Last Updated: 16th March 2017
The Best Fitness Books 2017. Where do we even start?! There are so many options and an obscene amount of information out there; constantly being updated and tweaked in accordance with the latest science. Not only can it become entirely confusing and overwhelming, but it can become entirely expensive too. There are also a load of new releases now that the calendar has turned to 2017. So whether you consider yourself a fitness ‘expert’, having researched and read around the subject for a number of years, or you are new to the genre entirely, we’ve got you covered. Confused as to what training plan is going to be best for you? Or want an interesting fitness read or ways to upgrade your performance? No problem; you’re covered.
Fortunately, at Shirt and Tie Fitness, we routinely sift through the latest, greatest, and even the not-so-great fitness and health literature. We’ve listed only those that are thoughtful, evidence-based, interesting, informative and well-written. The following are therefore only the very best. So, while the year is still fresh, here’s a quick guide to getting you on your way. These are the great fitness books worth reading. Best Fitness Books 2017:
1) Anatomy Companion to You Are Your Own Gym:
An Illustrated Guide to the Muscles Used for Bodyweight Training
We start the suggestions with the basics, and a book that helps teach us as such. Too often we enter the gym and conduct a workout without truly knowing what muscles we are working, how the body is responding and so on and so forth. Mark helps answers these questions and many more.
For those looking to fully grasp the functionality of their bodies. This one is for you.
The book shows how to transform the body by performing simple but effective bodyweight exercises; that can be utilized anywhere and at any time. The book is more like an Encyclopedia; with over 100 anatomically correct illustrations and photos that allow us to see exactly which muscles are being worked in each exercise. The approach is clear, and we were able to quickly learn proper form, as well as ways to avoid injury and get the best results in the shortest amount of time.
We found that by using the exercises and annotated illustrations, a simple, personalized, targeted workout routine can be built—from full-body hypertrophy focused, to rehabbing specific areas to focusing on specifics for a sport.
2) The Way of The Iceman: How The Wim Hof Method
Creates Radiant Longterm Health-
Using The Science and Secrets of Breath Control,
Cold-Training and Commitment
We now turn to a truly interesting and thought provoking ‘bio-hacking’ book. It’s non-conventional, so the likelihood of the tips being heard of before or the methods used that are outlined within are unlikely- aiding to its worth and potential impact.
The books premise is based off the: Wim Hof Method of breath control and cold-training which has been scientifically tested. It has been reported that it can dramatically enhance energy levels, improve circulation, reduce stress, boost the immune system, strengthen the body and successfully combat many diseases. The Way of The Iceman documents how anyone can use Wim’s methods to transform their health and strength, quickly and safely.
Having dipped our toes in ice cold exposure and seen the benefits ourselves; quicker recovery time and better cold tolerance, this book may be the icing on the cake of our fitness efforts.
3) The Road to Sparta:
Reliving the Ancient Battle and Epic Run
That Inspired the World’s Greatest Footrace
Third on our list is a book for Runners, for those who like to get out from behind their desk at the Office and go for a run during Lunch.
We liked this book as it’s a beautiful intersection of fitness fiction and non-fiction. The Road to Sparta is the story of the 153-mile run from Athens to Sparta that inspired the marathon. The book is written, the run is told, and experienced, by ultra-marathoner and New York Times best-selling author Dean Karnazes.
It gives a great insight into 490 BCE, where Greek Pheidippides ran for 36 hours straight from Athens to Sparta to seek help in defending Athens from a Persian invasion in the Battle of Marathon. In doing so he saved the development of Western civilization and inspired the birth of the marathon as we now know it. Even now, some 2,500 years later, that run stands enduringly as one of greatest physical accomplishments in the history of mankind.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is that Karnazes recreated this ancient journey in modern times. Karnazes even abstains from contemporary endurance nutrition like sports drinks and energy gels and eats only what was available in 490 BCE, such as figs, olives, and cured meats. This gives us a case study on a more low-carb approach toward endurance exercise. Through vivid details and internal dialogs, The Road to Sparta offers a rare glimpse into the mind-set and motivation of an extreme athlete during his most difficult and personal challenge to date.
4) Move Your DNA:
Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement
The Expanded Edition
Science is beginning to understand the impact and importance of our genes and our heritage on our performance, results and outcomes. So is Katy Bowman who delves deeper in this new expanded edition; providing a comprehensive three-level exercise program that aligns with our natural movement patterns.
We found the book aligning humor with science; easy to follow and suitable for a wide range of audiences. Bowman centres on our modern day lack of movement as the primary cause of a several diseases. The corrective exercises and lifestyle changes noted within help to transition us to more healthy, naturally and primitive moving bodies.
Move Your DNA explains the science behind our need for natural movement right down to the cellular level. It contrasts the hunter-gatherer’s life and the movements in our own and explains how to address the deeper issue of our poor movement habits.
This is particularly interesting for any person who spends a long time sitting throughout the day and how sitting could be contributing or causing these negative health impacts.
We started to move a lot more since reading this and can tell you that this has been a real gamechanger! This is a healthy living textbook.
5) The Great Cardio Myth:
Why Cardio Exercise Won’t Get You Slim, Strong, or Healthy, And the New High-Intensity Strength Training Program that Will
Cardio has become a staple in the lives of many who seek to better their body or their longevity. Gyms are packed with cardio machines and there’s been a general feeling that jogging, cycling, and other aerobic exercise is the key to better health.
Yet it doesn’t add up, obesity is at an alarming rate and many are suffering from overuse injuries incurred from years of prolonged cardio exercise. New research is showing that long cardio and endurance workouts do not get us slimmer or stronger. They do not promote longevity or protect against heart disease. In fact, they may do the opposite by putting excessive strain on our heart, joints, and muscles and slow our metabolism.
The main perk of the Great Cardio Myth, is that it shows us how to get better fitness results quicker and helps us to debunk unproductive exercise habits. This book, if applied can help us: Lose weight (and keep it off) with just a few short workouts per week, Keep our metabolism active, Strengthen and protect our heart, joints, and muscles. Burn through belly fat—particularly stubborn areas.
We like this one as it challenges fitness dogma, and also offers us a way out. We recommend this to anyone who has not been experiencing the results they desire from their Cardio endeavors.
6) Calisthenics for Beginners: 50 Bodyweight Exercises
The #1 Bodyweight Training Starter Guide
Calisthenics is starting to gain popularity, but it is largely misunderstood or not practiced due to confusion regarding its implementation or effectiveness. Pure Calisthenics have offered us our answer.
This book is targeting beginners to calisthenics workout plan. Particularly those who want a workout plan. This book does just that and helps us reshape our bodies without necessarily having to go to a gym.
The book is based on body-weight training that can be done anywhere, anytime. The added bonus of the book is that it shows us a lot of exercises (150) to choose from to strengthen the entire body.
The book helps illustrate why calisthenics has crossover to other sports, can support weight loss and builds a good foundation for potential future weight training.
What we like best: This book helps to teach the basic calisthenics exercises that form the foundation of any calisthenics workout routine. Own calisthenics workout routines can also be constructed with the list foundational exercises. Sample routines are also included for reference
7) Fitness For Men Over 40:
Stay Fit and Healthy Through Middle Age
We turn our attention to the older readers and for those who have found their way out of shape as they have progressed through life. The book is based off simple and realistic suggestions for the older trainee. Whats more. it’s suitable for those who have neglected their fitness for some time and who want to rediscover their passion and body shape that they may have had in younger years.
We like the fact that the book and the Fit Over 40 doesn’t just focus on weight loss but helps to create the right mindset. It helps to locate and banish limiting beliefs.
8) The Swoly Bible:
The Bro Science Way of Life
Now for the younger readers. This is an absolute gem of a book for anyone who has lifted weights through their teens and through the nineties’ and noughties.
Written by Dom Mazzetti, behind the YouTube channel: Bro Science Life, it’s a comical and informative read to overcome what is known as ‘bro-science’; fitness advice that has no basis in scientific experimentation or understanding. Questions such as: What can you bench? Can I skip leg day? What goes in this protein shake? And, importantly, do you even lift, bro are answered.
More practically, Mazzetti lays out the truth about how to make true gains in the gym, including:
“How to get hyped for a lift
The true meaning of meal prep
How to eat chicken without wanting to kill yourself
The best tips for taking a post-workout selfie
How to get your girlfriend to start lifting
Why Crossfitters are the worst
And much more”.
We liked the comical nature of this book and how it can help to quell the myths that have surrounded training.
So there you have it, 8 of the very best fitness books 2017 to keep you on your toes and performing at your best. Let us know how you get on and which ones you enjoy best in the comment section below.