Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday inspiration/Review

Today I am feeling inspired by The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises. I purchased it recently at a very reduced price at a Borders Going-out-of-business sale. I'd been wanting it for a while, but couldn't justify the price and then *ta da*, Borders to the rescue!

I've had it for a while and I'd flipped through it a few times, but hadn't really had a chance to take it all in, until last night. My friend has decided that she wants to join my gym, so I met her there yesterday afternoon. I had just finished my workout, and promised to show her some things before she got started.

I showed her the cardio machines and a few strength training things I do with free weights (squats, lunges, a plethora of and  upper body moves, other lower body moves, and a few standing abs moves). Towards the end of my demonstration, she stopped me and asked, "is that all you do?" She was under the impression that I do all work on the machines. I do some, but not much really. I feel that, for the most part, anything you can do on a machine you can do with free weights. When you work with free weights, you're engaging more muscles than when you do the comparable exercise on a machine like, for instance, your stabilizing muscles. I like to go to the gym to get it done, not to take the easy way out. Her reasoning was that she has free weights at home so why would she do them at the gym? I think it's totally a personal preference. I've been exercising regularly now for about eleven years and that's what works for me.

So, why did I go on that rant? Here's why: I've decided to put together a routine for myself (and for my friend if she so desires), so I pulled the book out last night. I must say, it's pretty much the best reference I've seen (and I've seen many), for demonstrating exercises that target every part of the body. Check out the Table of Contents:

At the beginning of each Chapter/section of the body, is a diagram of the muscles.


I find this to be an extremely helpful tool. There was a point in time when I did something that made the muscles under my armpits sore and it intrigued me, but I had no idea what muscle that was. Well, now I can just look it up!

And, as promised, a couple diagrams straight from the pages. 

All that text explains everything you need to know about form, the muscles that you are working/engaging, any available alternatives, and pretty much anything else you may want to know. The images are also large and detailed. I highly recommend this book if you love working out, need motivation to begin working out, and/or if you're looking for some new exercises.

And now, a few fun pictures from this weekend:

I love him.

Unfortunately this bunny doesn't poop jelly beans.



  1. I only have free weights and I don't feel limited by that. Actually I do most of my weight training by lugging around a heavy baby, but that's unrelated :)

  2. The book does look fabulous! Gotta love being able to get things at great sale prices. I agree that free weights are a better workout "tool" than the machines.

    Love the bunny ears :)

  3. I like how its all broken down into body parts, I agree that I'd rather do free weights than machines. My main weight training is either Jillian Michael's videos or body pump, I like to just follow along dumbly rather than have to count or think for myself!