Well good morning on this bloody cold March Monday. How was your weekend? Ours was nice and quiet aside from some sledding, swimming (indoors!), a birthday party and errands. I didn't even have to work Saturday. Word on the street is that this may be the last week of freezing cold temps. Thank goodness, because like every other North American, I'm freakin' sick of this, and ready to enjoy a few days of spring before we move right into the blazing hot summer (which I'll complain about just as bitterly).
Now onto discussing butts.
Since I now do almost all my workouts at home, I love getting new ideas for how to change things up. So I was thrilled to receive a review copy of Ultimate Booty Workouts.
The author, Tamara Grand, is a PhD, a certified personal trainer, a mom and a Canadian with her very own blog! Ha, turns out we have a lot in common! Of course, her blog is a whole lot prettier than mine. Unfortunately for me, she lives across the country in beautiful British Columbia where she is lucky enough to be enjoying far more moderate temps this winter.
Part I of the book provides background on the musculature of the lower body and the benefits of strength training for women. I strongly believe that women should strength train and it irks me that so many women are afraid to, so I am very glad she included this part. This section also includes a brief overview of proper nutrition for strength training, some general nutrition guide lines and 2 recipes for wholesome, homemade protein bars. Her recommendations are sensible and evidence based and do not subscribe to any trendy diets. So I love that.
Part II of the book explains how to use the book to create your training program. Grand describes the equipment required, suggests how to integrate the workout into your existing routine, and recommends a basic guide for progression of your workouts. This section also explains how to measure progress and discusses the importance of rest and recovery. Grand also includes definitions for key terminology and tips for getting the most out of your workout.
Next, Grand lays out the phases for strength training progression:
1. Setting the foundation
2. Building muscle
3. Leaning and cutting
For each phase, she offers at least one sample program with exercises, and suggested number of reps, sets and rest. Altogether, it is a 12 week program. Once you have completed it, she gives several options for what to do next to continue to make progress.
Part 3 provides photos and descriptions of how to execute each exercise. Now, I didn't learn anything new in this section, all the exercises are already familiar to me, but then again, I have been training for a very long time. For most people who have not, many of these will be new to you, or at least some of the variations on the basics (squat, lunge, etc.) will be new.
Following the strength exercises, Grand includes a section with Tabata (HIIT) movements (plyometrics, burpees, etc.).
Part 4 is dedicated entirely to warming up and cooling down. Grand explains why they are important components of a workout, and gives you exercises and stretches.
Finally, the appendix at the back has some logs for you to record your workouts.
Overall, it is a very sound book that is perfect for someone wanting to focus on lower body strength training and conditioning on their own (without the help of a personal trainer). The program can be done at home or in a gym, which makes it very versatile.
To be honest, my only concern is that - unlike myself - most of the world looks to 'apps' for everything now. Personally, I still prefer books. So I wonder whether this book will get a lot of attention or if most people will just go online to get this kind of thing. If you are old school, like myself, and keen to learn more about strength training for your lower half, this is a very good option.