The FBGs are huge book worms! So just what are we reading these days besides classic literature? Glad you asked…
What Erin’s Reading
When I cracked open Lou Schuler’s The New Rules of Lifting for Women, I immediately knew that he and I would get along. He emphasizes the importance of building muscles and keeping them strong, but doesn’t get all cheerleader-y about it. And I quote: “As a guy, I’m constitutionally incapable of being perky … What I can’t bring myself to do is find a hundred ways to say ‘You can do it!’ You can do it if you want to do it.” Lou is refreshingly down to earth the entire book, and it made the book very easy to read.
Lou’s rules for women are also awesome and had me shouting “Yes!” at my book. For women who are afraid of lifting for fear of bulking up (you know who you are!), he discusses how hard it is to put on muscle size. Women need not fear “bulk” because “Unless you’re an extreme genetic outlier, you can’t get too bulky.” You’re preaching to the choir here, Lou! Lou also has a rule about accepting your genetically predetermined shape. Pilates won’t make you taller, he says, and following a celeb’s workout plan and diet won’t make you look like that celeb. Can I get an amen? Lou also devotes several chapters to nutritional basics and includes healthy meal plans like the Brady Bunch-sounding Pork Chops with Applesauce and a high-protein cheesecake. (Cheesecake in a weight-lifting book? I’m in!)
The most helpful parts of the book, in my opinion, are the sections on workouts themselves. Lou gives a sample warm-up, discusses how to choose the correct amount of weight for the exercise (and what to do when you go too easy on yourself), and then gives specific workouts to take to the gym. A separate chapter gives specifics on exercises to do—squats, deadlifts, lunges, variations on push-ups—and gives step-by-step instructions on how to do them. Pictures are included too, so if you’re the type who feels like you have no sense of direction at the gym (like me!), this book gives you that direction and more.
I have been devouring Andre Agassi’s book Open: An Autobiography ever since my friend lent me her copy. It’s one of those books that page after page, chapter after chapter, you are completely captivated and drawn in by both the writing and the story. And the fact that it’s a true story of Andre Agassi’s life is amazing. Even if you have no idea who Agassi is and have never played—nor wanted to watch—a tennis match (unlike me), you will love this book. Promise.
The author is a Pulitzer prize winner and tells Agassi’s deeply conflicted and ironic tale of his successful career in tennis in beautiful language that makes you feel like Agassi is sharing his deepest and darkest secrets with you. And, in a way, he is. He confesses his lifelong hatred (yes, you read that right) of tennis and even dishes on his relationship with Brooke Shields. You also get the inside scoop on his physical training, including his tough workouts in the Las Vegas heat and enduring serious pain. It’s both inspiring and fascinating. Makes you want to do your best, no matter what sport you love (or don’t). Again, just read it.
What’s on your fitness or health reading shelf right now? —Erin & Jenn
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