Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Recommended Reading: Strong Curves

If you are looking for a new fitness read, I highly recommend Bret Contreras and Kellie Davies' Strong Curves.  I really enjoyed the quality of this book.  Although I haven't been following the programs verbatim, I was definitely impressed with the caliber of the programs in the book, as well as the attention to detail about all relevant exercises.

I have incorporated two principles from the book into my current training program, and I am seeing excellent results! 
1) I have been lifting at least 4 days a week.  Per my own design, I have one day that is purely devoted to legs and glutes.
2) I have incorporated glute work into every strength training session.

After 4 weeks, I am noticing that I am able to activate my glutes doing the most basic things (i.e. walking, sitting in a chair, etc.).  I have also noticed that my glutes are starting to lift and take shape.  In addition, my hips are beginning to lean out, while increasing strength simultaneously.  This is very exciting progress after such a short time.

This book has introduced me to hip thrusts, which I have simply fallen in love with.  I started sing just body weight and then progressing to barbell hip thrusts.  I will admit that it is slightly embarrassing to do this exercise in the gym, but my oh my do they work!  My glutes were on fire with using just a 40lb barbell.  Here is an excellent article that Brett wrote about hip thrusts, with corresponding video tutorials. 

Anyway, if you're looking for a new read and want to take on a new challenge, I highly recommend the Strong Curves book.  Let me know if you check it out!

To close, here is s short video of Kellie demonstrating barbell hip thrusts.  It may take a few tries before you get the hang of these, but keep at it.  I'm still working on my form and execution of this exercise, but it's worth the learning curve!

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