If you are thinking about purchasing Jim Palmer's book, because either you want to become incredibly physically fit or because you think Jim Palmer looks great in the Jockey underwear ads, save your money.

This is a book for someone who never has worked out or for the guy who strives for that Gentlemen's Quarterly look.

The title "Jim Palmer's Way to Fitness" is a misnomer of sorts, for I seriously doubt that following his "Palmerfit" program of basic old calisthenics and aerobics will produce a physically fit person, at least not as we define "physically fit" today.

But Palmer, the former all-star pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles and spokesman for Jockey International, would have produced a far more informative book on male grooming had he started with page 69 of this 150-page book and titled it "The Making of the GQ Body."

Palmer uses the remainder of the book to discuss posture, skin and hair care, smart dressing for all occasions and handling stress.

The section on skin and care is informative for the athlete who for all these years mainly has been concerned with fitness of the inner body -- such as cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness -- instead of outer appearances.

His chapter on "Dressing for All Occasions" is somewhat humerous as Palmer pitches out of a rut by recycling stories about the Orioles' strict dress code, which included mandatory suit and tie for all away games.

Palmer tells a tale of Reggie Jackson's problems with the dress code in his only year with the Orioles in 1976. Orioles coach Earl Weaver wouldn't allow Jackson, who was clad in a $395 Raphael jacket, $125 Gucci loafers, $85 gabardine slacks, a Gucci belt, a Gucci shirt and an El Presidente Rolex watch, on the plane to an away game. Why? Jackson said he didn't own a tie.

The best part of this book is Palmer's eight-page section appropriately titled "Bottom of the Ninth, Bases Loaded, Two Outs and Full Count . . . Or How to Handle Stress." Palmer's discussion of stress in the life of a major-league pitcher and in life in general is sensitive and genuine and draws on his experiences with winning and losing and dealing with his boss, Earl Weaver, with whom he had widely publicized differences.

"The key to lessen this pressure stress is preparation, which really is the basic philosophy of this book. If you really want to look good and be fit, then you must prepare for those results by doing what you have laid out.

"If you have prepared, then you will be confident, and confidence is the breeding ground for success."