T Nation

Which Book Should I Buy First?


Supertraining or Science and practice of strength training?

It'll probably be two or three months before I can buy the other.

Also, is there anything more important (to read) (for a trainer) than those two?

Thank you


Science and practice first


Supertraining is VERY difficult to read.

I have read many, many books on weight training and bodybuilding, including (I believe) all of IRonminds, every MILO up to 2006 and many from elite FTS. I gave up on 'Supertraining' after the first page and have not read 'Science and practice', ansd have no intention to, either.

If you want to get stronger buy the 'West side barbell book of methods', in my opinion that, and 'the strongest shall survive' (written in the 70's so VERY ahead of its time) are two of the best books on training around.

If I could only keep one book it would be the west side book and I constantly refer back to it, Louie has gleaned all of the most useful information from those Russian books and incorporated it into the West side system anyway, so save yourself the trouble.

If you cannot afford them start reading the articles on this site, the articles on elite FTS and west side barbells site.


Beyond Bodybuilding by Pavel is a good summary/distillation of the russian concepts


Agree that Supertraining is a tough read. Starting Strength by Ripptoe is an excellent start for anyone. As a trainer it will give you several good coaching cues on the big lifts and in my opinion, that is where most decent coaches start their clients.


Id start with Dan Brown's "Digital Fortress"


That one was okay, just finished Wed reading the new Crichton book.

Interesting fast east read


I've read both and did not find either particularly practical. They have a few interesting pieces here and there, but are often long-winded, irrelevant, or outright biased (sarcolemmic hypertrophy, etc).

The research on strength training is still in its infancy and is riddled with extreme bias on both ends of the spectrum. As a result, simple experience-oriented books like 5/3/1 tend to be infinitely more useful than the heavier texts. If you want to expand your foundations with heavy reading, I would recommend Enoka's Neuromechanics of Human Movement any day of the week over the two texts you mentioned.

You'll get much more mileage out examining how and why some clients are getting results and some aren't, getting good with basic but effective training and nutritional programs, and troubleshooting/making intelligent changes as necessary to these approaches. If you must read, texts on business will do much more for your career than texts on strength training. Most of your knowledge in the training realm will come from first-hand experience.


Thank you all very much.

Thanks BuddaBoy, I'll look into those. As for TN articles... read them.
Hm... I've been somewhat dissatisfied with Power to the People and The Naked warrior. (even though PTTP got me into really, really, liking the deadlift). But, I'll put it on my list.
Also, thanks Challer. I think that might also help me in the physical therapy field... Great!


The only book you need is 5/3/1...get on it


I can't believe nobody recommended this one.

I mean it has nothing to do with training, but come on...in the eventuality that you encounter a "Space Vampire", you'll need to know what to do!


The previous book dovetails very nicely into this fantastic, Pulitzer-caliber tome. Again.....when IT happens - and it will! - you need to know what to do...


I can't not recommend Supertraining enough. I wish I could go back in time 10 years and unread it.


X2 !

Build your brain power like you would your body. Slowly with intent. Some things such as Supertraining are THICK. I ended up reading the second and third chapters thrice over to get the full meaning.

I also took the time over the last four years to build slowly and with intent a very nice library of books. These I will use over my lifetime as reference books...

T-Nation folk have always been open and helpful so use this as a resource as well...much success to you.


Crichton blows Dan brown out of the water. I'm currently re-reading the Lost World for the 10th time




Have to agree, he has a level of detail that surpasses Brown.

Now reading Brian Lumley Scifi books, on the second one.


Is "Power to the people professional" any good?

The ~pages about how Valentin Dikul rehabbed his back, and round back DLing sound really, really good... are they? Or is it just Pavel's usual exaggerations?


The Sun Also Rises.

One of the greatest books ever written in the English language.



the best i've done is read sections of Supertraining here and there.

it's an editorial mess; not an easy read.