If you’re interested in being the proud owner of an awesome butt that is the envy of others while also making you feel incredibly attractive, then you simply must read what Bret Contreras has to say in this book. “Strong Curves“ is exactly as the subtitle reads – A woman’s guide to building a better butt and body through strength training, and I’ve endeavored to explain a bit more about what you can expect from this book in this Strong Curves review post.
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Strong Curves Review
- Developed by world-renowned gluteal expert Bret Contreras
- Extensive fitness and nutrition guide for women seeking to improve their physique, function, strength, and mobility
- Digital or physical book formats available
- Multiple follow-along workout programs plus detailed instructions for >200 strength exercises
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Name: Strong Curves
Author: Bret Contreras & Kellie Davis
Jolie’s Overall Rank: 4.7 out of 5
If you haven’t heard of Bret Contreras before, then you’ll be glad I’m introducing him to you, because his expertise can and will help you to get the butt you’ve always wanted. He is a personal trainer who specializes in training women, particularly in figure shaping. Bret is also known as by many as ‘the Glute Guy’ due to his extensive experience (nearing to a glute obsession!) in helping women shape and build better glutes.
Strong Curves allows the rest of us to tap into his knowledge and benefit from nearly 20 years of experience he has had training women of all different body types, ages and personality types, so its fair to say he’s seen it all and also seen what works when it comes to transforming your body into the shape you’ve always dreamed of.
Trust me when I say the material in this book is valuable stuff. Co-author Kellie Davis, who models for the exercise photographs, is a living testament to the fact that this stuff really works – as you’ll be able to see from her before and after photographs in the book.
People Who Will Enjoy Reading This Book
If you’re a woman (or man, for that matter) who is looking for a sustainable, straightforward approach to building a better looking body, this book is for you. It is written with a target audience of females (it talks a lot about enhancing feminine physique specifically), but the overall principles of muscle development ultimately apply to and will work for either gender.
This book will serve you as a guide to getting your body to look like the body you’ve always dreamed of, as long as you can commit at least 3 hours a week to working out, and make changes to your diet to ensure you are meeting your body’s daily nutritional needs. It is not a quick fix method, but rather, it is intended as a training program you can follow for life.
The book is a detailed reference guide to shaping a better body through strength training and discusses why you need to build muscle strength to get a curvier body. Contrary to popular opinion, lifting heavy weights as a woman will not make you bulk up or look like a man, and this is really reinforced throughout the book.
The information presented in some sections is quite detailed and a basic knowledge of human physiology is required to have an understanding of what is being shared. If you’re not into details you may not enjoy this book as much. The four workout plans included and fact sheets on all the associated exercises form an extremely useful reference guide that you can refer to over and over again.
In terms of inspiration, I found this to be a really motivating read and was really pumped to begin on one of the programs right away, with the knowledge that I can create changes in my body! Despite this, it is refreshing that there is no hype in the promises made, instead, just a simple straightforward and logical method of building a better looking body. And you can rest assured that it really works – Bret has trained enough women in his career that his methods are proven and there are countless positive reviews to back it up.
What’s in The Strong Curves Book?
Strong Curves is arranged into what I would class as three different sections:
- An informational section (which I like to think of as the background ‘theory’)
- Templates for workout tracking logs, followed by the actual Strong Curve workout programs themselves, including a warm-up guide
- An exercise index/reference guide which details exactly how to do each exercise in the program
Bret has a very relaxed and warm writing style, and it was most enjoyable and enlightening to read what he had to say about shaping women’s bodies, especially the glutes.
The information I learnt from this book is well worth the cost of the book (and then some!), not to mention the value in having a go-to reference guide for some of the best butt and full-body exercises sitting on the shelf for easy reference.
The Strong Curves Theory and Background Information
No stone is left un-turned and Strong Curves covers all bases when it comes to explaining how to achieve a body that looks the best it can be.
While you may be training primarily to improve the way your body looks, time and time again we are reminded that by focusing on health and strength first, a more aesthetically pleasing body with killer curves naturally follows.
The importance of glute training is emphasized and I’m pleased to report that my obsession with understanding how to get the perfect butt was nicely satisfied by the time I finished reading this book.
Bret lives up to his title of ‘the Glute Guy’ as a man obsessed with finding all the correct exercises that work the glutes best – and it’s all backed up with his own experiments and research into glute activation using electromyography (EMG).
Be warned, some parts can get quite technical, and a basic knowledge of human physiology and terminology is recommended to fully digest everything. However, you can also just skip over those parts if you don’t have a great interested in understanding all the theory. If you follow the programs at the end, they will work for you.
Be prepared to come up with some form of calorie counting or at least start tracking your macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein and fat) intake ratios to get the best results from the program. The ‘how-to’ of this is discussed in the book in a straightforward manner with examples, and just goes to show that it doesn’t have to be difficult.
All in all though, the theory section touches on just about everything you would ever want to know about women’s strength training – including the science behind muscle hypertrophy, nutrition/diet, hormones, workout scheduling/tracking, muscular imbalances, training of the pelvic floor muscles, cellulite, and how to train during pregnancy, just to highlight a few.
Note that there are no ‘cardio’ exercises included in the Strong Curves program. Instead this book is about strength training, although you will gain cardiovascular health as a pleasant side effect of the program. If you choose to include a cardio/aerobic style exercise you can though. However, Bret emphasizes that the stronger you become, the better your physique will look.
Contrary to popular belief, it is totally possible to lose weight through this type of strength training without doing any kind of cardio.
The Strong Curves Programs
There are 4 different 12-week strong curve workout programs provided in the book, as well as a detailed warm-up routine to activate the glutes.
- Booty-ful Beginnings program for beginners
- Gluteal Goddess program for advanced lifters
- Best Butt Bodyweight program for those exercising at home
- Gorgeous Glutes program for the lower body only
The last two programs offer an option for those who want to train at home or just focus on the glutes by training the lower body only.
The first two programs are more focused on a whole-body strength training approach that will still build curves (as all of the programs include some form of glute dominant exercises).
Each 12-week workout program is split into 3 phases that last a month each: weeks 1-4, weeks 5-8 and weeks 9-12.
There are 3 workouts for each phase, designated workout A, workout B and workout C. Three to four workouts a week is recommended, but the key is to commit to an exercise routine that is sustainable. At a minimum, you need to be able to invest at least 3 hours a week for training.
The book shows a photo of each exercise in each of the workouts as well as the number of reps and sets to perform. Each workout also has a blank template workout log for tracking the sets, reps and weight used for each exercise, and these can easily be photocopied, filled out and kept for tracking your progress.
The exercise index is provided as a reference guide at the end of the book, and includes full color photographs and descriptions of how to perform the moves, which muscles you should feel working and also tips on how to perform the exercise with good form.
Common mistakes are also included as well as a description of how to address these to ensure that you’re performing the exercises correctly.
Be aware that some of the exercises require the use of equipment which can include barbells, dumbells, machine cables, machine supports such as a hyper rack, benches and the like. However, the number of different exercises provided also offers the possibility to opt for alternatives if you are lacking in the required equipment.
One issue that seems to be the biggest downfall of this book is the lack of an actual referenced index list with page number references and one which groups the exercises by type. I have found that the author provided this after the published issue and it can be found here: Strong Curves Exercise Index
The Good & The Bad
- Well researched, detailed information about how to build a better looking body, with a strong focus on the glutes.
- Extensive exercise guide that is a timeless valuable reference to have on hand.
- Four different 12-week programs that you can choose from, so you can alternate between these to keep challenging your body with new workouts.
- The exercise index is not easily referenced, but printing out the additional Strong Curves Exercise Index addresses this. It’s unfortunate it wasn’t included in the book to begin with.
- The kindle version has received negative reviews as it is nowhere near as easily referenced as the paperback hardcopy. I recommend purchasing the physical book rather than an e-book version for this reason. I personally have the digital version though, and find it does work fine, though isn’t as convenient.
- While Bret strongly advocates the importance of good form, and discusses the basics of nutrition, the book is no substitute for a personal trainer assessing your form and helping you to tweak your program. However, it does provide an excellent starting point, though it can appear overly technical for some at first and as such may be a bit overwhelming.
My Overall Impression of Strong Curves
This has got to be one of the best fitness training books I’ve read so far, and I highly recommend it.
I got a lot of value out of the book, even to use as a reference guide for some of the best glute exercises that are out there.
The information that I learnt about glute activation and lifting with good form is critical for anyone who wants to begin or even continue in weight training.
If you’re tired of training without seeing results, then you need to get this book and do what it says, positive results are guaranteed to follow.
=> Click here to view the Strong Curves book on Amazon<=
If you have had an experience with the Strong Curves book yourself, or have any comments or questions about my review, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and I’ll respond as soon as I am able.
Strong Curves Review
Strong Curves by Bret Contreras and Kellie Davis is an invaluable reference guide for women who want to build a sexier, curvier body through strength training. It is available for purchase through Amazon.
13 thoughts on “Strong Curves Review: A Must-Have Reference Guide for Glute Building”
Hi Jolie, I wish i can get my wife to do some sort of butt exercise LOL! although she’s trying to lose weight other ways. Exercise combined with weight lifting, will help her achieve her goal. I’ve been lifting weight for about 20 years, go to the gym 4 to five times a week, you would think the wife would be compelled to work out and keep in shape like i do, but noooooo! so maybe if she reads this book,in some way she can be inspired and be motivated to really try harder to get in shape like she wants to.
Hi Noel, Thanks for your comment. Motivating a partner to take part in exercise can be a tricky topic to raise, my only advice for now would be to tread carefully in case you cause some offense! I may write a post on this topic in the future, as it is a very common situation. (Edit: the post has been written! Click here to read my tips for how to make your wife/girlfriend work out)
It’s unfortunate that most women shy away from weight training when really, it’s the one form of exercise that can and will do wonders for the female body.
Strong Curves is aimed and marketed at women predominantly, but there is no questioning that it is also a great training resource for men (who just as commonly suffer from underdeveloped glutes). The book can definitely benefit both genders in a relationship – meaning that as a guy, you can also follow the program alongside your female partner if you want to provide a bit of support and encouragement!
Thank you for this review, Jolie, especially the tip about going with the print vs. Kindle versions. I’m hoping you can answer two specific questions about the Strong Curves program. (1) Is the program suitable for true beginners? I still have quite a bit of weight to lose, and haven’t trained consistently in years. (2) Can the exercises be done at home, with just bodyweight? Thanks again.
Glad to hear you are researching the Strong Curves program. I would totally recommend this book for beginners, if you are looking to get back into strength training. Strong Curves has an enormous amount of detail about the theory behind building a strong physique, and training to increase muscle tone will definitely help achieve your weight loss goals (note that there is no prescribed cardio in this program!).
To answer your questions:
(1) The program is suitable for beginners, though you will need to be self-motivated and interested enough to invest some time in learning new moves as per the exercise instructions. The main focus is always on performing the exercises with good form – mastering quality movements until these movement patterns become automatic. This means that as a beginner you may not be able to do as many repetitions, but you do as many reps with good form as you can and you will improve over time. So really anyone of reasonable health can do this program, and it shouldn’t matter if you haven’t trained for a while.
(2) There is an entire 12 week program focused on bodyweight exercises! This is “Chapter 12: 12 Week Best Butt Bodyweight Program (At Home)”.
You will still need to have some basic exercise equipment – (exercise mat, swiss ball, sliders, chin up bar, broomstick, different level surfaces for elevation). Some of these can be improvised (e.g. sliders are used in bootyslide program and you can make some using a towel/socks on a polished surface; or plastic covers on a carpet floor. Use furniture like a low table or chairs for elevation as appropriate, and often playgrounds have monkey bars if you don’t have a bar that can be used for chinups at home). Many underestimate the effectiveness of bodyweight exercises, but Bret says that beginners actually benefit more from this bodyweight workout than using weights in a gym.
Hope this helps, and if you have any more questions, I’d be happy to help!
What a thorough response, Jolie! I truly appreciate the time you took to answer both my questions. I think having to improvise at-home “equipment” will add some fun to the whole process for me. Thanks so much!
Hello Jolie, Thank you for this great article, I thank I’ve to buy this book, most women would wish to acquire it, we all like looking well, 3 hours per week are not even many, I can mange it. I will recommend and encourage my friends to start also the training.
Charlotte, I rarely advocate a resource this highly, but I really resonated with the Strong Curves philosophy and loved this book. Sure, there are some downsides to it and small mistakes that should have been picked up in editing, but overall it’s excellent and I haven’t come across anything else like it.
In addition to being a really informative read, it’s also surprisingly motivating. Everytime I read it, it makes me want to start training straight away so I can get some of the awesome results they talk about! I’ve honestly never felt so inspired to get a great looking butt than after reading this book. Weird, I know!
This is an excellent review. You’ve gone into a lot of detail to help us decide whether the book is right for us. Well done!
This program looks to be just thing for those of us who are seeking a ‘better butt’ and I love your site title too! I’m wondering if you have any helpful ideas for people with fibromyalgia? Does Bret cover anything like that in this book? I am in pretty bad shape actually – my fault – because I have not exercised properly for years, but I also have fibromyalgia and some days it’s all I can do to crawl out of bed and get going!
Let me know if you know of any gentle exercise programs that might help an unfit fifty-year old get a better butt!
Hi Ellie, thanks for your comment!
Unfortunately there’s no mention about conditions like fibromyalgia in the Strong Curves book. A friend of mine also has fibro and it must be so difficult when it comes to exercise! I have heard of naturopathy as a possible way to treat/manage symptoms, but unsure of how well this works.
As for gentle exercise, there’s nothing wrong with starting out small! The ‘Truth About Cellulite’ program is quite gentle as it is based on slow and controlled movements, that might suit! It’s a straightforward lower body exercise program that suits many women because it also claims to help get rid of cellulite.
Check out my review of the Truth About Cellulite program here if you are interested in finding out more about it.
I need to start doing more weight training. I get a lot of cardio through hula hooping (I do tricks too). I also travel everywhere by cycling,all though I’m pretty sure that cycling uphill could be counted as weight training as well as cycling in a way. It’s very high resistance and afterr cycling up hill I can always feel it in my butt.
I may have to consider doing this strong curves program sometime in the future. I would like a better butt for sure.
Thanks for a very helpful review.
Hannah, if you’re into weight training at all, this book is a great resource to have. I’d be surprised if you haven’t already got some good muscle development if you’re doing a lot of uphill cycling! Pedaling uphill would definitely be considered high resistance.
Of course the best part about weight lifting is that it adds muscle to your frame, which makes you feel stronger, look better, and naturally burn more fat without even trying!
Hi, I was wondering if the product had any detailed nutritional advice? I like the exercises and I know they will work but, my butt shrank when I switched to the paleo diet.
Anyway, with a price of 19.74, I think you can’t go wrong if the advice is as straight forward as you say. Ok, you convinced me, Strong Curves is a thumbs up.
Hey Ericka, unfortunately there’s not really much too nutritional info in this book, it mainly focuses on the exercises and routines. That’s interesting that your butt got smaller from switching to paleo, do you know if it was due to loss of fat or muscle?