Let’s explore the book Weight Training For Women by Brittany Noelle, and see which women this book is best suited for. First off, this site is about strength training for women. This book is about weight training, which is a specific type of strength training. I do believe this is a good beginner weight training book, but only if you are young, at least moderately fit. I also recommend for those new weight training that you pair the book with another resource which has more variations of the exercises and diagrams of your muscles like The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises. If you are a more mature and or less fit woman, I recommend that you read another post of mine about a book by by Alana Collins and consider a different first book. Read on for more details about this book.
This book uses body weight, dumbbells, and a barbell. If you want to workout at home and are willing to purchase at least some dumbbells, then this book might be a good choice for you. All gyms include this equipment, so the book is good for working out at the gym. Brittany does not discuss exercises using machines, and there are only a few exercises that require a barbell.
I like this aspect of the book as I happen to prefer free weights, dumbbells & barbell, because I have more control over what muscles I am targeting. The downside of free weights is that you have to be more careful not to injure yourself by doing exercises incorrectly.
What I Like About This Book – You Can Do Bite Size Workouts
Brittany divides her Chapters into body muscle groups, for example Chapter 7 is Triceps. What I really love about the book is that she includes warm up and cool down for each Chapter that targets the specified muscle group. I find that many women, myself included, are struggling to maintain a 30 to 60 minute workout routine at home. With the Warm up and Cool down for each chapter, women can do mini-work outs or what I like to call Bite-size workouts. If you have read any of my other posts, you know that I like to set out mini-workout stations in my home and every time I go by that station I do some exercise.
Other nice features of Brittany’s book includes the fact that it does not require much gym equipment, therefore you can easily perform the exercises at home. There is also interesting information at the beginning of each exercise chapter about the targeted body area.
How is the Book “For Women”? – And What Age Group?
As far as I can tell from my research, the author of this book was 30 years old in December of 2019 and is a “luxury” personal trainer at the time of this books printing. She has also won many fitness and beauty competitions. The reason I mention this is because I don’t see this book being aimed at the needs of older women, actually women in general. If there is information in this book specific to woman’s needs or changing bodies, I missed it. If you find any, please leave the information in the comment section.
The Introductory Chapter – The Genius of Weight
The author does a nice job with her introduction. What I don’t see is any discussion of what weights women may want to start with. The book recommends using adjustable dumbbells which is less of an investment, but I find they can be a pain especially for beginners. There are fairly inexpensive sets of beginner weights for those women just getting started, and some examples are provided in another Book Review I did Strength Training for Women Over 40 by Alana Collins .
- Benefits of Weight Lifting
- Goal Setting and Tracking Progress
- Tips for Maintaining a Lifting for Life
- Fundamentals of Lifting
- The Role of Cardio for Lifting
- Gym Etiquette
- Setting up a Home Gym
The Exercise Chapters – More Variations Please
As stated above, I do like how the exercise chapters target a specific muscle or muscle group. I also like that for each Chapter, there are warm-up and cool-down exercises that target the same muscle or muscle groups. This allow for the mini-workouts.
This book uses free weights, so the workouts can be done at home with a small investment. My trainer recommended that I check out yard sales, and I ended up with a real nice set of adjustable dumbbells from Salvation Army for about $10. Before purchasing my own dumbbells, I borrowed some equipment from a friend where they were gathering dust.
My biggest disappointment in the book is the minimal variations of the exercises. I am going to give you a visual with the Plank. There are lot of women who are either out of shape, overweight, or older that will find it difficult to start out with standard plank. I did a Review of Women’s Heath Big Book of Exercises which has much more variation of specific exercises.
There are some “Make It Easier”, “Make it Harder”, and “Lift Safely” suggestions for many of the exercises in Weight Training For Women.
The Closing Topic – Workout Programs
It is interesting that Workout Programs did not warrant their own chapter. There are 3 sections to the Workout Programs, as follows:
- Total-Body Workouts
- Upper-Body Workouts
- Lower-Body Workouts
It is recommended to allow a day of rest between workouts for a specified part of the body to allow for muscle recovery. This is why some people do Upper-Body one day, and then switch to Lower-Body the next. Other people do Total-Body every other day, and do some other form of exercise the other day. The majority of practitioners believe you should have at least 1 day of rest per week.
The author does talk about choosing the appropriate weights for you in this section. She talks about the appropriate weight being determined by how many reps you feel you could do with a given weight.
This is an okay book as in Introduction to Weight Training. I’m just not sure it does anything as good or better than other books I reviewed. It lacks the muscle diagrams and variations of the exercises some other books have. The thing I like the most about this book is the ability to do mini-workouts due to the warm-up and cool-downs in each chapter. This book is just fine for someone starting weight training that is young and fit. If you are out of shape, have any injuries, or are older, I highly suggest you have at least one other resource book to pair this with.
The Founder of Strength Training Books for Women