The early sections are clearly written with a personable voice. The author talks about how his earlier books had all been for men and he'd never even considered writing one for women until he had lots of women asking. I liked that he was upfront about that. He references a lot of research articles, and when he brings in research data (about either training in general of male/female training differences) he gives his opinion on what the research might mean in a practical way, and how the data might be more useful than it looks, or more misleading than it looks, etc.. A lot of the research he cites debunks ideas about women and dieting, and women and strength training.
For me, the most informative chapter was on how your body makes use of different kinds of food, and how the time and frequency of eating can be as important as what you eat, and how much. I might actually read that section again. One less-useful thing is the book's treatment of obese women. Losing lots of weight is not a goal of this book, so all the figures relate to more "average" sizes - the Body Mass Index chart only goes up to a BMI of 35, and I am fatter than that. A few times, the author reminds the reader of this. I'm not sure how this affects the information in that chapter, other than that obese women apparently utilize glycogen differently. I would have liked more detail about that. Would appreciate any handy links anyone might have.
There is a whole diet and exercise plan which I've only skimmed at this point, out of fear. I want to shake up my weightlifting routine, but seeing it all laid out on paper seems alarmingly complex. I'm going to return to it, however, in little bites so I don't freak out. There are clear directions and clear photos.
I have no plans, at this time, to follow the plan wholesale, I just want to get ideas from it. The first idea I've really gotten a handle on is why intervals are good, and why intervals (fast 1 minute, easy 2 minutes, repeat until exhausted) followed by five minutes of rest before resuming steady exercise are an excellent idea. That I want to try, perhaps today. Apparently, after the intervals, when you rest your blood is flooded with triglycerides, and when you resume, you're burning the triglycerides. Again, not sure about variances in this for obese women.
After several experiences with books, I've concluded I'm not good at using a book to translate into physical activity. However, with a trainer to explain things on the spot, I'm fine, and feel much more confident (which is totally an issue). The problem is, a trainer costs a lot of money, and at the moment I am conserving funds for other things. But it can't hurt to add in some new things to my workouts while I save up. Perhaps I can manage one training session a week and then have one more by myself before the instruction wears off. Three sessions a week is best, but in my olditude, I seem to do better with two for the nonce.
Has anybody else read this book? What did you think? Is there another book that's even better which I am missing?