Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Sexier, Healthier YOU! Paperback – December 22, 2009
|New from||Used from|
There is a newer edition of this item:
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Adam Campbell is the fitness director for Women's Health and a National Magazine Award-winning writer. He holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and is a NSCA-certified strength and conditioning coach. Campbell has appeared on Good Morning America, The Early Show, and VH-1.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 75%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top Customer Reviews
The book is broken down into chapters dedicated to body parts: Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms, Quadriceps & Calves, Glutes & Hamstrings, Core, as well as chapters for Total Body and Warmup Exercises. There is also a chapter on how to put various exercises together for specific-goal workouts (e.g. "The Get Your Body Back Workout", "The Skinny Jeans Workout", "The Bikini-Ready Workout", "The Best Sports Workout", "The Best Three-Exercise Workouts"). In addition, there are chapters dedicated to Nutrition, Cardio Workouts, the importance of Weights, etc.
All in all, this is an extremely comprehensive book that is not at all about gimmicks or shortcuts but is simply well researched and well presented. It will literally replace several books I've bought on this subject in past years. I'm not easily impressed by books on this subject and yet I'm extremely impressed by this compilation. Well done Adam Campbell and contributors!
As far as equipment is concerned, I started working out with 5 lb, 8 lb, and 10 lb dumbbells and a step. I just added a Swiss ball. While the book does have exercises that use gym equipment, it offers enough variations that you can work out at home. For example, if I am following a plan that calls for barbell deadlifts, I can easily substitute dumbbell deadlifts.
The book does live up to its title of being a Big Book of Exercises- there are several "Main Moves" for each body part as well as numerous variations for most of them (although I do have to agree with what another reviewer said- some of them are fairly obvious, like substituting dumbbells for a barbell or vice versa). There are also numerous workout plans listed, some of which progress through different difficulty levels. In addition, the book does do a good job of explaining which exercises work which muscle groups and which muscle groups often work together (I've read workout books for instance that imply that you aren't working both your glutes and hamstrings together even though for many exercises that target those groups, that is indeed the case).
However, not all of the chapters/plans tell you which exercises are good for beginners as opposed to which ones are too difficult. They do give you a spectrum for the pushups and chinups, and some exercises' variations cite which ones are more difficult. However, this isn't true for every exercise. Plus, for some people who are really out of shape, even the "easy" variations may be too difficult- I have difficulty doing modified pushups with proper form, for instance. In other chapters, I also tried the lat pullover (back) and found it difficult with the 15 lb. weight of an EZ-curl bar, and forget trying to get into position to do a Swiss-ball jackknife (core) if you can't do a pushup. (Perhaps that last one should have been obvious, but I believe that the book could do a better job of informing you which exercises may be too difficult for out-of-shape people and what to do if an exercise is too difficult.)
Another problem I have is that many of the exercises for the quadriceps are variations of squats and lunges, but there are no useful alternatives for people who have problems doing these exercises. I don't have knee issues, so I can handle regular squats, but I find lunges and split squats often hurt my back foot. And what if I did have a knee issue at some point? I guess I won't be able to use many of the workouts in this book, or at the very least I won't be able to work my quadriceps! (Also, again relating to the difficulty issue, single-leg squats and pistol squats are harder than one might initially guess, so good luck working one leg at a time if you can't handle lunges.)
Yet another gripe I have (although this is one that may not bother as many people) is that even though the beginning of the book suggests equipment that one should have in order to have a fully-equipped home gym, most of the workout plans don't tell you what equipment they require. There is a body-weight workout as well as a dumbbell workout "for a crowded gym" that many people could probably do at home, but I feel it would be useful for people who want to use other workouts out of this book to be able to readily see which workouts they may be able to do at home if they only have some of the equipment vs. which ones would require things that a lot of people aren't as likely to have.
On the whole, it does have many exercises and workout plans and could be a useful tool for people who work out regularly and want some variety in their workouts. However, while beginners can learn some things from this book, the difficulty level of even the "easy" exercises may be beyond their capabilities. In addition, people with certain joint issues will be unable to work some muscle groups by using only this book.