A lot of important factors play a role in being—and staying—healthy.
But the problem is that we live in a society that 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
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Who are these books suitable for?
- Do I need to follow the information in a fitness book exactly?
- Are fitness books the only way to achieve my fitness goals?
- How often should I read a fitness book?
- Are fitness books updated regularly to reflect new information and trends in the fitness industry?
- Can fitness books help me reach my fitness goals faster?
- How are fitness books different from online resources and videos?
- Can I use a fitness book without the help of a personal trainer or gym?
Amanda Dale (M.A., M.Ed.)
Personal Trainer | Nutritionist & Wellness Coach |
Founder, This Fit Blonde
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.
Co-Founder & CEO, Nutri Coach Diet | Advanced Trainer and Nutrition Coach | Kickboxing Instructor | Golf Professional
Everyone can benefit from getting stronger, whatever their goal is. Lose weight? Get stronger. Increase fitness? Get stronger. Train for a marathon? Get stronger.
Every single athletic skill has a basis in strength, so by improving this, you are better set to tackle any other physical challenge. And the best way to get stronger? Lift heavy stuff.
In this book Mark Rippetoe (world renowned strength coach) gives you everything you could ever need to get stronger.
From explaining how strength works to demonstrating which lifts to use, in what rep schemes, and how to execute the lifts with perfect technique.
There are pictures and a breakdown of the biomechanics involved in each lift so well as knowing how to perform the exercise, you know exactly why you’re doing it and the impact it’s having on your body.
Despite being aimed at beginners, there’s so much detail that even the most seasoned lifter can benefit from reading it. The new version even has a section on stress and recovery! It’s a must-read for all fitness junkies.
I was given this book as a gift around 8 years ago when it first came out. I loved it immediately because at the time there were very few books aimed at women on the topic of lifting – pretty much everything was about cardio training and the latest fad diets.
This was different. It has a little bit of everything – it breaks through the misconceptions women have about lifting and getting bulky – it encourages you to lift hard and heavy, and provides you with a full training program that you can follow.
There’s a section on basic nutrition, chapters on conditioning work, how to perform the exercises, and how to progress and make changes as you get stronger and fitter.
It’s easy to read, well organized, and thoroughly enjoyable. It’s something I’d give to any female newbie or cardio addict to help encourage them into lifting. I often go back and flick through it for inspiration!
Health & Wellness Expert, Maple Holistics
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.
Content Editor for Nick Mitchell | Global CEO and Founder | Ultimate Performance
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
Sports Physical Therapist | Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist | Former California State Director/Western Regional Director for the NSCA | Founder, Koh Physical Therapy Lab
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.
Author | BCRPA Registered Personal Trainer | Group Fitness Instructor | Yoga Fitness Leader, Super You
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.
Public Relations Officer, Triple 7 Public Relations LLC
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are these books suitable for?
These books are suitable for anyone, regardless of their fitness level or experience. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just beginning your fitness journey, these books offer valuable insight and guidance. They cover many topics, from strength and endurance training to nutrition and injury prevention. They are a great resource for anyone looking to improve their health and wellness. Whether you want to build muscle, lose weight, or get in better shape, these books are a must-read.
Do I need to follow the information in a fitness book exactly?
While it’s important to understand the information and instructions in a fitness book exactly, it’s also important to remember that every person’s body and needs are unique. You may need to modify the exercises and plans outlined in the book to better suit your needs and abilities. It’s always a good idea to consult a medical professional before starting any new exercise or nutrition program.
Are fitness books the only way to achieve my fitness goals?
While fitness books can be valuable, there are other ways to achieve your fitness goals. Other options include hiring a personal trainer, joining a gym or fitness class, or consulting a doctor or nutritionist. Ultimately, the best approach depends on your needs, goals, and preferences.
How often should I read a fitness book?
The frequency you read a fitness book depends on your needs and goals. Some people find it helpful to read a book regularly to stay motivated and refreshed on their fitness journey. Others may only need to consult a book occasionally to address specific questions or concerns. Regardless of how often you read a fitness book, staying committed to your health and wellness goals and seeking additional resources and support as needed is important.
Are fitness books updated regularly to reflect new information and trends in the fitness industry?
Some fitness books may be updated regularly to reflect new information and trends in the fitness industry, while others may not. It’s essential to look for books that are recent and up-to-date to ensure you’re getting the most accurate and relevant information. Also, it’s a good idea to use multiple sources of information to get a well-rounded understanding of fitness and nutrition.
Can fitness books help me reach my fitness goals faster?
While fitness books can be a valuable resource, it’s important to remember that they are just one part of the equation. Reaching your fitness goals requires a combination of a healthy diet, regular workouts, and consistent effort over time. A fitness book can provide information and guidance to help you. Still, it’s up to you to make an effort and lifestyle changes to achieve your goals.
How are fitness books different from online resources and videos?
Fitness books differ from online resources and videos in several ways. One of the main advantages of fitness books is that they provide in-depth information and instruction, often with illustrations and step-by-step instructions. Online resources and videos can be more visually engaging and interactive but may offer a different level of detail and context than a book. In addition, fitness books can be a more portable and convenient resource because they don’t require an Internet connection.
Can I use a fitness book without the help of a personal trainer or gym?
Yes, fitness books can be used without the help of a personal trainer or gym. Many books contain step-by-step instructions and guidance for workout routines and nutrition plans that can be done at home or with minimal equipment. However, it’s always advisable to consult a medical professional before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or injuries.
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