Every week we send a few of our expert recommendations for the best personal care products, the best beauty products, the best foods, the best brands and a weekly news roundup of what’s going on in the world of beauty, health and wellness. Our expert recommendation this week is based on body-positive experiences and innovative products.

Being a woman, it’s only natural that you would be concerned with your body and how it looks. There are so many women who have issues with their body that they are willing to do anything to fix them. You might have issues with your face, your neck, your thighs, your butt, your tummy, and so on. There are many women with the same thoughts as you, and they look in the mirror and wonder what they can do to fix themselves. Many turn to plastic surgery to fix what they think are problems, only to regret it later. Some women become discouraged and give up, just like you did. Don’t give up, because you may be able to fix your problems with the use of just your hands.

Rachel Cosgrove, an excellent trainer, was featured in March 2009. She was in the middle of a 12-week physical transformation challenge for her female customers at the time.

Rachel, like us at PN, follows a “90 percent compliance” guideline. She is also strict. She only took body composition measurements on the ladies whose diet records showed they followed the programs every two weeks.

What’s more, it worked.

But this commitment and concentration didn’t only change the women’s bodies. It also changed their life and the way they saw their bodies.

Rachel has now published The Female Body Breakthrough: The Revolutionary Strength-Training Plan for Losing Fat and Getting the Body You Want, which details her experiences.

She gets down with Krista Scott-Dixon, a Lean Eating coach, to discuss her experiences authoring the book.

Q. What’s the point of yet another women’s training book? What makes this one unique?

In some ways, this book has been a long time coming. I began my career as a dancer, then went on to teach aerobics before opening Results Fitness with Alwyn and becoming a qualified strength trainer.

I experimented with my own physique and worked with over 1000 ladies in our gym at that period. We meticulously recorded their exercises and diet, relying on trial and error to determine what worked best.

I also spent years attending seminars and conferences, reading books, and conversing with other industry professionals.

After all of this, I believe I’ve discovered the solution for ladies who want to attain the physique they want. Everything in this book has been meticulously researched over many years.

For women, there aren’t many excellent strength training books. This is unfortunate, since we found that strength training is the kind of exercise that has the most long-term effects on a woman’s physique.

Strength training not only makes a woman’s physically stronger, but it also makes her mind stronger.

She notices improvement, feels stronger, and is more confident. The ladies that had the greatest long-term success were the ones who really altered their attitude and transformed into this fit female, letting go of any negative mental chatter.

The book rapidly transitioned from a book about strength training to a book about attitude, as well as the most effective exercise and diet for achieving a healthy female physique. As a result, it employs a three-pronged strategy that combines mentality, exercise, and diet.


Q. Can you tell me about the female customers you work with? What are their main worries when they come to you? What is their starting point? What do they have a fear of?

The majority of the women I deal with fall into one of two groups.

1st class

Women who have battled with their weight their whole lives and have lost and regained it many times.

These women’s metabolisms have been completely screwed up, and what used to work no longer works. They are generally apprehensive about entering a gym and are concerned that everyone will be staring at them since they feel self-conscious.

When I start using our techniques, these ladies change because their metabolism improves as they build muscle, and they feel empowered to perform activities in the gym that they never imagined they could do.

2nd category

Women who want to shed the final 10-15 pounds but can’t seem to get rid of them.

Perhaps they don’t even need to lose weight; all they want is to get rid of their muffin top and feel solid and toned. They don’t look overweight in clothing, but they are self-conscious about specific areas of their bodies.

Q. Getting started can be difficult. What matters most to a female beginning, and how do you encourage customers to pay attention to it?

What matters most is that you make improvement every day. Baby moves in the correct direction build up over time. Clients can’t believe how far they’ve come when they look back.

We begin with a regimen that is identical to The Base Phase in my book and follow it for four weeks. This is significant because the first time a lady follows the regimen, she will find it difficult. She will, however, be able to push herself a little harder each week, lift a little more weight, and see how far she has progressed on the program.

By the fourth week, she’ll be thinking, “Hey, I’m really good at this; let’s start a new program!” For these ladies, seeing this development is a big thing.

Q. How would you advise a lady who wants to start but doesn’t know where to begin? What should she be on the lookout for, and what should her initial steps be?

Most women may begin at home with a body weight regimen, similar to the foundation phase in my book, but they will need to go to the gym after approximately four weeks to maintain their development.

As a result, individuals should begin looking about their neighborhood to see whether there is a gym where they would feel at ease. It’s crucial to be in a positive atmosphere.

Another crucial component is having a well-defined, progressive strategy, which I outline in the book.

Q. Walk us through a typical day in the life of one of your female customers in terms of food.

Most of the food diaries I’ve looked at begin with oatmeal and eggs, or maybe a protein drink or yogurt.

They typically go to the gym after that and have a post-workout smoothie.

A salad or a wrap is typically served during lunch.

For some reason, I find that the time between lunch and supper is the most difficult portion of the day for my customers. This is when kids start snacking, so I try to think of solutions for them, such as having almonds and an apple at that time of day.

Dinner usually consists of protein, veggies, and sometimes rice or potato.

I also tell them to drink half their body weight in ounces of water every day.

Q. Why is compliance such a huge deal?

It is critical to stick to a dietary regimen. (For additional information, see All About Measuring Compliance.)

I believe in following the 90 percent rule and enabling my customers to indulge and enjoy themselves 10% of the time.

Look, I’ve tried a lot of different dietary methods with my clients.

I’ve utilized Metabolic Typing, Food Allergy Questionnaires, written down precisely how many calories and grams of everything they need to consume, as well as the Body Bugg and Apex programs. I’ve tried pretty much everything.

I’ve arrived to the following two conclusions:

  1. They must all give up junk food and begin eating healthy, “clean” foods.
  2. It doesn’t have to be excessively complex, since they won’t follow it if it is.

I learnt how to use the compliance grid, or what I call the splurging grid, from John Berardi at. It was a “Aha!” moment for my customers since I was able to demonstrate that they aren’t following my suggestions as closely as they believe.

“I do what you tell me to do… ‘most of the time,’” many of my customers will remark.

When I check their diaries after they say they follow my suggestions “most of the time,” I find that it’s always about 70% of the time… which means “most of the time” to them.

For them, this is typically a wake-up call. I need them to be 90% complete.

So, if a customer says “most of the time,” I know they’re only doing what they need to do around 70% of the time, which is why we’re not seeing results.

Q. How do you adjust your diet to meet the requirements of each individual? What are some of the factors to consider?

We utilize our gym to get more personalized, in addition to encouraging them to start eating good food and cutting out junk food, which is something we start everyone out with in general. It’s a fantastic program. At the gym, we have nutrition experts who sit down and work with customers that need a more customized diet.

Q. The outcomes you’ve achieved for your clients are very impressive. Is it possible for any woman to get these sorts of results? Is a slim, fit physique something that only a select few can achieve?

As you can see from the photos in my book and on my website, attaining a Fit Female Body is not exclusive to a select few. Many of the ladies in my book have had children, were never athletic, and never imagined they could achieve what they have.

So, YES, any woman can attain a healthy, beautiful physique that makes her feel strong and powerful!


Q. In this book, you discuss your personal weight/fat/eating problems, as well as your experience doing a lot of “cardio.” Can you briefly explain some of these events and the lessons you learned from them?

My family has always struggled with their weight. I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure it out for myself. I’ve gone to extremes on occasion.

I’ve weighed close to 200 pounds with 29 percent body fat, and I’ve also competed in fitness and been “ripped” on stage. I’ve seen it everything. I’ve personally tried every diet and workout plan out there.

I figured it out eventually. I figured out what made me happy about myself. I’m no longer obsessed with food or my appearance. As a result, I felt I had a narrative to tell that might benefit other women.

Q. What made you decide to share your struggles? Why did you choose this path?

When I went down to write the book, I wanted to be really honest. I’ve discovered that by sharing my experience with my clients, I’m able to connect with them better and they pay attention to me.

For a long time, I kept everything to myself and claimed that I was always flawless and never had any problems. However, it isn’t genuine, and my clientele can’t connect to it.

By sharing my actual experience and difficulties, I can assist a lot more ladies. I create an emotional connection with them that they may not have had previously, in order to assist them in making the same breakthrough that I have.

Q. What have been some of the most significant lessons you’ve taught your customers about life and fitness?

For the most part, people believe they can do whatever they put their minds to.

It manifests itself in various areas of their lives. They have a new sense of self-assurance that they didn’t have before, and they’re addicted to the sensation of being fit and powerful.

The greatest part is when they tell me about someone who has been influenced by their new way of life.

Q. How would you respond to a lady who says she’s “tried everything but nothing works”?

Never give up! You have the right to feel your best, and there is a solution.

When I see ladies who have given up hope, it makes me so sad. Especially because I know there is a method for her to achieve her full potential while still feeling and looking wonderful.

Q. What were 1-2 of the most significant mental, physical, or emotional transformations?

Oh my goodness, this is going to be difficult. There are a lot.

In fact, I had already sent in all of the photos and tales while I was writing the book, and I kept asking my editor, “Can I give you one more…?” I’ve got another… I was attempting to smuggle fresh changes into the book right up to the last minute, since every week I hear an incredible tale of a client’s transformation.

The most significant distinction between them all is their newfound confidence and understanding that they can do whatever they put their minds to.

Rachel Cosgrove is a writer. The Female Body Breakthrough: The Revolutionary Strength-Training Plan for Losing Fat and Getting the Body You Want is a revolutionary strength-training plan for women who want to lose fat and get the body they want. 2009, Rodale Press.


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