T Nation

Books for Beginners


Any good books out there to help me work out? Are Muscle Logic or Home Workout Bible good books to consider?


Honestly READ EM ALL" anything you can get. any and everything is going to have something to teach you. Just have to sort the cream from the crop. those books are fine. All the ones by any of the authors here. Bumpa, etc.

I say go to your local library check one or two out at a time and dont stop until youve done them all


I've never heard of the two books you mentioned...but one great book I bought is the The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger. It has everything to do with lifting weights and also discusses nutrition. Exercises are sorted by body part...I often use it as a quick reference when I want to switch things up. In many ways its a "one stop" reference book.

Might be worth a look depending on what your goals are.


The first "real" training book that I read was Poliquin Principles and it kicks ass. The way Charles Poliquin writes is very entertaining and it is written from a practicioner's standpoint. The book, however, is a little hard to find.


Read everything, take nothing as gospel. The best place to start is actually here on T-Nation reading the articles. It's free and its high quality. I prefer the most recent articles (in general). I think "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Killgore is one of the best books you can buy to start off. It covers the 5 most effective lifts in anyones arsenal in incredible detail. Getting the squat, bench, deadlift, over-head press and possibly the clean down will make sure you have a long, successful lifting career.


I second the recommendation of "starting strength" by mark rippetoe. I've found it to be immensely useful.

The home workout bible is decent. Whereas starting strength covers five important lifts in exhaustive detail, the home workout bible covers many, many, exercises, but each only briefly. Other than the exercise reference, it's kind of a chaotic mish-mash of information. All in all not a bad read\reference, but not my first choice.


The New Rules of Lifting by Cosgrove. I'd reccomend it for all beginners. Also, like the other posters said, try to read everything you can get your hands on, espically this site.


Any of you read Super Squats?


Super squats: Do 20-rep squats twice a week with a weight that's your 10 rep max. Do a little pressing and rowing. Drink a gallon of milk every day.

You just saved 15 bucks.


I might just get 1 book for now. Should I get: New Rules of Lifting, The book of muscle, or Starting Strength. Which one should I get first?


New Rules of Lifting.


I'll throw 2 books on your list. Both happen to be written by Lou Schuler, with 2 smart trainers providing the programs. Schuler has a way of speaking to newbs and intermediates without giving you a headache. So yeah, the titles.

New Rules for Lifting - Lou Schuler w/Alwyn Cosgrove. Simple, effective.

The Book of Muscle - Lou Schuler w/Ian King.

The second book is much more in depth with a good amount of anatomy/physiology info in there.

Good Luck.



I'll definatly third this motion.

New Rules of Lifting givess a beginner a full year's worth of well-designed programs, all with good advice on form and technique.


Honestly, I'd go with Starting Strength if you're only going to get one. Nothing will teach you the lifts better, short of training with a great coach (hard to find). He also includes a good beginner program that (according to him) he routinely uses to put on 20-30 lbs of muscle on skinny newbies in 6 months, providing they're eating enough.

The emphasis should be on hard, heavy lifting as a beginner, putting weight on the bar whenever poossible. I went from a soft 170 (18% or so) to a relatively lean 200 (12%) in under a year with this type of training.


Starting Strength.

I wonder where my body would be at if I got my hands on that book back when I was 16.


What do you find in the book?


Words and pictures. Some numbers here and there.


I have not seen Starting Stength any where recently should I just get New Rules of Lifting?


The homeworkout bible is not all that great I bought it a while back and was sort of dissapointed. Its by mens health and all it really does is describe exercises no real reading.


You won't find it in a store. Go to Amazon or www.startingstrength.com for it. Go to the website either way and get a feel for what the book is like. To give you an idea, there are 50 pages devoted to the squat alone. You don't have to read all of them before you can squat, because a lot of it is troubleshooting and such.

It's hands down the best book for teaching the basic lifts, and Jim Wendler himself says that every single lifter should own this book, regardless of experience (if you don't know who he is, look him up). This book teaches many of the lifts used in Cosgrove/Schuler's book, and does it more thoroughly than any book out there. Not to mention the great programming info for beginners.

Rippetoe also has another book out called Practical Programming, geared towards intermediate and advanced lifters. Haven't read it yet but am looking forward to it.