Long Island's Frank Sepe by Christine Lynn Harvey

Frank Sepe's face and body should look very familiar. Not only is he a competitive bodybuilding champion, Sepe's graced the covers of hundreds of fitness magazine and romance book covers, he's been a model for Armani & Versace, he's the subject of some 500 web fansites, has made numerous TV guest appearances and is a working film actor. He is the resident fitness expert for ESPN's "Cold Pizza" and best of all, you might have seen him at your local supermarket, he lives right in our own backyard.

Sepe is the author of the new book "Frank Sepe's Abs-olutely Perfect Plan for a Flatter Stomach (Hay House; 2005; $19.95) which purports to be the only abs book you'll ever need, with a forward by psychic celebrity, John Edward, another Long Island native. Sepe's book is not just another fitness book. It combines important elements of mind, body and spirit fitness that are often overlooked by regular fitness how-to guides. Sepe is also the author of "The Truth: The Only Fitness Book You'll Ever Need" (Hay House; 2004; www.hayhouse.com) an A-Z book that also incorporates the mental approach to working out.

"The reason why I wrote the abs book is that I was tired of people getting discouraged by buying abs machines and expecting to get ripped abs in only 15 minutes a night," says Sepe. "I wanted to write a book that was simple, that any could follow, that you don't have to spend a lot of money for equipment, that you can do anywhere, at home, in a hotel room, or wherever."
There are sections in the book entitled "Ab-racadabra" that addresses common questions and "Misconceptions About Abs" which addresses common myths people have come to believe about getting perfect abs like: ab exercises will reduce fat deposits around your midsection, you have to train every day to get 6-pack abs, if you want great abs, you have to do a lot of reps while training, men and women have to do different exercises to get the results the want, abs are different than other muscles in the body and, you shouldn't do any weight training until you get down to your target weight. Sepe debunks these myths and covers everything from unrealistic expectations to diet, cardio and meditation. "A lot of people have told me the book is a fresh approach and it's the truth -- how to get healthier while you are in the process of getting a flatter stomach. "

Sepe admits getting perfect abs is not easy, cause if it was, he says "everyone else would have them." His approach is not a quick fix, but of a more holistic one. That even includes a spiritual component as well. He met psychic John Edward who "opened his eyes" to some things and also gave him some good business advice. "I recently lost 20 lbs training with Frank Sepe and my basic plan is to follow the ab routine he wants to torture me with that day," laughs Edward. Sepe is also a spokesperson for NTBY's Met Rx and trains other fitness personalities like NY Jets Offensive Tackle Jason Fabini, competitive bodybuilder Jay Cutler, World kickboxing Champion, Derek Panza, and NBA bodybuilders Bev Francis & Steven Weinburger who co-own a gym in Syosset. It was through Weinburger that Sepe met his future wife who appears with him on the far left of his new book cover.

Sepe says since his eyes have been opened to a more holistic approach to health, he says, "When you are bodybuilding, it can be very narcissistic cause everything revolves around training. It's almost like you're living in a closet. It's all about one thing - getting bigger and stronger and nothing else matters. You put off everything else in your life. It's not a great way to live, especially spiritually. It's a ridiculous way to live. It wasn't fulfilling for me anymore." Sepe says it was psychologically hard to break away from that mind set since at the time he was 295 lbs. Now he's 230. He started doing more cardiovascular work and incorporated yoga into his workouts and as a result, feels more balanced.

Is there any stigma attached to big, bulky guys doing yoga? "Five years ago, 95% women took yoga, now, it's 60/40% men," says Sepe. "I found it to be immensely helpful in my recovery with my weight training workouts. I'm more flexible and circulation seems better. It gives you a mental break. Yoga really taught me that I had no flexibility. It made my workouts more efficient and makes my muscles appear longer."

For more information about Frank Sepe, or his new book, visit www: franksepe.com or email mail@franksepe.com. Front cover and inside front cover image courtesy of Hay House.