I’ll be honest; the thought of hopping on a treadmill or sweating through push-ups will easily evoke a “Do I really have to?” whine from me.

But when I heard about a magical workout – 15 minutes, just two days a week – I thought it couldn’t get any easier. I was wrong.

Dr. Vincent “Ben” Bocchicchio’s workout is just that, work. For 15 to 20 solid minutes, you push your muscles to failure. But it’s worth it. I’ve never felt my muscles working that clearly or been so sore the next day from a short workout.

Bocchicchio, a veteran health and fitness expert, has trained celebrities like Christie Brinkley, world-class athletes and regular Joes during his 40 years in the business. His scientifically proven resistance training method involves “[instigating] the certain chemistry that is correlated to benefits” of exercise, Bocchicchio says.

He calls his exercise The SMART Exercise Program, which stands for Slow Maximum Response Training. Slow movements allow for maximum muscle stimulation and optimal metabolic response in the regimented training sessions.

Bocchicchio presented a study of 100 people comparing his exercise to cardio training over a five-week period to the International Congress of the American Physiological Society and American College of Sports Medicine. The study showed that his subjects saw more benefits than those who did more than three hours of cardio weekly. His patients, ages 18 to 74, reduced their body fat by 20 percent, while the other group had only a 1 percent reduction in body fat.

His exercise regiment is not only successful; it’s also sustainable.

“You can sustain this kind of lifestyle commitment for years. I have some people that have done this system almost 40 years,” he says.

When I saw Bocchicchio, I knew his method would work. He’s buff, almost intimidating, until you engage him in conversation. As a person who doesn’t work out, ever, I was scared at the thought of pushing my muscles to failure with the help of a muscular man who might not show mercy. But with Dr. Ben’s genuine encouragement I got through the whole 20 minutes without crying.

First, Bocchicchio explained to me why his exercise routine is successful.

“People ask me what’s the best exercise they can do, and I say it’s the one that you will do,” he says. “What I tried to do is eliminate the hurdles that people put up for exercising.”

The three main reasons people don’t work out are because they don’t have time, they don’t want to get injured and they don’t see results; Bocchicchio has eliminated all of these excuses, he says.

The injury rate is zero because of the slow movements he teaches – which make the workout grueling but effective. The workout is so effective that his clients can see results within two to three weeks, he says. Finally, there’s the pesky element of time, to which Bocchicchio shows no mercy.

“If you can’t give me 15, 20 minutes twice a week, then you’re just making excuses,” Bocchicchio says.

After an introduction to his methods, I stopped making excuses.

I did much better than I thought I would. I was actually impressed with the strength I didn’t know I had. The next day soreness was high, but Dr. Ben says that decreases with time.

You can learn Bocchicchio’s method at a free seminar on Jan. 8. The seminar includes a body composition test, exercise demonstrations, lessons on what to eat, what not to eat and more.

If You Go:

      Doctor’s Fitness Center
      2394 E. Camelback Road
      Phoenix, Ariz. 85016
      Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
      Reservations required
      Call 480-206-5017

Dr. Ben’s Metabolic Makeover website