Picks and Pans Review: Jim Palmer's Way to Fitness

UPDATED 06/10/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/10/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Jim Palmer

Gastineau, a star defensive lineman with the New York Jets, and Palmer, a standout pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles for 19 seasons, have both spun off their sports success into careers as semipro hunks. These two books continue the process. Gastineau's is much more oriented toward the serious bodybuilder, as in the weight-lifting variety. Palmer offers far fewer detailed suggestions on how particular training regimens can create different body changes. But he does get into such areas as clothes, skin conditioning and hair care—down to the eternal question, to perm or not to perm? Gastineau's book, written together with martial-arts training expert Richie Barathy, ventures into fairly heavy philosophical territory in discussing the mind's effect on the body's functioning and in general is more densely written. It has pictures—many of them irrelevant shots of him with the Jets—but not nearly as many shots demonstrating exercises as can be found in Palmer's book. Palmer is generally more easygoing about things too, although the epilogue by his co-writer, Jack Clary, seems to nominate Palmer for sainthood: "From sunup to sunset, Jim never stops.... At night, while the beautiful people of the world who are often linked with him in display advertising are amusing themselves, Jim may sit at his butcher-block kitchen table and read the newspaper or peruse one of the many magazines, such as Architectural Digest, to which he subscribes." There are also a few too many photographs of Palmer kidding with gorgeous models. Both these books seem serious though. Neither promises miracle results or overlooks the importance of medical advice for those starting training programs. Maybe these aren't just two more pretty faces after all. (Gastineau, Harper Colophon, paper, $10.95; Palmer, Harper & Row, $17.95)

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