The Lean Body Promise: Burn Away Fat and Release the Leaner, Stronger Body inside You


What if I told you that no matter what condition you are in now, I could show you how to make lifelong improvements in appearance, strength, self-image, and confidence in just thirty minutes each day? — Lee Labrada

The Lean Body Promise holds the ultimate fat-burning solution that will help you release the lean, strong body inside you. In just 30 minutes a day, in as few as twelve weeks, Lee Labrada will show ...

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What if I told you that no matter what condition you are in now, I could show you how to make lifelong improvements in appearance, strength, self-image, and confidence in just thirty minutes each day? — Lee Labrada

The Lean Body Promise holds the ultimate fat-burning solution that will help you release the lean, strong body inside you. In just 30 minutes a day, in as few as twelve weeks, Lee Labrada will show you how to make profound lifelong changes in your body.

After listening to this audiobook, you'll be able to:

  • Maximize fat loss, strengthem your heart and lungs, and build muscle
  • Enjoy more delicious foods while burning more fat
  • Switch your body from "Fat-Storing" to "Fat-Burning" mode
  • Measure your physical progress easily and accurately, and stay motivated
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Professional trainer Lee Labrada, a former Mr. Universe, advises his clients to attack their fat, not count calories. His 12-week, 30-minute a day personal improvement challenge enables you to shift your body from "fat-storing" to "fat-burning" mode, feeding lean muscle tissue while simultaneously starving excess body fat.
Library Journal
"There is a strong, lean body inside of you, and you have the power to release it." That is the promise of fitness and nutrition expert Labrada, a Pro Bodybuilding Hall of Famer and former Mr. Universe credited with helping Houston lose its distinction as "America's Fattest City." His 12-week program includes five small meals a day that balance protein and carbohydrates and regular cardio and weightlifting exercises. Subscribing to the principle that building muscle mass burns fat and enhances metabolism, Labrada's program varies the weight resistance exercises from day to day but maintains a consistent 30-minute schedule that can yield results in as few as 12 weeks. Included are 11 testimonials from men and women who have successfully completed the program, motivational tips, and instructions on how to eat the right amounts at the right times and track one's progress. A brief section of recipes and menus rounds out this excellent fitness guide. Recommended for public libraries.-Susan B. Hagloch, Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060593711
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/14/2005
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Labrada has appeared on the covers of more than 100 magazines worldwide and has appeared as a fitness and nutrition expert on ABC's Extreme Makeover, CNBC, FOX, NBC, CBS, CNN, WGN, and ESPN television. He is president and CEO of Labrada Nutrition, an Inc. 500 company. Lee was the mayorally appointed Fitness Czar of Houston, Texas, credited with helping the city shed its "Fattest City" title in 2004. Lee holds twenty-two professional bodybuilding titles, including Mr. Universe, and is an IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Hall of Fame inductee. Born in Cuba, he lives in Houston, Texas.

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Read an Excerpt

The Lean Body Promise

Burn Away Fat and Release the Leaner, Stronger Body Inside You
By Lee Labrada

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Lee Labrada
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060593717

The Promise

What if I told you that no matter what condition you are in now, I could show you how to make lifelong improvements in appearance, strength, self-image, and confidence in just 30 minutes each day? It doesn't matter whether you are old or young, male or female, totally deconditioned or active; you have the power to improve yourself. And I can teach you how to do it.

Here's the promise that I want to make to you, and one that you must believe:

The Lean Body Promise is a 30-minute exercise, five-meal-a-day program that will dramatically transform your body in as few as 12 weeks. It's the ultimate fat solution, and the last get-in-shape program you'll ever need. My program is based on the principle I call Banex, which stands for "balanced nutrition and exercise." Now, you've always heard that eating right and exercise are the way to get in shape and control your weight. But Banex takes this simple idea to the next level. With this revolutionary program, you'll eat more than ever before, in a way that boosts your metabolism and melts fats. With the power and cardio workouts, you'll receive the maximum results from a very short workout.

And it doesn't matter if you've failed to get into shape before. You can handle this program, no matter what shape you're in, no matter how many diets you've started and failed. I can show you how to get motivated -- and stay motivated -- so that you will succeed this time. You can forget about past failures. Just as you can build your body, you can build your willpower and leave your old self-destructive habits behind.

With the Lean Body Promise, it's not unusual to see dramatic changes within a few short weeks. Not only will your appearance improve, but you will also experience greater energy levels, and with that your spirits and motivation to make greater improvements will soar. The quality of your life will improve, and your success will have a profound, positive impact first on you, and then on everything else -- your relationships with your family and friends, your workplace, and even society as a whole. It's what I call the "ripple effect."

I'll also show you how to measure your body fat so you'll be able to monitor your Lean Body as it emerges. In Appendix D (page 208) you'll find detailed instructions on how to track how much lean muscle you're building, and how much fat you're melting away.

Anyone can benefit from using the Banex principle. In the next part, you will find real-world examples of ordinary people who experienced extraordinary, life-transforming changes in their bodies by applying the principles in this book. You don't have to be an exercise physiologist or nutritional scientist to make sense of it. The Lean Body program is simple and effective, and fits into busy lifestyles.

I should know: I'm a full-time dad, husband, and president of a growing company. Yet it's easy to fit the simple guidelines of the Lean Body Promise into my life every day, even when it seems that the phone never stops ringing, the meetings never end, and I'm busy guiding my boys through the trials of long division. The fact is, everything in this program is based on tried-and-tested principles that I have learned over the last 25 years in training myself and thousands of students, and from my work with professionals in the fields of nutrition and exercise. The Lean Body Promise has also been reviewed by experts in medicine, nutrition, exercise physiology, and chiropractic.

The Lean Body Promise is not a quick fix; it's even better. The Lean Body Promise is a practical system that you can easily make a part of your daily routine. It all starts with a 12-week personal improvement challenge. Then, it will become your own personal journey of physical self-improvement, keep you on track, and give you positive, lifelong habits and empowerment.

If you put your trust in me, I will help you to help yourself and you will succeed in transforming yourself. I will show you everything you need to know, and I will teach you how to keep yourself motivated. So why trust me?

Helping Houston Get Lean

That is not true!" I said, looking into the camera.

    I was sitting alone in a television studio in Houston, Texas. Although I could not see my CNN Crossfire hosts and the other guest on the show, author Marilyn Wann, I knew that millions of people were watching me. Crossfire is known for its lively debate, and this evening's show had already become particularly animated. Wann, the author of Fat! So? was joined by Crossfire host Tucker Carlson on one side of the discussion. I was on the other side with former Clinton campaign strategist Paul Begala. The debate topic: Should the government sponsor programs to educate people about obesity?

Ms. Wann had just made the assertion that "weight is highly genetic."

As Houston's recently appointed fitness czar, I knew that this was a comment I couldn't leave unaddressed. The future of overweight people watching the show that evening could very well hang in the balance. What if people left the show thinking that they were just naturally fat and there wasn't anything they could do to change their condition? There would be many who would use this as justification to give up on themselves.

As soon as the words shot out of my mouth -- "That is not true!" -- I launched into an explanation. "If weight was a genetic factor," I said, "then how could obesity amongst our young be up threefold in the last 20 years?" I'm no geneticist, but common sense tells me that 20 years is not long enough for the American people to evolve -- or mutate, if you prefer -- into a race of fatsos. It's true that obesity is on the rise in the United States. But for the most part, this phenomenon can be attributed to lifestyle factors. People are becoming more overweight because they are eating more and exercising less.

This is deadly serious business. According to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300,000 deaths per year can be attributed to obesity-related causes. Obesity leads to an increased risk for life-threatening diseases including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. "Look, I'm only here to help," I explained.

The 5-foot, 4-inch, 270-pound Ms. Wann shot back: "I don't need your help."

Fair enough. Maybe she was irritated that I would offer to help her -- or anyone else who is overweight -- on national TV. But driving home, I couldn't help but wonder about the multitude of people who are needlessly battling a weight problem every day. And those who have thrown in the towel and given up hope of ever getting in shape.

It bugged me. Because I knew the answer to America's weight problem was as simple as making a promise to yourself.

You might be asking yourself: Okay, who went and appointed me "fitness czar," anyway? My appointment was brought on (in part) by Men's Fitness magazine, which named Houston "America's Fattest City" two years in a row. Now, that really bugged me.

Being the CEO and founder of Labrada Nutrition, a Houston-based Inc. 500 company in 2002, I caught a lot of ribbing from friends, both inside and outside of the sports nutrition industry. After all, I am in the business of getting people into shape. They knew Houston's unflattering title would get under my skin, and they rubbed it in. So I decided to do something about it.

With the help of my team at Labrada Nutrition, I formulated a citywide initiative that would raise awareness among Houstonians about the need to exercise and eat healthy in order to lose weight and get fit. The plan called for me to lead the charge. Given the opportunity, I knew that we could get the word out and educate people.

Happily, Houston's mayor, Lee Brown, agreed with me. A few months later, I arrived early at city hall and greeted my family, friends, and staff. I looked around the room and saw the media scurrying about, setting up cameras. Mayor Lee Brown took the microphone, announced the launch of the Get Lean Houston! campaign, and named me as the city's first fitness czar.

And that's when it happened. The magnitude of my mission took on a whole new meaning. I had a huge responsibility on my hands.

How can I get through to people so they can make lasting changes in their bodies? I asked myself. Which made me think: Well, how did I do it?

25 Years in the Making

I've been an avid bodybuilder and fitness coach for over two decades, and during 10 of those years, I was ranked as one of the top four bodybuilders in the world. Some people have a preconception of bodybuilders as "gym rats," but my bodybuilding experience has actually helped me to develop simple exercise and nutrition techniques that anybody can use to make changes in their bodies they would have never thought possible. These techniques are at least 25 years in the making. Let me show you where it all began.

I emigrated from Cuba to the United States with my grandmother when I was two years old, around the time of the Cuban missile crisis. My dad was trained as a civil engineer -- he knew some English, not a lot. But within a month, he had landed a job as a civil engineer and proceeded to carve out a middle-class living for us. We settled in Chicago.

One of my earliest memories as a kid is walking down the beach on Lake Michigan. I would suck up my chest, stick out my ribs, and walk around like Steve Reeves from the Hercules movies. People would stare at me, and I loved the attention. Looking back, I think they were feeling sorry for me. Look at this kid -- he must be malnourished! You can see his ribs poking through!

Not long after, I began sneaking into my dad's bedroom to mess around with his weightlifting set, and soon I was seeing changes in my arms. We had moved to Jacksonville, Florida, by that time, and I remember that I could always do more push-ups and sit-ups than any other kid in the entire apartment complex. People probably still thought I was malnourished.

By the time I was 16, I was working out every afternoon with a high school classmate. I kept working out every day after school, trying to get big. But my diet didn't support all of the crazy exercise I was doing. I had a fast metabolism, and while I was getting more muscular, more defined, I wasn't getting any bigger. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't turning into Steve Reeves -- but there I was, eating bologna sandwiches. I didn't know it then, but I was overtraining and not eating right.

There was a kid at my high school who was considered sort of an oddball at the time because he was a competitive bodybuilder. He was a lot bigger than I was, and I was curious as to how he got that way. I remember going up to him and asking him, "What's that weird stuff you drink out of your thermos every day?" The young man turned to look at me, and for a second there, I thought he was going to knock my block off. Instead, he gave me an answer: milk mixed with protein and brewer's yeast. I started asking more questions, and as he patiently gave me answers, I was enthralled.

He also told me something else: There was another Mr. Jacksonville contest coming up in just four weeks. Now at this point, I was still a buck thirty, dripping wet. But I was also curious. I learned that the promoter of the contest was Jim Nelson, owner of a bodybuilding gym in Jacksonville and one of the top bodybuilders in Florida. The next day, I drove down to meet him at his gym, and at first I was stunned. I'd never seen a guy with that much muscle up close.

I signed the paperwork, then went back and trained like mad for a month at a place we fondly called "Griner's Gym." It was nothing more than a 15 by 15 wooden shack behind the house of a tough Jacksonville cop, Sergeant Jim Griner. Even though Sgt. Griner's gear was archaic by today's standards, it had everything I needed. In four weeks, I whipped myself into shape.

The morning of the competition I went in for prejudging and saw my competition backstage, warming up. I almost turned around and went home. These guys were at least 30 to 40 pounds bigger than I was -- and those were the teenagers. I thought I didn't have a prayer. But somehow, I convinced myself to stay.

When the results came back that evening, not only had I won first place, but I had also won the "most muscular" trophy.

I was graduated from high school in 1978 and decided to attend Northwestern University. I remember going to orientation with my dad late that summer. We went to check out the school gym. Back then, it was nothing more than a Universal machine, an old, rickety wooden leg press, a bunch of weight plates strewn everywhere, and some benches. That was it. At first, I didn't think I'd be able to train there.

But I soon found that I could work out just as well at the Northwestern gym. This taught me an important lesson: you don't need a lot of fancy equipment to achieve good results. Anybody can take the basics -- a set of good free weights and a solid bench -- and shape his or her body as well as anyone with a million-dollar setup.

In 1979, my family moved to Houston, Texas, and I transferred to the University of Houston to be closer to them and finish my degree in civil engineering. Three years later, I began entering bodybuilding competitions once again, resulting in wins at the NPC (National Physique Committee) Collegiate Texas Championship, NPC Gulf Coast Classic, and NPC Texas State Championships. I went on to win my class at the 1985 NPC National Championships, and two weeks later I was crowned IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) Mr. Universe at the ripe old age of 25.

That was the beginning of a string of professional bodybuilding wins, during which I was ranked as one of the top four bodybuilders in the world for seven consecutive years. In 2004, I was inducted into the IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Hall of Fame.

What was the key to my success? Knowing my body. I can eat something and know exactly how it'll affect me. As a pro bodybuilder, I had to know exactly how food, drink, stress, time changes -- even the cabin pressure in an airplane -- would affect the way I looked. Being smaller than most of my competitors, I couldn't afford to screw up. If I came in just 2 or 3 percent off, they'd trounce me. This is how I became so attuned to how foods affect the body, and how certain types of power and cardio workouts can quickly burn fat and build lean muscle. In other words, I've been experimenting in my own personal lab -- my body -- for 25 years. Now I'm proud to share the results with you.


Excerpted from The Lean Body Promise by Lee Labrada Copyright © 2005 by Lee Labrada. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2005

    Great tool for helping kickstart that motivation!

    The diet and fitness market is overrun by fad diets and 'quick fix' promises. The Lean Body Promise is a fun read, full of useful information, that is motivating and inspiring! I just received the book yesterday and have already made it through the entire thing. I'm excited to put what I learned into practice; it's a breath of fresh air to have such a fitnes legend shed some light on the real truth behind getting in shape. Mr. Labrada outlines a sensible nutrition and exercise program for anyone who is interested in getting (or staying) in shape. I highly recommend the book for those looking for a way to increase their health and physical appearance (and who isn't?).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    This book is WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!

    I would recommend this book to EVERYONE and ANYONE who wants to understand how their body reacts to food and exercise or wants to change their body. YOU CAN DO IT!!! QUIT MAKING EXCUSES.....This man was Mr. Olympia, he was rated top 4 BEST BODIES for 7 years in a row. He changed Houston from being #1 City for Fatest Men, two years in row.

    It isn't for just body builders. But, who better than Lee Labrada, one who has walked the walk himself for 25 years. He has personal advise, experience and knowledge of how to obtain your goals. He is VERY positive and truly wants to help others achieve their goals.

    This is a must have book, if you are serious about losing weight and feeling better about yourself...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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