With the arrival of summer, there is no better time to up our activity levels. Athletic training is just one of the ways to do this, and it can be a lot of fun and yield great results as well. You’ve probably encountered terms like strength and conditioning, strength training, circuit training, and plyometrics before. Even though they might sound intimidating (at least they do for me), there are some excellent books out there to demystify these concepts and help you apply the key principles to achieving your fitness goals.
Periodization Training for Sports, 3rd edition. An essential read for those who participate in any sport, Periodization Training for Sports explains, in simple terms: the combination of strength, speed, and endurance needed in various sports; principles of strength training for sports; and detailed programs for how to build the type of conditioning you need to perform in that sport.
The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. The most read book on bodybuilding is written by Mr. Olympia himself, the most famous bodybuilder of all time, Arnold Schwarzenegger. At an even 800 pages, this big book is a one-stop shop for bodybuilding, including the sport’s origins and innovators, essential principles of building muscle, and the complete exercises and nutrition that made Arnold so successful.
Power, Speed, Endurance. Written by CrossFit Endurance founder Brian MacKenzie, this book focuses on five skills — running, cycling, swimming, weightlifting, and mobility. It goes into great detail about the proper mechanics for these activities while providing great advice on how to prevent, treat, and repair injuries in general.
Starting Strength. Probably the single most important book out there for barbell work. If you’d like to effectively and safely execute the squat, press, deadlift, bench press, power clean, and the power snatch with a barbell, this is a must read.
Essentials of Strength Training, 3rd edition. As comprehensive and evidence-based as books get, this work is a great reference for anyone who wants to develop as an athlete. Just be warned: it isn’t for the faint of heart; it is a sophisticated text and contains quite a bit of scientific jargon, especially in the early chapters. Still, it has plenty of practical applications if you take your time with it.
~posted by Di Z.