Monday, January 20, 2014

Better Body Workouts for Women by Dean Hodgkin and Caroline Pearce

Better Body Workouts for Women by Dean Hodgkin and Caroline Pearce is a new book for those who are seeking to get fit.  And of course, this is the time of year when these books flood the shelves as women make resolutions to lose weight.  This book is not about getting skinny; it’s about being healthy, stronger, and fit.  There are “tips” scattered throughout the book for those seeking to lose weight but that is not this book’s emphasis because the goal of exercise shouldn’t be to fit a certain size of jeans so much as being the best you can be.

The book is full of information.  After a brief introductory chapter, the authors dig right into first doing a self-assessment that includes stretching and resting heart rate as well as a few surprises, such as one that looks at explosive power.  And this is one of the things I love about this book.  Mixed in with the usual information that one expects to find, there are suggestions that are obvious once you learn about them.  The advice about rehydrating after working out, which can be found on page 43, is wonderful and I’m amazed I’ve never read this suggestion before.

There are suggested exercises using a variety of fitness resources—from your body weight to gym equipment.  But you won’t need to join a gym just to use this book.  The chapter on strength training initially focuses on gym machines but also shows how to use free weights to work the same muscle groups.  And if that isn’t enough, there are even suggestions for how to use a medicine ball and kettle bells.  As if that weren’t reason enough to give this book a try, when was the last time you read a fitness book that had a section focused solely on agility?  Well, this one has a whole chapter! 

The book guides you through how to create your own exercise program eventually concluding on keeping a training diary.  My only complaint with this book is that there are many allusions to research but there are no references to the research itself, no citations to follow up on the research for yourself.  Perhaps there will be a second edition someday and the authors will include citations.  Information like that shouldn’t be considered unnecessary.  But, frankly, if that’s my only complaint (and it is), then I obviously like this book a lot.

Note for American Readers:  The authors use metric measurements so you may need to adjust accordingly.  It’s not that complicated or difficult but I wanted to mention it because I know for some people it’s off-putting.  

Edit:  Over on Twitter, Caroline Pearce explained the reason for the absence of citations.


  1. This does look like a useful resource!

    Joy's Book Blog

    1. Joy, I was really surprised with the quality of this book. I am going to have to remind myself not to avoid the things I don't enjoy doing to ensure I have a well-rounded approach to my personal fitness. It's easy for me to commit to doing the things I love (isn't that always the way?) but the things that really push me or force me to work outside my comfort zone are so easy to avoid. I don't want to do that. So I'll be adding agility to my workouts in the not-too-distant future.


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