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Strength Training For Women: Tone Up, Burn Calories, Stay Strong Paperback – December 27, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A personal trainer in NYC's Upper East Side, Pagano has dedicated the past 16 years of her life to passing her knowledge and passion for fitness on to other women in the hopes of helping them improve their lives and prevent common diseases like osteoporosis. Her first offering in the crowded self-help fitness genre succeeds impressively well as a resource for women of all ages looking to improve their overall health. Like a good personal trainer should, she begins with a three-part fitness test and questionnaire to assess whether the reader should consult a doctor before beginning her program. For true beginners, she provides an anatomy chart that depicts the major muscle groups and the exercises that are best suited to them. She dispels fitness myths like "lifting weights will bulk you up" and "you can spot reduce," and talks about the risk factors, exercise guidelines and restrictions of osteoporosis. Best of all for novices, many of Pagnano's beginner exercises require no special equipment, relying instead on everyday fixtures like chairs, walls and kitchen countertops. (More advanced exercises use free weights, stretch bands and stability balls.) The color photos, diagrams and clear explanations make the exercises easy to follow, and Pagano provides full training programs for improving posture and strengthening the lower, upper and core muscles of the body. This book may be one of the best substitutes for pricey gym memberships and personal trainers.
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"Color photos of different women are the meat of this easy tone-up handbook." -- Library Bookwatch

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: DK Adult (December 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756605954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756605957
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have purchased several books devoted to strength training. I have to say, this book is the best I have found--by far.

What makes this book exceptional is how thorough it is and also how much variety it offers.

Exercises for home users--both those who use dumbbells, those who use resistance bands and those who use stability balls or all of the above--are offered. Exercises for gym dwellers are also given. This book caters to everyone in a very balanced manner.

The book covers upper body, lower body, core exercises and lots of stretching ideas.

While, sometimes, strength training can get confusing because one often questions which exercises are best, how much weight you need to use and how many reps to do, this book really does simplify the whole thing.

Also, there are both modified and advanced descriptions and photos for each exercise.

Usually when you come across a book on strength training, you see the same, basic moves you've seen (and probably done) a million times before. But Joan Pagano includes variations of moves even I, a fairly experienced exerciser, had never seen before.

The layout of the book is visually stimulating. Along with photos illustrating each exercise, there are illustrations showing which body parts are being used with each move.

The book was well-written as well. Joan's instructions are concise and encouraging.

Recently, I decided I wanted to start working out during TV commercials--just to add a bit of boost to my fitness routine. I found many exercises within this book I will be doing while watching TV.

I think this is an excellent book for an advanced exercise looking for a some new ideas. But more importantly, this is an awesome resource for a beginner. I will be purchasing this book for friends and family who are daunted by the idea of doing strength training. I suggest you do the same.
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Format: Paperback
I checked this book out from the library 3 weeks ago, renewed it, and now am purchasing the book.

Target Audience:

- Beginning to intermediate level

- Women

- Home exercisers like myself who wish to obtain few equipments at a moderate cost

This book has the following sections:

A. First Moves: To get you started. Explains why and how to use the programs in this book to exercise.

B. 4 for Life: 4 exercises for full-body conditioning, if you never do anything else.

- Programs at a Glance

- Warm Up

- Individual Exercises

- Stretches / Cool-down

C. Lower Body Program

D. Upper Body Program

E. Core Body Program

(Sections C-E include the following)

- Programs at a Glance

- Individual Exercises

- Stretches

F: Useful Programs: 4 programs that combines individual exercises from sections B-E for some popular fitness goals

Great things about this book:

(1) Clearly written instructions for each exercise

(2) Easy to follow suggested programs, depending on your fitness goal and level

(3) Well-organized content

(4) Visually appealing diagrams, photos, and layout design

I like to workout at home with video fitness DVD's. With this book, I have been able to customize and add to my existing programs to target specific areas as well as full-body conditioning while purchasing very few low-cost equipments. It has been a very helpful tool, and is a book that I will refer to over and over again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joan Pagano's first love is yoga, and it shows in the type of exercises in this book. She also appears to have a cross-disciplinary interest in physical therapy; I recognize several exercises (all excellent) which I learned from physical therapists in recovering from injuries.

I give Ms. Pagano an A+ for both clarity and variety. The book has clear descriptions of exercises, and excellent photos with a white dotted line showing the muscles each exercise is supposed to work. I was able to understand how to properly perform several stretches which had been unclear in other books. The variety is excellent, including many exercises for rubber resistance bands and for those big, fun, colorful stability balls. I was pleasantly surprised to find several pages on exercises for improving posture.

Where the book really shines is in providing a safe, approachable beginning for women who are either very out of shape or recovering from illness. For example, she de-scareifies the push-up, that ultimate symbol of military-grade fitness, by showing four less physically demanding variations in order of gradually increasing difficulty.

But I do have one major caveat: If you're hoping for a serious weight training book--which will help you build muscle--this is not the one. Ms. Pagano seems to seriously underestimate women's strength. Doesn't she know we lift grocery bags, babies and suitcases in airports? The section on push-ups, for example, fails to include the standard 'man's" push-up. I would think that working through the other four would be with a goal of getting there, to the most difficult one.
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