Good Reads of 2012


It’s confession time. 

I would like to admit that behind my tough, squatting and deadlifting exterior, I’m really just a big nerd.


Well, as some of you may know I’ve taken up reading as my biggest hobby (besides throwing around some weights), and I take a lot of pride in trying to become extremely well read.  In fact, I believe I owe it to my clients to spend at least one hour a day reading research, tackling various books, and also writing in order to stay up to date on the industry’s best practices.

That said, I wanted to share the books I’ve read from cover to cover throughout the past year with the hope of spreading some of this knowledge.  First up are five books that I would highly recommend for anyone to read, and I give a paragraph describing why they’re so awesome. Enjoy!

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
    I consider myself extremely lucky that I was told to read this book.  Originally written in 1936, this book really has stood the test of time.  It teaches many valuable lessons that I believe our culture has lost, as we’re really all turning into a bunch of spoiled brats.  Some of the best lessons from the book are: don’t criticize, condemn or complain; the best way to win an argument is to avoid one; give honest and sincere appreciation; become genuinely interested in other people.  Reading this book WILL make you a better person, and I’ll openly recommend it for the rest of my life.

  • Which Comes First: Cardio or Weights? - Alex Hutchison
    Using only scientific evidence, this book answers many of the traditional questions related to working out, eating right, and even a few others.  I read this during the first quarter of this year, and I still refer back to it every now and then for the studies that it cites.  And regarding the cardio/weight question in the title, the answer is…it depends.

  • Wooden - John Wooden
    Chock full of lessons about life, this books reveals why Coach Wooden was the most successful college basketball coach of all time (for those that are unaware, he won 10 total NCAA national championships as coach of UCLA, seven of them in a row). Of all the gems he throws out there in this book, one that comes to mind is that he defines success as “peace of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”  Our current culture is obsessed with winning, but like Coach Wooden, I believe that winning and success are not one in the same.

  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma - Michael Pollan
    I finished this book just about a week ago, and I have to say it is nothing short of an amazing read.  The book is written on the premise that what you can eat is not necessarily what you should eat, and that this dilemma has resurfaced in current day with the increase in packaged/processed foods.  He also follows the path of various meals from the farm (or processing plant) to the table, which is extremely thought provoking.  Lastly, you’ll learn that corn. is. in. everything.

  • InSideOut Coaching - Joe Ehrman
    The last of my “must reads,” this book is extremely well written and introspective.  Joe Ehrman is a former NFL player, and has taken a circuitous path of drugs and alcohol on the way to becoming a pastor.  The premise of the book is that often times the people we look up to (a coach, mentor, etc.) is unaware of the power and influence that they have on others.  Can you remember a negative interaction you had with a coach at some point in your life?  Of course you can.  Can you also remember someone that had a profoundly positive impact that helped shape who you are today?  I’m guessing that’s a yes as well.  This book is all about being the latter, and it should be read by anyone who manages or has influence over people (i.e. everyone).

And now, here’s the rest of the books I’ve read this year.  If you see any you’ve had your eye on, or are curious about, just shoot me a note!

  • Starting Strength - Mark Rippetoe
  • The 5X5 Report - Mehdi
  • Weight Training Techniques - McRoberts
  • Essentials of Strength and Conditioning - NSCA
  • New Rules of Lifting for Women - Lou Schuler
  • Essentials of Personal Training - NSCA
  • Bigger, Faster, Stronger - Greg Shephard
  • Lower Back Disorders (2nd edition) - Dr. Stuart McGill
  • Functional Training for Sports - Mike Boyle
  • Advances in Functional Training for Sports - Mike Boyle
  • Never Let Go - Dan John
  • Movement - Gray Cook
  • Ignite the Fire - Jon Goodman
  • Turbulence Training - Craig Ballantyne
  • Mass Made Simple - Dan John
  • 5/3/1 - Jim Wendler
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Disorders - Shirley Sahrmann
  • My Losing Season - Pat Conroy
  • Treadside Manner - Greg Justice
  • Born to Run - Christopher McDougall
  • Never Eat Alone - Keith Ferrazzi
  • Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers - Robert Sapolsky
  • Ultimate Back Fitness - Dr. Stuart McGill
  • The Honest Truth About Dishonesty - Dan Ariely