Body Electric

Thursday, April 10 2008

For Immediate Release                                            
Press Contact: Ann Pryor
Strong, Toned, and Sexy in
Just 3 Hours a Week
By Margaret Richard
Star of PBS’ 20-year program “Body Electric”
Fight Age with Muscle!
The star of PBS’s long-running exercise show “ Body Electric,” Margaret Richard doesn’t act her age. For more than 20 years, 60+-aged Richard has attracted a loyal fan base of Baby Boomers who benefit from her body sculpting program, and her unique mantra:  You can fight age with muscle. 
BODY ELECTRIC: Strong, Toned and Sexy in Just Three Hours A Week (McGraw-Hill; May, 2008; HC, $24.95) is designed specifically for the millions of Baby Boomers looking for an effective, safe, and enjoyable workout that’s powerful on the muscles and gentle on the joints.  Richard’s approach to aging is to maintain youthful vitality by performing resistance-type exercises, that strengthen the muscles and bones. A short workout can return your strength, vigor, and muscle tone, electrifying your body and your life. It’s a fitness formula that’s beautifully simple – twelve exercises for 3 ½ minutes every three days.
Who is it for? Now that the Baby Boomers (who were young at the beginning of the fitness revolution) are sixty, they need to adjust their workouts to fit the demands of maturing bodies. But like all Boomers, no one likes to be called “senior,” attendant programs that don’t present a challenge.  They want a workout that keeps them strong, vital, and excited.They want to feel good and look good!
How does it work?  The beauty of the BODY ELECTRIC program is you can do it all, at home, with a few sets of dumbbells, an exercise mat and a kitchen timer.  The emphasis is on a continual challenge of the muscles, a slow increase the amount of resistance (weights) used, with the priority being correct form. Whether a person is forty or eighty, strength and muscle mass can be increased and remains highly responsive to training.
The benefits of the BODY ELECTRIC program are many:
  •        Presented in a style that appeals to the Boomer generation: authentic, straightforward, informative, and focused on the exerciser.
  •        Participants feel the difference after the first session, and see improved muscle tone, bone density, joint mobility, balance, metabolism and youthful vitality in three to four weeks.
  •        Exercise intensity points to one’s level of fitness, rather than age--a 60-year-old can be more fit than someone much younger.
  •       The high-rep “strength with grace” technique develops defined, toned muscles without bulk. And, as a result of the muscles pulling on the bones, the exercises also strengthen bones, a strong concern of the Boomer generation.
  •         Each exercise is performed for 3-1/2 minutes using a kitchen timer, encouraging the participant to focus on correct form rather than the counting of repetitions.
  •        Exercise variations are offered to work all twelve major muscle groups, followed by exercise-specific stretches.
With regular, moderate exercise we have the power to redefine aging as a continuum of growing stronger.
About the Author:
Margaret Richard has been in the fitness business for more than thirty years, and her “Body Electric” TV program has been a staple on PBS for twenty-two years. She was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate's “Special Committee on Aging” and was recently inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame where she now stands alongside Jack LaLanne, Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons, Kathy Smith, and Jake Seinfeld. Find out more at
May, 2007
Category: Fitness
Hardcover, $24.95
Contact: Ann Pryor, Publicity Manager
Q:  How do you feel about people asking your age?
A : I am forthright about being 61, and ask others to define me by my strengths—not    my age. My potential is unlimited as long as I remain physically and mentally vital. (And, if anyone has a problem with that, we’ll settle it in the parking lot ... just kidding!)
Q:  How does the BODY ELECTRIC program respect Baby Boomers’ vitality and also support their increased physical vulnerabilities?
A: The entire population can benefit from stronger muscles and bones, especially post-menopausal women at greater risk for the fractures associated with osteoporosis. Muscle-toning exercises cause a pull of the muscles on the bones that result in greater bone density. Exercise intensity points to one’s level of fitness, rather than age (a 60-year-old can be more fit than someone much younger).
Q: BODY ELECTRIC asks participants to perform each exercise for 3 1/2 minutes using a kitchen timer—what’s cooking?
A:  My thirty years of teaching fitness has proven that you can effectively fatigue a muscle in 3 1/2 minutes by using weights that are heavy enough to challenge your muscles without compromising correct form. Using a kitchen timer rather than counting repetitions keeps the focus on the all-important correct form. No to mention, counting is boring, tedious, ... and provides way too much information.
Q:   Explain your “strength with grace” technique ...
A: I studied ballet at Carnegie Hall at age six, and even appeared on Broadway in the 1956 revival of South Pacific, after auditioning for Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II. I was fortunate to enter the fitness arena in 1978, which gave me the opportunity to establish a unique style, offering muscle-strengthening routines with graceful transitions, set to popular music. The BODY ELECTRIC television program on PBS appealed to a national audience who picked up their dumbbells ...and, the rest is history.
Q: BODY ELECTRIC focuses on creating strong muscles and bones by performing exercises using light resistance with multiple repetitions. How does this approach differ from the more traditional use of heavier weights with fewer reps?
A:  Women used to be overly concerned about developing large masculine looking muscles. We now understand that most women don’t have enough testosterone (the male hormone) to develop large muscles. We also understand that it takes consistent training with increasingly heavy resistance to make appreciable gains. Using weights that are heavy enough to fatigue your muscles in 3 1/2 minutes (without compromising correct form) creates a more lean and defined muscle than the techniques favored by body builders, using heavier weights with less repetition.