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Top 10 Bodybuilding Books

Top 10 Bodybuilding Books

Table of Contents


  1. Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding
  2. The Ultimate Bodybuilding Cookbook
  3. The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding
  4. Starting Strength
  5. Strength Training Anatomy
  6. Championship Bodybuilding
  7. Brother Iron, Sister Steel
  8. The Bodybuilding Meal Prep Cookbook
  9. Encyclopedia of Muscle and Strength
  10. Better Than Steroids

1. Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding: The Complete A-Z Book on Muscle Building is written by Robert Kennedy and released in 2008. This book is one of the most well-known books about bodybuilding. The book covers exercises, nutrition, supplements, and poses. Some key ideas the books focus on are: how to exercise with proper form, building body mass in the fastest time possible, and participating in bodybuilding competitions and being successful. Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding provides detailed information and recommended for anyone looking to start out in bodybuilding.


2. The Ultimate Bodybuilding Cookbook

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

The Ultimate Bodybuilding Cookbook is written by Kendall Lou Schmidt and released in 2016. This book contains recipes and acts as a nutrition manual for people looking to change their bodybuilding diet. Bodybuilding can take time, and the main part of that journey is a person's nutrition. Although this can get bland at times, this cookbook provides fun, tasty recipes that anyone can enjoy. Finding variety in meals is important and this is exactly what the cookbook provides. The meals from this book allow an athlete to get the most out of their calories, while still having a nutritious, well-balanced diet.


3. The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding was authored by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1985. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most well-known bodybuilders, and he provides his insight in this 800-page book. He covers how to structure workouts, effective ways to train each muscle, preparation of weight training and bodybuilding competitions, and guides on nutrition, supplements, and health. The book also provides insight on sports psychology, the history of bodybuilding, and how to treat and prevent injuries. This book is packed with insightful information, alongside Arnold's sense of humor and motivation.


4. Starting Strength

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Starting Strength is written by Mark Rippetoe and released in 2005. This book focuses on basic barbell training and teaches the reader the basic lifts such as deadlift, bench, squat, row, and press. Rippetoe really focuses on the basics and emphasizes how these are very effective and efficient exercises. These few lifts are what cause a maximal impact in the shortest amount of time. He goes into detail about each exercise and believes they are great to invest in early on. Although many of these lifts are basic, the results people can achieve through them are monumental.


5. Strength Training Anatomy

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Strength Training Anatomy is written by Frederic Delavier and released in 1998. The book covers the anatomy of strength training exercises and contains over 600 illustrations. Delavier closely examines the anatomy during the weightlifting process and aims to inform the reader on different muscle groups. Some of the topics covered include the best exercises that target each muscle group, the biological process behind growing muscles, explanations of each muscle group, anatomy, and how to avoid weight lifting injuries. The graphic illustrations give the reader a better understanding of all the muscles and exercises. Strength Training Anatomy provides detailed instruction on the anatomy of strength training and how to have proper technique and form when weight lifting.


6. Championship Bodybuilding

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Championship Bodybuilding was written by Chris Aceto in 1996. This guide informs the reader how to bodybuild in detail, and it ranges from very basic strategies and techniques to advanced ones. The book is divided into three sections dependent on the reader's experience level. The broken-down sections of beginner, intermediate, and expert make it easier for the reader to understand the information without getting overwhelmed. Some topics covered in the book include exercise techniques, set selection, training schedules, muscle physiology, repetition ranges, pre-contest dieting, and nutrition. Aceto provides a thorough bodybuilding manual that any reader could need.


7. Brother Iron, Sister Steel

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Brother Iron, Sister Steel was written by Dave Draper and released in 2001. Dave Draper is a bodybuilder and tells his story of how he had received the titles of Mr. Universe, Mr. World, and Mr. America. He provides insight into his career and shares how the passion he has for bodybuilding goes beyond getting stronger and bigger. He shares his wisdom and how bodybuilding not only helped him physically but also helped him mentally. Draper also shares many gym stories and the mental side of competition and training. Although the book doesn't provide too many details on actual training, it provides inspiration and an insightful perspective on bodybuilding.


8. The Bodybuilding Meal Prep Cookbook

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

The Bodybuilding Meal Prep Cookbook is written by Michelle Vodrazka and released in 2019. This cookbook provides macronutrient-rich meal planning which makes it easier to bodybuild. Healthy food and a proper diet are key when bodybuilding but this can become tedious and boring. This book removes the challenge of prepping meals and provides inspiration for the kitchen. Meal prepping can save time, and this book aims to provide recipes that are headache free and can be grab-and-go dishes. The cookbook includes nutrition for optimal health, different options for bodybuilding plans, and step-by-step guides to meal prep. The meal prep in the book provides a 6-week meal plan with 60 recipes. Overall, this book provides helpful information when cooking to help bodybuild.


9. Encyclopedia of Muscle and Strength

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Encyclopedia of Muscle and Strength is written by Jim Stoppani and released in 2006. This researched-based book goes into deep detail about muscle building and strength training. The book aims to be a training guide that covers the best type of equipment, basic concepts, and examining the role of different muscle groups. The encyclopedia is easy to understand, while still being highly informative. Some of the topics found in the book include research-based findings on strength training, nutritional advice, key strength training terms, and evaluation of strength training equipment. Both beginners and experts may benefit from this book as the information is diverse.


10. Better Than Steroids

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Better Than Steroids is written by Warren Willey and released in 2006. This book is focused on workouts and nutrition and aims to help the reader improve their results at the gym. The main concept of this book is that the mix of the proper technique and proper nutrition will provide promising results as opposed to taking any steroids to enhance results. Willey focuses mainly on nutrition, and how foods can be used to complement exercise routines. Some topics in the book include: the role food plays in health, nutrition for bodybuilders, how to build strength and muscles naturally, exercise strategies and techniques, and mistakes to avoid. Better Than Steroids is a comprehensive guide on how nutrition and bodybuilding go hand-in-hand.



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