The 20 Best Fitness Books of All Time Review 2024

The 20 Best Fitness Books of All Time Review 2024. They are Schwarzenegger Fitness Book, Convict Conditioning, 7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life
There are many fitness books, you only need to read the most classic and useful The 20 Best Fitness Books of All Time Review 2024. Many books are imitated and modified. 

Which books to read for fitness has always been a difficult problem. Although the best-selling fitness books on the market are simple and easy to accept, most of these books lack scientific rigor. 

Academic work is more difficult to eat, and many people can't stand it so must-read fitness books.

Fitness is not only a sport but also a science. Here we recommend to you The 20 Best Fitness Books of all time - From Entry To Proficiency.

According to the five dimensions of exercise method, fitness graphic nutrition combined with stretching anatomy exercise rehabilitation, organize a list of classified books and share them with you.
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The 20 Best Fitness Books of All Time Review 2024

Sports physiologysports anatomy, and sports nutrition are the three most important parts. 

Which part is important to learn first, my personal suggestion is to learn sports physiology first and finally sports anatomy. 

It is not that sports anatomy is not important, but relatively boring, and as a guide for training, sports anatomy is not too important in the early stage, because the basic training movements are actually well mastered.


1. The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding 

by Schwarzenegger 

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From elite bodybuilding competitors to gymnasts, from golfers to fitness gurus, anyone who works out with weights must own this book - a book that only Arnold Schwarzenegger could write, a book that has earned its reputation as "the bible of bodybuilding."

Inside, Arnold covers the very latest advances in both weight training and bodybuilding competition, with new sections on diet and nutrition, sports psychology, the treatment and prevention of injuries, and methods of training, each illustrated with detailed photos of some of bodybuilding's newest stars.

Plus, all the features that have made this book a classic are here:
  • Arnold's tried-and-true tips for sculpting, strengthening, and defining each and every muscle to create the ultimate buff physique
  • The most effective methods of strength training to stilt your needs, whether you're an amateur athlete or a pro bodybuilder preparing for a competition
  • Comprehensive information on health, nutrition, and dietary supplements to help you build muscle, lose fat, and maintain optimum energy
  • Expert advice on the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries
  • Strategies and tactics for competitive bodybuilders from selecting poses to handling publicity
  • The fascinating history and growth of bodybuilding as a sport, with a photographic "Bodybuilding Hall of Fame"
  • And, of course, Arnold's individual brand of inspiration and motivation throughout
Covering every level of expertise and experience, The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding will help you achieve your personal best. 

With his unique perspective as a seven-time winner of the Mr. Olympia title and all-international film star, Arnold shares his secrets to dedication, training, and commitment, and shows you how to take control of your body and realize your own potential for greatness.

2. Convict Conditioning 

by Paul Wade 

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How Do YOU Stack up Against the 6 Ultimate Measures of a TRUE Man?

According to the tenets of Convict Conditioning, a TRUE man can achieve:
  • one set of 5 one-arm pushups on each side with the ELITE goal of 100 sets on each side
  • one set of 5 one-leg squats on each side with the ELITE goal of 2 sets of 50 on each side
  • one set of 1 one-arm pull-up on each side with the ELITE goal of 2 sets of 6 on each side
  • one set of 5 hanging straight leg raises with the ELITE goal of 2 sets of 30
  • one set of 1 stand-to-stand bridges-with the ELITE goal of 2 sets of 30
  • one set of 1 one-arm handstand pushups-with the ELITE goal of 1 set of 5
Well, how DO you stack up?

Chances are that whatever athletic level you have achieved, there are some serious gaps in your OVERALL strength program. Gaps that stop you short of being able to claim status as a TRUE man.

The good news is that in Convict Conditioning Wade has laid out a brilliant 6-set system of 10 progressions that allows you to master these elite levels. And you could be starting at almost any age and in almost any condition!

Paul Wade has given you the keys- all the keys you'll ever need- that will open door after door after door for you in the quest for REAL physical accomplishment. Yes, it will be the hardest work you'll ever have to do. 

And yes, 97% of those who pick up Convict Conditioning, frankly, won't have the guts and the fortitude to make it. But if you make it even halfway through Paul's Progressions, you'll be stronger than almost anyone you encounter.

If you're a 3-percenter, in particular, then this book is for you. Have at it!

3. Hardcore Fitness

by Steven Hansen

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This book is worthy of being "your first fitness book", because it introduces almost all the theoretical knowledge you need to know about fitness, and it is well-founded. 

There are a large number of citations in each chapter, and many references are made at home and abroad. Simple and practical, it is recommended that people who have no idea about fitness and weight loss buy a study book.

4. Nutritional strategies in weight training and bodybuilding


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The author, Dr. Christian von Leferholz, is a doctor and nutritionist who has been active in strength training and confrontational sports for many years. 

He discussed the significance of the seven basic nutrients for trainers with a rigorous and scientific attitude, from water balance to the intake ratio of the three nutrients, and the impact of trace elements on training. 

It systematically presents the new research results of modern nutrition in the field of strength training, which can help athletes gain a decisive improvement in sports performance: make the athletes more effective in gaining muscle, the effect of fat reduction is immediate, and the performance of sports achieves a breakthrough. 

This is a truly scientific nutrition work and is regarded as the foundation work in the field of sports nutrition.

A well-known saying in the fitness circle is three-point training and seven-point eating. Whether you want to make your muscle gain more effective, get an immediate effect on fat loss, or improve your athletic performance, diet is crucial. 

There are many books on nutrition, such as the fourteenth edition of "Nutrition-Concepts and Controversies""Sports Nutrition" and "Advanced Sports Nutrition".  

In addition, the book also compares in detail the advantages of various dietary methods currently on the market on how to maintain body fat during muscle gain, such as the ketogenic diet, cyclic diet, anabolic diet, low-fat diet, etc. 

Finally, it is recommended that different groups of people should eat and exercise according to their personal circumstances. If you want to learn more about fitness nutrition, you can study this book.

5. 7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life 

by McKenzie

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McKenzie therapy is a very effective method of self-prevention and treatment of neck and lower back pain that has been proven by a medical practices in many countries. 

Its most prominent point is that it reduces medical costs and can be described as the cheapest treatment method. 

Before the waist injury, there was a special practice, I have to say it is very simple and practical.

6. The Pocket Atlas of Human Anatomy 


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Anatomy is the foundation. Human skeletal muscles, muscle function, joint movement, etc.

A user-friendly guide for students of anatomy and anyone interested in the workings of the human body this concise, pocket-sized reference guide is a handy, comprehensive reference for students and practitioners of anatomy, massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, medicine, and physiotherapy or for anyone who would like a quick and well-organized manual of human anatomy. 

The first seven chapters explain anatomical orientation, tissues, bone, axial and appendicular skeletons, joints, and skeletal muscle and fascia. 

In the book's final chapters, the muscle groups of the body's four major regions are amply illustrated, with composite drawings detailing each region's deep and superficial muscles in both anterior and posterior views. 

Color tables show each muscle's origin, insertion, innervation, and action. Written in clear, accessible prose, the book offers a wealth of knowledge to the lay reader, the aficionado, or the practitioner.

7. Basics of strength training 


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Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training 

Squat, bench press, deadlift, press, power turn, etc., useful auxiliary training items, complete movement analysis, and theoretical analysis, know how to do exercises and know why you want to do it, a very good book. 

Starting Strength has been called the best and most useful fitness book. The second edition, Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, sold over 80,000 copies in a competitive global market for fitness education. Along with Practical Programming for Strength Training 2nd Edition, they form a simple, logical, and practical approach to strength training. 

Now, after six more years of testing and adjustment with thousands of athletes in seminars all over the country, the updated third edition expands and improves on the previous teaching methods and biomechanical analysis. No other book on barbell training has ever written provides detailed instructions on every aspect of the basic barbell exercises found in SS: BBT3. 

While the methods for implementing barbell training detailed in the book are primarily aimed at young athletes, they have been successfully applied to everyone: young and old, male and female, fit and flabby, sick and healthy, weak and already strong.

Many people all over the world have used the simple biological principle of stress/recovery/adaptation on which this method is based to improve their performance, their appearance, and their long-term health. 

With over 150,000 copies in print in three editions, Starting Strength is the most important method available to learn the most effective way to train with barbells - the most important way to improve your strength, your health, and your life.
  • Why barbells are the most effective tools for strength training.
  • The mechanical basis of barbell training is concisely and logically explained.
  • All new photographs and improved illustrations of all the lifts, and the biomechanics behind them.
  • Complete, easy-to-follow instructions for performing the basic barbell exercises: the squat, press, deadlift, bench press, power clean, and power snatch.
  • Revised instruction methods for all six lifts, proven effective in four years of seminar, military, and group instruction.
  • How the human body adapts to stress through recovery, and why this is the foundation of the development of strength and lifetime health.
  • How to program the basic exercises into the most effective program for long-term progress.
  • Completely indexed.
  • The most productive method in existence for anyone beginning a strength training program.

8. Bodybuilding Anatomy 


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Bodybuilding Anatomy 

I bought an e-book, which is easy to carry. The six parts of the chest, shoulders, back, hands, legs, and abdomen are mainly exercises for training in different parts. 

This work is aimed at bodybuilders, strength training enthusiasts, and as a reference for fitness professionals. It is a new addition to the best-selling "Anatomy" series. The original text "Strength Training Anatomy", has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide and has been translated into over 20 languages. 

This book has enough detail for any serious strength training enthusiast, with training for specific body image goals and a key emphasis on technique to avoid injury. 

It is a combination of top medical and anatomical knowledge with 280 illustrations to guide the reader. Organized by muscle group, each body part is subdivided into muscle target zones allowing the reader to select the specific exercises they need to emphasize hard-to-hit target spots in their physique. 

Each chapter includes detailed variations on modifying grip, body position, exercise trajectory, and range of motion in order to emphasize different muscle groups.

9. The Anatomy of Stretching 


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The multiple stresses of contemporary life—whether from excessive sports play, overwork, or overuse of technology—are increasingly taking a toll on the body. Symptoms range from muscle soreness and pain to pinched nerves to potentially more permanent disabilities, including serious body injuries. 

One safe, quickly productive way to address the problem is through a simple therapy that can be done anywhere, anytime, and without special equipment: stretching. This new edition of Brad Walker's best-selling book on the subject presents 135 unique stretching exercises designed to help repair the body and make it more flexible, fit, and relaxed.

The book begins with clear, detailed descriptions of important principles of anatomy and physiology, the benefits of stretching, different forms of stretching, rules to remember, and how to stretch properly. It also focuses on the kinds of stretches that are most helpful in the alleviation or rehabilitation of specific sports injuries. 

Organized by body part, The Anatomy of Stretching presents stretching exercises in a uniform style accompanied by full-color anatomical illustrations. Equally useful for fitness fans, pro or amateur athletes, coaches and personal trainers, and healthcare practitioners, this new edition contains 20 new stretches; expanded physiology and anatomy information; and a revised numbering system that makes the stretches easier to reference. 

An expanded appendix includes a longer resources section and a helpful chart describing the top five stretches for each sport and sports injury. 

10. Pilates Anatomy


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This title includes Pilates as you've never seen it before! With detailed descriptions, step-by-step instructions, and stunning full-color anatomical illustrations, "Pilates Anatomy" takes you inside the exercises and programs that will tone the body, stabilize the core, improve balance, and increase flexibility. 

Using the original mat work of Joseph Pilates, you'll see how key muscles are used, how variations and minor adjustments can influence the effectiveness, and how breathing, alignment, posture, and movement are all fundamentally linked.

11. NSCA's Essentials of Personal Training



This title contains state-of-the-art knowledge for all aspects of personal training! Comprehensive and research-based, the second edition of "NSCA's Essentials of Personal Training" is the resource to rely on for personal training information and guidance, containing state-of-the-art knowledge regarding applied aspects of personal training as well as clear explanations of supporting scientific evidence. 

This essential reference was developed by the NSCA to present the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for personal trainers, focusing on the complex process of designing safe, effective, and goal-specific resistance, aerobic, plyometrics, and speed training programs. 

Featuring over 200 full-color photos with accompanying technique instructions, this resource offers readers a step-by-step approach to designing exercise programs with special attention to the application of principles based on age, fitness level, and health status. 

It has its publicity through the UK and European fitness and health magazines including "BASES' The Sport and Exercise Scientist" and "Health & Fitness". It is featured at fitness events throughout the UK and Europe. Mailings of this title are to consumers interested in health, fitness, and nutrition. 

It is also featured in Human Kinetics' monthly "FitNews E-Newsletter" sent to over 10,000 subscribers, and on Human Kinetics' Health & Fitness Blog.

12. (1) Nutrition for Health, Fitness, and Sport  


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12. (2) Nutrition & Dietetics


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These are the two nutrition books I have read before. I said that my knowledge does not only come from these books. I think I'm still a fitness beginner, so these two books are enough. The first book, Nutrition, and Dietetics. The second book, Nutrition for Health, Fitness, and Sport. 

Fitness is not reckless, you must have the scientific and correct training, which can save you a lot of detours. 

In this era, you have to continuously learn knowledge, philosophical perspective, theory guides practice, practice reaction, and theory. 

I think I'm still a fitness beginner. I have enough knowledge at present, but I am still learning. I will continue to recommend good books in the future.

Learning is a process of continuous improvement and continuous improvement. The book is more than just the above, it is only recommended for fitness beginners. 

13. Exercise Physiology


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This textbook integrates basic concepts and relevant scientific information to provide a foundation for understanding nutrition, energy transfer, and exercise training. The new Sixth Edition continues to provide excellent coverage of exercise physiology, uniting the topics of human performance, nutrition, energy expenditure and capacity, molecular biology, and more. 

Every chapter has been fully revised and updated to reflect the latest information. The updated full-color art program adds visual appeal and improves understanding of key topics. LiveAdvise online faculty support and student tutoring services are available free with the text. 

A bound-in CD-ROM contains questions to help students prepare for exams. A Connection Website provides additional faculty and student resources. It is part of the "Doody's Core Titles[trademark] 2009."

14. Biochemistry for Sport and Exercise Metabolism



How do our muscles produce energy for exercise and what are the underlying biochemical principles involved? These are questions that students need to be able to answer when studying for a number of sport-related degrees. This can prove to be a difficult task for those with a relatively limited scientific background. 

Biochemistry for Sport and Exercise Metabolism addresses this problem by placing the primary emphasis on sport and describing the relevant biochemistry within this context. 

The book opens with some basic information on the subject, including an overview of energy metabolism, some key aspects of skeletal muscle structure and function, and some simple biochemical concepts. 

It continues by looking at the three macromolecules that provide energy and structure to skeletal muscle-carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. 

The last section moves beyond biochemistry to examine key aspects of metabolism-the regulation of energy production and storage. Beginning with a chapter on basic principles of regulation of metabolism it continues by exploring how metabolism is influenced during high-intensity, prolonged, and intermittent exercise by intensity, duration, and nutrition. 

Key Features: A clearly written, well-presented introduction to the biochemistry of muscle metabolism. Focuses on the sport to describe the relevant biochemistry within this context. In full color throughout, it includes numerous illustrations, together with learning objectives and key points to reinforce learning. 

Biochemistry for Sport and Exercise Metabolism will prove invaluable to students across a range of sport-related courses, who need to get to grips with how exercise mode, intensity, duration, training status, and nutritional status can all affect the regulation of energy-producing pathways and, more importantly, apply this understanding to develop training and nutrition programs to maximize athletic performance.

15. Practical Programming for Strength Training


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This book is based on barbell training, combined with the physiology knowledge of muscle adaptation and the needs and training characteristics of the trainer at different stages, and systematically explains the elements that constitute the training plan, and how to adjust these elements for different stages and different goals ( (Including special sports) tailor-made practical training plans. 

The author's explanation of the primary training plan and the intermediate training plan is particularly detailed, and these explanations are not made out of thin air but are completed through the analysis of several classic training plans and their variants. They are in-depth and specific, easy to learn, and strong in operation.

Mark Rippetoe graduated from Midwestern State University in 1983. He is "Starting Strength", "Mean Ol' Mr. Gravity", and "Is it Strong Enough?" "(Strong Enough?) and the author of this book. He joined the fitness industry in 1978 and became the owner of the Wichita Falls Sports Club in 1984. He was one of the first trainers certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 1985 and was the first trainer to give up his certification. 

As a highly competitive powerlifter, Ribito has 10 years of competition experience and has coached many weightlifters and athletes, as well as thousands of people who are interested in improving strength and athletic performance. For many years, he devoted himself to organizing seminars across the United States to discuss his barbell training methods. 

Andy Baker graduated from the American Military University with a degree in sports and health sciences and joined the US Marine Corps in 2003. In 2007, he founded the Kingwood Strength and Conditioning Training Center in Houston to provide barbell training guidance for athletes and the general public and plans to consult for competitive athletes. 

Andy is not only a professional coach with more than 18 years of experience but also a competitive powerlifter, with the highest honors in the industry recognized by the National Association of Strength and Physical Fitness and the American Weightlifting Association.

16. Strength Training Anatomy


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Except for "Health and Beauty", this should be the first fitness enlightenment book I bought. The biggest feature is that the pictures are exquisite. Each picture is like an ancient Greek sculpture showing you the action. 

The musculoskeletal force in the action is as accurate as in the X-ray perspective. The movements selected in the book are concise and practical, as well as some common sports injury anatomy analysis and injury prevention. 

The weirdest thing is that there is no preface, and the opening is a table of contents. The whole book is a concise action analysis except for the pictures. There is no unnecessary nonsense. The whole process is dry. It is recommended that beginners can read it several times.

The author, Delavier, is the editor-in-chief of French Power Magazine. His professional level and writing style are very good. Shandong Science and Technology Press has translated several of his books, only this one is the most famous, and "Delavier's Women's Strength Training Anatomy Workouts" is also very good.

17. You Are Your Own Gym


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The most advanced in the world, the only piece of fitness equipment that you can use anytime, anywhere-your body. The author is Mark Lauren, an elite physical instructor of the US Special Forces. He has coached special forces such as "Green Berets", "Sea Leopards", and "Airborne Rescue Team". 

The training plan in the book is organized according to the changing operating environment of the special forces, the difficult training conditions, and the need for comprehensive physical fitness characteristics. It does not take too long to complete the training.

The language is easy to understand, and training does not require any equipment. You can DIY various fitness equipment anytime and anywhere. It is very suitable for people who travel frequently, are tight on time, or who like to train with bare hands. 

From setting goals, and building self-confidence, to the analysis of comprehensive physical fitness and the differentiation exercises of each part, the writing is very detailed. 

Finally, I wrote a book about how to make a training plan, self-made fitness equipment, and the titles obtained after unlocking new actions, which is very characteristic of military training. Compared with the prisoner fitness series and several street fitness series translated in recent years, this book is more comprehensive and applicable to a wider audience. It is recommended that family fitness can be put into a book and read it carefully.

18. Cycle strength training 


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The organization of strength training plans is both an art and a science. Dr. Bompa is an important figure in the development of cycle training theory. This book is also a classic in the field of strength and fitness. 

His cycle concept has influenced many athletes and coaches, including but not limited to fitness. The legendary coach of the strength training industry Pocono (my idol, Mr. Ins Account Li) once said: This is a book that all strength coaches and personal trainers are worth owning.

Dr. Bompa divides training into six stages: anatomical adaptation stage, muscle hypertrophy stage, mixed training, maximum strength training, muscle shaping, and transition stage. 

Each stage sets different goals according to different physiological characteristics and uses different training methods. If you can arrange your annual training according to these stages, you will achieve the best shape while minimizing damage. 

The book also shares the science of strength training, sports performance, and body fat nutrition. The training actions are sorted according to the degree of EMG recruitment. From this, we can see the rigor and science of this book. 

This is the most valuable book I read last year. After reading it, I feel that the training has just touched the threshold. Later, I will write a separate article explaining the six stages of training.

19. Trail Guide to Movement 


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The author of this book, Andrew Biel, is a well-known American massage therapist. He was first known because he read the "Encyclopedia of Human Anatomy" translated from Taiwan. 

After reading this book, my impression of anatomy was boring. This book inherits the author's consistent style, explaining profound things in a simple way, with both illustrations and texts. 

From the micro to the macro, from the form to the function, the role of connective tissue, bones, joints, muscles, and nerves in sports is explained in an anthropomorphic way. Explain the complex motion principle in a simple and easy-to-understand way.

The author starts with basic biomechanics, combines movement, posture, and gait, and thoroughly explores the influence of bad movements, posture, gait, and clothing on the human body structure, each problem can list specific examples to clarify, People have to admire the author's erudition. 

There are a lot of discussions on fascia, nerves, and biomechanics in the book. It is of great help to the understanding of the nature of sports and the prevention and treatment of sports diseases. It is a comprehensive and intuitive book about the body's operating mechanism. It is also a lively, interesting, scientific, and artistic masterpiece.

20. Science and Practice of Strength Training 


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This is the last book recommended and one of the more difficult ones. The readers of this book are more inclined to coaches of professional sports teams. There are many theories in the book, mainly involving three aspects training, teaching, and research. 

Based on research, this book provides a systematic and detailed description of the human body functions, physiology, and biomechanics involved in the formulation of the strength training plan. 

The first part mainly explains the basic applied science of strength training. The second part is mainly about the measurement, monitoring, and evaluation of the training plan. 

The third part is about the selection methods of strength training, the principles of strength training, and the method of scientifically formulating training plans.

The three authors of this book have not only made great achievements in the academic field but also coached many elite athletes, including many Olympic champions. 

Although it pays more attention to readability while taking into account the academic nature of writing, the large amount of theoretical reading is still not friendly to many people, but it is still a scientific, rigorous, and comprehensive book in the field of strength training.

Conclusion of The 20 Best Fitness Books of All Time 2024

The above is just a list of books I have read and recommended as Best Fitness Books Of 2024 and training books based on my experience. 

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