The best bodybuilding books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about bodybuilding and why they recommend each book.

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Men's Health The Book of Muscle

By Ian King, Lou Schuler,

Book cover of Men's Health The Book of Muscle: The World's Most Authoritative Guide to Building Your Body

If you've never bought a workout book, this should be your first. And if you've tried all the others, this is the one that finally delivers everything you have ever wanted to know but couldn't find in one place. My book was the inspiration from The Book Of Muscle. This book I really enjoyed with the way everything was presented to me, and I wanted to present my information in a similar way.


Who am I?

Losing something is exceedingly difficult to accept, however, in sharing my story I hope it gives the personal motivation to recover the things that have been taken away. There is light in a tunnel you just must find it, my story I hope gives you that light.


I wrote...

Getting Out: My Story Plus The Exercises And Experience I Learned That Can Help You Get Out From The Wheelchair

By Greg Siofer,

Book cover of Getting Out: My Story Plus The Exercises And Experience I Learned That Can Help You Get Out From The Wheelchair

What is my book about?

Never underestimate your body's ability to heal. If you are having balancing issues, then this book is for you.

Getting Out book comes with valuable exercises that every person learning to walk again needs to have. But regaining your inner confidence to face and overcome challenges is an important part of leading a happier and rewarding life. Author Greg Siofer, knows the struggles, he opens and shares his personal story, experience, and the proven exercises that work.

The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding

By Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins,

Book cover of The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding

This is the book I started with, and the one almost all aspiring bodybuilders get as well. And for good reason. It contains everything you need to get started, from exercise explanations to workout programs, nutrition, dealing with injuries, posing, and competition preparation. Of course, the author seems to be a reliable source of this information ;-) Even after three decades of bodybuilding training, I still reach for this book for inspiration and information.


Who am I?

I’ve been involved in weight training for over three decades, from a competitor (setting state and national powerlifting records), to coach (for amateur bodybuilders and powerlifters), to author of four best-selling fitness books. All of my training partners, students, and readers have told me the same thing—my background in weight training knowledge, history, and techniques have enabled me to provide them with the expertise, motivation, and longevity to improve both their physical and mental lives.


I wrote...

Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow: Evolutionary Strategies for Building Maximum Muscle

By Craig Cecil,

Book cover of Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow: Evolutionary Strategies for Building Maximum Muscle

What is my book about?

There's more than one way to build muscle...Learn about all of the bodybuilding strategies from the past century. Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow takes you through the evolution of bodybuilding training, from early 20th century circus strongmen to the latest muscle-building techniques of today.

In this book, you’ll learn diverse training strategies, including: Volume Training, Peripheral Heart Action Training, High-Intensity Training, Periodization, The Bulgarian Method, Pre-Exhaustion Training, Heavy Duty, The Weider System, The Hardgainer Method, SuperSlow, Holistic Training, Power Factor Training, Positions of Flexion, and Static Contraction Training. Each training system is fully explained and includes sample workouts to get you started. Don't keep training the same way every time you workout!

Keys to the Inner Universe

By Bill Pearl,

Book cover of Keys to the Inner Universe

Early in my bodybuilding career, a fellow gym member introduced me to this book. I was astounded by the sheer volume and variety of exercises and variations possible within those pages. Over 1,000 exercises are illustrated and described, so if you ever think you will get “bored” by training with weights, just flip open this book. There truly is a universe of options available. Oh, and Bill Pearl, 5-time Mr. Universe is still going strong lifting weights in his 90s. Variety is the key to longevity.


Who am I?

I’ve been involved in weight training for over three decades, from a competitor (setting state and national powerlifting records), to coach (for amateur bodybuilders and powerlifters), to author of four best-selling fitness books. All of my training partners, students, and readers have told me the same thing—my background in weight training knowledge, history, and techniques have enabled me to provide them with the expertise, motivation, and longevity to improve both their physical and mental lives.


I wrote...

Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow: Evolutionary Strategies for Building Maximum Muscle

By Craig Cecil,

Book cover of Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow: Evolutionary Strategies for Building Maximum Muscle

What is my book about?

There's more than one way to build muscle...Learn about all of the bodybuilding strategies from the past century. Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow takes you through the evolution of bodybuilding training, from early 20th century circus strongmen to the latest muscle-building techniques of today.

In this book, you’ll learn diverse training strategies, including: Volume Training, Peripheral Heart Action Training, High-Intensity Training, Periodization, The Bulgarian Method, Pre-Exhaustion Training, Heavy Duty, The Weider System, The Hardgainer Method, SuperSlow, Holistic Training, Power Factor Training, Positions of Flexion, and Static Contraction Training. Each training system is fully explained and includes sample workouts to get you started. Don't keep training the same way every time you workout!

The Complete Keys to Progress

By John McCallum,

Book cover of The Complete Keys to Progress

Never before or since, has a bodybuilding book been written in the style and flair of John McCallum. Instead of simply describing exercises and programs, John presents bodybuilding lessons in an ongoing series of stories involving Marvin, Ollie, and a cast of others. After reading this book, you’ll never look at a bottle of milk or a cheese sandwich the same again.


Who am I?

I’ve been involved in weight training for over three decades, from a competitor (setting state and national powerlifting records), to coach (for amateur bodybuilders and powerlifters), to author of four best-selling fitness books. All of my training partners, students, and readers have told me the same thing—my background in weight training knowledge, history, and techniques have enabled me to provide them with the expertise, motivation, and longevity to improve both their physical and mental lives.


I wrote...

Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow: Evolutionary Strategies for Building Maximum Muscle

By Craig Cecil,

Book cover of Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow: Evolutionary Strategies for Building Maximum Muscle

What is my book about?

There's more than one way to build muscle...Learn about all of the bodybuilding strategies from the past century. Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow takes you through the evolution of bodybuilding training, from early 20th century circus strongmen to the latest muscle-building techniques of today.

In this book, you’ll learn diverse training strategies, including: Volume Training, Peripheral Heart Action Training, High-Intensity Training, Periodization, The Bulgarian Method, Pre-Exhaustion Training, Heavy Duty, The Weider System, The Hardgainer Method, SuperSlow, Holistic Training, Power Factor Training, Positions of Flexion, and Static Contraction Training. Each training system is fully explained and includes sample workouts to get you started. Don't keep training the same way every time you workout!

The Strongest Shall Survive

By Bill Starr,

Book cover of The Strongest Shall Survive: Strength Training for Football

Why am I recommending a football strength training book for bodybuilding? Because every great bodybuilder is a good powerlifter at heart. Football training is about powerlifting movement, and there is no better source on this type of training than Bill Starr, the man who invented the modern strength training programs, used by all college and professional football teams, as well as professional strongmen and powerlifters. Starr learned these techniques from Tommy Kono, the most decorated weightlifter in American history, and he passed those lessons on to one of his students, Mark Rippetoe.


Who am I?

I’ve been involved in weight training for over three decades, from a competitor (setting state and national powerlifting records), to coach (for amateur bodybuilders and powerlifters), to author of four best-selling fitness books. All of my training partners, students, and readers have told me the same thing—my background in weight training knowledge, history, and techniques have enabled me to provide them with the expertise, motivation, and longevity to improve both their physical and mental lives.


I wrote...

Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow: Evolutionary Strategies for Building Maximum Muscle

By Craig Cecil,

Book cover of Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow: Evolutionary Strategies for Building Maximum Muscle

What is my book about?

There's more than one way to build muscle...Learn about all of the bodybuilding strategies from the past century. Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow takes you through the evolution of bodybuilding training, from early 20th century circus strongmen to the latest muscle-building techniques of today.

In this book, you’ll learn diverse training strategies, including: Volume Training, Peripheral Heart Action Training, High-Intensity Training, Periodization, The Bulgarian Method, Pre-Exhaustion Training, Heavy Duty, The Weider System, The Hardgainer Method, SuperSlow, Holistic Training, Power Factor Training, Positions of Flexion, and Static Contraction Training. Each training system is fully explained and includes sample workouts to get you started. Don't keep training the same way every time you workout!

Brother Iron, Sister Steel

By Dave Draper,

Book cover of Brother Iron, Sister Steel: A Bodybuilder's Book

If there was ever a bodybuilder’s bodybuilder, it was Dave Draper, the Blond Bomber. Dave was able to combine his blond-haired, good-looking California style of living and training, with a successful career in professional bodybuilding in the 1960s and 1970s (Mr. American, Mr. Universe, Mr. World), with a passion and eloquence in writing that was only matched by John McCallum. So, do yourself a favor, read Dave’s book and soak in the true essence of bodybuilding and his training wisdom.


Who am I?

I’ve been involved in weight training for over three decades, from a competitor (setting state and national powerlifting records), to coach (for amateur bodybuilders and powerlifters), to author of four best-selling fitness books. All of my training partners, students, and readers have told me the same thing—my background in weight training knowledge, history, and techniques have enabled me to provide them with the expertise, motivation, and longevity to improve both their physical and mental lives.


I wrote...

Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow: Evolutionary Strategies for Building Maximum Muscle

By Craig Cecil,

Book cover of Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow: Evolutionary Strategies for Building Maximum Muscle

What is my book about?

There's more than one way to build muscle...Learn about all of the bodybuilding strategies from the past century. Bodybuilding: From Heavy Duty to SuperSlow takes you through the evolution of bodybuilding training, from early 20th century circus strongmen to the latest muscle-building techniques of today.

In this book, you’ll learn diverse training strategies, including: Volume Training, Peripheral Heart Action Training, High-Intensity Training, Periodization, The Bulgarian Method, Pre-Exhaustion Training, Heavy Duty, The Weider System, The Hardgainer Method, SuperSlow, Holistic Training, Power Factor Training, Positions of Flexion, and Static Contraction Training. Each training system is fully explained and includes sample workouts to get you started. Don't keep training the same way every time you workout!

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