A lot of important factors play a role in being—and staying—healthy.
But the problem is that we live in a society which makes getting healthy even harder than ever. Some people may even succumb to placing their health at the bottom of their list because of their busy schedules and lifestyle.
However, if there’s a will, there’s a way. And for some, being fit and strengthening one’s body, alongside eating healthy, is the best way to go!
Here are the best fitness books that could help you achieve your goal of being more confident with your body:
Table of Contents
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
- Wired to Eat: Turn Off Cravings, Rewire Your Appetite for Weight Loss, and Determine the Foods That Work for You by Robb Wolf
- Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body (Second Edition) by Michael Matthews
- Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd edition by Mark Rippetoe
- The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess By Alwyn Cosgrove, Cassandra Forsythe M.S, Lou Schuler
- Own the Day, Own Your Life by Aubrey Marcus
- You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren
- Principles of Muscle Building Program Design by Nick Mitchell
- Body Transformation Meal Plan Design (UP Encyclopaedia of Personal Training Volume 2) by Nick Mitchell
- Kettlebell Simple & Sinister by Pavel Tsatsouline
- Real-World Conditioning by John Brookfield
- The Elephant in the Gym: Your Body-Positive Guide to Writing Your Own Health and Fitness Story by Gillian Goerzen
- Just Move!: A New Approach to Fitness After 50 by James P. Owen
Amanda Dale (M.A., M.Ed.)
While not specific to fitness alone, Atomic Habits addresses the hardest part of starting any sort of fitness or nutrition program: creating healthy habits and sticking to them.
Perfect for new-years-resolutioners who actually want to keep their promises in 2019, Atomic Habits provides a framework for how to identify and create habit patterns (cue-craving-response-reward) as well as how to keep good habits a permanent part of your life (make them obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying).
Clear also offers free online support resources for all of his strategies so that the process of making and breaking habits becomes totally foolproof.
Wired to Eat breaks simplifies the primal response between human beings and their food by suggesting that by understanding satiety, we can control our appetites, and in doing so achieve the weight loss we so desire.
Wolf provides a 30 Day Reset diet program for those who need structure to get healthy eating habits off the ground and provides a framework for how to test and identify foods that might not be the best for your particular body and goals.
A free online workbook further supports the diet, movement, and wellness recommendations.
Matthews summarises the things that we personal trainers are always trying to tell our female clients: eat enough to build muscle but not enough to store fat, focus on weight training rather than cardio to sculpt the body you truly want, and change your nutrition focus from calories to macronutrients to achieve true diet freedom.
His 8-12 week programs – laid out in exacting and meticulous detail – leave the guesswork out of the process and ensure that even beginners can achieve great results.
Once you purchase Thinner Leaner Stronger, you also receive a 98-page workout guide to further supplement the program laid out in the book.
This book by Aubrey Marcus covers a variety of practical topics such as eating, exercising, and working so that you can really incorporate fitness into your daily routine.
Marcus aims to help readers figure out how to make decisions to better their lives each day and work on both their bodies and their minds.
The idea is that by changing one’s habits each day, slowly these behaviors can turn into weekly, monthly and yearly healthy routines. Read this book to learn about making smart choices and changing your life for the better.
This book written by Mark Lauren, a Special Ops trainer, is just what you need if you’re looking to get fit. But don’t worry, this book is designed for regular folks, with practical ways to use just your own body to get in shape.
The book also discusses nutrition info and motivational messages to really get you into the fitness spirit.
It includes 125 different exercises, and Lauren holds that you can see great results by working out for just a half hour a day four times a week.
Principles of Muscle Building Program Design is not just another book on weight training or an off-the-shelf exercise plan to follow.
Most training books lack two critical elements of value to anyone who really wants to educate themselves on how to train effectively – an explanation of why something works, and equip the reader with the ability to adapt their training programs to suit their very specific and individual needs.
This is where Muscle Building Program Design succeeds where most standard how-to guides fail.
It delves deeper and shares with the reader a unique combination of research, experience and results that goes into an intelligently-designed resistance training program from one of the world’s leading personal trainers.
It goes back to basics in order to give the best possible foundation to learn the art and science of resistance training, get the maximum benefit from your workouts and see tangible results that elude 99% of gym goers.
The book pulls no punches – you will be required to think for yourself, but the reward is gaining the lifelong knowledge and skills to be able to create your own very training programs.
Getting in great shape follows a very clear trifecta for success – the right exercise regime, optimal stress management, and the correct diet.
Far and away the most challenging factor for most people is diet, and yet paradoxically it is the simplest to establish.
So many people jump from one fad diet to the next, but the actual diet that is optimal for most of us follows a few basic principles.
This book teaches the fundamental skills of nutrition and setting up a diet for long-term success, which applies across the board, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto or anything else in between.
It provides a blueprint to be able to create your own diet with the tools and knowledge to understand the core principles of nutrition and how to construct a sustainable meal plan that works around your own specific preferences, lifestyle, eating habits and goals to lose weight and get fit.
It takes you through the whole process of creating a body transformation diet and meal plan from calorie targets, macronutrients, meal planning, and prep and creating your own recipes to get real results.
Davis Koh, DPT, MBA, GCS, CSCS
I would recommend any book or DVD by Pavel Tsatsouline for Kettlebell training and overall conditioning and John Brookfield for the ever popular Heavy Rope/Battling Rope training system.
John invented the Battling Rope training system that you see on Nike, Reebok, etc. commercials everywhere and in CrossFit gyms and Pavel is the former Soviet Union special forces trainer who pioneered bringing Russian Kettlebell training to the U.S.
Rather than focusing on a book, I always recommend looking for pioneers or creators of innovative exercises first.
This ain’t your typical fitness book. This book is all self-love, self-kindness and the permission to unchain yourself from the “perfect” body picture to create the healthiest YOU body.
Readers get a science-based and compassionate guide so they can identify what fitness means to them, not what it means to the media.
Health coach and author Gillian Goerzen goes in depth with her personal journey through the body-hatred battleground, while helping readers design the lifestyle fit for them and no one else.
The Elephant in the Gym takes eyes off of the scale and puts the power of creating a healthy life in your hands.
Why it’s a great book: Not your typical fitness guide, Just Move! A New Approach to Fitness after 50 is based on the lessons Jim Owen learned in his transformation from a 70-year-old “couch potato” to a strong and vigorous septuagenarian.
It is the perfect book for older Americans who know they need to become more fit but don’t know what to do, where to begin, or how to get motivated.
Jim’s common-sense guide cuts through the noise with a step-by-step, customizable approach anyone can use to make fitness a way of life.