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October 23, 1987 - Image 72

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-10-23

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FRIDAY, 974,23, 1987- , -

Body By Jake

Continued from preceding page

very interested. They're just
very intimidated sometimes
to go to a gym or spa and ask
somebody a question."
He'll admit the money is
great, but he has other
motives as well. "In lieu of
making all the money, you're
still doing something good for
Steinfeld grew up in what
he called a traditional Jewish
home. He went to Hebrew
school, was bar mitzvah and
on the High Holy Days went
with his family to a Conser-
vative synagogue. After mov-
ing to the West Coast, the
family joined a Reform con-
gregation and it proved to be
quite a jolt for his mother.
"We were Conservative Jews
in New York. We went to a
Conservative temple where
everything was done in
Hebrew and we went to L.A.
and we joined a temple and
my mother almost had a
heart attack because there's
an organ in the temple!" He,
however, said he enjoyed the
service, because it is in
English and in his words,
"you understand what's go-
ing on."
Steinfeld said he is proud of
being Jewish and of being one
of very few Jews in the
physical fitness business. He
said his being Jewish didn't
figure into his career until
recently when some Jewish
celebrities made it their
business to point it out to
him. "Larry King from CNN
always, every time I've done
his show, he always starts out
by going 'you're not Jewish.
There's no way a Jew has a
body like this.' And they all do
it to you. Robert Klein did the
same thing to me. He goes,
`Jake, you're not a Jew. But,
you are so we want to vote you
in as president of the JDL!'
Billy Crystal does the same
Often, he is mistaken for
being Italian. "They (people)
talk to you and they go, 'wait
a second, wrong business,
wrong religion, what's going
on here?' People also tend to
think, Steinfeld? It doesn't
match the body," because, as
he explains, Jews traditional-
ly don't go in for
Steinfeld has developed an
exercise regimen that doesn't
rely on Nautilus equipment
or bone-crushing aerobics —
just fun. By doing simple ex-
ercises with household items,
such as a broom handle or
bath towel, one can stay fit
with minimal expense, both
economic and physical. He
calls his method body-
maxing. "It's exactly what
you call getting the most out
of your body in the least
amount of time, where you


Steinfeld asks a shopper to demonstrate an exercise.

work the whole body in 30
minutes or less. He recom-
mends starting slow and
small and building into a
routine — three days a week,
a few minutes a day. When it
starts to hurt, stop. Exercise
should be fun, he advises, not
a "second job."
"You don't want to push
yourself to the point of no
return. What starts happen-
ing is that you get obsessed
with the thing of working out.
You get so obsessed you start
getting on scales and coun-
ting calories. You're a dead
man or a dead woman
because you've taken the fun
out of the exercise and made
it a second job, and no one
needs a second job."
For himself, he has created
a program of lifting weights
and doing the stick and towel
exercises he demonstrated at
the mall. His movie star
clients get a tailored regimen.
He avoids salt, fats and
sugars like the plague, but ad-
mitted he has a weak spot.
"On Saturday, that's all I eat.
On Saturday, I go and I get
nuts. From the second the
alarm goes off in the morning
I start eating."
Steinfeld is very concerned
about the image he projects,
with film roles, a sitcom and
health show in the works, he
doesn't want to become the
"Jewish Arnold Schwarzeneg-
ger." "I don't have to take
roles as being a "terminator"
or a Rambo or a truck or a
tree or something like that
. . . People never look at you
and go 'That guy looks like a
muscle head or looks dumb
. . . Sometimes you walk
around and people who might
not know you see a big guy
and they're going 'he's either
gay or he's dumb' and I'm
If anything, Steinfeld is
very smart. To his credit, he's
got two books, Body By Jake
and Success By Jake; three
videos, a Fitness Break by
Jake on the CNN cable net-

work, a forthcoming sitcom
and children's cartoon show
called Jake's Kids, and ap-
pearances on such shows as

Good Morning America, The
Tonight Show, The Oprah
Winfrey Show, The Mery Grif-
fin Show and The Larry King
Show. He also has had small
parts in films, including The
Money Pit, Tough Guys, Into
the Night and Video Valen-
tina In addition, President
Reagan has appointed him to
the President's Council on
Physical Fitness and Sports.
There also is a record album,
Body by Jake — Don't Quit.
With his Los Angeles opera-
tion, where he has the
assistance of brothers Andrew
and Peter, and a studio in
New York, Steinfeld has plen-
ty to boast about. But that's
not his style.
"I've been around these
stars for eight years now. I've
seen them go up and down.
You see them win and you see
them lose and you know, don't
get too cocky. Never get cocky,
because if you get cocky the
party's going to be over." For
Jake Steinfeld, the party's
just begun. ❑

Gift Benefits
Readers Theater

The Irwin and Sadie Cohn
Fund for Visiting Scholars
and Artists in Residence has
made an endowment to
Readers Theater, sponsored
by the Institute for Retired
Professionals at the Jewish
Community Center.
Rita Haddow, daughter of
Sadie Cohn and the late Ir-
win Cohn, will act as hostess
at the second performance of
Readers Theater fall series, to
be held on Sunday at 4 p.m.
in the DeRoy Studio Theater
at the main Jewish Center. A
limited number of tickets are
available at the Maple/Drake
center beginning at 3:15 p.m.
the day of the performance.

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