Video Fitness

Karen Andes -- A Woman's Book of Strength

I got this book before I moved, when I was using a health club almost daily, and wanted to get more out of it, and didn't want to pay continually for a trainer. (1- I'm a student and short on cash and 2- I like working independently.) This book is especially good, in fact pefect, for women who do use clubs. Practically every exercise uses machine equipment. I'm not saying this book doesn't have value for at home exercisers who have little to no equipment, but the applications aren't quite as obvious, and there aren't as many exercises to choose from to create a program.

The value of this book goes far beyond Andes' very detailed instruction. Her view of fitness is not just about a good, great or perfect body. It's not just about being strong, fit or healthy, having big muscles, cut legs or powerful shoulders. It's about being happy with who you are, and seeing your body as a tool, not as a collection of problem parts. She sees the body as a tool, a conduit into ourselves, and exercise needs to empowering, affirming and uplifting. She doesn't discuss "trouble zones" or "problem areas", instead she finds beauty and value in the vast assortment of women there are in this world. For her discussions on women, strength, posture and empowerment, this book is worth its price.

She also includes suggestions for work outs, a few recipes and nutrition tips. Her exercises go from the run of the mill (bicep curls) to unique back work. She emphasizes control, alignment and offers tips for making a move more challenging and for visualizing throughout.

To be honest, I miss having a gym membership most because I can no longer use the assortment of techniques in this book on a day to day basis. This book was a real eye-opener, into my body, my strength program and myself.

8 Feb 98

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