Food For Thought?

Book Review:
The Couch Potato Workout: 101 Exercises You Can Do At Home!
(Publisher: North American Spine Society – Jan 2006)Quite simply, this is the worst book about exercise I never read.

Fitness professionals everywhere should be offended – yes, even Gunnarlift your soup cans” Peterson should even feel insulted.

Here we have an entire industry committed to helping people that want to be helped and realize the only real solution is to ‘eat right and exercise’.

Then a book like this comes along and suggests that it really is possible to get in shape with little to no effort.

To make things worse, this piece of “literature” was written by an MD – an expert in sports medicine and rehabilitation?!

I’ll give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume his book is intended to be taken tongue in cheek, but Dr. Press should realize that the letters after his name suggest a level of credibility and some people are likely to take this book seriously.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

Maybe the problem isn’t their bodies, but their self-image?
This book was apparently written for people that have not only proven unwilling to un-plop their not-so-streamlined a**es off the couch to exercise, but they even accept the demeaning label of “couch potato” as some sort of status symbol. (And I suspect that today’s ‘couch potatoes’ is tomorrow’s ‘nappy headed ho’)

According to this description from,

This entertaining book provides 101 simple exercises that can be done at home to increase strength, balance and flexibility. From the “Overhead Laundry Toss” to “One-Legged Flossing,” Dr. Press – a leading expert in sports medicine and rehabilitation – explains everyday activities that can improve your overall fitness level and reduce the risk of injury. Amusing illustrations provide a guide for the reader on proper technique.

Did they say entertaining? Maybe. But I suspect this book is best suited for reading in the smallest room in your home. [take a moment to think about that one if you need to]

And what about proper technique for ‘one-legged flossing’? I agree in principle that it is possible to identify opportunities to exercise anywhere you want to. But for true couch potatoes, I suspect any want to exercise will be outweighed by the comfort and familiarity of their own butt-imprint on the sofa cushion.

There have been more than 473,000 hits on “couch potato exercise book”, so obviously someone believes this book might just be the antidote to the Judge Judy marathon they can’t pull away from.

Or maybe those hits are just one of the economic indicators suggesting gag gifts are on high order this year? (Which reminds me… to the wise-guy with no return address: I can read the postmark… If I get one more inflatable sheep in the mail, I swear I’ll hunt you down even if I have to go door-to-door through your entire zip code. I’ll find you. You can bet on it!)

The Short Story: Although the Couch Potato Workout won’t be on my list of gifts to give this year, at 8.3″ x 5.5″ it might just work as a heavy-duty coaster for your favorite couch potato’s mega-sized Slurpee while they sweat gravy in front of the tube.


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