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The Art of Exercise
Become Your Own Masterpiece
by Michael Stefano

Need some help with your workout program? Michael Stefano offers personalized workouts that will match your current goals, available time, equipment on hand, while delivering a toned, lean, and healthy body. Sign up today for one of Mike's Function-First custom workouts, click here.

Imagine your body as a unique sculpture, shaped and molded by years of faithful service. Every move you make, every morsel you ingest, contributes to your evolving masterpiece. But are most of us aware of this never-ending process?

Your muscles and connective tissue are extremely plastic, that is, they have the ability to reshape themselves based on any outside forces. Even bone, to a lesser extent, changes size and shape in response to certain types of exercise.

Strength training, the most effective way to body-shape, can dramatically impact your appearance. Get your body-shaping strength routine, click here.

Exercise physiology is a complicated discipline that deals with the chemistry and biomechanics of working out. Thanks to modern science we now understand some of the body's more intricate processes. But there's much we don't understand.

For example, the experts are hard pressed to explain why 2 individuals (with a similar profile) can follow the same exact diet and exercise protocol, but only one is lucky enough to experience any positive effects.

Same moves, same food, 2 completey different reactions!

That's where science must relinquish to art. The end product, the ultimate goal, can only be achieved with practical scientific principles applied through a filter of savvy instinct, dynamic changes, and a very personal approach.

Just for a minute, go back to grade school. Remember the difference between art and science classes? Science was all about rules, leaving little (if nothing) to chance, and strives to explain everything. Art, on the other hand, allows tremendous leeway (within certain parameters), leaves much to chance, and really doesn't care about the why of it.

First, learn the basics, what works for all, if not most, people. There's a lot written on exercise and weight loss, but your job will be to separate fact from fiction. Don't be discouraged, you probably already know much more than you think.

Next, learn yourself. Develop an ongoing process of self-evaluation, asessment that allows you tap into your own needs, as well as make changes on a dime. You'll eventually develop a true feel or instinct for what works and what's simply a waste of time. Be sure to stick with exercise you're intrinsically drawn to, not the latest trend, or worse yet, some friend or co-workers misguided advice.

You'll gradually evolve with your program and become keenly aware of the close relationship between your physical body and everyday human movement. The application of your newly developed instinctive sense, an ongoing commitment to self-awareness, combined with strict adherence to all the principles and disciplines involved, make for an explosively effective approach to diet and exercise.

Mike Stefano specializes in custom program design, creating functionally sound fitness and weight loss programs for men and women from all walks of life. For more information on Mike's programs, please click here.

Captain, Author, Fitness Pro Mike Stefano MICHAEL STEFANO is the creator and author of the Firefighter's Workout (Harper Collins 2000). Mr. Stefano is a health and fitness writer and contributor to eDiets, eFitness, & Firehouse.Com. In addition, Michael's articles have appeared on AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! His workouts have been featured in magazine and newspapers from around the country, as well as in numerous network and cable TV segments. He also offers a customized version of his amazing program, via a comprehensive 15-point fitness profile form.

"My program is a no-nonsense approach to exercise and weight loss that will not only get you fit, but will also fit into your life".


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