Cover image for The ultimate fit or fat : get in shape and stay in shape with America's best-loved and most effective fitness teacher
The ultimate fit or fat : get in shape and stay in shape with America's best-loved and most effective fitness teacher
Bailey, Covert.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, [1999]

Physical Description:
vi, 170 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RA781 .B215 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



With more than three million copies of previous editions in print, this classic exercise manual has shown Americans from all walks of life the route from fatness to fitness. Now Covert Bailey has totally rewritten and revised FIT OR FAT for the first time since the book's original publication in the mid-1970s. His dramatically new approach to fitness incorporates the most recent scientific findings. Weightlifting, whose fat-burning potential is only now becoming fully understood, plays a large role in Bailey's new program, which stresses what he calls "the four food groups" of exercise: aerobics, cross-training, wind sprints, and weightlifting. He also stresses the importance of intense exercise, showing readers how to build intensity into their daily programs safely and effectively. Covert Bailey's ULTIMATE FIT OR FAT will not only be of interest to a new health-conscious generation but will be eagerly sought out by the millions of readers who have come to rely on the Bailey approach to keep their bodies in peak condition.

Author Notes

A popular PBS television personality and a best selling author whose books have sold nearly six million copies. Covert Bailey is recognized as one of America's best-known motivational speakers and fitness teachers.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Sixty-seven-year-old fitness instructor Bailey takes a systematic, straightforward approach to lifetime physical fitness in his final contribution to the successful two-decade Fit or Fat series. Here he begins with the basic premise that the tendency to get fat has little to do with the amount or quality of food eaten and as proof points to the ineffectual long-term results of dieting. Asserting that exercise is the ultimate control of metabolism (something diet is unable to change), Bailey claims it is the amount of fat-burning muscle that determines one's ability to lose fat (though he sympathetically notes women's lesser ability to control fat due to hormones, lower muscle mass and childbirth). Instructions for simple at-home tests allow the reader to accurately measure their own body fat percentage, lean body mass, ideal weight, ideal exercise heart rate and exercise pace, giving a starting point for any future progress. Likening his weekly exercise program to the four food groups, with three to four recommended servings of aerobics, two to three servings each of cross-training and weight lifting and one to two servings of wind sprints, Bailey offers a varied menu of exercises in each category (including a special no-barbells home weight lifting chapter for the gym-phobic), stressing the pros and cons of each and warning that exercise is not effective when the body has no time to recuperate. Bailey, in no-nonsense prose, will motivate the reader with his contagiously positive outlook and personal anecdotes. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The revision of a classic. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Excerpt from an Interview with Covert Bailey, August 19, 1999p. 1
1 Covert's Experimentp. 5
2 Why People Get Fatp. 8
3 Never Say Dietp. 11
4 Body Fat Percentage -- What's Normal?p. 13
5 How to Measure Your Body Fatp. 27
6 Lean Body Mass and Correct Weightp. 33
7 Fat Versus Lean -- What's Healthy?p. 37
8 How to Calculate Your Correct Weightp. 42
9 What Is the Cure for All This Fat?p. 46
10 What Kind of Exercise Is Best?p. 49
11 Measuring Exercise by Heart Ratep. 55
12 Exercise Using Common Sensep. 62
13 Covert Bailey's Fitness Testp. 65
14 How to Determine Your Pacep. 68
15 Choosing Your Aerobic Exercisep. 72
16 How Long and How Often Should I Exercise?p. 82
17 How to Get Startedp. 87
18 The Fastest Way to Improve Fitnessp. 96
19 Cross Trainingp. 100
20 Wind Sprintsp. 106
21 How Fast Should You Do Wind Sprints?p. 111
22 Weightliftingp. 115
23 Covert's Home Weightlifting Programp. 118
24 The Four Food Groups of Exercisep. 131
25 Recoveryp. 137
26 Warming Upp. 141
27 Spot Reducingp. 144
28 Golf and Other Subaerobic Exercisesp. 149
29 The Body Has a Plan!p. 153
Questions about the Four Food Groups of Exercisep. 157
Thanksp. 166
Indexp. 167