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Better Body Workouts For Women

Author: Hodgkin D, Pearce C
Category: Training
Audience: Consumer
Length: 248 pages
Publisher: Human Kinetics
  Year Published: 2014
List Price: $19.95® Rating: Excellent!

Better Body Workouts For Women is a great resource on exercise and training for women.

Recommended for: It is appropriate for adult women who are novice exercisers as well as more advanced athletes.


Dean Hodgkin is an accomplished fitness author. He has written for many fitness publications, including Men's Health. He has also appeared on various radio and TV shows and in more than 20 fitness videos. He is a 3-time world and 2-time European champion in Karate. He does not hold any advanced degrees.

Caroline Pearce is a former international competitive athlete. Her athletic career began at age 15 when she represented Great Britain in the pentathlon. She earned a place on the European Cup heptathlon team at age 24. She is a 2-time national AAA heptathlon champion and a silver medalist in the long jump. Then, she secured a spot on Great Britain's bobsleigh team and competed at the World Bobsleigh Championships in Calgary. Her undergraduate degree is in Sports Science, and she holds a master's degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.


The 248-page text is organized as follows:

  • Chapter 1: Training Essentials
  • Chapter 2: Fitness Assessments
  • Chapter 3: Nutrition Matters
  • Chapter 4: Warming Up and Cooling Down
  • Chapter 5: All In Aerobics
  • Chapter 6: Go Anaerobic
  • Chapter 7: Going Strong
  • Chapter 8: Power Up
  • Chapter 9: Get Agile
  • Chapter 10: Personalise Your Programme
  • Chapter 11: Sample Workouts and Programmes
  • Chapter 12: Training Diary


Authors Hodgkin and Pearce have done a great job of producing a comprehensive exercise/training guide that is appropriate for weekend warriors as well as more competitive athletes.....often, not an easy task.

Chapter 1 briefly reviews psychological and behavioral fundamentals that are needed in order to sustain a training routine and achieve desired goals. Here, the authors discuss motivation, personality types, goal-setting, and barriers (eg., not enough time, etc.)

Chapter 2 covers exactly what the title says: "Fitness Assessments." Here, the authors briefly review a variety of health and fitness parameters and how they are measured.

Chapter 3 covers nutrition. Generally, this is good info. The authors do point out the importance of consuming a proper balance of carbs+protein immediately after a work-out. However, they also include a list of their "recommended" dietary supplements. This is unfortunate. In general, I am not a fan of dietary supplements. In this list, the authors include iron and magnesium, micronutrients which should not be used casually. In their discussion of caffeine, they mention Red Bull when attempting to clarify amounts. Although not intentional, the reader will likely interpret this as an endorsement. This section on dietary supplements only takes up 4 pages, but, it should have been eliminated.

Chapter 4, "Warming Up and Cooling Down," is 37 pages long and contains 52 color photos of 2 women demonstrating the various exercises and stretches. This chapter is well done.

Chapter 5 is a short chapter that briefly discusses exercise physiology and interval training. This is a good chapter.

Chapter 6 is another short chapter. It covers anaerobic training concepts.

Chapter 7 discusses strength training. It is 48 pages long and contains 86 color photos. This chapter is comprehensive and well-done.

Chapter 8 follows up on chapter 7 by focusing on power exercises and plyometric exercises.

Chapter 9 is a short chapter on agility training.

Chapter 10 discusses female issues such as working out during menstruation, during pregnancy, and how to avoid female athlete triad.

Chapter 11 provides a variety training programs (or would that be "programmes"?...).

Chapter 12 briefly discusses the importance of keeping a training diary.

The Appendix offers some comments about exercise clothing.

Photos & Illustrations: This book does an excellent job of providing color photos for nearly all exercises described. This is a real strength of this book.

Tables & Graphs: There are quite a few tables throughout this book. Generally, these are well done and easy to read.

Documentation / Accuracy: No citations to published literature are provided.

What I Liked: The book is thorough, yet easy to read. It gets to the point without a lot of unnecessary words, or, heavy scientific explanations.

What Could Be Better: As noted above, the section on recommended dietary supplements (p. 46-50) should be omitted.


In summary, Better Body Workouts For Women is really well done. The authors have produced an easy-to-read and practical book. It should be a useful resource for women of all fitness levels. I can definitely recommend it.

Other Exercise and Fitness Books For Women:

Reviewed by: Stan Reents, PharmD 6/2/2014 3:03:01 PM

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