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The Female Body by Rachel Cosgrove

Feisty and funny, trainer Rachel Cosgrove’s latest book finds her on a mission to destroy once and for all the myth that lifting heavy weight is not for ladies. On the contrary, she argues, heavy lifting does wonders for the female body, boosting baseline metabolism and building muscle tone far better than steady-state aerobics. Training with weights is also far more supportive of regular-life activities, she argues — from lifting bulky briefcases to hoisting wiggling kids — rendering useful around the clock the real-body fitness that women gain from lifting maximally.

This is essentially two books in one. The first describes the lifestyle habits required to support maximum fitness for your body type (addressing issues like emotional eating, the relationship between exercise and hormones, and self-care), and the second outlines Cosgrove’s 16-week, four-phase program for strength building, with tips for recovery and regeneration as well as maintenance.

Cosgrove is not interested in helping you achieve waifdom — her goal is to help women achieve the peak level of fitness and health for their particular body type. This is a terrific guide to strength building for any woman who may have hesitated to try it in the past, with useful information for trainers of both genders

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