T Nation

education material

This thread will concern ourselves with any form of education material targeted for the strength/personal training coach.All books, videos, seminars,personal communication,telephone consultation,etc.Ill start with my favourite powerlifting video “The Westside Seminar Video” by Dave Tate.For $135 this is the best bang for the buck.Very motivational and encouraging.Dave discusses some of the mistakes he’s made over his carreer and how he corrected them (this type of info is underappreciated).Periodization is discussed in detail.Proper exercise form and introduction to assistant exercises that may be new to most.Highest rating.If you look at other video series, you will notice a video on med balls, abs, plyos,etc.The time you finish bying all these videos you’ve spent over $1000,with the Westside video you get 6 hours of info on all of that.You will learn alot.and you wont feel jipped.After watching this you will have a greater admiration for both Dave Tate and Louie Simmons.

Nice idea for a thread.


I personally have not had great results with Ian King’s routines, but I like his leg training video a lot. Gives you several new perspectives on how certain exercises can be modified to produce a different effect. It’s probably not something that can be applied to powerlifting, but for getting people to start thinking outside the box it’s the best thing I’ve seen yet.

Ian Kings leg video would be a great intro to some trainer that dont know much about exercise variety.Ians plyometric video was good (especially for the year it came out).Get Buff was good,probably the best book I can think of for your average trainer.Id hate to call the book basic,I mean he offered more practical info than any of Poliquins books,but the way he worded himself in Get Buff made it very user friendly.What else?

Supertraining by Mel Siff- I recently purchased this book from Dave Tate’s site, it is excellent. I would not recommend this book for anyone that doesn’t like seriously technical books. I also purchased Science and Practice of Strength Training by Vladimir Zatsiorsky and I highly recommend this one as well. Mastery of Hand Strength by John Brookfield is another excellent book for people who want to develop all-around hand strength.

Supertraining and Vladimirs book have no equal,although they cant be recommended for most people (advanced).Its a shame that two american plyometric books are full of garbage (Bompa / Chu).In the human kinetics plyo video they tell you to hop on mats,easier on joints.No wonder the students (and professors)had no clue what I was telling them,look what there taught.

I once bought a book that Bompa co-authored, I will never make that mistake again. You are correct in saying it is complete crap.

Is this thread not interesting enough for you guys?

Actually, this thread is very interesting to me. I also agree the Zatsiorsky’s text is excellent. I’ve recently picked up Supertraining, but have yet to fully delve into it. In reality, the best investment I ever made in this area was to get a computer and an internet connection.

I still think that Arnold's "Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding" is an excellent read for the history, exercise selections, and pictures. Colgan's old school "Optimum Sports Nutrition" presents nutritional fundamentals very well, but the info is now outdated.

I've been eyeing the Westside Seminar Video for a year now and would love to pick it up (I'll put it on my Christmas list).

Also, I'll be attending Mike Mahler's Kettlebell Seminar in a few weeks and really look forward to that learning opportunity.

Weight Training: A Scientific Approach by Stone and O’Bryan. It’s kinda cryptic, but I think it gave me a good base for understanding the scientific rationale behind hypertrophy, muscle metabolism, etc. Any other good books I can get from a library?

Depends on your library.If its public they’ll probably only have junk.University libraries differ considerably.At the U of t we have great books at the library(but there physed is piss poor,concentrating on history and sportmanship),and at York,where they offer a four year coaching program (lead by Tudor Bompa,imaging going to school for 4 years to learn the western style of periodization),they dont have great books.What about seminars.Positive/negative,we would like to hear.

I cant beleive no one is educating themselves.How about articles?Does anyone read?Anything that has changed the way you approach training?

Damn, WSTRAINER, don’t throw a hissy fit because not many reponded to your little post. We’re at this site and T-mag has hundred of articles, so yes, we read.

Its not a hissy fit!Just bringing up a great topic to stimulate the mind,but I guess discussing education material will take a backseat tp Poliquins salad diet thread.Im starting to wonder about the age and education level of some people out there.I give up!!

I like the WSB seminar video series. Any of the westside guys articles are must reads.

I really enjoy all of Coach Davies stuff (here, at renegadetraining and intensity magazine). His book is full of drills and exercises that can be added to anyones training program. Just as a note the book is not about how to design a periodized program, and it does not present a cookie cutter program for football. It’s a compendium of exercises and drills used in preparing for football.

Supertraining is a good hard technical read. Great book though, worth the effort.

Get Buffed, despite the lame title, is full of great material. A definite for beginners. I actually think most personal trainers could benefit from reading this book. It covers just about everything.

I liked Speed Trap. It had some good coaching advice, some training info and was a fun read.

Warfighting is awesome. Not really about training but many practical lessons for life and that can be applied to your training. I think this is a must read.

Ofcourse T-mag has good information

Colgans book Optimum Sports Nutrition is also great for basic nutritional info.

Fats That Heal, Fats that Kill by Udo is a must read. Not really geared to bodybuilders, just health. It is filled with almost everything you could want to know about fat. Some parts were a little dry and technical, I hated Chemistry, But it definitely had useful information.

Inside the Lions Den. Ken shamrocks book is a worthwhile read. His story is interesting and I really liked his conditioning information. It’s not an earth shattering program but it is fun. You will not learn how to be an ultimate fighter from this book. Submissions is way more intricate than can be conveyed through photographs

If I can think of anything else I’ll let you know.

Thanks for the response Alex,we can sure use more like youself.I see you’ve read Spead Trap by charlie francis (1990),have you read The Charlie Francis Training System (1992)?Has anyone else?If so,what year did you read it?The reason I ask is you will notice how many coaches adapted Charlies training strategies and started making money of his theorie.Now Charlie is not the “inventor” of most of theses training strategies,but he did brake away from the traditional pattern of training athletes,which proved to be highly successful.Id be interested in knowing what percentage of info Poliquin uses that he learned in school,and what percentage he uses that he learned off Charlie.This goes for a lot of strength coaches,but I hate to name names.More responses please.Thanks.

I liked Science and Practice of Strength Training by Vladimir Zatsiorsky as well. I also enjoyed Designing Resistance Training Programs by Fleck and Kraemer. I’ve only just purchased Supertraining the latest edition not co-authored with Verhoshansky but what I’ve read so far has been very very impressive, offering real world practical info I have not found elsewhere. I was fortunate enough to pick up a heavily discounted copy (I think about 50%) by taking up an offer made by Dr Siff on his Yahoo Supertraining Group. These were books deemed seconds, the printing on a small no. of pages apearing distinctly lighter, though perfectly ledgible. I’m not sure if there are still copies available, join the group and email Dr siff to find out if you wish. Though I’d reccommend the group anyway. All messages are moderated by Dr. Siff, thus ensuring that it is a topic that is discussed, with no personal attacks or flames allowed. Thus preventing any disagreements degenerating into slanging matches, something which seems to happen frequently on the T-forums. Don’t get me wrong some threads here have provided fantastic info that I have found no where else, but others…

Seminars,people PLEASE,feedback on seminars.Lets get crazy here and get the ball rolling.Please,your past experience may help someone save wasted time on education material that may be a scam (seminars)or something filled with old info (books).Good or bad,we want to hear it.Everyone jump in or I will be out looking for you.

Regarding seminars - I’ve been to a couple of ACSM weekend conferences (even presented my thesis research at one last year). Overall, the information is quite broad, but there are usually several presentations that have useful information directly related to training. Also, the opportunity to meet some of the scholars and network in the area is worth it.

Overall rating for ACSM conferences: 7/10

NSCA’s annual conference in 2002 was pretty good. Some great info, some OK, some outdated. The SWIS symposium is a must. Lots of diverse opinions but you’ll definately come out with alot of practical stuff you can use with yourself and your clients. Mel Siff’s ‘Facts and Fallacies’ book is cool read too. By the way, if you didn’t hear, Coach Davies will be presenting at this years NSCA conference in Indianapolis.

Very kewl. I’m creating a list of “must buy and then read” books. I agree with Jason Norcross’ assessment of Arnold’s “Encyclopedia…” That book is rich in bodybuilding history.

I had been interested in getting Zatsiorsky's book(s). Now that I see that they're worth every penny? I'm ordering them. Anything by Coach Davies is worth reading, worth buying also. I'd be interested in this "Westside Seminar" by Dave Tate, his methods have greatly improved my squat and dead.

And next year? I'll definitely be at SWIS. What's so great about seminars, is not only the information being provided (well, if it's good, sound, useful info) - but meeting others who are interested in learning as you are. I went to a two day fitness "event" in Seattle, put together by a outfit in Colorado (they also send me info on upcoming seminars by Paul Chek). While it was rife with fitballs - there were a several seminars that were helpful. And yes, I attended a Paul Chek seminar about....fitballs.

Good thread. Oh, I also order many of my books through HumanKinetics.com