STRONG by Zanna Van Dijk

March 25, 2017

I have been a follower of Zanna for about a year now after discovering her on Instagram and Youtube. I gravitate towards the more ‘real’ social media personalities, the ones who aren’t afraid to share their honest opinions, who don’t shy away from the fact they don’t choose the healthiest options 100% of the time, because that is real life. So when Zanna announced she was writing STRONG I was sure I would want to buy it.


My first impressions were that it is a pretty big book with a lot of beautiful photographs, colourful pages and bountiful information. The book is split into three categories – Move, Nourish and Thrive. There is a lot of information within the book so I can’t write about it all, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you, so below are the points which stood out to me.



If you are a beginner to the fitness world this is definitely the book for you as there are so many examples of different exercises and moves along with photographs which is incredibly useful. I saw some moves in this section that I have never tried which are now on my to-do list. There are also a bunch of example workouts for beginners through to advanced which I have used for inspiration on my cardio/HIIT days.

Zanna touches on the fact that exercise can improve your health both physically and mentally. From personal experience I completely agree with this, exercise is a great helper in calming my anxiety – I find there is a definite correlation between my mood and how much exercise I am getting. It is a way to get frustration and built up nervous energy out of your system in a healthy and productive way.

Pushing and challenging yourself is also a big factor of getting the results you want. You can’t breeze through workouts and expect your body to change. This is why I love to try new activities and set goals for myself, such as completing a half marathon.

Zanna explains various methods on how to measure progress other than weighing yourself on the bathroom scales – which is particularly useful if you’re looking to build muscle.

Towards the end of the chapter Zanna touches on recovery as being one of the most important elements of a fitness routine, which I will admit I am awful at remembering! This one of the most helpful chapters for me personally as I am always so eager to get home to eat my body weight after working out I don’t stretch or foam roll which I regret the morning after – you can imagine how bad my DOMs are! There are also some good tips for getting a good nights sleep and dealing with stress – another aspect that can get on top of me too frequently.



Now my diet isn’t awful and I do like to treat myself, however I know I definitely need more fruit and veg in my diet so I am always on the lookout for new recipe ideas. Zanna has a whole section of recipes which I haven’t had the chance to try yet, but a couple on my to-do list are the ultimate healthy cookies, the 3 bean chilli and the Thai salmon fish cakes. Coupled with the amazing photography how would you not want to make these dishes?!

Zanna speaks about macro-nutrients which was a very interesting read for me as I have just started tracking my macros. It is quite complicated to understand at first, or at least I thought so, so I found this very useful to just have it laid out in front of me in a context I could understand.



The last and shortest section of the book is Thrive. With all the information we are given within the book Zanna encourages the reader to take what you have read and run with it, finding your own balance and happy medium. It made me really think about my personal fitness, health and wellness goals and what I need to do to achieve those for myself, not anyone else. 

Whether you are a beginner, you have been training for years, or you just want to learn some new information about fitness and health, you should get your hands on this book. Thank you to Zanna for writing an informative no bullshit fitness book which you don’t need a physical science degree to understand!

You can buy STRONG on Amazon where it is currently on sale!


2 responses to “STRONG by Zanna Van Dijk”

  1. Sophie Doyle says:

    This is really helpful, I have actually only just started following Zanna but I love her YouTube and her content. I have been thinking about buying this book. however I’m not a huge reader so if I do buy a book, I want it to be something I will learn from. This review has definitely helped thank you xx

    • Yeah she is great isn’t she! She doesn’t preach and I find her very real. It is quite a big book but it can always be picked up and put down easily as there are different sections. I’m glad you found this helpful 🙂

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