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Get started with your workout program and begin reshaping your body

This is an excerpt from Delavier's Sculpting Anatomy for Women by Frederic Delavier & Jean-Pierre Clemenceau.


Women who are over 30 who have avoided the slightest physical activity throughout life and want to start exercising always ask me (Jean-Pierre) the same question: “Is it too late for me to develop my muscles?” The answer is no, because even if you have not used your muscles very much, they are still there, just waiting to give their best effort. So do not hesitate to start on the path to getting into shape, even if you have not exercised in years.

Muscle weakness makes the entire figure seem softer. Skin, which can expand, takes on the shape of the muscle, and of course, the weaker the muscle is, the more the skin tends to collapse. Over time, skin loses its elasticity; thus there's a need to maintain a certain amount of muscle tone or to redevelop muscle. Still, the later you begin, the longer and more difficult strength training will be. It will take two to three years for a 60-year-old person to develop the triceps muscle, while a 30-year-old can do it in two to three months. And for all those 50-year-olds who are despairing because they never exercised when they were younger, know that you can build muscle even up to age 70. So, to your weights! But be careful to adjust your workout routine to match your age and abilities.

Some of my students are 70, 75, even 80 years old. Maybe they exercised all their lives, or perhaps they only started around age 40, but they continue to train regularly. Of course, I would never ask them to do 30 push-ups to develop the muscles in their back! Even if they are in great shape, their hearts cannot tolerate the intensity of certain exercises. I will share with you an anecdote about one of my students, 70 years old, whom I train regularly. She played tennis her whole life but had to stop a few years ago because of severe back pain. Three years ago, we began working to develop her buttocks, back, and core muscles. Today, not only has she begun playing tennis again, but she is beating some of her friends who used to be stronger than she was! You can imagine how happy she is.

“I have given myself a second chance at youth,” she confided to me. Yet she hates working out. Those few exercises and the well-being she gained from them changed her mind. Her muscles are stronger, and her bones are too because, like muscles, bones grow stronger with physical activity.

Advantages of Working Out at Home

There are many advantages to exercising at home. First, it is more practical (you save time and you can work out whenever you want to), and it is more economical since you do not have to pay the high cost of a gym membership. Using this book and the professional advice from leading coaches, you will learn that exercising at home is just as effective as going to a gym. Your concentration will only improve during a quicker and more productive workout.

One simple tip is to film your workout. Even if you exercise in front of a mirror, seeing yourself on video will help you truly determine whether or not you are performing the exercises correctly. This way you can correct yourself and keep improving.

Read more from Delavier's Sculpting Anatomy for Women by Frédéric Delavier and Jean-Pierre Clemenceau.

More Excerpts From Delavier's Sculpting Anatomy for Women