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Nicholas Wyss 10-08-2010 10:58 AM

Reading list
I am wondering what a few of the books everyone here has read that they would recommend to others. These can be about training/nutrition/recovery etc. Anything that you found very informative, well-written, or that you felt helped improve your approach to fitness and health. Thanks!

Jarod Barker 10-08-2010 01:09 PM

Mind Gym, Primal Blueprint, Paleo Solution, Olympic Weightlifting, Born to Run, Total Immersion (best swimming book ever), Starting Strength, and Practical Programming.

Mind Gym is more about competing than training, but I think that it has carried over into my training and helped me to perform better.

Steven Low 10-08-2010 02:38 PM

If you haven't read all the stuff in this list it's a good place to start:


Different stuff for a variety of topics

Steve Shafley 10-08-2010 07:10 PM

Don't bother with any of that shit unless you enjoy it, because if you don't, you are going to miss a significant amount of subtlety present in the whole topic.

My recommendation is to stick with good old fashioned entertaining fiction. Something that makes you snicker out loud, or you think is bad ass. Try to get involved with some kind of lifting team (either PL or OL) and do what your coach tells you for a few years. That'll get you further ahead than 99% of people online.

Now, if this is a genuine interest, sure pick up some of that shit. I can really recommend very little on Steve Low's list, as much of that is worthless bullshit. I mean, come on, Steven..."The Poliquin Principles" "Good Calories, Bad Calories" (Or How I Learned to Cherry Pick Research and Ignore What I Didn't Like). Don't toe that line.

Rippetoe's "Starting Strength" is solid, as long as you ignore that low bar stuff. His "Practical Programming" isn't something I'd recommend. On the other hand, Bill Starr's "The Strongest Shall Survive", which is the spiritual forefather of Rip's material is something I could recommend wholeheartedly.

Also, the Zatsiorsky book. Everett's book is good on Olympic Weightlifting. The "Trigger Point Workbook" can also be valuable, as can some general tome on flexibility...I like "Stretch to Win" by the Frederick's myself.

I liked "Born to Run" but it's a piece of sensational non-fiction. Tread warily. Total Immersion does seem to be the go-to text on swimming.

Rick Deckart 10-09-2010 02:28 AM

the BEST DEAL on stretching is from Kit Laughlin Stretching and flexibility,


Donald Lee 10-09-2010 04:13 AM


What don't you like about "Practical Programming?" I'm just curious.

Darryl Shaw 10-09-2010 04:31 AM

If you're interested in nutrition I'd recommend The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition by Anita Bean and Human Nutrition: A Health Perspective by Mary E. Barasi.

Steve Shafley 10-10-2010 06:44 AM

It's pedantic and condescending.

That was the first edition. I got very little out of it. I haven't seen the later editions.

Almost all of it was rehashing topics I'd learned about well over twenty years ago.

Jarod Barker 10-10-2010 07:14 PM

The nice thing about Rip's stuff is that most of it has made it to the internet in one way or another, so you don't even really have to buy the books, just start googling and you'll find probably 90% of it.

I only added Born to Run, because he said "felt helped improve your approach to fitness and health," and for me, it got me to try running barefoot which I probably would've never done having not read it, but I would agree that it is sensational.

Barefoot running is not a "fix-all" as I have found out, but I will say that it does make you reevaluate your running form more than you might if you continued running in the typical super supportive motion control shoes.

Steve Shafley 10-10-2010 07:44 PM

I'm on board with all that, but, apparently I am ahead of the curve. I solved a lot of running issues I had with an 3 month period of barefoot running on a soccer field prior to a fall season of rugby way back in 1999.

So, it was never a shock to me when the pendulum swung back towards minimalist footware.

Like it's not a shock to me that the pendulum is swinging back towards distance running as being a viable means for fitness, or that guys like Kelly Starrett, whom insisted static stretching was the devil, has repackaged that so now it's sexy again. I'm not even going to get into how the masses of internet doofuses have latched onto multi-joint barbell exercise done in a progressive fashion is productive.

In another 2 years or so, we'll see the re-emergence of the WSB training methods as being optimal for a lifter.

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