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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
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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. . .
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).
- 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.
- A lot of common nutrition and workout obstacles and issues are discussed.
- The nutritional plan is a little extreme (except for four splurges a week). Of course, soda, juice, and processed foods are gone. In phase one, so are bread, pasta, and crackers. In a later phase, dairy and nuts go, too. That leaves meat, beans, vegetables, and fruit. In addition and in an obvious contradiction to the prohibition on processed foods and dairy, two scoops of whey protein must be ingested after every workout.
- The need to number and letter everything got confusing. There are 15 secrets and 14 workout principles. There are workouts A and B for weeks 1&2, 3-8, and 9-16. Within workout A for weeks 1&2, there are exercises called 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A, and 4B. Within workout B for weeks 1&2, there are also exercises called 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A, and 4B, but they are completely different exercises. The problem is repeated for the next two sets of workouts A and B. Then you get to the metabolic exercises, which has a whole set of 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D exercises.
- My knees started to hurt looking at the warmup, and there wasn't any mention of modifications.
- A home gym will not have all the equipment. These workouts require dumbbells, Swiss balls, a exercise tube or band, a sturdy bench for step ups, a cable pulley machine, a chin up bar, and an Olympic bar in a squat rack. Kettlebells and weighted bars and balls would be nice, too.
- The pictures of the exercises are spread out over 60 pages. A one-page summary of each workout in pictures would have been helpful, particularly given the confusing charts.
- The rants about aerobic exercise are unhelpful and diminish the author's credibility. While aerobic (steady-state) exercise may not be the best way to lose weight and become fit, there are lots of people who exercise that way and are quite fit.
- The relentless references to girls and ladies (and the bitch acronym) were probably intended to be cute, but weren't.