Constantly learning new things and applying them is one of the joys of this life.
There is so much information out there, and I’m passionate about learning what is important to my success, and then helping others using the knowledge I’ve obtained.
I’m going to condense a list of some of the resources, books, and tools that have helped me become more knowledgeable, not just in fitness, but in all aspects of life. Some of these resources will be free, some not, but I believe that they can all assist you in achieving whatever goals you have set for yourself.
Knowledge is power. If you’re a fitness professional, it is imperative that you apply yourself to continuing education to ensure that you are helping your clients get the most out of their training.
If you’re a gym-rat, it’s very important to understand why you are doing certain things in the gym and with your diet so that you can understand what adjustments you need to make if your progress stalls.
Whatever the situation, learning is essential.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
This list will constantly grow as I continue to read and learn, so check back frequently for updates.
Let’s get to it, starting with free resources.
This list is going to contain some of the websites that I frequent for up to date fitness and nutrition information, with some entertainment thrown in there as well.
The list is getting quite long, so I’ll stop there. There are a ton of other fitness and nutrition sites out there, but these are some of the best in the industry, in my opinion. However, just because these are great websites, it doesn’t mean you should attempt to read every bit of information they all have to offer.
They all have different viewpoints and opinions in certain areas, so attempting to read all of them at once will result in information overload. Simply choose a few sites that you really enjoy and can relate to, and frequent them. There’s no need to confuse yourself in an attempt to learn.
*Important note: some of the products below are an affiliate link, which means that I will make a few bucks if you buy the product using my link, at no extra cost to you of course. If you don’t want me to earn commission, feel free to visit the product website via Google search or direct entry in the search bar. That said, I would recommend these products even if I wasn’t earning a commission, because they are some of the most quality resources available.
These are some of the resources I have used to improve my body composition and overall strength/fitness. Again, this is a very condensed list, so if you have any suggestions other than the ones I include here, let me know via email, Twitter, or comment.
Alan Aragon’s Research Review – Hands down the best resource on nutrition and training available. Alan breaks down the research in an easy to understand fashion, and he destroys bullshit like no one else.
Anything by Lyle McDonald - Enough said. This man has shaped my knowledge of nutrition, and I learn something new every time I re-read his articles and books. If you don’t want to buy his books, just read every single one of his articles and you will obtain more knowledge than many professionals.
Fat Loss Troubleshoot - An outstanding resource for anyone looking to lose body fat. It covers all the necessary bases, and it’s very well-written and easy to read. Check out my review of the book here.
Anabolic Cooking – This is an outstanding cookbook that contains awesome recipes applicable to all meals of the day. It’s called Anabolic Cooking because it is designed for those looking to build muscle, but the recipes can easily be adjusted to adhere to a fat loss plan.
Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle – A great book by Tom Venuto that covers all of the main points of fat loss and offers a scientifically valid approach to losing fat, maintaining muscle, and keeping that fat off over the long term. Check out my review here.
Carb Backloading - While my opinions on the science backing this program have changed quite a bit, I think this style of eating is very practical for many people and it can lead to great results. To see my progress following Carb Backloading, check out this post and this post.
Strength Training / Fitness Programs
Bulletproof Athlete - One of the smartest individuals in the fitness industry, Mike Robertson, has a winner here. If you’re looking to become leaner, stronger, and more athletic, this is a must-have.
Show and Go - Created by outstanding strength coach Eric Cressey, this program is great for athletes as well as just average dudes/girls looking to get in great shape. It is extremely comprehensive, and it walks you through each step of the program, including the warm up and conditioning portions. I have used this program myself, and I will say that it’s one of the best out there.
Starting Strength - This book should be required reading for all fitness professionals and gym-goers, as it goes into detail about the essentials of all strength and conditioning programs. Simple and effective, just the way it should be.
Beyond Brawn - Like Starting Strength, this book goes through the basics of an effective strength and conditioning program.
Advances in Functional Training - Mike Boyle has been there, done that. He trains hundreds of Olympic athletes, so he definitely walks the walk. While this book is geared more towards fitness professionals, an avid gym-goer can get a lot out of this book as well.
Assess and Correct - A great resource that will guide you through creating your own corrective exercise program and warm-up based on your individual limitations and postural restrictions.
Building the Efficient Athlete - This DVD set was a game-changer for me. I had to watch it several times to digest the tidal wave of information dropped by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson, and I will probably watch it again soon. If you want to learn how to assess and design programs based on functional anatomy that fit the individual needs of your clients and athletes, this DVD set is a must-watch.
Bulletproof Knees and Back Seminar - Mike Robertson delivers another quality product on how to achieve and maintain a healthy back and healthy knees via proper training protocols.
Movement - Written by outstanding physical therapist and strength coach Gray Cook, this book dives into movement down to its core. Warning: it’s extremely dense, and you need to have a strong knowledge of functional anatomy in order to get the most out of the book and to be able to apply it effectively.
8 Minute Meditation - I’m a huge fan of meditation, as it has so many benefits, both physically and mentally. When I first started looking into meditation, I found this book, and it’s really helpful to get going and its a very sustainable program. If you’ve never meditated before, I would highly recommend checking it out.
The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance - Winner of the chess national championship at the young age of nine years old, Josh Waitzkin takes you through his thought processes when playing chess and how you can apply it to learning just about anything. Very interesting read.
Goals - Brain Tracy is one of the most influential people in my life, and this book is outstanding. It contains loads of practical information, and it will teach you how to get organized and work towards achieving your goals each day.
How to Win Friends and Influence People - A fundamental book on how to interact. If you work with people on a daily basis, this book is an absolute must-read.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People - You are what you do on a consistent basis. Your habits, positive or negative, can make or break your success. This book by Stephen Covey delves into the habits that are most common among hugely successful people.
Zen to Done - A simple productivity system. Leo Babauta makes organization and de-cluttering life easy and enjoyable.
Mastery - Robert Greene does an outstanding job looking into the stories of historical figures who mastered certain skills in their life time. This book is a work of art and should be required reading.
The Writer’s Journey - Although a bit abstract, The Writer’s Journey looks into how mythology influences story telling. A very interesting read.