The fitness industry is saturated with books about health, nutrition and working out, but recently I had the opportunity to read and review Get Strong For Women by Alex Silver-Fagan. I found the book to be very appealing to women of all ages with exercises that are easy to follow, routines that you can stick to a schedule with, and most importantly how women can judge for themselves what is the best diet to maintain.
Alex Silver-Fagan, an ACE-certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, 200-hour certified yoga instructor and sponsored athlete on TEAM Bodybuilding.com— is trying to show women of all ages that working out is not hard— if you take a specific methodology to it.
I’m the first to admit— I’m horrible about working out. I think I used my gym membership maybe three times when I had it. However, over the past year I decided that I wanted to get back to a healthier lifestyle, try and get my weight down and build muscle tone. Every morning, I make it a point to exercise (even if I don’t feel like it). Most of my exercises are bodyweight centered, so when I was given Alex’s book to review, I decided to follow her regimen set up in the book for my own workout. I’m pleased to say that the workout wasn’t draining but invigorating, and although I’m not at my goal weight yet— I’m getting there, day by day.
One of my own personal strategies was to use a combination of bodyweight and strength-training exercises assisted by weights. You see many personal trainers incorporating this into workout regimens a lot. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to review Get Strong for Women, because it talks about essentially becoming stronger— mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s no coincidence that working out can boost confidence, and this book is not only about making physical changes, but emotional and mental ones too.
Many a time, I’ve quoted Tim Ferriss, host of “The Tim Ferriss Show” and author of the book Tools of the Titans— and one of the things that Tim has said, which has been a staple in his own success, is to be healthy. This is true of some of the world’s most successful people— people who are usually successful appear to be healthier.
Get Strong for Women outlines with graphics and clear descriptions what each exercise entails. More so, Alex is there with her readers— just as a personal trainer would be— encouraging them to the next level. Beginners can follow along with ease, while intermediate and advanced exercisers can jump to much higher levels. Most of Alex’s exercises consist of bodyweight training, which many trainers/athletes, like IFBB Bikini Pro Jennifer Andrews, agree is fantastic. This is because bodyweight training uses your own bodyweight and mass for resistance, and as you can increase your ability to sustain more— your body will follow.
I was able to ask Alex via email what her main motivation for writing this book, and she replied: “When I first started working out, I would head to my school’s gym and hit the elliptical for 30 minutes, mindlessly chugging away while watching the latest episode of my favorite TV show or reading a magazine. I then discovered a weightlifting program and decided to give it a go. I was the only girl in the weight room, and instead of feeling intimidated, I was inspired and motivated. I know that most women don’t feel this way when put in the same situation, and thus I wanted to spark some change in the world. I was inspired to change the stereotype that lifting weights make women bulky or that women are better off outside the weight room. My main motivation is my own experience with lifting weights. I’ve discovered a confidence and strength within myself that far surpasses all of the physical benefits. My goal is to show other women that they can feel the same.”
When asked if a follow-up book is planned, Alex replied, “I would love to write a follow-up to the book, this time incorporating my softer yoga background. I think everyone, not only women, needs to be comfortable tapping into their inner fire as well as tapping into the softer side of their personality. This can be done through exercise, but I also think the idea goes deeper. I’ve already explored the physical side of this in an e-book that I’ve self-published called Flow Into Strong. My next book’s plan would be to build on the idea of finding your inner athlete and your inner yogi through a holistic approach, exploring both mental and physical examples. I’ve dealt with depression and insecurities for a long time, just as many out there do, and would like to shed some light on a topic that is all too often swept under the rug.”
For anyone who wants to start a fitness program, this book is a must. With its easy-to-follow instructions, Alex will have you celebrating your workout instead of dreading it. “I truly hope that it does!” Alex replied. “Lifting weights should never be intimidating— it should be empowering! Far beyond all the physical benefits (which are explained in the book), there are so many other reasons why women should start working out. But even more than that, I hope that my books empower women to work out for a different reason— something deeper than surface level. I also hope that even though I don’t want people to focus on my body and looks, that I can help dispel the myth that lifting weights makes women bulky.”
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