31 Dec The Top 5 Strength Training Books I’ve Read This Year.

Strength BooksLast year I was fortunate to read many awesome books in the area of health, fitness, and performance.

One thing I know is that we should NEVER stop learning.

I try to read a book a month, minimum.

There’s just way too much great information out there to learn and apply.

Let me share with you the top 5 books, specifically in the area of strength training, that I read last year (2012).

In my opinion, these are all “game changers,” for what that’s worth.

Here’s the list.

1.)  Intervention by Dan John.

This should be no surprise, if you already read through some of the content on this site before.

This is a revolutionary book from an authentic legend in strength training.

I’ve already posted a comprehensive review on this book, which you can read more about here.

Intervention is a brilliant system with incredible wisdom and insight from Dan.

If you haven’t read anything from Dan John before, this is an open “brain dump” of Dan’s best material.

I can’t recommend this book enough.

It’s an absolute masterpiece on fitness and performance and should be mandatory reading for athlete’s and coaches.

2.) Easy Strength by Dan John & Pavel.

Yes, another book by Dan John made the list.

What Dan John and Pavel Tsatsouline put together here is an encyclopedia of strength training principles and practices.

This is a “heavy” read, meaning there’s a lot of material to absorb, understand, and implement.

What’s so great about this book is the fundamental strength training theories and practical applications.

You’ll think differently about strength training and will have many program ideas to use to improve strength after reading this book.

A really awesome, but extremely deep and comprehensive text on strength training applications.

From barbells to kettlebells to bodyweight, it’s all covered.

I think this may be one of the most “under the radar” strength books available.

3.)  Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe.

If you even touch a barbell, then this is required reading.

Ok, so I’m a technique fanatic.

Starting Strength is the definitive book on barbell training technique, period.

This is simply the most detailed, technically proficient barbell training book I’ve ever seen and I wish I had read this sooner (not sure how this one escaped me).

While it’s not a “light” read at all, it’s a very sound explanation and practical manual for all barbell lifts.

Being a physical therapist, I loved the detailed anatomical, physiological, and biomechanical explanations Rip provided in this book.

All that really needs to be said about this book is that if you train with a barbell, you’ve gotta read this book.

I’ve become a huge fan of Rip since reading this book and relate to him on many levels.  All of his books are great, but this is the “Barbell Bible.”

4.)  5/3/1 by Jim Wendler.

This is a simple, very effective program to improve raw strength with barbell lifts.

A weekly training program and simple system to get stronger.

It’s a very easy read compared to the books mentioned above, but it’s all about the ‘system’ and following the specifics, as outlined in the book.

This book has been the “rage” in strength training for a reason.  The program works.

I love the simplicity and practical applications of it, especially to hit new PR’s (personal records).

It’s fundamental programs like 5/3/1 that are the best systems out there.

This is the ultimate “no BS” training system will get you stronger, without question.

A valuable program that I will continue to rotate into my own training cycles.

5.)  Olympic Weightlifting for Sports by Greg Everett.

I debated a little whether to put this book on the list, however, I felt this book is a great book to introduce athletes, coaches, and trainers to the growing popularity of Olympic lifting.

The O-lifts are technical, no doubt about it.

This book offers a very simple system of training progressions to safely and effectively learn these lifts.

This is an easy read, especially compared to the other book on Olympic lifting by the same author.

The main thing with barbells, kettlebells, or any training method is to learn proper progressions and technique.

That’s what this book offers is a very straightforward approach.

A really simple, practical guide to improve strength and power with Olympic lifting in a safe way.

This was very challenging to come up with just 5 books and there were so many others that easily could have been on this list.

But, these were books I’ve read in the last year and that I thought would be most important to improve strength training practices for the serious fitness enthusiast.

To see my complete ‘recommended reading’ list, click here.

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