There are thousands of fitness books for men and women in the Amazon store.
Most are OK. Some aren’t good at all. But there are only a few that generally stand out from the crowd.
Below is a list of the 10 best fitness books for both men and women. The books included in this list have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and have changed the lives of many of their readers.
They’re books on improving strength, building muscle, cardio, breathing and generally living a healthy life.
Written by renowned experts, professionals and one or two people you may have heard of outside of fitness, the information in them is gold.
Information is only valuable when acted on. Reading these books are the best way to start.
1. The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding
The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fitness classic of our time. The book contains everything you need to know about lifting weights and building muscle from nutrition to basic lifting exercises.
Don’t be mislead by the title and author. This book is not just for wannabe bodybuilders but rather for anyone who wants to develop muscle, build strength, lose fat and look better. It is one of the best fitness books ever.
The book has been around for many years but don’t let that stop you. It’s considered a modern day classic that has stood the test of time.
2. Body by Science: A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week
Body By Science by Doug McGuff and John Little was a revolutionary book when it was originally published in 2008.
Why? Because it promises you that you can achieve more (strength and muscle growth) in less time than previously thought or advised. In just 12 minutes a week, Body By Science claims you can get the body you’ve always wanted provided you’re willing to put in the work.
The work program in the book may require less time but it definitely doesn’t require less effort and is based on high-intensity training. Instructing the muscles to grow by doing heavy and high intensity lifting with little rest.
3. Live Young Forever: 12 Steps to Optimum Health, Fitness and Longevity
Jack Lalanne, known as the godfather of modern fitness, was an early pioneer of exercise, nutrition and motivation.
He advocated the benefits of eating nutritious food, exercising and having the right mindset long before it was fashionable to do so.
He made his point by completing amazing feats of strength like swimming the Queen Mary Mile while towing seventy boats while also handcuffed!
In 2009, at the age of 95, he published Live Young Forever: 12 Steps to Optimum Health, Fitness and Longevity which includes everything you need to do to live a healthy life. Motivation, good habits, clean eating, posture, relationships, working out and so on.
4. Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
Bigger Leaner Stronger is written by Mike Matthews who is one of the most well-known fitness experts on the internet.
Matthews takes a no steroid approach to building muscle and getting lean and instead advocates for long term sustainable progression.
Bigger Leaner Stronger is one of the best fitness books for men (there’s a female version too) and covers the full spectrum of attaining peak fitness including fitting myths, setting goals, nutrition, exercise intensity, discipline, consistency and so on.
With over 200,000 copies sold Bigger, Leaner, Stronger is a modern day men’s fitness classic.
5. Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself
At the age of 40, Rich Roll was an out-of-shape, over-worked and overstressed lawyer who decided to turn his life around by losing weight, adopting a vegan diet and participating in some of the world’s toughest endurance events.
Events designed to push the human body and spirit which included five back-to-back Ironmans in under a week and running numerous ultramarathons.
Roll’s personal journey and story going from fat to being listed as one of the world’s fittest men according to Men’s Fitness will inspire anyone to improve their own fitness.
6. Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Exercise
Calisthenics, otherwise known bodyweight training helps increase strength, build muscle, develop flexibility and a whole host of other health benefits. Not to mentions you it do them from anywhere.
Complete Calisthenics is an ultimate guide to calisthenics and covers everything from nutrition, rest and recovery, flexibility, warm up and of course the exercises themselves.
The amount of information for each exercise is clear and concise and includes pictures ensuring that anyone following can learn them.
7. Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond
Younger Next Year was written by an older gent called Chris Crowley who discovered the benefits of exercise and nutrition as his own health began to deteriorate.
The book is straight and to the point. If you want to live a long and healthy life you have to eat right and exercise. Not just any kind of exercise, but hard and intense exercise.
The book is written specifically for men and is about getting them to change their thinking about exercise and the ingrained habits that for years haven’t helped them.
8. Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training
Starting Strength comes recommended by anyone who has read it and knows weightlifting. Originally aimed at young athletes, the information in the book has been used by young and old, fit and fat and male and female.
The book is about using the barbell to carry out the the main compound lifts when weight training. Squat, press, deadlift, bench press and power clean. If you learn how to do these exercises well and you’ll be as strong as a bull.
Author Mark Rippetoe is widely considered one of the world’s experts on barbell training. His expertise is built on years of experience and scientific evidence which means Starting Strength is a must-read for anyone looking to build strength.
9. Becoming a Supple Leopard
Dr. Kelly Starrett shares his revolutionary approach to mobility and maintenance of the human body and teaches you how to hack your own movement, allowing you to live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Becoming the Supple Leopard is one of the best fitness books and includes exercises that will help you regardless of whether you want to become a better athlete or if you’re a 90-year-old who wants to tie his shoelaces.
Full of illustrative photographs, the book will show you how to optimise yourself to become free from pain and move unrestricted. The essence of a Supple Leopard.
10. The Oxygen Advantage
The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown is an essential book on how to breathe properly.
Breathing is an automatic response so we often don’t consider the best way to do it. And yet it’s one of the most important things we do.
The Oxygen Advantage shows you how to reduce breathlessness, improve sleep, reduce anxiety and perform better in sports and fitness.
It’s a book that’s created its own genre of fitness information.