I absolutely love it when coaches share the books that have made them who they are today. Whether on facebook or through a blog post, it always gives a good glimpse as to who that coach is, and it ALWAYS gives me some awesome reading material to check out. Some of these books are those that sparked my interest in the field, some have changed everything I do, and some have really taken my coaching to the next level.
This list is absolutely a glimpse of me as a coach (I hope one that sheds a positive light on my thinking, I mean I did leave off the Berenstein Bears.)
A System of Multi Year Training in Weightlifting
By AS Medvedev
This book written by long-time USSR weightlifting coach Alexey Medvedev. If you are into training athletes using Olympic weightlifting, this is a must have book. Your understanding of technique, positions, coaching and even the goals of Olym pic weightlifting will go through the roof. I really use it as an awesome reference when thinking about Olympic lifts. The Russian approach that is discussed inthe book is also very cool to think about. There is a great amount of time preparing athletes to be Olympic lifters, but more than that just physically fit and prepared for activity.
Check out System HERE
A Program of Multi-Year Training in Weightlifting
By AS Medvedev
Again another by Alexey Medvedev this book is just ridiculous! It lays out 6 entire years of training for Olympic weightlifters. The system that is described in the first book is laid out workout, for workout for 6 entire years. They really are complete companions as one should not go without the other but I listed them separately because Program will not make any sense without System. I think people would be surprised to see how the Russian system is not very aggressive but instead so general to have specific times and workouts planned for activities as varied as basketball games, to javelin throwing.
Take a look at Program HERE
Anatomy of Movement
By Blandine Calais-Germain
As a coach, my weakest area is knowledge, or at least the recitation of bio mechanics and functionalanatomy. This book is my go to resource when I need to get a refresher. There are likely more comprehensive books about anatomy out there (at least more textbook like, that I will never read again) but in my opinion I cannot think of a better one for everyday use. Written from the perspective of a dance instructor (that part explains the cover) this book really does have a unique perspective that is so useful to those in the fitness industry.
Check out Anatomy of Movement HERE
Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance
By Stuart McGill
This book is trendy and listed among a lot of top books for fitness professionals, but there is a reason, Ultimate Back ROCKS. No one, and I repeat no one has done more research on the low back than Dr. Stu McGill. Some argue with his methods, some argue with his conclusions, but I respect his focus on correcting the way we, as a profession, train the core. Quite simply if you are serious about what you do as a coach this is a book you must read.
Ultimate Back can be purchased HERE
Ultimate MMA Conditioning
By Joel Jamieson
I really go back and forth as to whether this is the best name ever for this book or the worst name ever. On one hand Joel Jamieson tapped into thebooming MMA market and likely sold a lot of copies, on the other hand the name fails to mention that this book contains loads of information that can apply to nearly every sport. Regardless this book is a must have if you have any interest in getting your athletes into great shape. There are dozens of training methods outlined in the book, and the physiology portion is better than anything I read in college.
Buy Ultimate MMA HERE
Weightlifting Training and Technique
Translated by Bud Charniga (multiple authors)
By now it is pretty apparent that I am an Olympic lifting junkie. This book is a treasure chest full of weightlifting gold. Taken from multiple sources and translated from Russian by Bud Charniga, I smile each time I pick this book up. There are de-constructions of the clean technique of elite weightlifters and some seriously groundbreaking info in this manual. The two articles that stick out the most in my mind are breakdowns of static vs. dynamic starts (big spoiler, dynamic is way better) and some really revolutionary stuff on an athletes speed going to the bar being the limiting factor in big time cleans and snatches.
Weightlifting Training and Technique can be found HERE
IYCA Speed and Agility Certification Textbook
By David Jack, Latif Thomas and Toby Brooks
Coming from a track and field background one of my favorite things to do was to sit in the office of the sprint coach (keep in mind I was a thrower, so they were always surprised to see me there) and just listen to them breakdown speed and all the elements that made people elite. The linear speed aspect of this book comes from the perspective of an elite track coach himself, Latif Thomas, and he breaks this stuff down like no one else. The lateral speed and change of direction portion is just as good and just as, if not more, important for athletes. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best book written about speed training (disclaimer, I am on the cover but 100% truly think it is the best book I have ever read about speed).
Check out this product HERE
By Mel Siff and Yuri Verkhoshansky
If you remember going to the public library (not amazon.com) there was always an extremely oversized dictionary in the stacks to use forreference. It never moved and no one ever read the whole thing in one sitting. So goes Supertraining. I use this book as a reference whenever a topic comes up in the gym, either searching through the index or by the vast number of bookmarks I have left in my copy I am ALWAYS able to find awesome information about any topic related to training. If I ever teach in college, this book is going to be my textbook.
Cardio Strength Training
By Robert Dos Remedios
This book is very much like Ultimate MMA Conditioning because it was the first to present some alternatives to gassers and other “run em til you puke” type tools in conditioning for athletes. While Ultimate MMA is very much about the theory, CST is much more about putting it to practice. Lots of pictures makes it a very user friendly book. The info in the book is backed up by science, but more than that I have witnessed Coach Dos using these methods to train some of the best Junior College teams in the nation. It works.
You can get CST HERE
By Vern Gambetta
This book really sparked my interest in coaching. I can remember exactly where I was while reading it and it really confirmed for me that I could help athletes succeed through the training I would design for them. While it may be a little dated, the concepts presented about development, and the hierarchy of training is still very true and is required reading for interns.
Get it HERE
By Vladimir Issurin
Getting back to my track and field and weightlifting background periodization was the name of the game, we had it pretty easy though because we could basically follow a linear model all year long building exclusively towards improved strength and peak at the right time. Reading Block Periodization helped me to periodize programs in the right way for all atheltes. If you are not a WOD kind of guy then this book is absolutely for you.
Block Periodization HERE….now.
There are so many other books that I would recommend to other coaches and so many of those books go to topics like motivation and leadership, but when it comes to pure training, these are the books that do it for me every time. Let me know what books I left off the list (and will help me improve my own reading list) in the comments below. Please if you like the post or learned something share it on facebook!