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About the Authors

Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson is the world’s most popular stretching authority. For almost 20 years, Bob has “preached the stretching gospel” all over the world. His book Stretching has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 18 languages (including two Chinese dialects).

Bob and his wife Jean self-published the first version of Stretching in a garage in Southern California in 1975. The drawings were done by Jean, based on photos she took of Bob doing the stretches. Their homemade book was modified and published by Shelter Publications in 1979 for general bookstore distribution and is now known by millions of people, from bookstore buyers to doctors, chiropractors, and exercise physiologists as the most accessible and useful book on the subject.

Today, Bob travels around the country, appearing at medical clinics, health conventions, training camps, and fitness centers. His appearances generally involve getting (himself and audience) down on the floor and doing a series of gentle stretches. All the while Bob talks about good health and the importance of keeping one’s body strong and flexible and the heart and cardiovascular system in good shape.

Bob is fit and healthy these days, but it wasn’t always so. In 1968, he was overweight (190 pounds — at 5’9”) and out of shape. He began a personal fitness program that got him down to 135 pounds. Yet one day, while in a physical conditioning class in college, he found he couldn’t reach much past his knee in a straight-legged sitting position. So Bob started stretching. He found he soon felt better and that stretching made his running and cycling easier.

Since that time, Bob has continued to practice what he preaches. He spends several hours each day running on the steep mountain trails above his house in Colorado and riding his mountain bike. He regularly runs the Catalina Island Marathon in Southern California, the 18-mile Imogen Pass mountain run in Telluride, Colorado, which goes up over a 13,000-foot-high ridge, and the Pikes Peak Marathon.

Though Bob works out long and hard each day, he knows that training like this is not for the average person. Through his travels, lectures, and workshops, he’s kept in constant touch with people in all degrees of physical condition.

Bill Pearl

Bill Pearl is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He is a former Mr. California, Mr. America, and four-time Mr. Universe. He was voted the World’s Best Built Man in 1974 and called by Sports Illustrated “. . . the Sam Snead, Bill Tilden, and Gordie Howe of bodybuilding.”

Bill began lifting weights at 11 years of age, and owned and managed world-renowned bodybuilding gyms in Southern California for over 30 years.

In the 1980s, Bill and his wife Judy (also a bodybuilder) self-produced a remarkable

book, Keys to the Inner Universe. It is by far the most complete bodybuilding book ever written — 638 pages, weighs 5 pounds, and contains 1500 weightlifting exercises (86 for the chest, 193 for the biceps, etc.)

In 1986, Bill and Shelter Publications produced an entirely new book, intended for bodybuilders, serious athletes (with programs for 21 different sports) and also included conditioning programs for the average person. Getting Stronger has gone on to sell over 300,000 copies and is now the best-selling weight training book in America.

Like Bob Anderson, Bill is out on the road much of the year. These days he works for Life Fitness, manufacturers of the Lifecycle and the LifeCircuit line of electronic resistance weight training machines. He travels all over America and to Europe and Japan speaking to trainers, professionals, and amateurs interested in physical fitness.

Bill and Judy live on a ranch near Medford, Oregon. Behind their house is a barn filled with a complete line of both conventional and electronic weight training equipment. Bill is well known for his 6 days-a-week training routine. He gets up a 3 a.m., has a cup of tea, and stretches and warms up in his gym until 4:30, when his training partners arrive. Together, they train for about 2 H hours. Bill is over 60 years old and looks at least 10 years younger. He is known for his ability to transform his vast knowledge of fitness training into terms readily understandable to the average person.

Jeff Galloway

In the 1970s, Jeff Galloway was one of a group of young American runners who would change distance running forever. Jeff and his running buddies — Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Steve Prefontaine, Don Kardong, Amby Burfoot, Kenny Moore and others — captured the attention of a new generation of fitness-minded Americans, and the running boom was born. What had been a sport for the few became an activity for the millions.

Jeff was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, started running in high school, and was state champion in the 2-mile. He attended Wesleyan University and was All-American in cross-country and track. In preparing for the 1972 Olympics, Jeff, along with Frank Shorter and Jack Bacheler, spent two months training in the mountains at Vail, Colorado, and all three made the Olympic team that year. Jeff, according to runner/writer Joe Henderson “. . . should have been an Olympic marathoner, but instead made the team in the 10K and then helped friend Jack Bacheler make it in the longer distance.”

In 1973 Jeff set an American record in the 10-mile. He won the first Atlanta Marathon at age 18, and was the first winner of Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race in 1970. In the mid-’70s he began to follow a training program that emphasized more rest and less weekly mileage, coupled with a long run every other week. At age 35 he ran the Houston-Tenneco Marathon in 2:16.

Jeff met his wife Barbara at a track meet in Florida. Barbara was on the Florida State women’s track team. They were married in 1976. Barbara runs practically every day and has competed in over 30 marathons. Her best 10K time is 41:50 and marathon time, 3:18.

Jeff is now on the road over half the time. Because of his busy schedule, he often runs 2–5 miles, two or three times per day. He generally totals about 60 miles a week. He has currently run 116 marathons, at the rate of 3–4 per year. Every ten years he returns to the site of his first victory, Atlanta, and tries to beat his time of 2:56 as an 18-year-old. So far he’s been successful. In 1993, at age 48, he ran just under 2:51.

Jeff and Barbara live with their sons Brennan and Westin in Atlanta, Georgia. Like their parents, both boys are (naturally!) runners.

Ed Burke

Ed Burke had a master’s degree from Ball State University in Indiana and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. At Ball State, he worked with Dave Costill, the highly acclaimed director of the Human Performance Laboratory.

In the early 1970's, Ed had been a competitive cyclist for some years, riding in 25- to 100-mile road races. He saw that apparently no one (at least in the United States) had thought of applying scientific principles to cycling. So Ed began trying out some new concepts on himself and his cycling friends on the campus. Costill worked with them, doing interval and power work on exercycles in the lab, and Ed and his 5-man fraternity team went on to win their college race 2 years in a row.

Ed eventually went to work as Technical Director, then Director, of the Center for Science, Medicine and Technology at the U.S. Cycling Federation in Colorado Springs in the 1980s. During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the principles of exercise physiology as applied to cycling apparently paid off: on the very first day of the games, the U.S. team won 2 gold medals, the first cycling medals won by Americans in 72 years. The U.S. cyclists went on to win 3 golds, 3 silver, and 2 bronze medals in a sport previously dominated by European cyclists.

Ed met Bob Anderson in the mid-1980s. Ed was working in Texas for Spenco (manufacturer of insoles) at the time, and he went to Colorado to visit Bob. Bob’s ideas on fitness made Ed realize he needed to make a change in his life and he moved to Colorado and started training with Bob in the mountains. Within 18 months, he dropped his resting heart rate to the 50s, lost 20 pounds, and achieved a long-time goal by running the Pikes Peak Marathon.

We are sorry to report that Ed Burke passed away in the autumn of 2002. His energy and enthusiasm will be missed.