T Nation

Book and Literature Review Thread


#1

I was curious as to what kinds of books ya’ll have read regarding exercise, lifting, powerlifting, really anything fitness related and what ya’ll thought of them.

To give an example, I’ll go first with the book I’ve just about finished. But feel free to provide your experience in any format you like.

Westside Barbell Book of Squat and Deadlift

If you’ve every read The Book of Methods, this is very different. It’s very well organized and coherent much unlike the BOM. You get different squat cycles and very detailed explanations of the multiple training efforts. That is the Max Effort, the Sub-maximal effort, Dynamic Effort, and the Repeated effort.

There’s details about how how much weight to use for DE efforts. He even says that for PLers basing a 1RM off of a squat suit, brief, and belt squat to use 50%. BUT, for what he calls ‘sportsmen’ who don’t train with that equipment to use 75-85% of that box squat variant just for one example of the detail and clarification in that book.

I think it’s an excellent read for anyone interested in or already using Westside methods. Between this book, The Max Effort by Jim Wendler, Dave Tates book about benching using the Westside methods, and the Westside thread by StormtheBeach on the forums here, I think you will have an extremely solid understanding of how to use these methods after of course you put many years underneath bar doing so.

Someone else’s turn now!


#2

I’ve read a lot of books by Mark Rippetoe. His books are often a Venn diagram of weight lifting wisdom and sarcasm.

I also read “You Are Your Own Gym” by Mark Lauren and it’s my go to book for body weight exercises when I can’t make it to the gym. He doesn’t think the gym is necessary at all, and makes good points about it, but lifting heavy is just too much fun to give up. I tell women it’s like power yoga in hopes they’ll read it.


#3

God Ive lost count of everything Ive read on strength and nutrition over the years… My first book on the subject was Bigger Faster Stronger by Greg Shepard, Wont even mention how long ago that was or it will force me into a midlife crisis


#4

I’ve skimmed through “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” By Tom Venuto a few times when I need to overhaul my diet. IMO, the first 1/2 of the book is quite ‘fluffy’ (lots of words, not really communicating a lot of useful info). The second 1/2 of the book gets into the ‘meat and potatoes’ and talks about specific calorie amounts, discusses the different diet options, carb timings, food choices, diet examples, also a couple workout plans as well. He lays it out in a pretty straight forward way. Sometimes after reading too much online I get myself spun around and skimming the latter half of his book re-simplifies it again for me!

I’m about 1/2 way through Arnold’s Encyclopedia as well, entertaining book with some great vintage pictures and history on some of the old great bodybuilders. I still haven’t really got deep into his training or anything quite yet, just need to make time to pick it back up and finish it.