Can anybody recommend a good non-partisan basic fitness book?

I’m trying to get in shape. I’ve talked about it for years, but I really have started taking some steps: I quit smoking in January, I’m eliminating sugar (not entirely but I have cut down), and I’m going to the YMCA several days per week. However, what I’m finding is that this stuff is not self explanatory. I really don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars to a personal trainer, especially when I live in a place that doesn’t require them to have any particular credentials, so…

Is there a good no-nonsense book, preferably unrelated to any major company (e.g. fitness equipment, GNC style chain, fad diet craze*), that gives good basic advice on how to get into shape? I am interested in such things as:

[li]Advice for using the elliptical/stationary bike/treadmill (EBT)[/li][li]What exercises to do other than the EBT[/li][li]Swimming exercises[/li][li]BEGINNING weightlifting**[/li][li]What stretches to do and when[/li][li]What NOT to do[/li][/ul]

I want basic easy instructions for somebody who isn’t stupid but at the same time hasn’t studied anatomy or exercise in a very long time and even then not that in-depth. I also really like pictures. (Video is ideal, but at least pictures.)

I know that there are Dummies and Idiots and other remedial books in any bookstore, of course; I can find them easily myself. What I’m most interested in books that you can personally recommend (or at least know somebody who does) or that are recommended by people with great credentials (even if it is a Dummies or Idiots book).

Thanks for any info.

*Which is what I mean by non-partisan in the title; I couldn’t care much less what the writer’s politics as they shouldn’t be addressing them in a fitness book anyway.

**I’m not a complete novice to weightlifting- I used to lift twice a week a few years back- not enough to get buff but you could tell I worked out. However, it’s been several years so the memory’s not fresh, and then main thing I remember from then is “do it the wrong way and you’ll be sorry”.

Very basic, no-nonsense and the exercise directory includes a small video clip showing proper form.

Thanks. I’ll give a look.

I guess it could be called partisan, but the Four Hour Body book worked pretty well for me and explained pretty well the concepts behind the techniques.

For non partisan, you might try one of the books published by Men’s Health or Men’s Fitness

ExRx is a good site. In terms of programming, a lot of people have had good success combining Couch to 5K and Starting Strength. There are no guarantees, of course, but you’d be hard-pressed to find better beginner’s programs out there.

If you’re a member of the Y, you might check with them to see if you’re entitled to at least one session with someone who can explain the machines and help you work out a fitness routine. I know that our local Y includes a couple of hours of basic fitness instruction (one-to-one) to help new members learn to use the equipment safely and effectively.

Building on what ultrafilter, buy Starting Strength. It is probably the best description of strength training for building strength in your whole body.

Fit is by some related authors, and concerns more programming for fitness in strength, endurance and mobility. Lots of descriptions of exercises.

So much for my suggestion of “The Tea Party System: Losing Weight Through Screaming and Protest.”

Hey, lifting and waving those signs with Obama-as-Hitler on them is a total upper body workout!

Starting Strength. Accept no substitutes.