Exercise! - Escape your Shape Plan

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09-12-2004, 01:08 PM

Has anyone read the book "Escape Your Shape" by Edward Jackowski? I read most of it this weekend and he advocates working out for your body type. I am intrigued by this because I have been working out for quite some time, but I am still not happy with my stomach hips and thighs. I do alot of workouts doing squats and lunges and leg presses and according to him for my body type, I shouldn't be. Maybe that is why my body doesn't look the way that I want it to. Anyways, there are 4 different body types: hourglass, spoon, cone & ruler. I am either the hourglass or spoon, but I am going to do the hourglass workout. He has specific workouts in his book for your specific body type.

Anyone else have experience with this plan? Anyone already follow it and get results. My anniversary is 7 weeks away and I would like to see what kind of results I can get. If it is going to work, I will know within 7 weeks. I am starting tomorrow, we will see. I will try my best to keep you guys posted.


09-12-2004, 03:05 PM
I haven't seen this book but I'm gonna go to the library tomorrow and see if I can find it and check it out. I don't know however if there is such a thing as body type specific workouts. Can anyone else offer any advice on this subject.

09-12-2004, 04:04 PM
I've always heard that you can't spot-reduce -- that it's a question of losing fat all over your body, and then working on toning different areas as best you can. You don't mention your weight, u2girl, but I can't imagine that lunges and squats could be anything but great for your thighs anyway (and glutes and more in that general area.) As for the stomach, you could do ab work all day, but unless there's no surplus of fat, there's still going to be a tum! You didn't mention any cardio -- have you been doing that as well?

I'll be interested in hearing how this program is working out for you -- I hope you have excellent results and would love to hear good news! I'm a big U2 fan from way back also....love, love, LOVE them! Best to you!

09-12-2004, 04:35 PM
Haven't read that, but I did read an article in one of the magazines regarding body shapes. They listed 3 categories...apple, pear, and hourglass. I have a pear shape myself and started doing the suggested routines to see if I can make a difference. I was doing a lot of treadmill inclines and the elliptical, but this article suggested to focus more on the weights up top and keep resistence low on the legs for a pear shape.

09-13-2004, 02:47 PM
Kathy Smith says ... in much more polite words than I will use ... bunk.

First, shape is determined primarily by fat deposits. Second, it's true, you can't spot reduce. Third, any program that encourages you to NOT work hips and thighs is depriving you of the largest calorie-burning engines in your body.

If you feel your body is not an ideal shape, the solutions are: Lose fat and strengthen corresponding body parts for a better balance. Let's say you're pear-shaped. This does not mean you refrain from exercising hips & thighs. No, you still work those areas, but you pay a little extra attention to shoulders, upper back, and chest. Those areas will fill out as you lose fat and provide a better visual balance.

09-13-2004, 03:10 PM
I returned to post that I didn't think I'd adequately explained that it might make sense to develop corresponding body parts to visually balance the parts you'd like to de-emphasize, ie. large waist --- add definition and muscle to shoulders. But really, I was trying to make exactly the points that funniegrrl did so beautifully. I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but this theory just doesn't add up. It's simple: lose fat, work the largest muscles to gain the greatest benefit, substitute muscle for fat (since it occupies less space and increases your metabolism,) and develop alternative areas for visual balance.

Can you imagine telling someone with a big butt not to work the muscles of that butt because that's the largest part?? :lol: There are just so many folks out there trying to (and succeeding!) make money off our unhappiness with our imperfect bodies. But the answers are simple, and they weren't just thought of this morning by some guy who wants to sell a book.

09-13-2004, 05:33 PM
Well I'll add in my input, not knowing what "escape your shape" advises but I'm a definite pear shape. I've been working my entire body for the past 4 months and I've been really working out my legs and I'll I've done is lose inches, not gain them. If you have been only working your bottom half thinking you need to spot reduce, that won't work, work your upper body as well. I'd be curious to hear what this plan advocates doing so please fill us in.

09-13-2004, 06:28 PM
Boy, am I glad I didn’t read that book while I was losing my weight! :lol: I was the classic pear shape when I was heavy and wore two sizes larger on the bottom than the top (22 bottom, 18 top). And I always assumed that I would stay that way, even after I lost weight — I figured I was just genetically doomed to have a fat butt. :p

During the year that I was losing, I did every leg exercise imaginable and did them as heavy as possible. I had to lose about 50 pounds before I could manage squats and lunges due to balance problems, but once I mastered those, I did them every week, along with leg press, extensions, curls, dead lifts — you name it. Always as heavy as possible, always trying to beat what I had done the week before.

I’ll let you judge for yourself how well this worked for a “pear” shape ;) : in a little less than a year, I went from 57” hips to 35” — a loss of 22 inches. And from size 22 pants to a comfy size 4. I’m now a slightly larger size on top than on the bottom!

I’ve got to say that I’m a little skeptical of the book’s premise. Sarah and Funniegrrl are right — we can’t spot reduce the fat on our bodies. Where we hold fat is genetically determined and we have to burn it off through a combination of exercise and creating a calorie deficit with diet. Sarah summed it all up beautifully:

It's simple: lose fat, work the largest muscles to gain the greatest benefit, substitute muscle for fat (since it occupies less space and increases your metabolism,) and develop alternative areas for visual balance.
You’ll be amazed at the unpredictable changes that happen in your body as you lose fat — sometimes you’ll be ready to tear your hair out because you won’t lose evenly (some people will even lose in one boob before the other). For me, I lost from the head down — face, then neck, boobs, waist, then last of all the hips and thighs. There was a time when I couldn’t find pants that fit because my waist was way too small for hips and thighs. And I was worried that it would end up that way permanently. But never fear! Stick it out and it all evens out in the end. The last stubborn fat eventually gives up and moves out. :lol:

I seriously think that squats and lunges are THE best way to get a tight, toned butt and hips and thighs, and would hate to have anyone miss out on all their benefits. My two cents. :)

09-13-2004, 09:57 PM
Well, I did the first workout this morning. It was by no means an easy workout. It was definitely different for me. I am a catheite so i am definitely use to intensity and this really was no different. There are 3 different stages to the workout for your body type. Beginner, Active and Advanced. I chose to do active and I am glad that I did. I definitely felt worked out when done, but not overly and I enjoyed it.

As far as spot reducing, I realize that is not possible and I really don't feel that is what he is advocating. Perhaps I did not explain it accurately. The reason I like this is because it is plausible that I can gain weight and size by doing a bunch of squats and leg presses. Being an hourglass, I already have a strong, muscular lower body, I don't need to lift heavy to make my lower body even more muscular. Plus, I don't exclude the lower body, I just don't lift heavy. I did several exercises this morning for the lower body and the upper body. I have been lifting heavy and lunging and squatting for a long time with FIRM and Cathe and it just really doesn't work for me. Alot of things that work for others doesn't work for me. Case in Point Si6. So many people swore by how wonderful it was. I did it and GAINED 7 lbs. :devil: From doing the workout this morning, I can't imagine that I will be any worse off by my anniversary. If nothing else, it gives me other options when working out.

Make no mistake, this man has been around for 20 years. I remember reading his book Hold It! You are exercising wrong! 7 or 8 years ago. I have been working out since Jane Fonda and I wouldn't just take some guys idea and run with it. This does make sense to me and I am willing to give it a try. He has a lot of good ideas on how to work out at home without alot of equipment and within an hour making it hard for you NOT to exercise. The book was very matter of fact and easy to follow which I certainly appreciated. Plus, he doesn't promise overnight results, but I should see something by my anniversary.

Anyways, my husband helped me with my measurements yesterday, so here is where I am starting:

Chest - 37.5
Waist - 32
Hips - 41.5
L. Thigh - 26
L. Knee - 18.5
L. Calf - 18.5
L. Arm - 12.5
SW 181.2 (lost 36 lbs since 4/04)

Also, for those of you that would like to see a little bit more, I will attach a few links.
Here is the link to Mr. Jackowski's site: http://www.exude.com
Okay, here is the link to some reviews on the informercial: http://www.fitnessinfomercialreview.com/escapeyourshape.htm
and here is a link with just a little more information. I read the book this weekend and this site has the basic concept of the plan on it: http://print.google.com/print/doc?isbn=0743211448
Also Amazon has reviews. Hopefully these sites will give you a little bit better idea of the plan without the bits and pieces that I am throwing at you.

Anyways, today was the Core Active Plan, tomorrow is the Off-Day Active Plan. More cardio intensive but still some endurance workout. I will let you guys know how that goes. Thanx for your responses. I will keep you guys posted and hopefully everything will go well and I can give you guys a new viewpoint on this way of working out. Unless something happens, I do plan to stick with it, so if it works, I will know. :)


09-14-2004, 01:05 AM
i don't know if this is bunk or not but i would really like to know. if someone has large hips then shouldn't they work their arms and shoulders more to become better proportioned?
not all people who are pearshaped (they call it spoon :lol: ) look that way because of fat deposit. it's skeletal too. my sister has big hips and short legs because her skeleton is shaped that way. and she is frustrated by the workouts and lack of progress. there is some change in tone as we noticed when we took pictures last night but no change in inches or weight. we do the same workouts because we workout together but i am shaped like an hourglass. so i would like to know if she should be doing something differently.


09-14-2004, 04:41 PM
I read this book and also he had an infomercial program way back but it tanked. In his book he suggested jump rope for the best cardio for all body types. Later on he came out with a jump rope program. Hmmm. I think he still sells the infomercial program either on HSN or QVC. I just had no interest in paying the $60 for the program after I read the book. The program came with a workout tape, a body bar and meal plan I believe. Here is a link to what the kit looks like:
If there is a program out there I more then likely have tried it. I did try a program called the Spark Program that was easy to do and seemed to work when I haven't fallen off the exercise wagon:(.

09-15-2004, 05:38 PM
Well guys. I didn't want you to think that I quit already because I haven't just didn't have to chance to post. Today was the 3rd day of the program and the 2nd time that I did the active routine. Boy, that ab work sure if tough. I decided to beef up the intensity a little more with the cardio than I did the first time. The first time with any workout, I tend to take it easy just in case it is harder than I originally thought. On the treadmill, I warmed up with 3.6 and then with each aerobic interval, I did 4.2 or 4.3. I will continue to make it a little faster until I can't anymore. From what he says, you should keep the intensity to a challenging pace or you are just wasting your time. Since I don't have any time to waste, I am going to keep the intensity as high as I can stand without going overboard. I am planning to continue my schedule of working out no less than 5 days per week, but most of the time 6 days per week.

I have decided how I am going to handle the next 6 weeks. This week, I am still taking it relatively easy doing the Active Core and Off-Day Routine and continue using the treadmill for Aerobic Intervals.

Weeks 2 & 3 - Continue with the Active Core and Off-Day Routine, but start using the Jump Rope for cardio segments ilo the treadmill for Aerobic Intervals.

Weeks 4 - 6 Move on to the Advanced Core and Off-Day Routine, continuing to use the jump rope for cardio.

The idea of jumping rope seems very odd to me. However, I felt similiarly with the treadmill and it has turned out to be pretty fun, so I will just go with it. I guess I am just so use to doing videos. Course if I keep doing what I always have, I will always have what I got. So I guess it is time to venture out and try other things to find what works for me!

Michelle, did you get a chance to get to the library and check out the book? I think you will find it an interesting read and it may give you some different ideas.

Ras, I looked into getting the new system, but like you since the book tells me everything and I already have a sculpting stick from the FIRM, I really didn't see the need to buy his whole system.

I hope to be reporting positive things over the next 6 weeks. As promised, I will try my best to keep you posted with updates!!


09-23-2004, 12:16 AM
Still sticking with the plan. I was only able to workout 5 days last week, but this week, I plan to do six. Workout is going well. Eating is a total different story. I wish I could do better with eating because I don't feel I will get the full benefit of the program if I don't. I am trying very hard to stick to my points, but I just have the nibbles.

I asked my husband to hide the scale, at least for the next several weeks so I won't get on it and possibly get discouraged. I really want to give this plan the opportunity to work and not give up prematurely. I bought a jump rope this weekend for the jump rope segments, however, I have been seriously considering using my rebounder. I really love it and I think it will have the same effect.

Well, just wanted everyone to know that I am still sticking with the plan and I will continue to check back and let you know how things are going.


09-24-2004, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the update, U2girl. I'm very interested to know how this works for you. I'm an apple shape (I guess that would be "ruler" in ESCAPE YOUR SHAPE terms??). My legs tend to get short shrift in my strength routine because they're my least problematic body part. I'm curious as to whether I'm going about this whole thing wrong.

One interesting thing is that a few months ago, my sister hired a personal trainer. My sister is a pear shape. The personal trainer told her that they were going to emphasize her upper body during their workouts; the pt said that building up my sister's upper body would help to make her shape look more proportionate. Well, I live in another state from where my sister lives, and I went to visit her a few weeks ago. She'd been working with the personal trainer for approx. 12 weeks at that point. Well, let me tell you, I was stunned at how great she looked. Even though she has about 20-25 more pounds to lose, her arms looked so much more toned, and she just looked better overall. I thought I'd share this story because her personal trainer's advice sounds a lot like what E. Jackowski's book is advocating.

09-26-2004, 10:33 PM
Thanx for dropping in vmelo. So glad to hear that you sister is getting awesome results.

This week, I was able to workout 6 days as I planned. Well, let me tell you guys. Since I had the time today, I decided to go through a few boxes of my clothes. When I moved, I got rid of alot of clothes but saved my favorites in boxes based on clothing size. Well, I pulled out the size 12 box and most all of those clothes fit perfectly. New wardrobe for a while. I can't believe it because I haven't worn any of these clothes since I got married. Keep in mind that we are celebrating our 5 year anniversary next month. Well, I just couldn't stop there, so I decided to try on my size 10 box of clothes and low and behold some of those fit as well. I can not believe it. When I tried on these dresses 4 or 5 weeks ago, the dresses just hung on my hips. Now, I am able to pull them up. It is just amazing. I mean, some of these I still have some way to go, but I really think that EYS is helping tremendously. I will keep plugging away at it and hopefully will be able to report positive things. I just can't believe that it is working and so quickly.

I was joking with my husband and told him that at this rate, by the time our anniversary comes around, I will be a 4! Just kidding of course, but I really do believe that laying off the squats and lunges have been helpful for my body type. Even if I don't reach my goal weight by our anniversary, I think I am going to look very nice. I definitely attribute some of this success to the new exercise plan.

I will keep you guys posted to hopefully continued success!


09-27-2004, 03:01 PM
It's great to hear that you're doing so well, U2girl -- congratulations! :)

09-29-2004, 02:08 PM
Thanx for stopping in Sarah and for your kind words. I am workin' hard trying to see what kind of results this will bring. I am very pleased so far, but I will definitely be able to tell the tale by my anniversary on the 30th. It will be about 6 weeks and you should be able to see for sure with that amount of time.

Next week, I bump up to the advanced routine. At least that is what I think. The only part that I will not be able to do is those darn 50 sit-ups. I have actually decided to leave the sit-ups out. I don't like doing them and I have read that they can cause injury. I have no desire to injure myself at all, but especially not 1 month before my vacation. Since I do 5 other exercises included in the abdominal segment, I will tack on an extra 5 or 6 to each exercise and that will be it. I have been enjoying using my rebounder for the jumping section. That is the fun part.

Well, that is about it. I am going to start the Turnaround program on Monday with my husband. I want to try to eat cleaner, so we will try hard to stick to this plan up to our trip. I never know, I may really like it and choose it over Flexpoints. :shrug:


04-19-2006, 05:41 PM
Was reading through your post. I just got done reading this book and was thinking about giving it a try. Was just curious how well it worked for you and if you were still on it. Thanks...

04-20-2006, 01:41 PM
Please keep updating us on your progress. It'll be interesting to hear what the final results are.

I've heard from a number of people who started out pear-shaped, and ended up with a different shape after losing weight and working out. We're all unique, and I do believe that that can happen for some people. But speaking as one whose adult weight has ranged from a toned 120 to a flabby 210, I know that I will always be a pear regardless of the exercise I do. I will always have narrow shoulders, a narrow rib cage, and round curvy hips, because that's my skeletal structure. No amount of muscle is going to widen my collar bones or shrink my pelvic bones. Losing weight and toning up will make everything look a lot better, not to mention make it easier to buy clothes that fit. But for some of us, it will never be enough to completely eliminate the pear shape, assuming we'd even want to. When I was slim, I liked my curvy hips. It's just that at my current weight, it's way too much of a good thing, KWIM?

04-20-2006, 04:30 PM
No I haven't but I would love to know a few tipson what a hourglass should do.