Top Health and Fitness Books

No matter what… Never Stop Learning!

I have pulled together some of the best books for strength training, health, and general fitness to help you achieve your goals faster.

“Knowledge is Power!”

Most of these books I have, and highly recommend them to further your pursuit of strength, health, and fitness. If you have any book recommendations not listed below, leave them in the comments, I am always looking for great information.

The Westside Barbell Book of Methods by Louie Simmons


This book is a collection of training methods I have obtained through the past 30 years. I spent 12 years training with the wrong methods, one being the western periodization that is a dead end street. I use a 3-week wave system that leads to circa max and delayed transformation. The soviet system I started 30 years ago prolonged my career to the point where I made top 10 lifts at 54 years old. It has enabled Westside lifters to break 100 plus world records and has helped countless more.

This book is based on Louie’s articles and offers a total Westside package. It leaves no stone unturned, and it is a perfect tool for lifters and coaches.

Westside Barbell Squat & Deadlift Manual by Louie Simmons


Unlike many other manuals out there, this is not a crash course to get started. This manual is document of how it was all possible. Lifter by lifter and mini-cycle by mini-cycle.

Key Points:

  • Best methods for both lifts
  • Most productive mini-cycles
  • Preparing for competition
  • Mastering technique
  • Eliminating weaknesses
  • Raise your GPP and SPP

You will find what works for each lifter and what their training looks like in dynamic day and what brings up their lifts on max effort day. Based on science and proven results.

Westside Barbell Bench Press Manual by Louie Simmons


This unique book gives the reader a hands-on insight on Westside’s most effective training methods and how to execute them. It covers all aspects of bench press training.

Key Points:

  • Most productive methods
  • Sample workouts for each day
  • Periodization examples for dynamic day
  • Bench press technique
  • Eliminating weaknesses
  • How to master a bench shirt
  • Training raw bench press
  • Preparing for contest
  • Rehab and prehab

In this book, Louie Simmons covers not only the science but also the practice of bench press. They are combined in a unique way that provide results.

Supertraining by Mel C. Siff


Supertraining draws on extensive bio-mechanical and physiological research to offer invaluable information on all aspects of strength training.

Key Points:

  • Explosive strength, power, and speed training
  • Plyometrics and powermetrics
  • Periodization and program design for all sports
  • Bodybuilding, powerlifting, and weightlifting methods
  • Maximal strength, acceleration-strength, and strength endurance
  • Flexibility, stretching, and PNF methods
  • Complex training combining different training regimes
  • Restoration and supercompensation
  • Electrostimulation training
  • Circuit training and hybrid exercises

This highly sought-after book is a major contribution to the science and art of strength training and rehabilitative conditioning.

Facts And Fallacies Of Fitness by Mel C. Siff


If you are even vaguely interested in fitness, sports and health, you will have come across many proclamations. Have you ever checked to see if they are true? Or do you simply follow them blindly?

This book uses bio-mechanics, physiology, science and logic to investigate hundreds of beliefs drawn from many years of experience and study. What emerges is a startling expose which reveals that many ideas accepted as gospel in the realm of fitness and sport are more fallacy than fact.

Science Of Sports Training by Thomas Kurz


How to Plan and Control Training for Peak Performance explains the principles and methods that Eastern European specialists apply for the safest and fastest development of strength, speed, reaction, endurance, and flexibility, as well as technical skills, tactical skills, and mental toughness. The rationale for these principles and methods comes from research from all over the world.

Key Points:

  • Use time and energy-efficient training methods
  • Speed up recovery
  • Plan and control training from workout to workout, from year to year.
  • Apply proven methods of training to your sport
  • Achieve the highest possible training results
  • Maintain a high level of condition and skills efficiently for many years

Starting Strength Basic Barbell Training by Mark Rippetoe


Starting Strength has been called the best and most useful of fitness books. No other book on barbell training ever written provides the detailed instruction on every aspect of the basic barbell exercises. Many people all over the world have used the simple biological principle of stress/recovery/adaptation on which this method is based to improve their performance, their appearance, and their quality of life. This is your complete guide to developing strength; the foundation of athletic performance and the key to long-term health.

Practical Programming for Strength Training by Mark Rippetoe


There is a difference between Exercise and Training. Exercise is physical activity for its own sake, a workout done for the effect it produces today, during the workout or right after you’re through. Training is physical activity done with a longer-term goal in mind, the constituent workouts of which are specifically designed to produce that goal. Training is how athletes prepare to win, and how all motivated people approach physical preparation.

Practical Programming for Strength Training 3rd Edition addresses the topic of Training. It details the mechanics of the process, from the basic physiology of adaptation to the specific programs that apply these principles to novice, intermediate, and advanced lifters.

Bench Press The Science by Josh Bryant


Are you putting in the time at the gym without the bench press to show for it? Take advantage of the methods Josh has used to produce multiple world record holders in the bench press. This book is a science-based approach to building a bigger bench press, all in an easy to understand format.

Key Points:

  • How to bench press more explosively
  • How to use isometric methods
  • How to use plyometrics
  • How to use partials
  • How to incorporate bands and chains
  • Access to routines used by champions
  • Science that can increase your bench press

You can gain the knowledge that has taken Josh years to acquire through practical experience and stringent academic study.

Enter the Kettlebell!: Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen by Pavel Tsatsouline


With Enter the Kettlebell! Pavel delivers a significant upgrade to his original landmark work, The Russian Kettlebell Challenge. Drawing on five years of developing and leading the world’s first and premiere kettlebell instructor certification program, and after spending five years of additional research into what really works for dramatic results with the kettlebell.

Pavel lays out a foolproof master system that guarantees you success; if you simply follow the commands! Develop all-purpose strength to easily handle the toughest and most unexpected demand. Forge a fighter’s physique-because the form must follow the function.

Enter the kettlebell! And follow the plan: First, The New RKC Program Minimum with just two kettlebell exercises, takes you from raw newbie to solid contender-well-conditioned, flexible, resilient and muscular in all the right places. Second, The RKC Rite of Passage Jumps you to the next level of physical excellence with Pavel’s proven RKC formula for exceptional strength and conditioning. Third, Become a Man Among Men Propels you to a Special Forces level of conditioning.

Return of the Kettlebell: Explosive Kettlebell Training for Explosive Muscle Gains by Pavel Tsatsouline


Return of the Kettlebell’s protocols were born from Pavel’s insights while training elite power athletes. Several champions made astonishing, almost mysterious, strength and muscle gains–at least two broke new powerlifting world records—thanks to kettlebell training.

Pavel decided to reverse engineer this “What the Hell” effect experienced by the champions—so all others could benefit from their success. Return of the Kettlebell presents the final fruit of Pavel’s research—combining the very best of ancient lifting wisdom with modern day scientific breakthroughs.

The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the super-Strong–Using Bodyweight Exercises Only by Pavel Tsatsouline


Have you noticed-the greater a man’s skill, the more he achieves with less? And the skill of strength is no exception. From the ancient days of Greek wrestling, to the jealously guarded secrets of Chinese Kung Fu masters, to the hard men of modern spec ops, warriors and allied strongmen have developed an amazing array of skills for generating inhuman strength.

These skills have been scattered far and wide, held closely secret, or communicated in a riddled fashion that has left most of us frustrated and far from reaching our true strength potential. Now, for the first time, Russian strength expert and former Spetsnaz instructor Pavel has gathered many of these devastating techniques into one highly teachable skill set. In The Naked Warrior Pavel reveals exactly what it takes to be super-strong in minimum time-when your body is your only tool.

Power to the People!: Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American by Pavel Tsatsouline


“Whether you’re young or old, a beginner or an elite athlete, training in your room or in the most high tech facility, if there was only one book I could recommend helping you reach your ultimate physical potential, this would be it.

Simple, concise and truly reader friendly, this amazing book contains it all.

Follow its advice and, believe it or not, you’ll be stronger and more injury-resistant immediately. I guarantee it. I only wish I’d had a book like this when I first began training. Follow this program for three months and you’ll not only be amazed but hooked. It is the ultimate program for “Everyman” AND Woman! I thought I knew a lot with a Ph.D. and 40 years of training experience…but I learned a lot and it’s improved my training significantly.”–Jim Wright, former editor of Flex magazine

Whatever your present condition—by doing only two exercises, for twenty minutes a day?” You can achieve a world-class body—a body so lean, ripped and powerful looking, you won’t believe your own reflection when you catch yourself in the mirror.

Power to the People Professional: How to Add 100s of Pounds to Your Squat, Bench, and Deadlift with Advanced Russian Techniques by Pavel Tsatsouline


Pavel Tsatsouline’s landmark classic, Power to the People! has helped tens of thousands—be they world-class athletes or basement enthusiasts—achieve and maintain remarkable strength gains, by employing a set of radically effective lifting principles in a scientific manner. Pavel took the guesswork out of strength training and honed in with an elegant simplicity on what really worked to get stronger—and continue getting stronger.

Pavel’s great contribution has been to research and identify the proven “battle” strategies that give us the best chance to keep making those strength gains—whatever the odds. And in this, Pavel has succeeded admirably, thanks to his access to the best training secrets not only in the West but in Russia—justly famous for its history of achievement in the world of strength and powerlifting. And thanks to his ability to ground theory in the proof of hard experience and earned results.

Deadlift Dynamite: How To Master The King of All Strength Exercises by Andy Bolton


Let Powerlifting Legend Andy Bolton and Internationally Renowned Strength Coach Pavel Tsatsouline

Help You Get STRONGER…

The deadlift can lay serious claim to be the single most important exercise you can ever do—if your goal is to develop supreme strength and total body power.

And who better to help you to achieve your ultimate strength and power gains than 6-time world champion and multiple record holder, Andy Bolton—backed by the expertise of renowned strength authority, Pavel Tsatsouline?

The first section of Deadlift Dynamite “How to Lift”, provides a safe, progressive, technically-detailed plan on how to get started right in the iron game, avoid the typical mistakes and years of frustration, and see extraordinary results in even the first year of training.

Intermediate lifters will appreciate the world of subtle tips and masterly insights—which will help them bust through plateaus and surge forward in their gains. And the savvy coach will recognize he now owns the ultimate blueprint for producing champions—in many athletic fields.

Whether your goal is to excel in the sport of powerlifting or you just want to become stronger and more muscular— Deadlift Dynamite is for you.

Powerlifting Foundations and Methods by Boris Sheiko

sheiko_powerlifting_foundations_and_methods

Boris Sheiko, is Russia’s most decorated powerlifting coach. For the longest time, and even mostly to this day, we in the west learned scarcely little about this man and his training methods; the very same methods that rocketed Russian powerlifting teams to so many championships that most people stopped counting.

This book is a full description of the principles and methods behind the way Sheiko, distinguished professor of Russian sport science and Russia’s greatest powerlifting coach, designs programs. Included in this book is a list of nearly all the exercises he recommends, instructions on how to perform them, details on program design appropriate for lifters of different training ages and abilities.

The Reactive Training Manual by Mike T.

the_reactive_training_manual

Mike Tuchscherer, is a world-class powerlifter and coach that has put together this manual to help you understand how to effectively program training for yourself. In this manual, Mike teaches how to turn a basic, normal program into a custom and specialized program through the Reactive Training modifications.

Key Points:

  • Understanding RPE
  • Fatigue stops
  • Tracking your training
  • Transition blocks and cycle training
  • Frequency
  • Stress management
  • Alternative Programming
  • Goal Setting
  • Extra Workouts
  • And more!

In essence, this will take you through a step by step process of how the training process should go for powerlifters. With this manual you get a short-cut to effective programming allowing for faster progress.

All or most of the descriptions are cited and or detailed within that said book, this is to give an accurate description of the contents of that title. I do not take personal credit for any of the above books, descriptions, or content. All credit due to the authors’ and co-authors’.

Skill comes from consistent and deliberate practice. -Shawn Allen

Best,

Marcus

Marcus@totalfitnut.com

Totalfitnut.com

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