What constitutes a beautiful body is a matter of personal opinion. That is why anyone interested in this bodybuilding book will know by one look at the front and back covers whether to buy it.

Frank Zane is a three-time Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe, and his wife, Christine, is a former Miss Americana. After a few pages about the authors and brief statement about the ideal physique for men and women, Frank and Christine describe in separate sections how he used weight training to muscle up and she used it to slim down.

Most men have no interest in looking like the Incredible Hulk, with bulging muscles bursting at the seams. At times, the book seems more like a showcase for Frank's "beautiful" bod rather than a guide to gaining and maintaining physical fitness.

On the other hand, Christine Zane's approach to slimming down and firming up is more practical for the average woman. Although not concerned with building large, bulky muscle, she seems consumed with the appearance of her figure. Her training combines calisthenics with aerobics and light weight lifting.

The book is probably more useful as educational tool on the human anatomy than as a book for exercise and fitness. I had no idea that a simple bench press could develop the pectoral muscles as well as the frontal deltoids and triceps. The authors first identify the muscles of the body, then explain which exercises work each muscle.

Both sections start with a basic program (without the weight lifting), first presenting the workout, then illustrating the exercises. The basic program is nothing more than about a dozen calisthenics, requiring minimal equipment like a chair and a bar.

The authors then progress to exercising with free weights and a bench. The workout for the men goes one step further -- the basic split routine -- by working the pulling and the pushing muscles on alternate days.

The book concludes with a section on exercising with a partner and competitive body building, ending with 17 full pages of Frank Zane's centerfold poses and an appendix on nutrition.