Suggestions for Learning Materials

Hello, I would like to study and learn more about fitness and nutrition. I could take an online course and spend $$$, but, Im not looking to become a certified personal trainer, I’d just like the knowledge of one.

So, my question is, is there any books that can be recommended that I could/should read? I have a lot of downtime at work and could use some reading material.

I recommend lifting weights over time and meeting goals to attain the knowledge of a trainer, if formal education/certification is not something you want to pursue.

As for downtime at work, I have a few kettlebells I keep at work. Bands and bodyweight are other good options that are always available.

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Purposeful Primitive

Powerlifting Basics Texas Style

Super Squats

The Complete Keys to Progress

Never Let Go

5/3/1 Forever


Probably Practical Programming Strength Training 3rd Edition for a complete beginner.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I will male a note of everything and make a solid effort to read through all the books.

Where are you in your training journey?

Pre pandemic i was hitting the gym everyday, cardio one day, weights another, my diet was on point, and i dropped 40lbs. I enjoyed going to the gym so i went every day. I learned a lot about the effects that food has on the body. My knowledge for weights and use of gym equipment is basic.
We go into lockdown, everything went to shit, I gained 60 lbs, and I struggle finding the energy to even get off my couch.

I am a cook, and in my downtime at work i wanted to learn more about nutrition, and wanted to gain more knowledge to be comfortable with various workouts.

I have a gym membership, and my gym recently was allowed to reopen again, so i made a meal plan for the week, and I’m starting again on Monday.


Sounds awesome, and you’re in the opposite spot as most of us (we’ve been lifting, but we eat like crap) so that’s a good place to be; we can fill each other’s knowledge gaps.

The reason I ask is I think, at this point, you’d be much better off just applying than learning theory. To that end, each of the suggestions above is outstanding. I’d recommend just picking one, though, running it to completion, then trying another one, and so on. You’ll figure yourself out and get stronger all at the same time. If you read too much early, it will conflict, and you won’t figure out what you like nor will you really improve.

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These are some general books to check out: The 11 Best Books for Smart Meatheads

But you should also look into stuff from Precision Nutrition. Pretty sure they have a cookbook you can put to great use.

Like TFP said, you’re going to gain a lot of insight from trial and error. It’s just the way lifting works. Nothing at all wrong with reading and learning more options, but you’ll end up filtering stuff out based on what clicks for you as you go along.

Start up a training log to get feedback on your plan and track progress.


Loads of good suggestions esp The recommendation for Dan John book “Never let GO”

Cant Hurt Me by David Goggins is amazing for training mentality/hitting big fitness goals

Not books but read bunch of Dan John articles as per below and some by guys like Waterbury, Eric Cressey and Poliquin( take with a biiiig grain of salt)


Two best training books I ever read were “Never Let Go” by Dan John and “Strength is Specific” by Dr Chris Beardsley.

The former is full of excellent anecdotes, philosophies and ideas about training. The latter is a cheap (~$5 on kindle), very thorough and easily digestible summary of the science behind strength and hypertrophy, written by one of the most respected researchers in the field.


Added to my wishlist

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You won’t regret it

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