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Good books on working-out principles

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
In the past few years I have tried to take my body more seriously. That included a diet to depart from my skinny self (went from 151 lbs to 200 in a few years, for 6"4) and, in the last 2-3 years, a semi-regular work-out at the gym.

I have picked up quite a lot from trainers and various friends, but I still would like a couple good books that explain the basic principles of proper working-out. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 32
If you buy only one book the book to buy would be "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe.
post #3 of 32
New Rules of Lifting by Schuler and Crosgrove
post #4 of 32
Arnold's Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding.
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the tips so far. I am more interested in understanding the principles behind proper nutrition and proper exercising than in any specific presentation of exercices or program.

Starting Strength seems fine in that respect. Arnold's encyclopedia might a little too focused on the history of bodybuilding, i don't know.
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Étienne
Thank you for the tips so far. I am more interested in understanding the principles behind proper nutrition and proper exercising than in any specific presentation of exercices or program.

Starting Strength seems fine in that respect. Arnold's encyclopedia might a little too focused on the history of bodybuilding, i don't know.

The good thing about Starting Strength is that it has detailed descriptions (I'm talking, 20-30 pages each) for the big exercises like squat, deadlift, military press, bench press, etc.
post #7 of 32
I'm still not exactly sure what you're looking for, but I found the book Brawn by Stuart McRobert insightful when I began working out heavily in college. http://www.amazon.com/Brawn-Stuart-M.../dp/9963616089 He initially discusses the 3 main body types and pretty much advocates a 5x5 training program focusing on squats, deadlifts, and bench pressing with the main focus being on the "hardgainer." There are sections of motivational writing and a discussion of nutrition towards the end. I believe the underlying theme is the proper way to train to maximize results. If you are looking more for a scientific based explanation of diet and exercise, you can find excellent articles at bodybuilding forums such as T-nation.com and steroidology.com. I don't have a book recommendation off the top of my head.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by teddieriley

If you are looking more for a scientific based explanation of diet and exercise, you can find excellent articles at bodybuilding forums such as T-nation.com and steroidology.com. I don't have a book recommendation off the top of my head.

I have to second t-nation.com. While some people bash it, there are a variety of top-notch articles on bodybuilding and nutrition.
post #9 of 32
Again, I'll say "the book of muscle" by Ian King and Lou Schuler. It describes the body, how it works, all of the lifts and most variations, touches on nutrition, and 1.5 years of workout programs. It's also written in very readable language. So far I've added about 20 LBS. this summer doing the advanced program, and all of my lifts are the most they've been ever (and I've been working out for about 6 years). I'm not sure if it's exactly what you are looking for, but it's worth checking out.
post #10 of 32
Do you really need a book? Just look stuff up on google. Or better yet, there are tons of weighlifting forums online.
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by javyn
Do you really need a book? Just look stuff up on google. Or better yet, there are tons of weighlifting forums online.

The problem with internet forums and the internet in general is that any jackass with a computer can put something on the internet and it's very difficult to seperate the good information from the bullshit.
post #12 of 32
Coming on Strong by Franco Columbo (Schwarzenegger's lifting partner)
Arnold: the Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold himself
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by odoreater
The good thing about Starting Strength is that it has detailed descriptions (I'm talking, 20-30 pages each) for the big exercises like squat, deadlift, military press, bench press, etc.

sounds like exactly what i'm looking for, odoreater. definitely gonna get that book.

i would also suggest "power to the people!" by pavel tsatsouline. concise, very entertaining to read, and no BS. it mostly details russian, eastern european and old-school american strength-building methods--and the scientific basis behind them.

for bodyweight exercises for max strength (not muscle endurance), he has a book called "the naked warrior." it's very different from any bodyweight exercise book i've read (i.e. matt furey, scrapper, etc.). it focuses on how you can increase max strength through bodyweight exercises, so you're only doing about 5 reps of each exercise--but with no weights. great for when you don't have access to an olympic barbell and freeweights.

he also has books on russian kettlebells and flexibility.


one of my favorite all-around books is "getting stronger" by bill pearl. before there was arnold, there was bill pearl. he really knows his stuff. his book has A LOT of info on nutrition and has very detailed descriptions and illustrations. in fact, i like this book a little more than arnold's encyclopedia. btw, he is a VEGETARIAN, and has won a mr. universe on a completely ovo-lacto vegetarian diet--and this was back in the day. a real pioneer.
post #14 of 32
pavel is somewhat of a folk hero on internet message boards dedicated to bodybuilding and exercising.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
very difficult to seperate the good information from the bullshit.

good point.
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