It has been a few years since I wrote my first book, Sound Mind, Sound Body. I faced writing another book with great trepidation. I was no longer a neophyte author. The more one knows about the process of writing a book, the more daunting is the task of writing another. I had presented a lot of information in the first book and wasn't sure I had more to say. As you will soon see, I did have lots to say, and the program I developed for The Ultimate New York Body Plan is short in duration but long in effect.

I have approached this task very much like many others in my life—in a methodical, organized manner. When considering whether to take on the project, I pondered the same questions that concerned me the first time around: "What are my objectives in writing this book? What are the thoughts and feelings that I want to resonate long after the last page is read?"

I ruminated over these questions after appearing on the highly popular television series "Extreme Makeover." In this show, men and women are teamed up with a personal trainer and plastic surgeon; these professionals are charged with the task of taking them from flabby to fit, fat to slender, sun-damaged to radiant, all within a very short period of time. The show taught me that many men and women—perhaps you are one of them—are looking for a quick fix and a fast way to transform their bodies.

For many years, I didn't believe in quick fixes. I told my clients that they had to stick with me for at least six weeks before they would see major results. The "Extreme Makeover" challenge of training and transforming four women in a short period of time opened up a new universe to me. I realized that many people, given the right exercise and nutrition plan, can achieve stunning results in as little as two weeks. Even more important, if they stick with the right maintenance plan, something the "Extreme Makeover" show does not develop, they can maintain these results for life.

Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

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