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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for what, why and how of female strength training? Just buy this book, you won't regret it!, 24 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Strong Curves (Paperback)
I was given this book a couple of weeks ago and it's still "work-in-progress" but I can already see some results and I am really impressed by this book's content.
1) It doesn't go only for the workout plan - it also gives you a lot of information about nutrition and general lifestyle. What I especially liked was that it doesn't come with the "this is the one and only way" attitude - it's more of an explanation of how the body works, what options you have - but it leaves you with a lot of choice.
2) Fantastic descriptions of the exercises. Frankly, I think the only other book that breaks things down to similar degree is Strength Training Anatomy. I find going back to Strong Curves over and over again for various details of the exercises and there is an incredible amount of information. Across the two, you finally know how to *properly* execute the squat or dead-lift - which muscles are working, what is the correct movement, how should your arms, knees, back... be positioned... you name it - it's there.
3) Focus on the legs/midsection - Bret assumes that women (myself included) are generally more interested in a nice booty than nice biceps. Therefore he places a lot of focus on exercises for your glutes/quads/hamstrings. He doesn't leave out the upper body completely and the full workout still has exercises for your arms, shoulders and back - but there is significantly more emphasis on "how to build that perfect bum". If you're super interested in building your upper body, then you might be better off with another book.
4) Great explanation of how to adjust the workout to your own needs. You can start training with this book regardless of whether you're a complete beginner (and I mean it) or quite advanced lifter. There is a huge range of exercises, from bodyweight squats on a high box to one-leg pistol squats, so you can definitely find your level somewhere in between. The book also explains how to figure out your starting point weights, when to increase them, how to see if you're pushing yourself hard enough (or too hard), etc. It shows example workout diaries and I have to say that having one definitely helps! It's really like having your own personal trainer explaining this to you, and helping you find the right exercises depending on your body and fitness levels (and adjust them as you get stronger).
5) Excellent pictures and good quality print - most of the exercises have the pictures for the beginning and end of the movement taken from 2 angles (so 4 pictures altogether, and sometimes even 6) - that helps you see how exactly your body should be positioned.
6) I found the book quite funny at points, which was just icing on the cake.

What I found not-so-good was a bit too long intro chapters (i.e. it took the book a while to ACTUALLY get to the workout part) but in the hindsight, there is a lot of useful information in there, and you can skip it until later if you absolutely want to. It does feel a little butt-obsessed, but in a funny way so I didn't mind that.

It is one of the best fitness-related books I've ever come across, so if you're looking for a book that covers the WHAT, WHY and HOW to train - I cannot recommend this one highly enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to basics for well guided quality workouts, 27 April 2013
This review is from: Strong Curves (Paperback)
This book takes you back to the beginning. I have an active job requiring heavy lifting at times so I like to keep strong and healthy for this and general health. I have been working out for some time but always end up with tight sore muscles, niggling back pain and pulling sensations in my muscles due to imbalances resulting in breaks from training and no gains toward what I want to achieve, going around in never ending cycles of small gains then back to square one.
There is a lot of explanation in the first few chapters about the glutes and why they are so important. There is some repetition from the author as he is getting his point across about the importance of strong glutes and the misconceptions that the only workouts that 'work' are the high impact, sweaty, or endless hours weight lifting day in day out.

There are lots of routines in this book (warm-up, mobility, activation, beginners, advanced, exercises explained in depth...and more) that really get the glutes working. It is essential to do the activation routine prior to working out to get the glutes fired up, you can really feel when they have been woken up during the activation routine and with the exercises that follow. There are so many variations of exercises in this book it can be adapted for those unable to do certain exercises, those who want no weights, those who want more weights, and those who want to devise their own routine.

The author has spent many years researching the best exercises for maximum glute activation, with well explained theory in the book. I trust the sound information and explanation given as it makes sense and I can truly say that my back pain is less because of my new training routine and already I am noticing a change in my physique. I have followed the beginners programme at home for the past month and only managed 3 workouts a week lasting less than an hour. I find time to do them in between work, children, the dog and studying because it is actually enjoyable, with enough excuses not to workout this tells you something. I can feel my glutes are more 'awake' now as I feel them activate when walking, experience less muscle fatigue when running and feel my glutes taking the load when going about my hectic life and not my lower back.
The author says that the greatest gains will be discovered within the first 6 months of training so I am really looking forward to see where this book takes me.
You do need equipment at home or have use of the gym to get the best from this book, although the progress I have made so far has been with the beginners routine using mainly bodyweight, some dumbell/kettlebell and exercise bands. I also have a foam roller.
I initially bought the kindle edition as I was keen to read this book. I would recommend the actual book, which I have now bought and received from amazon within 2 days with supersaver postage, its a good sized paper back book with excellent colour pictures detailing the correct form for each exercise.
In my opinion a reference book cannot be substituted with an electronic book. You will need to flick through the pages at times during workouts (especially in the beginning) to make sure you are getting the maximum benefit of the exercise being performed. I've essentially paid for this book twice but it is worth every penny. I can always use the kindle version when I am away from home - no excuses!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good plan, but mind the mansplain, 1 Jun. 2013
By 
M. R. Day "R.Skye" (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
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I wanted to add some more workouts for my legs and glutes to my normal routine as I don't have a gym. I heard good reviews about this book and decided to pick it up. It does have a fair bit of mansplaining in the beginning of the book - being told as a woman I shouldn't want to have big arms or rounded shoulders but instead should concentrate on my glutes ( I assume for the "yoga pants stare" benefit of men) made me roll my eyes a bit. With that said, the exercises themselves are very good and require very little in the way of extra equipment - don't have a barbell? Body-weight works fine. I combine this with kettlebell workouts and it really does the trick. If you can manage to suffer through the sometimes patronising tone, it is definitely a programme worth doing to strengthen your legs and glutes. For myself I've added more upper body work because, contrary to the opinion of the author, I want strong arms too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good exercise manual, 23 May 2013
By 
wendyg62 (Perthshire, Scotland.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Strong Curves (Paperback)
Excellent guide to all the exercises. A wee bit unnecessarily 'wordy' at the start but I think that's part of the American way of doing things. To be fair, he does explain things well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 21 Feb. 2015
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Great book for simple lifting and bodyweight routines, not exhausting but highly effective. I have been lifting weights for over a year and had some personal training instruction for most of that time, then hurt my back which meant I could not do standard squats/deadlifts/lunges, so it was great to find the glute bridges and hip thrusts which I can do without putting too much strain on my back. I am enjoying the routines and I definitely think my figure, particularly the butt area has improved. I have read several lifting books and I would recommend this book though I do think some personal training is beneficial initially to get you started, then save a fortune and do your own routines by using this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had bought this ages ago!, 2 Feb. 2015
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Was always put off buying this book because I wrongly thought it was solely focused on the glutes and lower body. However it's not. They are full body workouts, with extra focus on the glutes. The workouts are not just focused on aesthetics but also aim to get you stronger too. It is also full of scientific research to back up the ideas, claims and why the workouts should work. I wish I had bought this book ages ago, before wasting money on others!
I will carry on through the programme and see how it goes but its definitely good so far!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book of it's kind, 9 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Strong Curves (Paperback)
Fantastic book. Easy to read with programs ranging from beginner to advanced, home workouts and a lower body only workout. Bret is one of the very best in his field and he works only scientific so you can trust his advise. This book is not only about glute development, but features fullbody programs.
There is a huge amount of different exercises listed in the book with explanations and pictures to show you how to do the different exercises.
A must buy for any woman (or man) wanting to build a better body
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4.0 out of 5 stars Advice from the Glute Guy, 28 Jan. 2015
By 
M. Milbourne "Kettlebelle" (Cumbria, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Strong Curves (Paperback)
Some great advice here, from very respected strength training coaches. An intelligent and non-patronising strength-training book for women who are serious about trying to look like Kellie Davis who's on the front.

There's an awful lot of reading here and it takes time to work through, but you're unlikely to find this kind of solid advice in other fitness books by so-called experts. There's a lot of rubbish written particularly about women's training so this is really refreshing.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong is beautiful, 4 April 2013
This review is from: Strong Curves (Paperback)
I knew it was going to be a real treasure for anyone to own but I am especially thrilled that it has surpassed my expectations! Over the last couple of weeks, I have made my way through the book with glee (yes, I just said glee) and can honestly say that it is the best fitness read I have ever! WHY? Check out the reasons below:
- Bret and Kellie explain everything in a way that is easy to understand and you learn the WHY behind the WHAT.
- You have valuable tips and stories along the way to illustrate, inform and humor you.
- Four 12 week Programs, including Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Levels --> with progressions/regressions, common errors and how to correct them.
- Nutrition advice and help on how to actually LIVE a lifestyle that supports your fitness goals.
- An impressive exercise index which categorizes exercises under the main movement patterns to help you understand the programming better.
- Explanations of Self-Myofascial Release, mobility exercises and stretches
In other words, it truly IS a manual -> it contains everything you need to know about how to train, why you should train the Strong Curves way AND gives you enough knowledge to continue to use the book to design your own programs.

If I hadn't been lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of the book, I would have bought it anyway. Actually, I am going to buy it for some of my friends to help them see that training for strength and progression will build you the best body you could ever have. If they won't believe me, they won't be able to argue with Strong Curves
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing ressource, 11 Aug. 2014
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A really amazing book. Well written, lots of information about how the body works and a tonne of workout plans to suit all needs and fitness level. While it focuses on Building a better booty it also provides an all-over workout. There exercises are clearly explained with photos and there are enough to challenge even the most hard-core fit chick! Can't recommend it enough. Bret knows what he's talking about!
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Strong Curves
Strong Curves by Kellie Davis (Paperback - 2 April 2013)
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