Fitness & Nutrition Books: 4 Books That Are Worth Your Time

Getting a strong and healthy body is not an easy feat. It takes grit, determination and will. Most people quit and don’t realise how they can fit fitness into their lifestyle. The reason being is people don’t know how to improve their body composition and haven’t put the effort in long enough to learn, educate (read books) and stick the process out. But the good news is you can learn. In this article, I talk about 4 great fitness and nutrition books worth your time.

Part of the process of manifesting the body of your dreams is just knowing what to do and doing the work. when I first started the gym I didn’t lack the will or the motivation to train and I’m guessing you don’t either. It was in fact the know how. I didn’t know what to do.The books Below are the books that I wish someone told me about when I first started training at 16 years old.

They all provide an evidence and anecdotal based account of how the fundamentals work for everyone and when I say this I mean everyone. Some people get stuck in believing that they can’t get to a certain body type because they have always been an endomorph or ectomorph or mesomorph. I say this because your body type can change meaning that if you’re an endomorph now you can get to an ectomorph/mesomorph body type with correct training and nutrition. These books will give you the know-how to reach your genetic potential.

No Matter Your Fitness Goals These Books Will Help

Whether your looking to just get strong and healthy, compete in powerlifting or bodybuilding (the natural type) these books will give you the tools to do it. You just need to use the information. As Stephen Covey put it “start applying what you are learning. Remember, to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.”

Your physical health is in my opinion the most important dimension of your life.If your physical health has gone to shit it’s a lot harder to enjoy life. Many people say they haven’t got the time to look after their health by doing things like going to the gym and eat healthy nutritious food. These books will show you how looking after your health and fitness is an investment and once you’ve read these books getting a strong healthy physique will be easier to do than not getting one. The hardest part is starting. Do your future self a favour read these books and put what you’ve learn’t into practice.

Bigger Leaner Stronger By Mike Matthews 3rd Edition – The Best Fitness And Nutrition Books

This book was the book that led me to believe that you can change your body and by doing that you can change your life. In this book you learn how to:

1.Develop your mind so that you will stick out the process and make fitness into a habit for the rest of your life.

2. Fun workouts that deliver extraordinary results to suit your schedule whether it’s a 3 day a week or 5 day a week split.

3. Exceptional nutrition advice that is customised to you and provides easy to follow recommendations.

4. Brief yet practical explanations on how to get started with complex movements.

All in all this book is a breath of fresh air when it comes to natural bodybuilding and strength training. It even has a frequently asked questions section so that you can get started straight away. I guarantee that a large amount of your questions will already be answered before you even start the program.

On top of this essential resource for your bodybuilding information there is also a load of great free information on mikes blog

The reason this book is so great is that it is simple, effective and works. It focuses on the 20% of bodybuilding must do’s that gives you 80% of the results. Start with this book and you can’t go wrong.

This book is also evidence based and refers too many studies on topics such as low reps vs high reps. Calories in vs calories out. Meal timings, hydration and more.

Starting Strength By Mark Rippetoe 3rd Edition – The Best Fitness & Nutrition Books

Starting strength is quite literally the bible for strength training exercises. It teaches you everything you ever need to know about how to perform exercises such as the barbell squat, barbell bench press, Barbell Deadlift, the press, power clean , power snatch and many variations of all these exercises.

This book is famous for learning all of these exercises specifically the more complex lifts like the squat and deadlift. Mark teaches you the low bar squat. Something that is non existent in personal training certifications from my experience. Yet the low bar squat is in my opinion the most fun and easiest way to learn and to get a strong squat to depth. Mark will teach you many useful cues in this book to help you develop your body awareness in relation to demonstrating proper technique on these exercises.

Mark Rippetoe is a former powerlifter and has Been teaching strength training for decades. Heed his advice and benefit from the rewards. A strong healthy body.

This Book Teaches You The Main Lifts In Easy To Understand, Yet Comprehensive Detail

This book is famous for the extremely popular starting strength routine. Mark explains it better than anyone but the program has a similar layout to this. You squat for 3 sets you bench press/overhead press for 3 sets then you do 1 set of deadlifts. This is done 3 times a week. If you look to my article on losing weight I recommend this workout routine on there. Use this article to reach your weight loss goals its linked below.

You can get extremely strong with this program and build lots of muscle mass doing it. The exercises are primarily done for low reps of 5 so that you can use good form while progressing from week to week. In a linear progression style. His next book practical programming for strength is also a worthy read. But I’d say start here.

The Muscle And Strength Pyramids (Training) By Eric Helms, Andy Morgan And Andrea Valdez

This book contains everything you need to know about how to get from beginner, to intermediate, to advanced level and has templates on how to get there. It doesn’t matter if your a beginner bodybuilder or an intermediate powerlifter. This book contains every nuance you need to know in a hierarchy of what’s most important regarding how to reach your training goals.

Become The Master Of Your Own Programming

This book contains a whole chapter on how you can program your own workouts. I think every strength/bodybuilding enthusiast should buy this book. Eric has even told stories on his iron culture podcast on how he has been stuck in his training. He also tells about all the horrendous trial and error that he had to do before gaining evidence based knowledge on how to fit bodybuilding/ powerlifting in to his life style. In this book he shortcuts your training progress so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes and learn the hard way. Using this book you can make consistent gains for years. This book also covers different types of progression models from double progression to linear periodisation and more. This book is a must read.

The Muscle And Strength Pyramids (Nutrition) By Eric Helms, Andy Morgan And Andrea Valdez

Nutrition can sometimes seem like a complex topic. It kind of is but there are general guidelines you need to know to ensure that you reach your goals. Things like making sure you hit your calorie intake for your goals. Eating enough protein, carbohydrates and fat. Fluid intake, when to adjust your calories. And even goes into detail about how your nutrition should be for contest prep if that is one of your goals.

The muscle and strength pyramids together give you all you need to know on how to make sustained progress year after year. One thing I really like about the pyramids is that they show you the foundations of what is most important and teach you to prioritise the most important habits first. For example for your training that would be adherence and for nutrition it would be calories. These are what deliver most of the results in the long term. Although the other habits of the pyramids do need to be covered to a certain extent.

These pyramids tell you what you should be focusing on the most and the (fundamentals). And what you should be focusing on the least the (minutae). I encourage you to watch the 3d muscle journey YouTube account for top quality information.

The Bottom Line On The Best Fitness & Nutrition Books

“You don’t know what you don’t know” I’m saying this to illustrate the fact that if you just follow mainstream garbage fitness magazines and workouts then you will get garbage results.

Get educated. You need to understand what you’re doing in the gym and with your nutrition, and the why for doing it. The chances are that if you just follow your influencers favourite arm workout then you wont develop a strong healthy physique.

The reason I have made this post is that I wish somebody had told me about these books when I first started training. If I read these back when I was 15 or 16 I would have made progress much faster. This is what I want for you.

Although there are some other great books. But these are the ones that teach you basically all you need to know.

If you want some more recommendations for other great fitness & nutrition books. Send me an email at

Thanks for reading.

Published by henrypaget

Hi, I'm Henry and it's my mission to help you succeed with your fitness & health.

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