Last week was another bad week, but this time it was a conscious decision. Instead of aimlessly hitting the gym like I have been (someone referred to this gym practice as fuckarounditis, which is pretty much a perfect description of my gym habits these days), I stayed home, cleaned the house, and did a little homework. I subscribe to several forums on reddit, including xxfitness which is a great community for ladies who want to be fit. The women in this subreddit don’t all have the same goal: some want to lose weight, some want to run a marathon, some want to keep up with their kids, look sexy for their SO, and some want to build strength. Again and again I saw references to people’s success with a specific program. While men seem to favor programs like Starting Strength, the pattern of interest I saw was toward a book called Strong Curves.
Strong Curves is a program based on the idea that women can and should lift heavy loads and that doing so will help them reach their goals faster than any cardio or low weight high rep routine ever could without turning you into a bulky man. Strong Curves makes no apologies for being partially an aesthetics based program, concentrating on building your glutes for a sexy booty, but it is also a complete full body program that is meant to propel you forward in beating your personal records and lifting more than your own body weight.
Intrigued when I first read of other’s success, I downloaded the PDF (this is an long excerpt of the larger book) in order to check it out. As soon as I started reading it, I ordered the book on amazon. I immediately liked the attitude and honesty in the book of what the program is about and how you’re meant to achieve it. The way it handles nutrition is excellent and not geared to any particular diet, but emphasizes the importance of understanding calories and macros for your different goals: are you looking to lose weight? maintain? build muscle? Each of these goals requires a different strategy from the other. Most important though is that it is food positive. The book goes out of its way to say that starving yourself will not get you results, which I think is a really important message. In addition to that, the book even addresses some pretty progressive ideas around the importance of strengthening the pelvic floor for women (and we’re not just talking for pregnancy or sexytimes here), which is something I’ve really only heard from non-mainstream sources.
Anyway, it was enough to make me want to give it a try. I finished the book over the weekend, made lunches for the week that should work with my macros, set a reminder to bring my foam roller home for work, and familiarized myself with what I’d be doing the next day.
For the record, although you’ll find that maybe half of the main text of the book (not counting the lengthy appendix which is almost twice again as long) is in the PDF excerpt and you can also find the workout worksheets freely available as well, there’s a lot in the book that isn’t available in either of those places. This includes an index of all of the recommended exercises and multiple alternatives to each exercise should you not have the equipment, if the equipment is being used/queued up for, or should you be unable to complete a particular exercise for whatever reason. Also it’s important to note that there are a total of 4 programs:
- Booty-ful Beginnings: The Strong Curves full body beginner program that I am starting out with.
- Gluteal Goddess: An advanced full body workout that I’ll potentially do if I like Booty-full Beginnings
- Best Butt Bodyweight: A beginner program meant for training at home or in a facility where equipment is limited. The book also notes that the workouts in this program can be substituted for the same week/day of any other program should you be unable to complete it as normal
- Gorgeous Glutes: A beginner or advanced program that focuses on lower body only.
Yesterday was week 1, day 1, workout A of Booty-ful Beginnings. I weighed, measured, and took pictures to set my progress baseline and then launched into it. The warm up (which isn’t required, but recommended) in the book was great for the most part, encouraging me and teaching me how to use my foam roller more at home. I only skipped one or two exercises because I didn’t have the right equipment. Damn do I love that foam roller. Hurts so good.
The workout itself was intense and not always where I expected it to be. I was able to complete it at home without modifying any of the exercises. There are 8 exercises in workout A in total, the first 5 (body weight glute bridge, one arm dumbbell row, body weight box squats, dumbbell bench press, dumbbell Romanian dead lift, side lying abduction, front plank, and side plank from knees) of which the goal is 3 sets each, and the last 3 1 set each. I expected the box squats and dead lifts to be hard, but what I did not expect was how difficult the side-lying abductions were. I may have underestimated them because those remind me so much of the cheesy 80s and 90s workout videos. Figuring out how to do the dumbbell (it was supposed to be barbell, but I’m not ready for that nor did I have the equipment) bench press without a bench was fun. Somehow I did it buy configuring 2 chairs. I may seek alternatives.
Today is an active rest day, which means I’ll be going to yoga.
Later this week I’ll post more on my routine, goals, macros, and maybe if I’m feeling brave I’ll post my baseline pics.
Stay beautiful. <3