Training books

Purposeful Primitive: Marty Gallagher has pretty much done anything there is to do in the powerlifting world. His book is extremely interesting (especially the part about the “Iron Masters” is fantastic) and a good wake up call for many. He preaches simplicity and does so in a book 500+ page book, that I read cover to cover in less than a week. It’s that good.

Intervention: It’s very hands-on and practical and offers a ten question checklist and five principles you can apply to anybody. Very easy to use, but amazingly precise and innovative in its own simplistic way. That’s the beauty of DJ’s writings. Everybody can understand it, but getting to the realizations yourself might take a lifetime of training. Speaking of lifetimes of training, DJ has one on his resume and it shows.

This is by far THE best book on coaching myself and others I’ve read for a long time, and I’d say it’s a must-read for ANYONE who teaches any kind of fitness at any level.

Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training: This is the bible. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the basic lifts and their mechanics. The book describes in details how and why to do the lifts in a very simple and understandable way. It’s a must-have.

Never Let Go: A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning a Dan John classic. Filled with good solid information and inspiration for lifting and life. The title speaks for itself.

5/3/1: The Simplest and Most Effective Training System to Increase Raw Strength – you probably already know this one, and if you don’t I suggest you get it NOW! Combined with his recent “Beyond 531” you’ll have everything you need to get strong.

Beyond 531: Read the review here. Buy the book now.

Fit: A great book reviewed in detail here. It’s a must-read.

Kelso’s Shrug Book: This little book puts an entirely new spin to the shrug and back training in general. It is kind of revolutionary actually and provides you with plenty of inspiration to get an even more jacked back and to keep your shoulder blades functioning. It’s also easy to read and cheap to boot.


Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training: Very detailed book, with great information on different types of stretching and when to use which types. Lots of great exercise pictures. This is my stretching bible.

Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance: Kelly Starretts 400 page book on his innovative methods for increasing mobility. This book is simply fantastic and a must-have for all ambitious athletes.

Recent Posts

Do you want to be a loser?

Last weekend I visited one of my oldest and best friends in Germany. One of the great things about our friendship is that the conversation naturally flows from toilet stories over politics, society and parenthood and crude inside jokes. We pretty much cover everything.

My friend works with some real characters and one of them recently offered this little golden nugget of wisdom:

Winner in highschool, loser in life.

While this obviously doesn’t always hold true, I really like the underlying message. While the “carpe diem”-cliche may seem attractive at first, long-term planning is the way to go. In training and in life.

Training for today, this week or even this month is better than not training at all, but if you really want to kick it up a notch, you have to think long-term. How hard and how heavy you can go this week doesn’t really matter if you’re not training next week. Slow and steady wins the race.

Develop a philosophy over time and stick to it. Results will come.

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