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The Female Body Breakthrough: The Revolutionary Strength-Training Plan for Losing Fat and Getting the Body You Want Paperback – November 10, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Female Body Breakthrough: The Revolutionary Strength-Training Plan for Losing Fat and Getting the Body You Want
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  • Drop Two Sizes: A Proven Plan to Ditch the Scale, Get the Body You Want & Wear the Clothes You Love! (Women's Health)
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  • The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

RACHEL COSGROVE is co-founder and co-owner of Results Fitness in Southern California. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, U.S. Olympic Weightlifting Coach, and a U.S Triathlon Coach. She has written for Women's Health, Shape, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and many other fitness publications.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605296937
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605296937
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have read and admired Rachel Cosgrove since reading New Rules of Lifting for Women and bought a subscription to Women's Health when I saw her name begin to appear regularly. Her new book is very solid: well-researched nutritional advice, common sense and rational approach to health and fitness, and full of useful photographs and descriptions. The reason I subtracted a star I think may be attributed to her editors rather than the author herself. I enjoy reading Ms. Cosgrove because she's smart, reasonable and walks the walk. I do not read her because she's a woman. I "trust" the advice of people who know what they are talking about because they're educated, well-researched and respectful of their audience. Their chromosomal make-up doesn't usually factor in for me. I don't know if this makes me an anomaly, but someone on Ms. Cosgrove's team felt it important that the reader understand that she gets women because we share body parts.

By the end of the second chapter, I was twitching every time I read the word "girl", "feminine" or a double-dose of exclamation points used to stress the fact that she's fun! friendly! and you don't have to sacrifice femininity to be strong! I found myself skimming sections and actually felt like I was betraying Ms. Cosgrove's hard work in creating what is, in fact, a solid health and workout plan. I lost 75 pounds following the guidance she and her husband set out in New Rules and was looking for her advice on getting to the next stage. I appreciated the fact that some issues that are unique to women (i.e. hormones) were in their own chapters and given the time they deserve. However, I wish they had dialed back the "sisterhood" factor to a 6-7 instead of a 10. Well, at least the cover isn't pink. . .
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Format: Paperback
An overview of the book:

Chapter 1: "secrets" of being a fit female and real life examples.
Chapter 2: the author's story and more real life examples.
Chapter 3: why steady-state aerobics doesn't work.
Chapter 4: decide what you want and write it down.
Chapter 5: think about how food makes you feel.
Chapter 6: how PMS and hormones affect workouts.
Chapter 7: how to measure your starting line (so you see progress).
Chapter 8&9: three phases of nutrition over 16 weeks.
Chapters 10&11: three phases of workouts over 16 weeks.
Chapter 12: the importance of stretching and foam rollers.
Chapter 13: conclusion (followed by references and an index).

Pros:
- This book covers weight lifting, cardio, nutrition, and motivation, which is pretty much everything you need in the fitness picture.
- There is a good discussion, with references, about the need for weight lifting (presumably focused at women who have a bias against it).
- Most of the secrets of being fit are pretty basic, but probably need repeating (think positive, keep a journal, manage stress, anticipate obstacles, etc.) The secret of exercising in the morning was poorly worded. On the surface, it seems stupidly rigid. The underlying message -- you'll never regret working out, but you will regret not working out -- was valid.
- The nutritional and workout guides are progressive, which makes progress possible and more likely.
- There's a discussion of common muscular imbalances that women have (and I nodded my head for almost all of them) and how these workouts and stretches would help address them.
- The warmups and workouts look straight forward and challenging.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a male Personal Trainer with the majority of my clients' females, I found Rachel's book to be the best complete training book for women I've read so far, and I've read all that I could find. I have purchased this book many times and have given it to my new clients before I start them on a fitness schedule.

What I found so great about her book is, first of all, she's a woman. She had many of the problems women have such as image disorders, eating disorders, that "time of the month" problems, and disorders of the mind when thinking that running is the fastest way to lose bodyfat. She doesn't write for the "Cover Girl" models, but for everyday women that you'll see at the mall, stores, gyms, or PTA meetings. She is a Sports Nutritionist, (CISSN) that addresses the very important nutritional aspect of being fit.

I'm not saying that I understand every problem that a woman brings to me during a training session, but her 16 secrets in her "Fit Female Credos" address a lot of the problems that hold back a woman from mediocrity to success. They should be read frequently, and my male clients could learn a few things from that Credo!

I have a minor disagreement regarding her statements that women don't need isolation exercises that hit the arms or shoulders, and define those muscles more. In my experience, most of the women that I train, that have been successful in losing body fat into the low 20% range, there is a request for an isolation "arm" or "shoulder" workout. This is especially true when summer is approaching and sleeveless clothing is being worn. We use these workouts when my clients have been up most of the night with kids, or not feeling up to a strenuous workout. This is such a minor point that I still think her book is the best, and she sets a very good example of a successful fit female.
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