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Tamilee Webb's Defy Gravity Workout
by Tamilee Webb with Cheryl Fenton
2005

Is Tamilee Webb too honest? In her latest book, the Buns of Steel fitness celebrity admits that in her 40s her body is as apt to sag and wrinkle as the physique of any other woman her age. Has something gone wrong? Did all those years of pursuing a fit lifestyle fail? Not at all! Just because the years threaten to take their toll, it doesn't mean that Webb — or any woman who is beginning to dread the calendar — has to give up. It just means that it's time to put in a little extra effort, to reassess what is sitting in your kitchen cupboard, and to drop any lingering bad habits such as smoking or sunning. In her Defy Gravity Workout, Webb points out that there's a difference between ageing gracefully and giving in, and she gives you the steps to do the former and avoid the latter.

Webb's program for the older woman involves every aspect of fitness, but you will see from the color coded chapters that the longest section is on weight training. Keeping muscles strong fights the clock in several different ways — it helps your body to look its best, keeps you active and vital, and raises your metabolism over the long run (even when resting, muscle mass burns more calories than fat mass). And because of Webb's expertise in this area, these series of workouts include some of the most effective exercises you can do. When it comes to an exercise program in general, Webb is very firm about insisting that you must make the time to do it, and offers suggestions on scheduling it in. In addition to weight training, Webb offers direction on cardio workouts, stretching and Pilates and Yoga. She doesn't offer a meal plan; rather, she has a program that involves changing your diet over time to include healthy eating habits. The most controversial chapter involves skin care. While pointing out that it's wrong for society to judge a woman by how youthful she appears, Webb admits to regular Boxtox treatments and won't rule out future plastic surgery. While some people may have an issue with this, Webb is being realistic — society may be wrong, but these attitudes won't change anytime soon. Women in this era are forced to walk a fine line between keeping it real and looking their best. And Webb, being a very visible presence in the health and fitness world, is under even more scrutiny than the majority of women. In any case, she encourages everyone to do what they feel is right for them, and to take good care of whatever assets you do have.

Webb's Defy Gravity Workout is an all-meat, no-filler book with lots of photographs that clearly illustrate the exercises described. You also find out a bit about Tamilee behind the scenes — she freely discusses her own weight and fertility issues, and a marriage that was clearly wrong for her — and you realize that she's not really all that different from many women in her age group. And if she's so much like everyone else, then there's no reason for any other woman to believe that staying fit as the years go by is impossible. This book illustrates exactly how to do it.

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