For a long time, people have been asking me to put together a list of my top 10 favorite books. I read it least two books per week and I had been doing that for a number of years. Out of the hundreds of books I have read, here is the list (in descending order) of the books that have had the greatest impact on me.
Overcoming Gravity: Steven Low
If you're into body weight training, this is the bible. There is a body weight book that is better than this. It's written by an old school gymnastics instructor. And this guy describes in detail all the moves. Ya know the playground stuff we're doing on the bars is really just street gymnastics.
But this book shows every move, shows the sequence in learning it in fact. You need this book, for real. There's going to be a time you want to know how to do something and you're not going to be able to find a tutorial on YouTube. But it's in here.
The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: Arnold Schwarzenegger
If you're into bodybuilding, not necessarily bodyweight training, this is the bible for that. This book is full of workouts, programs, nutrition. . . man oh man like everything. It may seem too intense for guys who don't juice, or aren't serious bodybuilders. I've not done them but it would be a good program. Basically every exercise is in here. Like everyone and how to do them correctly.
It's an encyclopedia, so it's not like you have to read it from cover to cover. You can just take pieces of them, you don't have to do them all. If you've plateau'd or are super serious, you need this book. That's why it is in my top 10.
Mean Genes: By Terry Burnham
Mean Genes was written by two Harvard professors. In this book they explain everything about life. And they explain it from an evolutionary perspective. Questions like:
- Why we make the decisions we make.
- Why you can't stop eating sweets.
- Why people cheat.
- Why some people succeed and others don't.
- If you don't believe in evolution. . . you're screwed.
- Why do women live longer.
- Why do we find certain people attractive.
- Why do we like taking risks.
Basically explains . . it is the owner's manual to your mind and body.
Rich Dad Poor Dad: Robert T. Kiyosaki
This book really impacted me when I was younger. Even though it's one of the best books I ever read, I don't agree with every word. Like I don't agree that college is bullshit, but that's ok. If it weren't for college, I'd still be in the hood. Kiyosaki explains a lot about business.
Some people say they have a business but really they have a job. If you have to be there, it's a job. I'd love for you to read that and let it sink in, really sink in. If you have to be there, it's a job. The most important takeaway from this book is the takeaway that is going to change your life forever. The difference between a job and a business will have you looking at what you do in a whole new light.
Maximum Achievement: By Brian Tracy
This book is going to show you how to be successful. Success isn't a mindset. It's way more than that and is a lot about execution. If you can execute the tasks you need to get done in order to be successful you'll be far ahead of the pack.
Brian Tracy answers questions like "how to set goals how to make plans", "How to achieve your goals", "how to navigate the terrain to a goal, any goal, relationship or money".
Brian Tracy has written many books. Many of those are on success. This one is his best. Maximum Achievement is about success.
Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister
If you have any problem or issues like laziness, aren't motivated, just don't have the will power to get shit done, or discipline, for instance, this book will help you. I don't say that jokingly. If you're the kind of person that would really like to be better and know you have "shiny button syndrome" or are easily distracted, you need this book.
First of all it will tell you why. It will tell you how what you affects who you are and what you do. There are tons of scientific studies backing this stuff up.
It's about discipline. This book tells you how to build discipline. Without discipline you can't accomplish anything.
Meditations: by Marcus Aurelius
This dude, Marcus Aurelius, was an emperor. A Roman emperor. This dude was the real deal. He was the first pragmatic.
Basically, Marcus says crying doesn't help. Learn to accept the bad shit and move forward. Accept the fact that people are going to hurt you.
Until you accept that there is good and bad in the world and you have the power to react to it as you will, you can not grow. You can not move forward.
Meditations is about gaining control because crying doesn't help. Learn to accept what you have, learn to manage what you have with success. Instead of reacting to it. This book is about changing your stake in life. This book taught me you can feel how you want to feel regardless of circumstances.
You can't control outside circumstances.
If your emotions control you, are you really in charge?
Awakening The Giant Within: Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins is the "ultimate coach" for people who will always strive to be better.
I can't say enough good about what he communicates. The problem is he's so flamboyant that it's easy for people to "shit" on him.
The crazy thing is most people who say bad things haven't read his material. Not one page.
Let me tell you, this book changed my life, it made me a happier person. Tony Robbins is the "ultimate coach" for that special breed of men and women who will never settle for less than they can be.
Tony gave me the strength to take ACTION by showing me that past events did not determine future events. He also gave me the tools to chart a new destiny for myself and create a life full of passion.
The 48 Laws of Power: by Robert Greene
This book is hard to read because what Robert Greene espouses is a life without morals. These 48 Laws take into account no consequences for what you do to get power.
I like it because the laws are raw. You should apply your own morals and values to determine how to make these laws work for you. But the bottom line is this kind of candid discussion about how power works can't found anywhere else.
Whether you're trying to take over the world, take over a company or take over your own health and wellness, this is a great discussion on power.
How to Win Friends and Influence People: by Dale Carnegie
Warren Buffet, Tony Robbins and a host of other amazing business leaders have taken Dale Carnegie courses. And all have spoken highly because what he teaches is amazing.
I wish school taught these 30 principles to every kid, over and over, until they were ingrained. Let's talk about a few that are going to help you in your fitness life:
- Love every improvement, no matter how small
- Begin in a friendly way
- Throw down a challenge
- Appeal to the nobler motives
So What's Next?
Get these books and read them. And know no matter how badly you want to lose weight, get fit or get a six pack you're not going to do it till you get your mind right. That means nutrition, motivation, motives and priorities.
I want you to start that today by taking our survey to figure out exactly where you should start.