DALLAS (AP) -Terrell Owens is either a team-wrecker or a great teammate once you get to know him, a self-promoter or a guy who just likes to have fun, one of the greatest receivers in NFL history or a wideout who drops too many passes.
Yet when it comes to fitness, there's no debate. He's a freak.
Just look at the pictures on the front and back of his new book, ``T.O.'s Finding Fitness,'' and you'll see muscles in places you didn't know there were muscles. He's amazingly sculpted, especially for a 34-year-old in his 13th NFL season.
Now the really wild part: Owens hates the pictures because they were taken during the offseason, when he was ``out of shape.''
``By far,'' he said during an interview with The Associated Press at his high-rise apartment building in a trendy part of Dallas last month. ``If I could've done it over, then I would have.''
Owens is proud of his physique and enjoys being shirtless to show it off. The Cowboys star figures he's earned the right.
``It's two words - discipline and diet,'' he says.
Russell High School in Alexander City, Ala.
Football coaches took the wimpy freshmen and sophomores into the weight room and pointed at the buff juniors and seniors. The only way to look like them, play like them and, perhaps, get recruited by colleges like them, was to train like them, coaches said.
Owens was hooked. Players were allowed into the gym during the day if they finished their schoolwork, and Owens took advantage so often that coaches knew he was in there whenever they heard weights clinking.
It was a good start, but Owens didn't begin to fill out until after his freshman year at Division I-AA Tennessee-Chattanooga.
``I hit a growth spurt and my body hit a building spurt,'' he says. ``That's where it all evolved from.''
The next development came in the pros. Being teammates with the hardworking Jerry Rice helped, but the biggest boost came from joining forces with Buddy Primm, a bodybuilder turned personal trainer who emphasized diet. They still work together, with Primm a co-author of the new book and the target of T.O.'s dedication page.
``After that first offseason I worked with him, I saw a total difference in my production and the way I felt during the games, during the season,'' Owens said.
The book casts a wide net, as suggested by its subtitle, ``Making the mind, body and spirit connection for total health.''
ation of his accidental overdose, when he took too many pain pills for a broken hand and wound up spending the night in a hospital.
``I've never gone on record to say what went wrong the night of September 26, 2006,'' Owens writes. ``When asked if I was trying to kill myself, I can answer with confidence: No!
``So what was the truth? If living healthy and fully starts with the mind, mentally and emotionally on September 26, I was overwhelmed.''
He concludes that the episode caused him to realize the importance of rest: ``Really Established 'Still' Time,'' he writes.
Pressed for more of an explanation, Owens said he was trying too hard to please too many people. He mixed supplements and pain pills and ``you're not in the right frame of mind when you start doing those things.''
``I can't really pinpoint any one thing that I did wrong,'' he said. ``I put so much physical and mental energy into being the best that I could be, what the fans really expected me to be. ... I hate disappointment, I hate to let people down.''
Owens is fiercely proud of his meticulous diet. He logs his every meal and snack, all the way down to an apple martini at 12:30 a.m. on Sundays. Offseason only, that is, as Owens has a no-alcohol vow this season.
lf, martial arts, tennis, basketball and, of course, football). All come with tips from Primm, many talking about the ``pelvic tilt,'' which Owens says is hard to describe but it ``helps with stabilization and with your core.''
Some exercises are recommended to be done using Owens-branded resistance bands or canned food. Not that Owens has ever tried creamed-corn curls.
``Those are old-school things you can do if you don't have the resources,'' he says, attributing the suggestion to Primm while admitting anyone who can afford the $26 book can probably afford dumbbells. ``I know the economy is bad, but I don't think it's that bad that you have to go in the garage and find paint cans to lift.''
The spiritual part covers everything from X-rays of injuries Owens has conquered, to explaining how he picked the song for his Web site, to a transcript of his 2003 speech to the Senate in support of Alzheimer's research. He even advises people to create their own catchphrases, like his ``Getcha popcorn ready,'' and ``I love me some me.''
Pro athletes' livelihoods depend on being in peak physical condition, so their incentive to work out is different from ordinary folks. But Owens believes his book applies to everyone.
.
``A healthy way of living should be enough of a goal in itself,'' he said. ``Start with baby steps, maybe 20 minutes a day. Then you'll get to a point of 40 minutes a day, then an hour a day. ...
``Look at me now and at the way I have performed my entire career. It is not something that just happened overnight. I may work out throughout the night, but I am not an overnight success. I don't think I'd be at this stage of my career if I wasn't doing the necessary and right things.''

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