I believe in balance in life and with the goodies I like to make and eat like cupcakes and cookies, I also have to burn off those calories with a good daily workout. I have actually been a lifelong athlete, having grown up a competitive swimmer, starting lifting weights early on in life and participated and competed in various other sports. I have always had a huge interest in physical fitness and strength training and am always researching and learning more about programs. I have made lots of great friends along the way in my fitness journey, one being Kellie Davis one of the authors of the book Strong Curves: A Woman’s guide to building a better butt and body. The book I am reviewing in this post.
Kellie emailed me asking me if I wanted a copy in exchange for a blog post/review about it. Of course I did! So honored! I had actually been following some of Kellie’s and Bret’s work in fitness and weight training for a few years. Researching getting back into shape post baby #2 I would be up late at night nursing and researching workouts to keep myself awake and I don’t remember quite how I came across Bret’s website, probably via T-Nation, but I discovered he was the “Glute Guy” and had done a ton of work and research on, well, glutes. As a mom I was deadset against having a the typical flat pancake butt, I wanted the nice round bubble butt. And so I started doing some of Bret’s workouts, and realized that his programs were unlike anything I had ever done before. I have always done squats, lunges etc, but never glute bridges and hip thrusts using barbells, and boy these were a game changer. After adding them into my workout program I progressed really quickly and was enjoying the results of my hard work. I know lululemon pants make a woman’s booty look good, but hard work in the gym makes it look even better. What woman doesn’t want a nice booty?
Fast forward to getting to know Kellie more via her blog, Mother Fitness, and other fitness pages online and through Facebook, I learned of Bret’s 225lb club. He had a blog post with a collection of videos of very strong women such as Kellie and my friend Molly doing 225lb barbell hip thrusts. I left a comment ” I can do 315lbs” and I had to prove it via video. Bret believes in “Video or it didn’t happen” ha ha. I have a slight competitive nature when it comes to athletics. Plus its been fun getting to know these women that were also featured. With all the support and encouragement in the food blog world there is just as much in the fitness world. The barbell glute bridge and hip thrusts have quickly become my favorite exercise for the butt and whenever I see a friend or acquaintance mention they want to work on their butts more at the gym, I always direct them towards Kellie’s and Bret’s blogs/videos about the exercise, and now this book.
I was so thrilled when I saw this book had arrived in the mail. I knew that it was going to be well written, well researched and the programs in it are excellent, beyond my expectations. The beginning of the book covers the hows and whys of female weight training, proper nutrition and discusses the myth of women weight training will make them big and bulky (spoiler alert heavy weight training doesn’t make women bulky) and a section that covers warmups and mobility very thoroughly. They didn’t leave a single detail out. There are pictures for each exercise, explanation of why proper mobility and warmups are necessary and for “firing” the glutes to get the most out of the workouts.
There are several workouts in the book, for beginners and advanced, in the home and gym, full body and glute only with training logs for each one. They also cover progressions for each workout and the last section of the book covers full pictures of each exercise showing the right and wrong ways to do each exercise so any errors can easily be corrected. I have read many fitness and exercise books, and while most have been good, none have been as thorough and complete and well researched as this one. Bret and Kellie really covered everything there is about female weight training, glute specific work and pictures of every supplemental exercise that is in each program with variations. This is hands down the best training guide I have ever read. I did three of the workouts this past week, one of the advanced gluteal goddess workouts, one of the best butt bodyweight at home workouts and one of the gorgeous glutes lower body only workouts. All took about 30-40 minutes to do, I was smoked after each one and felt great from all of them. Its nice that they gave options for home and gym training since a lot of women, such as a busy mom as myself, can’t always make it to the gym, and the home workouts are totally doable with a minimal amount of equipment.
The beginner program is quite challenging as well. I chose to do the advanced program since I can do all of the minimum requirements that are stated in the book. Each program has training logs that accompany them , as you see here. I think its always a great idea to keep track of workouts so see progression and know when to add weight, reps, decrease time etc. Its encouraging to track and see how far you have come with hard work.
I love that they included a huge section with pictures detailing all the exercises as well as the dos and donts and corrections. Such as this example here for the barbell hip thrust.
Not everyone can afford to hire a coach or a personal trainer to learn these exercises in person, so how thorough and comprehensive this guide is, this is really is the next best thing. Plus Kellie and Bret both have youtube channels where you can watch demonstrations of many of the exercises if you need more explanation than just what these pictures offer.
I told Kellie I will do the full 12 week advanced program and add more to my review at the end of the 12 weeks. This really is one of the better programs out there and I recommend it to anyone who wants a nice, strong, shapely derriere. Also even though this guide is geared towards women, men could also greatly benefit from strength training their glutes as well with the techniques and programs outlined in this book.
I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for a review and no other compensation. Opinions are my own. I really believe in this book and Kellie’s and Bret’s opinions and experience in the strength, health and fitness industry combined made this an outstanding guide. I would never do a review of anything that I wouldn’t personally use.