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Best Bodybuilding Books

What are the best books on bodybuilding? What content do those books cover? I currently have only a couple, and I’m looking to expand my library. Any suggestions?

I just took out of the library Serious Strength Training, which despite the title is all about bodybuilding. The authors are Tudor Bompa, Mauro Di Pasquale and Lorenzo Cornacchia (you should recognise at least 2 of them!).

It covers the physiology of muscles and muscle growth, diet (emphasising on Di Pasquale’s Anabolic Diet, of course), exercises, program design, periodisation (as you would expect if Dr Bompa is an author!), and even contest prep. In short, it’s very complete and thorough, and I’m considering buying it after I return it to the library.

[quote]Miserere wrote:
I just took out of the library Serious Strength Training, which despite the title is all about bodybuilding. The authors are Tudor Bompa, Mauro Di Pasquale and Lorenzo Cornacchia (you should recognise at least 2 of them!).

It covers the physiology of muscles and muscle growth, diet (emphasising on Di Pasquale’s Anabolic Diet, of course), exercises, program design, periodisation (as you would expect if Dr Bompa is an author!), and even contest prep. In short, it’s very complete and thorough, and I’m considering buying it after I return it to the library.[/quote]

Oddly enough, I was just taking a look at that book.

Not exactly what you asked for but here are some novels about bodybuilding that might interest you:

Gorilla Suit - Pearl

Muscle, confessions of an unlikely bodybuilder - Fussel

Brothers of Iron - Weiders

basically nothing youd find at barnes&noble or borders.

i bought Chad Waterbury’s “muscle revolution” in january, and its a very good read- definitely makes you want to go lift some weights. while chad is very capable of getting quite technical to the point where hes over most of our heads, the book is very straight forward and helpful. there is one chapter where he indulges himself somewhat and gets “scientific” but it is not overboard to the point where us “regular people” would not understand it.

another great thing about it is that while i would say it is primarily a bodybuilding book, it is not JUST a bodybuilding book. basically he lays out what your progression through his programs should be, for whatever your goal may be. theres also a chapter devoted to strength, which ill admit, wasnt my primary goal when i bought the book, but now that it is, ill have to go back and give it another look…when i find the box that its in (i hate moving!).

in addition to chads book, i would say anything bodybuilding book sold on this site would be top quality, as well as over at elitefts.com. these people know what theyre talking about!

The first book I got was Arnold’s Bodybuilding Encyclopedia. I still think this is a classic. Even though some of the stuff is a little dated it’s got the meat and potatoes of bodybuilding. I’m sure you can find it at barns and nobles or boarders Ha Ha!

[quote]Hagar wrote:
The first book I got was Arnold’s Bodybuilding Encyclopedia. I still think this is a classic. Even though some of the stuff is a little dated it’s got the meat and potatoes of bodybuilding. I’m sure you can find it at barns and nobles or boarders Ha Ha! [/quote]

i too own that book. i havent read it in quite some time…so i really dont remember it. but, if its outlining “arnold-like” routines, its probably not all that good of a bodybuilding book. i also recall it to be somewhat lacking as far as nutrition is concerned.

when i said “nothing youd find at barnes n nobles…” i was pretty much saying that because to my knowledge you cant find a Chad Waterbury or Christian Thibadeau book at those stores, and for my money, id rather wait the few days for it to come in the mail rather than buy something off the shelf.

but youre absolutely correct, arnolds encyclopedia is a classic, and i feel like if youre in this iron game, it should be something that one could find in your house, somewhere…but if say, the OP only had 50 bucks, and had to choose just one book, id tell him to wait on the arnold and invest his money in more reputable author (not that i dont like arnold!)

When I first started training, I found Arnold’s encyclopedia vary inspiring. Even after years of training I still use the basic lifts that I got from that book most of the time. Aside from that I’m a big Charles Poliquin fan because the knowledge from his books got me threw some sticking points.

Also, with all the hype here on T-Nation I think I’m going to buy Chad Waterbury’s book when my strength gets back up. Hopefully I’ll break some PR’s on some lifts with it.

Beyond Brawn by Stuart McRoberts is a good one if your battling to add some muscle.

I have read a lot and find Arnolds Encyclopedia to be the best. It is extremely motivating to read Arnolds words. He really reminds the reader that the only reason he got where he was from working his ass off.