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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 March 2006, 17:18 GMT
Rice pumps iron for the cameras
Condoleezza Rice
Ms Rice is described by colleagues as muscular and agile
The US Secretary of State will flex more than her political muscle when she demonstrates her personal workout routine to the nation on TV this week.

In an unusual move for such a high-profile figure, Condoleezza Rice will don her gym kit and pump iron.

The 51-year-old will also discuss how she stays in shape, despite a gruelling work schedule, and reveal her strategy for coping with high-calorie banquets.

Broadcasters hope Ms Rice will inspire others with hectic jobs to keep fit.

The items will be broadcast over three days, starting on Wednesday, by Washington's NBC television affiliate, WRC, as part of its regular health and fitness slot.

Asked whether the feature signalled a more muscular US diplomacy, state department spokesman Adam Ereli said: "Muscular and agile."

He described Ms Rice as "an active, active secretary of state".

'Breaking a sweat'

Barbara Harrison, one of the channel's news anchors, persuaded Ms Rice to take part in the programme, filmed at the state department gym.

"She is amazing - the amount of weights she handles and the endurance she has.

"As a person who has exercised all my life, I was very impressed," said Ms Harrison, who joined the workout with Ms Rice and her personal trainer.

"She looks good throughout the whole workout," she said.

Americans wanting to catch a glimpse of their chief diplomat breaking into a sweat will have to get up early, as the broadcasts start at 0545 (1045GMT).

"We see her as one of the busiest people in the world," said Ms Harrison.

"The fact that she can squeeze in a workout in the middle of her incredible schedule suggests the rest of us should be able to do the same thing."

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