In a recent discussion thread, someone mentioned Supertraining.
Supertraining, while possibly the single greatest resource for strength training available, is not exactly light reading. My experience is that most people without a degree (or equivalent) in exercise and physiology will have to struggle mightily to make it through the text.
As such, someone else asked for help on reading it. They had solid workout experience, were avid readers of T-Mag, but didn’t have a formal background in physiology or exercise science. As such, they noted that their head started aching after 4-5 pages of reading.
In response to their question, I put together a few suggestions to make reading Supertraining a little easier. These are just my own ideas, and things that have worked for me, or people I know.
I’d love to hear what suggestions other people might have, though.
Here’s my thoughts (in response to the question of “how to make it through Supertraining”):
I wish I had a good answer for you, because as you’ve found, Supertraining is hard. I won’t admit how long it took me to actually work my way through the whole thing.
One thing that can help a little is picking up his other book, ‘Facts and Fallacies of Fitness’. It’s a done in a Question and Answer format that makes it much easier to read, and covers many of the same topics as Supertraining. The big difference is that Facts and Fallacies is written for anyone with a basic understanding of fitness and weight training, as opposed to the very thorough and academic ‘textbook’ style that Supertraining follows.
You can get Facts and Fallacies of Fitness at Elite Fitness.
Reading through that will give you a “jump start” on some of the topics that Supertraining will cover, and may help to ease you into it.
If you don’t have a strong physiology background, and you need help with that, there are a few things to help that out.
First, I’d try to find an introductory book on Exercise Physiology. You can probably find a decent one for pretty cheap on half.com.
This is still probably going to be a college level textbook, albeit an introductory one, so expect to spend some time with it. If you get through a book like that, you’ll find reading Supertraining a whole lot easier.
The nice thing about half.com is you can often find used textbooks for less than $15, especially if you don’t mind getting one that’s an edition behind the current. And since you’re mostly interested in this book to provide a solid basis for moving on to Supertraining, it won’t matter too much if some of the information is a touch dated.
As far as actually reading Supertraining itself. . . take it slow, and easy, but be persistent. Start at the beginning, read 2-5 pages, then stop for a minute, and read it again. If you need to, do it again. If there’s a particularly difficult section, stick with that page, or part of a page, until you feel you understand it thoroughly.
Don’t be afraid if it takes you a couple of times rereading sections. Heck, there are a few parts in there I had to read four or five times before I felt like I was starting to get it.
Supertraining is very dense, and very good. Unless you have a degree in exercise physiology, it’s an exercise in persistence to work through it (and even with the degree, it’s no light reading), but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
 With the possible exception of T-Mag here, I’d probably say there is no other book or resource that I’ve found that is as useful, informative, and enlightening as Supertraining. I know many who share that sentiment.