Strength is a lifelong pursuit, not a 12 week program. The principles of getting stronger are a little bit deeper than “lift heavy shit and eat” and many people are puzzled at where to start or where to continue after a plateau.
10 books that I have used, and continue to use, will be vital pieces of information and references in any strength enthusiast’s library are:
1. “Never Let Go” by Dan John
Dan has an incredible amount of knowledge to share and he presents it in a way that you feel like an idiot for not knowing it. His simple approach to strength and life is an encyclopedia of information. Intertwined with strength concepts, stories and experiences is a book that is never far from my grasp.
2. “Base Building” Paul Carter
Paul is a polarizing figure to some because of his outspoken nature in his blog and on his facebook group page, but if you love him or hate him you can’t deny that this book has helped an immense amount of people achieve their goals and is a great way to approach a year round training plan.
3. “10/20/Life” Brian Carroll
I reviewed his book on my blog, so you already know how I feel about it. It is geared towards competitive lifters and you will be hard pressed to find a better book which focuses on the big three lifts than this one.
4. “The Westside Book of Methods” Louie Simmons
The only book in print where Louie describes his system, how to apply it and the ins and outs of working with ME, DE and weakpoint training. This book has influenced an untold number of people in the strength world, it is worth it to look for yourself.
5. “Block Periodization” Vladimir Issurin
If designing your own program is for you, learn how to do it and when to apply specific principles of each phase with this book. This is not for beginners, but it will educate you greatly for when you are ready for it.
6. “Squat Every Day” Matt Perryman
An incredible book which delves into the science of frequent training and Matt’s insights into it. A simple summary would not do it justice, pick this one up, it is cheap and a great addition to your collection.
7. “Power to the People Professional” Pavel Tsatsouline
Technique tips, sample workouts and stories from the perspective of Pavel’s experience and exposure to the great lifters/coaches in Russia.
8. “The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding” Arnold
What more needs to be said? A classic reference book that stands the test of time, why? The basics NEVER go out of style.
9. “The Development of Physical Strength” Anthony Ditillo
Like Arnold’s book, this is another timeless classic which I reference often for my own needs and people I train. Training concepts come and go, but great information never fades. Filled with routines and information that absolutely work.
10. “Ashman Strength System” Me
You knew it was coming…. All kidding aside, it’s a fine program, it works and I don’t care if you choose mine or another one on this list; just learn, adapt, grow, teach and pass on information so that the next generation of novices do not make the same mistakes we did.
Which are your top books for strength? I have many more, so a top ten list is hard to do, don’t bitch too much if your favorite is left out.
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