialys, and muffins (English and otherwise)


High-sugar breakfast cereals

Jellies, including the sugar-free kind

Ice cream and frozen yogurts

Creamy or sugary salad dressings (read the labels!)



Vegetable oils, including corn, safflower, and sunflower

The Not-So-Obvious Ones

All sodas, including the diet ones

Energy and cereal bars

Fruit juices—even the ones that are 100 percent natural

Fat-free flavored yogurt

All diet foods, including diet salad dressings and frozen meals

Microwave popcorn

Anything with artificial sweeteners

Processed soy foods

Dried fruits

Jam made with all fruit

Sugar-sweetened peanut butter

Fat-free chips

Replacement foods will be covered in the next chapter. I promise that you won’t starve and soon won’t even miss the tossed items.

How to Motivate Yourself

Now that your kitchen is free of problems, it's time to get your head equally clear. The first step in that direction is to think about motivation and how you will stay gung ho and committed during not only the next six weeks but for many months and years to come. Let's be honest here. You will need something concrete to really motivate you when times get hard. There will come a day when you have a big fight with your mother on the phone or your boss is really demanding. Maybe the car won't start and your kids are screaming. Suddenly the idea of motivation is out the window and all you want is a Snickers bar.

Or you didn't work out, and suddenly it's eight o'clock on a cold winter night. You're exhausted because it has been such a long day. You figure that it wouldn't be the end of the world if you just skipped one night of exercise. Then you remember that you already skipped another night … and another.

How can you keep from derailing your program? You need something that kicks you in the can when times get hard and all you want to say is “&^%$ it!”

Believe me, at some point you will say, ''&*^% it, I want that piece of cake.'' Or ''I’m a little too tired to put on my athletic shoes and move.'' It happens to all of us. But before you pick up a fork and dig into fatty, sugary frosting or write off the gym, I have an idea that’s personal kryptonite against program destroyers.

The Power of Projection

I’ve found one of the best motivators is simply projecting your ideal body. It may seem silly, but really, I want you to do the following ''before'' and ''after'' exercise. I promise it will keep you mentally motivated during even the toughest and most challenging moments.

Hit the magazines and find a picture of an actress or athlete you dream of looking like after completing this program. Maybe you love Hilary Swank's strong, ...


On-demand, studio quality fitness classes. Learn more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143918934X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439189344
  • ASIN: B0076TLDEA
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,693,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
There's something appealing about a woman who feels confident enough to show off her arms in public. Feeling comfortable in your own skin and even flaunting it a bit is the dream of so many women and yet most of them think it's just a pipe dream to even think about trying to wear a tank top or some other sleeveless top in a public place. But celebrity fitness and health coach JJ Virgin says it doesn't have to be that way and she shows you how in her latest book Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy: The 5-Step Plan to Sleek, Strong, and Sculpted Arms.

JJ has such an infectious writing style that you can't help but be attracted by what she has to say. But just one look at this woman who is "sleeveless and sexy" herself and you'll be convinced of the very principles she teaches in her book. The format is simple-seven chapters to show you how to do it, including two critical ones that focus on nutrition. This may shock a lot of people who think the key to getting good-looking arms is all about the gym, but that's where JJ Virgin is different. She knows a healthy diet is essential and it's not just any old diet either.

Once you get started on your plan, one of the first things you do is "Clean Out Your Kitchen." Gone are the starchy, sweet, and processed carbohydrates that are dooming you to a lifetime of flabby arms. She also encourages you to dump the so-called "healthy" foods that are chock full of sugar like yogurt with fruit in the bottom, microwave popcorn, those gimmicky 100-calorie packs, fruit juices, and "light" salad dressings. JJ gives you a reality check that taking the fat away from anything just to make it healthier is in fact doing just the opposite because they're packing that product up with more sugar in the process.
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I have lifted weights at the YMCA for 7 years. But recently I gained weight, and it went right to my arms and stomach. I used to have a protein shake 3 times a week, and I increased it to one-a-day after reading this book. Plus I traded in my inferior protein powder, although whey, for another at my local health food store after I read the ingredients. I also added a fiber, as instructed by JJ Virgin, which made sense. I chose Chia bran... 10 grams of fiber in 2 teaspoons and in my shake it went. This is truly a superfood. The Aztecs used to eat this regularly as you can read on the internet. I have not felt this good in years. I am 54 years old and I feel and look rejuvenated.
I have done the weight bearing exercises as instructed, and have lost 5 lbs in 3 weeks while gaining muscle. I must admit I did cheat during this period with a little too much wine - my achilles heel... I purchased a mini-stepper at $70, not the one JJ recommends at $400, and have been doing the burst exercises as she shows in her video. It takes me about 8 minutes and I feel much more toned. I notice some definition forming on my shoulders now, less fatty tissue, so I will definitely keep this up. This seems to be working! It's not hard at all, just disciplined. I am already wearing more revealing clothes, and my boyfriend has indeed notiiced my mid-program physique. So far, results!
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There is nothing in this book that JJ has not said on her YouTube videos or written on her website. If you have the time to surf around, you can get every bit of her advice for free!
As far as the exercising is concerned, her arm exercises are the standard hand-weight exercises for arms--nothing new or unique. Her "burst" training is outlined, but, again, this info is available on her website and YouTube videos.
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I am truly disappointed with this book and wish I could return it. I am amazed that JJ wrote it. There is nothing new there, except the radically different advice from her diet book, which is actually quite good by the way. The exercise she recommends are nothing even remotely new.
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I got this book looking for specific exercises for my arms--that's about three pages of the book. The rest of it is the author repeating regular diet mantras about eating healthy, getting enough sleep,and saying "no" to people pushing food on you. "Helpful" tips, like how to inflate an exercise ball, are included. And where to shop for the author's favorite supplements and skin care products. If you've ever done or are incapable of doing Internet research on proper diet, or have problems sleeping, go ahead and give this book a go. Otherwise, it's an incredible waste of time.
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I recently read this book while on vacation. It's an easy read because JJ Virgin writes in a very conversational style. Her information is worthwhile, but I do agree that much of it can be found in other books too. The workout itself which is shown towards the back of the book looks to be excellent. I have to say, however, that the diet or eating lifestyle that she promotes, is one that takes a LOT of commitment, and seems like it would be difficult to implement if you are cooking for a family and not just yourself. It can be done, but would take some planning. One thing that surprised me is that she promotes eating three meals a day, and one snack. Everything else I have read promotes eating 4-5 small meals throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels even. Her advice seems to go against that. The diet seemed a little complicated to me....and that's just my opinion. For instance, she lays out how to make a good shake, but some of her suggestions on what specific foods to use are not clear. She makes recommendations for different foods which you probably have to order online. Not impossible, but not a quick trip to the grocery store either. One thing that really bugged me was that she promotes buying a certain piece of exercise equipment which costs around $500!!! Really? I don't know many people who are going to plunk down that kind of money for some gimicky exercise equipment w/o trying it first or seeing it in person.

As with many books or eating/exercise plans promoted and written about by fitness experts, while the information is valid and worthwhile for the most part, there does seem to be a good bit of self-promotion involved. "Buy my stuff and you will get the results you are looking for!
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