A close friend recently asked me if I could recommend a book
on training (lifting weights) that would most help him gain a more comprehensive knowledge and understanding of how to best spend his time and effort at the gym.
I love to get requests like this and 3 books that I have read at least a few times each sprang to mind.
1. Westside Barbell Book of Methods
2. Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches
3. Beyond Bodybuilding: Muscle and Strength Training Secrets for the Renaissance Man
If you have ever, or will ever, picked up a weight before, I strongly recommend reading all 3 of these books. Each one is pure gold.
My friend was wise to ask ME for several reasons- not least of which is my great love of books and my even greater love of the TRUTH. In the overcrowded literary space of health and fitness, there are PLENTY of books NOT worth reading. Just like we are currently bombarded with tons of “fake news”, there is just as much “fake fitness”. You can waste a lifetime on the wrong books. I own a few books by “experts” on training and eating that I have taken my red pen to – correcting what was just plain incorrect, or reformulating their flawed training and eating theories into something useful. I hate to waste time. If I find myself in a book that I have committed some time to, I expect to get something constructive out of it. So, correcting some of these published works by crossing out whole pages of nonsense with my red pen, and “fixing” other parts of the book with my notes in the margin is a way for me to extract some value. Also, another coach told me, a long time ago, “there is something to be learned even from the guy doing EVERYTHING WRONG in the gym”. I always remember that, but I still prefer to spend my time reading books that are “lined with gold” (full of truth and valuable knowledge). Unfortunately, those books are few and far between.
I love recommending books almost as much as I enjoy getting a good book tip
from someone whose intellect I respect. Currently, I am in the middle of reading 2 books: The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, and Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss.
Tools of Titans is basically a huge compilation of over 200 mini-biographies. One of my favorite things about this book is the many high-quality book recommendations to be found within. Tim includes “a book you have most gifted to a friend?” as one of the primary questions he asked the various “titans” he interviews. Pure gold.
The Intelligent Investor is a very long book
that is part of my Audible library (audiobooks I can listen to on my iPhone). Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks. It is one of the best books on investing that I have read, and I have read dozens. It is handy to have such a long book always available to listen to when I might otherwise be wasting time, like waiting for my number to be called at the DMV, or waiting in line at the extremely overcrowded supermarket on Sunday afternoon.
Another way I frequently discover what might be another great book to read
is paying attention to WHO inspired the author of a book I really enjoyed. What books does that author love? Who was responsible for the education of the author. Sometimes I find that a group of really great books all lead me back to a common source of material.
Lastly, the most important thing about reading is that you must enjoy what you are reading. Don’t try to force stuff down that you do not enjoy. That’s just a waste of time.
Please feel free to leave comments about really great books you have read at the end of this post.
Thank you for reading.