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  • Testing the 90 Second Fitness Solution with Pete Cerqua

    Pete Cerqua’s 90 Second Fitness Solution is one of our most popular Vooks. In it, Pete teaches you easy, 90-second exercises that you can do at home to build strength and lose weight. I always enjoyed the workout in our Vook, but when Pete found out that I was visiting New York this week, he invited me to experience a personal training session first hand. This was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.

    I arrived at Pete’s studio with running sneakers and gym clothes, but he assured me that most of his clients come dressed for work and don’t break a sweat. He escorted me to the first machine, which would exercise my back and core–and help him to gauge how strong I was.

    He explained to me the philosophy behind the 90 Second Fitness Solution: lift very heavy weights and do as few reps as possible in 90 seconds. This means being strong enough to have tremendous control and solid form. It all started simply enough. I sat down on a machine, clad in a skirt and a blouse. I lifted the weights, and Pete told me I was doing great. Then he added more weight.

    Part of the workout is that as you prove your strength, you lift heavier weights. Ultimately, Pete will help you to lift a weight that is beyond your range, and then have you lower it slowly with control. I’ll admit it–I would have been happy to just cruise. When Pete added weight, it was hard work. There were one or two moments when I thought that I’d be too weak to finish the set, or would drop the weight and completely embarrass myself.

    Amazingly, I didn’t–and I was so proud. The real genius of this workout is that due to its brevity, you can lift more than if you were doing numerous sets. You go deep into your muscles by lifting really heavy weights (I got up to 200 pounds!) but you don’t get fatigued or risk injury. You only have to do it twice a week in order to build compact, lean muscles.

    By the end of the workout, I was feeling like super woman and raving about how great it was. “It also prevents osteoporosis,” Pete told me. “I have 80-year olds who come in and lift the same amount of weight you did.” 80 year olds? I was impressed by Pete’s success, but a little disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to brag about my Amazon-woman strength. But I’m totally committed to keep working at it–and thrilled that Pete has promised to kick my butt whenever I’m in town.

    You can train with Pete using the 90 Second Fitness solution for your browser, iphone, or ipad.

    Or try this level one workout with Pete:

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    Introducing Vook’s iTunes Apps

    We were skeptical that we could trade the heft of a good book for reading on a mobile device, but once we exchanged William Vollmann’s massive Europe Central for the iPhone version, we became committed multi-platform readers. Mobile books let us fit more books into our lives and (for those who decry the collapse of literature) buy books we otherwise wouldn’t — which supports more authors. We knew that Vook had to have a mobile complement and it had to offer content and value.

    We created mobile versions of each of our launch titles—Promises by Jude Deveraux, The 90 Second Fitness Solution by Pete Cerqua, Embassy by Richard Doetsch and Return to Beauty by Narine Nikogosian. The mobile versions have all the text and video content of the Web based vook – and they let you follow the author and the community associated with the book through social media.

    Here are some of the key features of our mobile vooks:

    •    Mobile vooks feature the same text and the same great video content, optimized for the for iPhone and iPod touch for a truly engaging on the go reading experience.
    •    Videos download directly to your device so you can watch the videos anywhere, anytime you want.
    •    On the mobile vook, you can choose to watch the videos with the “Watch” functionality or watch and read with the “Read” functionality. The “Connect” functionality lets you connect to social media outlets to follow the conversation about the vooks.
    •    The videos play in high quality, high resolution, offering the same crispness and clarity as their counterparts on the browser.

    For those of you who might be skeptical about reading on your iPhone, please try one of these vooks. We think the integration of video and text on the mobile platform makes us unique on the market—and we want to know what books could be adapted to this format to make the most of it. Right now, the mobile vooks are only available for the iPhone and iPod touch but as other devices adapt to video content, we’ll be working to release our vooks to them as well.

    Bringing you Vook: Read it, Watch it.

    The Vook Team is pleased to announce today the launch of our first vooks, all published in partnership with Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. These four titles—Promises, a romance by Jude Deveraux, The 90 Second Fitness Solution, a fitness book by Pete Cerqua, Embassy, a thriller by Richard Doetsch and Return to Beauty, a health book by Narine Nikogosian—elegantly realize Vook’s mission: to blend a book with videos into one complete, instructive and entertaining story.

    As you will see from experiencing one yourself, a vook is an entirely new innovation—there’s nothing else like it available. A vook lets you read books and watch videos that enhance the reading experience, either by illustrating key moments in works of fiction or demonstrating important techniques and concepts for non-fiction. With a vook, you can read, watch and connect all in one place, without the hassle of switching between a book, your computer and your TV.

    To see why we’re so excited, please check out our launch titles on our product page. There, you can get a vook and find out for yourself why Vook is both a vital innovation for books and a powerful new way for readers to engage with them. Try a vook on your computer or download one to your iPhone or iPod Touch at the Apple iTunes Store.

    We’re not the only ones convinced that Vook is the future of reading. We are pleased to join forces with Simon & Schuster, one of the world’s leading publishing houses, to release these initial titles. These four titles are a true joint venture—Simon and Schuster represents the best of publishing’s editorial expertise while Vook contributes the understanding of engaging visual content, the power of video production and technological expertise.

    Simon & Schuster’s authors—Jude Deveraux, Richard Doetsch, Pete Cerqua and Narine Nikogosian—have all been strong champions of the Vook platform. Their understanding of books, video and the Internet have made them the perfect partners for our filmmakers. And Vook’s filmmakers have risen to the challenge of crafting a visual story to complement these author’s narratives. Filmmakers Michael Franchetti, Adad Warda, Christopher Chambers, Mario de la Vega, Chris Cassidy and Robert Sobul all contributed their visions to create videos that raise the quality of our vooks above any other offering on the market.

    You can expect to see many more vooks coming soon. But right now, we’d love it if you would check out one of our inaugural titles and let us know what you think. We’re thrilled to share our hard work. If you’ve been following our story from the beginning, then you know that we’re committed to revolutionizing books and helping devoted readers — readers like ourselves — get more out of every moment they spend with a great book. If we have our way, you’re soon going to pick up a great book and wonder what it would be like if it was a great vook.

    Thank you for all your support. Please check out one of our launch titles and let us know what you think by emailing the team at info@vook.com.

    PROMISES by Jude Deveraux ($6.99) – a novella set in 19th century South Carolina, from the beloved author of 36 New York Times bestsellers.

    THE 90-SECOND FITNESS SOLUTION by Pete Cerqua ($6.99) – an innovative new fitness program from one of New York’s most respected trainers that can be practiced at home, in the office, or using Vook’s mobile application, at the gym.

    EMBASSY by Richard Doetsch ($6.99) – a suspenseful thriller from the bestselling author of THE THIEVES OF HEAVEN

    RETURN TO BEAUTY by Narine Nikogosian ($6.99) – natural, old-World, time tested skin care recipes from a well-known Hollywood aesthetician.

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