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Harpercollins
TODAY
updated 2/4/2005 10:52:45 AM ET 2005-02-04T15:52:45

Are you exercising, but feel like you aren't losing weight or becoming more fit? Fitness expert Gunnar Peterson has helped stars like Jennifer Lopez, Sylvester Stallone and Penelope Cruz look their best and stay in shape. In his new book, "G-Force: The Ultimate Guide to Your Best Body Ever," Peterson spells out a formula for creating an exercise routine that can help reshape your body. Here's an excerpt.

Where you are now vs. where you want to be

There are three types of people in this world:

1. Those who complain about not being in shape

2. Those who exercise and get in shape

3. And, finally, those who exercise yet still complain about not being in shape

Do you know how many people from category 3 I've met in my life? Too many is the answer. Are you that person? If you are, don't worry — we're going to tackle that!

Are you the woman who has endured endless hours of sweat, pain, and cheesy music in countless group exercise classes? The one who's dropped hundreds of dollars on fancy classes — without dropping any weight? Or maybe you're the guy who's been hitting the weights regularly, yet, for some reason, can't get your muscles to grow and get stronger the way they used to. It's a classic story with the same sad ending. In short, a certain exercise routine worked for you at one time, but now it just isn't cutting it like it used to.

How you approach your exercise is often as important as how often you exercise. It doesn't matter if you're the most devout gym rat in your neighborhood and haven't missed a day of exercise since gas was a dollar a gallon. You may still be a victim of poor exercise habits without realizing it.

Are you known as the "cycling nut" or a "die-hard runner" at work or among your friends? Or are you a blur in the gym, popping from machine to machine without any rhyme or reason — not bothering to keep track of anything that you've done?

Maybe you're the type who's tried every class, every machine, and every exercise imaginable. You've never grown tired of pushing yourself as hard as you can, as often as you can — much to the amazement of the general public, who probably look at your commitment as a sign of insanity.

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Or are you the exact opposite? The type who finds it hard to get motivated at the gym? The beginner who wants to exercise but feels intimidated by the equipment and/or the people around that equipment? Or could you be the perpetual off-and-on exerciser? One month, you're hard at work in the gym. The next month, you're hardly breaking a sweat. You're the exerciser who dedicates yourself to getting fit only when it fits in with your life.

Do you know why I know all these personalities like the back of my hand? Because I've trained each and every one of them! I know what it takes to drive you to exercise year-round, but I also know that you've got to be careful or that same driver will eventually demonstrate the skills of a crash-test dummy. You've got to be smarter about what you're doing as you proceed if you want to continue to see progress.

So, which type are you?

Guess what? It doesn't matter anymore. No matter what type of person you are in this world, no matter what type of personality you are, I've got the solution to getting you in the best shape ever. It's a little thing I call G-Force. So if you're ready, let me introduce you to the four words that will change your life.

The Four F-Words

It's not easy staying in shape when you're as busy as you are, right? I know. Trust me, I know.

You spend your workday, well, working. You probably spend the bulk of it trying to satisfy a demanding boss or getting through a tough workload. During your off-hours and weekends, you're trying to make the most of time with loved ones. You've got 48,000 errands, responsibilities, and obligations filling in the cracks of your leisure time. So when you finally find a free minute to yourself in all that chaos, all you want to do is relax. Often, that means an activity that barely requires a pulse! It's no wonder that exercise and fitness get pushed to the bottom of your personal list.

I don't care whether you were once in amazing shape or have never exercised at all. You've turned to me because you're fed up with where you are now. You're turning to me just like my clients did when they decided that their bodies needed to look and function better. I'm glad you're here, because being here is going to make what I have to tell you that much easier to understand. Being here is the first step to getting there.

Let me guess: You think that not having enough time to devote to exercise is your only problem. I know what a busy lifestyle is all about because everyone I work with deals with that very same issue. I deal with that same issue! I understand how inconvenient and futile exercise can seem when every possible problem in life is demanding all of your attention and your time. But I have good news and bad news for you:

Lack of time is only one piece of a much bigger problem.

Whenever someone I used to work with comes back looking like they not only fell off the wagon but ate the horse that was pulling it, I know they've dropped the ball on one of the four "F-words":

Function
Foundation
Freedom
Focus

These F-words are the reason you're swearing at yourself in the first place. C'mon now, you know what word comes to mind when you step on the scale and see a number blinking up at you that looks more like a high bowling score than your actual weight. Seriously, what word pops into your brain when you try slipping into an old pair of pants and you end up ripping into them instead? You know there's some not-acceptable-for-network-television expletive hanging off the tip of your tongue whenever you see someone older than you looking younger and fitter than you!

The foregoing is excerpted from "G-Force: The Ultimate Guide to Your Best Body Ever," by Gunnar Peterson. Copyright © 2005 by Gunnar Peterson. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.

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