The Ultimate Guide to Training Resources!

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Ad McG, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Okay folks, the moment you have all... okay, some of you have been waiting for :D

    The Ultimate Guide to Training Resources!
    By Adam McGuigan​

    I get a lot of questions asking how I have built a decent knowledge base on fitness and training without having any formal “qualifications”. The answer: I read. I read a lot. That is pretty much the summary of it all! I try to give a go to most of the methods that I suggest to people, but I haven’t been training long enough to give my own detailed experiences of everything. However, the authors of these resources have so I tend to take on their advice and knowledge. I do have a BSc (Hons) in Anatomical Science but I don’t think it has contributed to my knowledge on fitness all that significantly. If you want to be a Health and Fitness geek like me, read on…

    The following lists some of the good, the bad and the ugly of training resources. If you research through all these avenues, I doubt you will have a question that remains unanswered.

    Books that I own or have read:

    Beyond Brawn series by Stuart McRobert
    - Tremendous set of books. The original Beyond Brawn itself is fantastic and is virtually the bible for anyone looking to gain strength and size through weight training. The only negative would be the chest expansion garbage in the technique book – ignore! Aside from that, it also contains plenty of great information, and both books go perfectly with the log book that you can fill in as you go along.

    Supertraining by Mel Siff - Simply THE text for anyone looking to become a coach, or for the very interested layman or trainee. It is very complex and scientific so if you find reading the newspaper or the Beano hard going, don’t bother. Very large book that is out of print in many places because Mel Siff sadly died a few years ago – get it while you can. It usually retails for about £40, which sounds expensive but it is worth it if you are a coach.

    Science and practice of Strength Training by Vladimir Zatsiorsky
    – Another book that is essential for the coach, but too technical for most trainees. Not even close to the size of Supertraining but contains just as much valuable information.

    Anatomy of Strength Training by Frederic Delavier – A great beginner book. This was actually one of my first books and it definitely set me in good stead for the future. It is based solely on the anatomy of all the major movements that you see in the gym and gives instruction on form.

    Science of Martial Arts Training by Charles Staley – This book is pretty much essential for any martial artist, especially the one looking to implement weight training. It contains a plethora of information ranging from exercise form and selection to injury prevention and things to think about when creating a program. If I had to recommend one book to martial artists about training, this would be it.

    Ross Enamait books – I might get some flak for this but I’m going to recommend his entire catalogue. I have his Underground Guide to Warrior Fitness, and I think it is the best book on bodyweight exercise out there by a mile. Listing hundreds of exercises to do and a ton of routines to have a go at, this book could last you a lifetime. Beware – the workouts are BRUTAL! Check out his website listed below to see the kind of shape Ross is in. I also have his Ultimate Fitness for the Ultimate Warrior book (cheesy titles, I know!) and this is also excellent. This delves more into the world of sandbag training, rope climbing and other effective exercises you can do with simple equipment. Again, this contains more routines for you to have a shot at. Ross has various other publications out there on punching, medicine ball training and other topics which I do not own, but I have only heard good things about them. I am due to get his latest book hot off the press very soon, and it sounds very exciting. Ross is a great guy who always responds to your emails and is very helpful.

    Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik
    – Sick of training like a gym bunny and getting no results? Sick of muppets in the gym on their mobile phones while flexing their biceps in the mirror? Do you want to get as strong as a dinosaur? This book could be for you. I love the attitude of this book. The author constantly slags off commercial gym culture and weaklings who do the same routine every day for years without getting anything from it. It is aimed purely at getting big and strong so if this is your goal and you like a somewhat alternative writing style, give it a look. There are various chapters, always referring to strongmen of old and their techniques. Grip strength is heavily emphasised, as is piling on heavy weights in all movements. I will criticise this book for being a bit irritating by listing the same names over and over again in big paragraphs, always whining about chrome and fern land every two seconds and talking about how gym rats aren’t making progress – it made me want to scream “I GET THE MESSAGE!”, but aside from that it is an excellent, enjoyable book that includes some result-producing, intense routines.

    Mastery of Hand Strength by John Brookfield – If you want to know about grip strength and performing strongman feats like nail bending, closing Captains of Crush grippers or ripping phone books then this is the book for you. His other book the Grip Masters Manual is also excellent for this, but Mastery of Hand Strength tends to focus more on the grip and hand development aspect.

    Jump Rope Training by Buddy Lee – The best book out there for information on skipping, the benefits, how and when to do it and what to use. His ropes are a bit expensive in my opinion and ones of equal quality can be found out there for a bit less cash, but we are only talking a few pounds. Another excellent book for the general enthusiast.

    From the Ground up by Dan John – Let me first of all start by saying that this book is not only fantastic, but it is FREE… that’s right, you read correctly, it is free. It can be found online at his website as an ebook for absolutely no charge. This simply confirms Dan John’s status as “complete and utter legend” in my book! Never mind the fact that it is free anyway, it is actually packed full of very well-written information mainly on Olympic lifts, technique, preparing for meets, good habits to get into and basic, down-to-earth advice from a humble expert.

    Pavel Tsatsouline books - Now then, here’s a somewhat controversial one. Not only is this chap the annoying-marketing KING alongside Matt Furey, he also has a group of worshippers fully prepared to back up every word he says whether he is making comments on training or claiming that he is Jesus Christ himself. Despite this, he has a quality volume of work when you get down to it. He has some excellent training methods, although they do not always work for everyone. He has quite a few books on bodyweight exercise, lifting, stretching, joints and what he is most famous for: Kettlebells. Whilst his work is good, it is fairly expensive for what you get compared to some other books. However, having read them all now, I would recommend interested trainees to have a look, you will definitely find some stuff of interest in each book especially if you are lacking knowledge in that area… comrade.

    Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies
    - What a book. I can guarantee that every single person who reads this book and puts it into practice will see noticable improvements. If you have any kind of niggling or serious muscular problems or are vulnerable to them, or even if you just want to cure headaches then this book is for you! It's basically an in depth book on "trigger points" and very effective massage treatment for these problems. Have a look at the amazon reviews for some more details.

    Books I do not own or have not read but would recommend:

    The Weightlifting Encyclopedia by Arthur Dreschler – This sadly out-of-print book is known as far and away the best resource for Olympic lifting. It also lists all the assistance exercises for the O lifts and goes through the technique. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one, because it is now within my grasp. It is very hard to find for a reasonable price.

    John Berardi books – Fancy some nutrition knowledge? Pick up his stuff. He has quite a few books ranging from a supposedly fantastic cook book to a lifestyle changes book which can correct your dietary bad habits.

    Building an Olympic Body by Chris Sommer – FINISH THIS BOOK SOMMER! Everyone who is into gymnastics training for strength is sat waiting for this book because we all know it’s going to be fantastic. As soon as I know when it’s coming out, I will make a new topic on it and probably review it when I get it. This is a book that is truly taking a step forward in the world of physical conditioning.

    7 Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Joseph Horrigan and Jerry Robinson – I don’t even know why I don’t own this book. I’m a little wary that it contains information that I already know, but I bet there are some useful tips I could use. If you want healthy shoulders whether that be via pre-hab exercise or re-habilitation, check this book out. Availability is now pretty poor, but I’m sure some book stores will have copies lying about. The Amazon prices are RIDICULOUS!

    Ripped by Clarence Bass – Okay, this is the only true bodybuilding book I am including here. Although performance is discussed, it mainly focuses on Clarence’s goals as a bodybuilder, mostly to remain as lean as possible whilst retaining and building muscle tissue. I have no doubt there are many excellent tips and theories on diet, especially for the beginner. There is a plethora of information on this subject and the foundations of his training and diet beliefs on his website, listed below.

    Rock, Iron, Steel by Steve Justa – Much in the same vein and style of writing as Dinosaur Training, this book is taking it back to the old school and is all about getting silly strong – 2000 reps of 800lb quarter squats anyone? 1400lb barbell walk for 40 steps? 4500lb back lift? Drug free? I think I can speak for us all when I say OH MY GOD! The writer, just like Kubik, knows what he is talking about and takes you through his way of lifting things, mostly objects made out of rock, iron and steel obviously. Another one for my list of books to buy.

    John Davies books/articles – One thing I don’t like about his website – you have to pay for everything including articles and his books are not cheap in the least. However, from reading the hundreds of articles he has online on other websites, I have complete and utter confidence in saying that the books would be fantastic. A truly revolutionary coach with some very radical ideas that have been proved on the field of sport and athletics, his training plans and ideas will get you fit like you wouldn’t believe in all aspects. Don’t bother if you don’t like REALLY hard work!

    Serious Strength Training by Tudor Bompa - Another excellent text on strength training. I don't actually have much knowledge about the book, but I trust my sources when they all claim this book to be pretty essential.

    With all the positives of the aforementioned books, it is time for some negatives: There is a LOT of garbage out there. By a lot, I mean imagine if everyone in say, POLAND wrote a book on fitness. That is the scale we are looking at. If you want to get truly fit, exceed your expectations and work hard then pick some of the above books. Avoid the following at all costs, and although they may be useful for the lazy bum who does nothing but caress his beer belly and shout at the footy on the T.V., they are most definitely not for martial artists!


    “Dynamic strength” books by Harry Wong, Charles Atlas (the 1940s for gods sake, get with the times!) or any other goon who thinks sitting there tensing your muscles will make you get big and strong! Avoid like the plague. There is a reason why Wong’s book costs 4 quid on Amazon.

    Matt Furey publications tend to be massively overpriced, overhyped books that don’t actually contain a great deal of useful/truthful information. Although they do contain exercises of some merit, the horse-crap-o-meter goes off at virtually every page. Alongside the plethora of adverts and high prices, you aren’t getting much bang for your buck. If you want bodyweight exercises, look for Enamait or possibly Pavel’s stuff.

    Men’s Health-type books are aimed at the mass market. We’ve all read the magazines before, so I don’t need to talk about them. Now if you haven’t been to a commercial gym before, there are a lot of people who go to these places that read these books and/or the magazines and follow the latest, greatest routine consisting of triple drop-sets, perfectly timed reps and millions of curl variations for those massive guns. How many of these guys do you see in the gym actually possessing those sizeable biceps, or at the same time possessing any kind of strength or speed qualities? Not many, and you sure won’t see any with a decent set of legs. Leave these books to the sheep.

    “Bruce Lee workout” books. If there is one thing that has really opened my eyes since I’ve been a part of the MAP team, it’s been the incredible amount of people who think that Bruce Lee is the god of physical culture. He isn’t. “Blasphemer!” I hear all you BL-wannabes crying! Judging by his workout logs, he wasn’t even significantly strong compared to many athletes these days. He was fast and genetically gifted, but his training methods were relatively poor. Why go back 40 years to look at his training methods when there are far more scientific and proven ideas and theories that will work miles better for you? Another to avoid.

    Now, to the goodies that you’ve really been waiting for because we all know that you’re cheap and you don’t want to pay for information!

    Online resources: – Everyone has seen this by now right?!? New articles on every week day. – Ross Enamait’s website, excellent boxing and fitness resource. – Another of Ross’ sites, similar to the boxing one but with more emphasis on fitness and conditioning. Get his books here and tell him I sent you! :D – All-round fitness? Check. – Monthly online publications, similar but not as big as t-nation. - Gripper training – Joe DeFrancos home page. Some great training articles and tips. - Odd lifts - Olympic lifts - More great articles mainly on strength and Olympic lifts - Some guys blog website with articles on bodyweight progressions and his training. - classic exercise/muscle directory – Clarence Bass homepage. – THE site for grip strength and other training aspects. – Powerlifting articles. – More powerlifting stuff from the most notorious gym in the world. – Great site for lifting advice and basics, especially on form. – More strength articles/information. - More... MORE! – Bodyweight info. – GO HERE AND REGISTER! :D – The site of another great more alternative coach, Dan John – John Davies site. – Old time lifting, including old e-books. Tons of stuff. – His website, full of articles. – Pavel’s website. Some great articles here too, especially on bodyweight progressions. - Hardgainer? Bad genetics? RUBBISH! - The famous 5x5! - I know, it's bodybuilding, but there is actually a TON of great articles on there beside the ones about pumping those guns! - If you have any questions about some more in depth aspects of diet and especially supplementation, take them here. The single best forum on the net for supplement information and nutritional science.

    I will add more of these links as I think of them, I can’t come up with any more I think are important right now, but when I do I will update the article. That’s the end, so you can all now spend hours reading articles and ordering books :D

    Don’t forget folks, wouldn’t be here without adverts, donations and referral links. PLEASE purchase your books or whatever else you’re buying from Amazon referral links and contribute to the running of MAP.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2005
  2. Colucci

    Colucci My buddies call me Chris.

    Awesome, awesome stuff bro. And well worth the wait. :Angel:

    One more I'd add, which I just realized, would be "Periodization Training For Sports" by Tudor Bompa. I haven't read it yet, but it's on my wish list. Bompa is generally considered the originator of the Periodization concept, where you tailor your training program to coincide with your goals. Gradually tapering and manipulating variables in order to most effctively peak for an event.

    Again, a very nice job, McG. :D
  3. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Ah crap, blessed told me about that one and I forgot to add it :rolleyes: I will wack it on later, cheers mate
  4. GhostOfYourMind

    GhostOfYourMind Bewaters lil Iron Monkey

    What about the book by Wiggins and then Staley's new book? I'm gonna get Staley's book (for 15 bucks at 200+ pages, why not?). Thanks for the "reference page" Adam. Now we can easily refer one another to the "holy sticky at the top". :D
  5. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    I don't really know much of this Wiggins book you speak of and I know jack about Staleys new book. I also already included his best book aimed directly at MAists, so I didn't bother talking about his other stuff. I tried to spread the love :D
  6. RazorKaine

    RazorKaine Valued Member

    Ad McG, you're #1.
  7. GhostOfYourMind

    GhostOfYourMind Bewaters lil Iron Monkey

    lol! Good guide once again Adam.
  8. Prophet

    Prophet ♥ H&F ♥

    Nice post man. Thanks :)

    PS: Happy birthday to me (turned 19 today), and Ill take this as my present :D
  9. BoxBabaX

    BoxBabaX H+F Baba ^^

    Great article adam, nice summary of great information :D

    happy birthday prophet ^^ :D
  10. blessed_samurai

    blessed_samurai Valued Member

    Two thumbs up and a high five, Adam. Outstanding job!

    Welll, happy birthday, Prophet. :)
  11. inteq9

    inteq9 165lb of TROUBLE!

    Heck yes, good job Adam!

    May I suggest adding to the list of links?
  12. Nick K

    Nick K Sometimes a Valued Member

    Superb resource list - thank you.
  13. Combatant

    Combatant Monsiour Fitness himself.

    Great work Adam, brillient article and links list. Is this gonna be one of those evolving lists where you keep adding to it as you go along? If so can I suggest Kelsos book on Shrugs, and definatly Super Squats. :)

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Happy Birthday prophet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. scorpiousmac

    scorpiousmac Valued Member

    Thanks once again for that huge pile of usefull information,I'm actually looking forward to strength training tonight :D
  15. pgm316

    pgm316 lifting metal

    Great stuff thanks Adam :)
  16. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    So like I mentioned, is everyone just cheap and reading the free resources or are you buying the books using our amazon link?!? :D

    THUMPER New Member

    We all respond differently.

    It's a well written article.
    But just remember we all respond differently to different things. I had great results with the breathing squats and stretching exercises when I was in my late teen's. I'm a classic example of an ectomorph.
    But I managed to put 3" on my chest in 3 month's time. I had to stop doing them because I looked stupid. All chest and no arms! A 48" chest and 14" arms don't work:( There is no way I could have put on 3" of muscle in that short of time and not gained more than 5#'s of body weight.

    But I believe chest is my genetic gift ( my only one ).
    I can bench almost as much as I squat which is not normal!!!

    I would highly recomend dinosaur training. I've managed to make some serious strenght gains. Like 3 set of 8 with 38#'s hanging from my waist doing pullups with a 3" bar. At a body weight of 172 #'s and 6' 1" heigth. I'd disagree with the weight gain thing but that's my body type not the books fault. I can gain the weight but it mostly goes to my gut and that's not pretty.
    Thank's again for the input, I'll be checking out some of you're other reads.
    Dave S.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2005
  18. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    ... as already mentioned, worth the wait Adam !

    True, it IS possible to become quite knowledgeable in the area of H & F without having any formal “qualifications” ... although you do need to steer clear of the useless crap that is out there as you mentioned ;)

    Looking forward to the updates as they come ! :)
  19. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Added 2 more books - The Bompa book that has been mentioned and an absolute BEAUTY that I forgot because I've lent it out to someone - Trigger Point Therapy Workbook! I would seriously advise this book to ANYBODY with even a slight interest in exercise, hell even people who don't exercise! A truly legendary book IMO.
  20. Azrael

    Azrael Fighting Spirit

    Bompa's 'Serious Strength' book is far and way the best strength training book on the market.

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