Book & Reading Material

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Jun 2012
10:27am, 7 Jun 2012
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Read a book on training, diet, or anything that helps you reach your fitness goals? Please list it here with some of your thoughts on the book.

I'm one of those people who overloads on information. The person who will read 10+ reviews before buying a new gadget. In my time running, I have read a few books, may of which have been recommended through friends and forum posts. Some have been really useful so I though't I'd share some of the ones I have read.
Jun 2012
10:29am, 7 Jun 2012
3442 posts
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1. Nutrition For Serious Athletes - Dan Bernardot
2. Advanced Sports Nutrition - Dan Bernardot

You don't need both of these. I bought both because I leant the first one out and never got it back. Dan is a coach to olympic athletes and has real word experience. He not only explains how to eat well but how to eat for performance. What I likes is that he gives a foundation knowledge on how things work and real world examples of eating and timing for different sports. Even of examples of what to eat from a fast food place or 'out of a suitcase' which is really handy when you are competing away from home.
The first book is an easier read than the 2nd but if you were going to buy one, I would recommend the 2nd.

Both come highly rated from me.

3. Sports Nutrition For Endurance Athletes - Monique Ryan.
I didn't like this book. I was tempted to give it a bad review but after going back to it, it's not actually bad. If you are coming from zero knowledge then it might be a good read. However, you have probably gleamed a fair bit of knowledge on nutrition from TV and magazine articles already. If this is the case you will find yourself retreading a lot of this in this book. I found the author takes a lot of time to say something and it made this book tedious read for me. My review is probably sounding more negative than it is. The content is actually good - I'm just not a fan of the delivery.


4. The GI Diet - Rick Gallop
A very good read on understanding how food works. Finally made me understand why white bread is considered bad (it's ultra refined).
This book is probably a little outdated now. For example the food pyramid in the book is focuses on high carb, low fat diet. Newer theories have more fat content (the reasons for this probably warrant another thread / article).


5. The South Beach Diet Super Charged: Faster Weight Loss and Better Health For Life - Arthur Agatson
I got this for free and only intended to skim what I thought would be another atkins / fad diet. I was very wrong. This is not a diet but a change to the way you eat. Everything is explained very well. You can follow this without being in calorie deficit which means you can exercise and perform. I was impressed by this book. The writing style was easy to read without getting boring.


6. The 4 Hour Body - Timothy Ferriss
A very interesting read and a huge book. Highly recommended even I don't agree with everything.
The premise of the book is simple, Tim takes bleeding edge research and uses himself as a test subject to see what works. His theory is that there is a huge difference to training your body to be great and training to be excellent, essentially the 80:20 rule.

The example he gives is that if you was to get by in Spanish, you can learn 1000 words in less than 6 month and you will be able to get by. To be fluent will take years and a lot more dedication for not whole lot more gain. I know this to be true - in running terms (not in the book) I could quickly improve my 5k time by doing pure speed work. However without the base, I would quickly plateau. This is fine depending on your goals. If you just want to run sub 20 mins you can get there quickly. If you want to run the best you can (sub-17 and beyond), you need to train differently. I stress the running example is not in the book but I figured it would make the premise of the book easier to understand.
Tim covers lots from gaining muscle to loosing fat, shortcuts to both goals and diet plans. You certainly get a lot for your money with this book. The writing style is good and it is an easy read. It is structured in such a way that you can skip chapters that don't interest you.
I highly recommend this but read objectively - you may not agree with everything - I don't.

I will add more books later, running late now...
Jun 2012
10:34am, 7 Jun 2012
13672 posts
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Great idea Kieran. I've saved (watching) this thread Could be useful
Jun 2012
10:49am, 7 Jun 2012
3443 posts
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Thanks. There are some essentials around marathon training that I am sure others will mention soon. It's probably useful to have more than one review on a book.
Jul 2012
9:14pm, 10 Jul 2012
3451 posts
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Rapid Fat Loss - Lyle McDonald
I read this one ages ago. This book is a crash diet book using cyclical ketogentic dieting (CKD). It's really difficult to do and is aimed at already lean body builders who need to get super lean for competition. Not a diet for me but I liked the book because not only does Lyle explain why the diet works, he also lists all the negative effects that come with it. Lots of science and studies referenced for you to go and read up on. I think it is a very good read even it (like me) you don't intend to follow the diet. It helps give a good base of how the body uses fuel. I wouldn't bother reading it unless you have already read a sports nutition book though - or you might find it heavy going.


Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot - J. Parker
A good book that is easy to read and well structured. It helps to explain how to tell if you are over / undertraining by your base HR and focuses on building a base. If you have a heart rate monitor or are thinking about getting one you should read this book. I liked it, I loaded it out & have never seen it again

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