T Nation

T-Nation Books, Your Favorite?

Hey, I’m new to T-Nation, relatively new to lifting. Out of all the T-Nation books, what is your personal favorite and why? I’m looking to buy a few and would like some reviews. So far I’ve heard good things about Muscle Revolution.

Books:
-The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results
by Ellington Darden, Ph.D.

-A Complete Video Guide To Escalating Density Training (DVD Format)

-The Black Book of Training Secrets
Christian Thibadeau

-The Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual
by Eric Cressey

-Muscle Revolution by CW

-Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Body Transformation From Both Sides of the Force

by Christian Thibaudeau & Anthony Roberts

-> Notes: I play rugby, casually with friends. I will probably play in college on the club teams. I throw hammer, but don’t really care about it at all. I am generally “skinny fat”.
-weight = 185
-height = 5’9
-Lifting Numbers (Big three 1rm)
-Squat = 300
-Deadlift = 238
-Bench Press = 195
*all calculated on a 1rm calculator.

I just got The Black Book of Training Secrets by CT and I haven’t read it yet, but just glancing through it, it looks like there is a TON of information in there about any type of lifting you wanna do

I own several of the books you mentioned including CT’s Black Book of Training Methods, Jekyl/Hyde and CW’s Muscle Revolution.

Of all the T-Nation books, I like The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden the most!

There are many books on training. And many of what you listed are good books. But they don’t contain information on the history of bodybuilding and how things were done before steroids and super supplements. Dr. Darden’s book is also very entertaining and a joy to read.

Of course, it also contains information on training (H.I.T.) with a variety of routines and specialization programs. It also has two excellent chapters on Metabolic Conditioning and one chapter on Motor Learning (in addition to many chapters with interviews of certain people and other H.I.T. info).

It also explains what H.I.T. is truly about and answers many questions (that I had) about H.I.T. I now understand it much more than what I’ve heard or read on the forums and from those who oppose it. I think few people truly understand H.I.T. because they’ve only seen certain things (usually negative) due to groups that have bastardize what H.I.T. is and how it’s supposed to work.

For me, it’s the best choice of the books you mentioned. But I also wanted to know more about the history of bodybuilding and more about H.I.T. since I’ve never trained that way but was curious.

It depends on what you want. The other books are good books about training. If I had to rank them, I’d say go with either of CT’s books.

I wasn’t very impressed with CW’s book. There are many others I’d recommend before that one. I’m not saying it’s bad, but I think it’s missing some things to make it a better read. And many of the chapters will be too much for some people because they go into certain areas with too much depth. I think CW has great programs, but you can get them on T-Nation for free.

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
I own several of the books you mentioned including CT’s Black Book of Training Methods, Jekyl/Hyde and CW’s Muscle Revolution.

Of all the T-Nation books, I like The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden the most!

There are many books on training. And many of what you listed are good books. But they don’t contain information on the history of bodybuilding and how things were done before steroids and super supplements. Dr. Darden’s book is also very entertaining and a joy to read.

Of course, it also contains information on training (H.I.T.) with a variety of routines and specialization programs. It also has two excellent chapters on Metabolic Conditioning and one chapter on Motor Learning (in addition to many chapters with interviews of certain people and other H.I.T. info).

It also explains what H.I.T. is truly about and answers many questions (that I had) about H.I.T. I now understand it much more than what I’ve heard or read on the forums and from those who oppose it. I think few people truly understand H.I.T. because they’ve only seen certain things (usually negative) due to groups that have bastardize what H.I.T. is and how it’s supposed to work.

For me, it’s the best choice of the books you mentioned. But I also wanted to know more about the history of bodybuilding and more about H.I.T. since I’ve never trained that way but was curious.

It depends on what you want. The other books are good books about training. If I had to rank them, I’d say go with either of CT’s books.

I wasn’t very impressed with CW’s book. There are many others I’d recommend before that one. I’m not saying it’s bad, but I think it’s missing some things to make it a better read. And many of the chapters will be too much for some people because they go into certain areas with too much depth. I think CW has great programs, but you can get them on T-Nation for free.[/quote]

Thank you for this post! I was really interested in Dr. Darden’s book because it looked very unique. I’m glad to see somebody who has almost all of the books I was interested in.

Personally, I thought CW’s book was well done and thorough. I’ve applied a lot of techniques and information into my own training and diet and I’m getting stronger and bigger…without added fat. His stuff has helped me to achieve that, so I thank him for his good and useful book.

I believe you’ll be best off just buying one of these books every 6 months or so. Read them, apply some of the concepts, see how things go and then try a new book/programs. That might be a good way to learn a lot and improve at the same time.

[quote]Oblag wrote:
Hey, I’m new to T-Nation, relatively new to lifting. Out of all the T-Nation books, what is your personal favorite and why? I’m looking to buy a few and would like some reviews. So far I’ve heard good things about Muscle Revolution.

Books:
-The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results
by Ellington Darden, Ph.D.

-A Complete Video Guide To Escalating Density Training (DVD Format)

-The Black Book of Training Secrets
Christian Thibadeau

-The Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual
by Eric Cressey

-Muscle Revolution by CW

-Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Body Transformation From Both Sides of the Force

by Christian Thibaudeau & Anthony Roberts

-> Notes: I play rugby, casually with friends. I will probably play in college on the club teams. I throw hammer, but don’t really care about it at all. I am generally “skinny fat”.
-weight = 185
-height = 5’9
-Lifting Numbers (Big three 1rm)
-Squat = 300
-Deadlift = 238
-Bench Press = 195
*all calculated on a 1rm calculator.

[/quote]

For me it would go

  1. Muscle Revolution (best book I have ever read, if you buy any definately buy this one, gives you year long plans has programs for beginners, intermediate and advanced trainees, and alot more)

  2. The New Bodybuilding for Old School results (because I believe HIT training is good once in a while to change things up but not as a long term training routine but I enjoyed the interviews and pictures) Overall it was a good read though.

  3. The Black Book of Training secrets (good book)

I havent read the other ones you mentioned but I recommend you try these 3 out.

Yeah i was just thinking about this recently also. What about Ian King’s Get Buffed book?

I’ve noticed some definite gaps in my training knowledge, reading articles alone is quite a schizophrenic fragmented way to learn. I’m thinking about getting muscle revolution, and the black book by CT, both sound good.

Could someone please say what’s in them? Ie chpater titles and synopsis etc. I’d really appreciate that, to help me make my frugal little decision. Cheers

I have read both Breardi’s Metabolic Plan and CT’s Big Black book and I must say I found them to be rather useless everything was presented in a very low brow and laymen sense and the vast majority of the books was taken up with programmes.

Some of the posture and fiber testing methadolagies in Thib’s book where useful, I really dislike cookie cutter programmes and tend to avoid books based around them.

[quote]IrishMarc wrote:
I have read both Breardi’s Metabolic Plan and CT’s Big Black book and I must say I found them to be rather useless everything was presented in a very low brow and laymen sense and the vast majority of the books was taken up with programmes.

Some of the posture and fiber testing methadolagies in Thib’s book where useful, I really dislike cookie cutter programmes and tend to avoid books based around them.[/quote]

I disagree about John Berardi’s book.

I think The Metabolism Advantage is one of the best books on the market because it takes many complicated things about nutrition and makes it easy to read and understand.

This is good for someone who may not know how to answer someone when they ask why he or she eats the way they do. And it gives thorough explainations and then proceeds to follow that information with 40-something days worth of meals (with recipes) and several training programs. I consider The Metabolism Advantage a recommended read for everyone interested in eating healthy to attain their goals.

Just a quick question but why limit yourself to T nation authors?

There a some classics out there, that may be of more help to you at the stage you are in right now.

JMO.

I second Nate Dogg.

Dr. Darden’s “The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results” opened my mind to productive training.

The photos illustrated the text and stories and made each chapter sparkle and jump with action.

Also, I lked CW’s text. But his pictures were few and lackluster.

There’s an excitement about the Darden book that keeps me going back again and again.

Turk

any good books on west-side style training?

I’ve got Mel Siff’s Supertraining. Dense but solid

[quote]supermick wrote:
Just a quick question but why limit yourself to T nation authors?

There a some classics out there, that may be of more help to you at the stage you are in right now.

JMO.[/quote]

It isn’t necessarily limiting myself. I guess I just figured that they seem to be very knowledgable in their field and on top of that, there is the author’s locker room.

[quote]Oblag wrote:
supermick wrote:
Just a quick question but why limit yourself to T nation authors?

There a some classics out there, that may be of more help to you at the stage you are in right now.

JMO.

It isn’t necessarily limiting myself. I guess I just figured that they seem to be very knowledgable in their field and on top of that, there is the author’s locker room.[/quote]

Other T-Nation writers have books that may not be for sale on this site.

Ian King has his “Get Buffed” series of books as well as “How to Write Strength Training Programs.” You can also get “The Book of Muscle” on amazon.

Alwyn Cosgrove’s “The New Rules of Lifting” is also another highly recommended book that I tell many people about (get it on Amazon). And he sells other books/programs on his web site (Afterburn).

Charles Poliquin’s books can be found on his site or amazon.

Dr. Darden’s new book is great, and because of that book I purchased “The New HIT” as well. It compliments his new book and fills in some gaps. You can buy “The New HIT” on amazon for cheap.

Charles Staley’s “Muscle Logic” is a good read for those interested in EDT. You can get that for cheap on amazon. Some of his other stuff can be found on amazon or through T-Nation or his site.

John Berardi’s “The Metabolism Advantage” is a must-read for everyone who needs nutritional help. And I wish his “Scrawny to Brawny” book had been available when I first started training. Both of these books are great and can purchased on amazon.

So there are quite a few other T-Nation authors who have books that you could purchase.

I have an entire bookshelf of books on training from all of the above and then some including Charlie Francis, Paul Chek, Bill Pearl, Arnold, Fleck & Kraemer, Tudor Bompa, Don Alessi and others!

The New Rules of Lifting - this book is excellent!
As you said you are “relatively new to lifting” - this book would be great for you.

To clarify something, The Metabolism Advantage is a great book for men and women.

It shows women how to tailor the meals to them since they don’t need as many calories as men.

Of the T-Nation authors I’ve owned:

New Rules of Lifting
by Lou Schuler, Alwyn Cosgrove

The Book of Muscle
by Lou Schuler, Ian King

Science of Martial Arts Training
by Charles Staley

I respect all of these authors or else I would not have dropped a dime on their books. That said, if you are a fan of these authors (or any other) and you have been reading all of their online material (from various sites) then I think that you will be disappointed in these products.

The reason is because many online articles go much more in depth in explaining certain concepts than the books do, or authors have taken the time on message boards to answer exactly what you wanted to know.

I do recommend books if:

  1. You’ve never read much, or any, of an authors work but would like to know more about it.

  2. You just feel like supporting the author.

Muscle Revolution by CW is my pick.

For a beginner, I would definitely recommend Ian King’s Get Buffed. When T-Nation was in its infancy, Ian and Charles Poliquin were, in my opinion, the two guys who set the stage for all the great writers we have at this site right now. I always enjoyed the Question of Strength column because of its attitude and novel training ideas. Ian King’s programs were the first I’d seen that were thoughtfully put together. The great thing about doing them was that you not only got results, you also learned a lot about designing your own training programs.

Get Buffed lays out Ian’s methodology for designing strength training programs in a very beginner-friendly format. A lot of the ideas that are discussed (rep ranges, tempo, etc) will help you understand programs written by other authors. I’d also go back through the archives and read all the Poliquin and King columns and programs as they are a goldmine of information.

So by all means take a look at the books others have recommended here, but if I could go back and read one book when I was a beginner, I would have started out with Get Buffed. Unfortunately, I never managed to get my hands on the original Poliquin Principles, but Charles sells a 2nd edition of the book on his website that is probably worth checking out.

I know you only asked about books, but I can’t recommend highly enough the Magnificent Mobility and Inside-Out DVDs. Incorporating this stuff into your workouts from the beginning will do a lot to prolong your training life (as opposed to using it to fix stuff you’ve already messed up).

Let me clarify something about CW’s book, “Muscle Revolution,” as I don’t want to ruin sales for him or cause people to not buy it because I didn’t like it as much as the others.

CW’s book is not for beginner’s. Many of the other books are better for beginner’s and intermediates. However, for those wanting to know more about training from a neuroscience aspect, then CW’s book will give you more than enough info. You can tell that CW is incredibly intelligent and has done his research in this area. Because of this, the book will not be an easy book to read or understand. So I don’t recommend it for beginners and most intermediates. And as I said before, I didn’t like that it was a bit text heavy and a bit low on photos to help break things up. Overall, the design is nice and it is easy to read.

I bought it because I have a collection of books on training and nutrition and enjoy all of them for what they have to offer. Some I recommend above others depending on the person’s goals or where they are in their training.

There are many other books that I have that aren’t listed on this thread that I may or may not recommend depending on what else is out there or what I think may be better.

But I’m more than happy to give some feedback if anyone asks!