By Strength Oldschool
Today I’m publishing a very brief list of the 'Top 3 Best Bodybuilding Books‘ which I recommend to anyone, but especially to beginners and skinny individuals. You can’t go wrong with the advice presented in each of the following books. My recommended list isn’t so much instructional manuals on how to perform exercises, its more to do with inspiring beginners and skinny lifters looking to get big and seriously strong. The following three books will inspire you, make you laugh out loud, SHOCK you at times, but most importantly...Will make you think about setting up the most effective, training routine possible to achieve gains in muscle, size, power and strength.
These books would suit any level of experience, but especially those lifters who are just starting out and are looking for solid, no bullshit, honest, basic, proven, training routines and motivation to help them succeed.
In no particular order…
1. Keys to Progress by John McCallum [ BUY ]
This book is tremendous. Really makes for some incrediable, funny and informative reading.
A quote from the book - “There’s a young man down the street from me who trains with weights. He’s been at it for about three years now but you’d never know to look at him. He’s got no build at all. My grandmother’s been dead for twelve years and she probably still looks better that he does.”
John McCallum was a strength author back in the 1960’s. He wrote training articles for ‘Strength & Health‘ magazine and these gems of training articles have all been compiled to form the book ‘Keys to Progress‘. Within this book, you will learn how to build muscle, bulk up, read about how bodybuilding legend Reg Park trained, learn how to get strong fast, discover basic weight training programs for beginners and intermediates, concentration skills to achieve bigger, stronger lifts, how to make the ‘Get Big’ protein drink, how to build up your neck, PHA Training, how to build a bigger chest, how to enlarge your rib-box, learn about ‘The Breathing Squat’ and much more!
This book is extremely funny and entertaining from start to finish. John McCallum was probably one of, if not, the best bodybuilding and strength authors ever in my opinion!
2. Arnold - The Education of a Bodybuilder [ BUY ]
This book is the autobiography of Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m a massive ‘Arnold’ fan so when I bought this book years ago in my early 20’s, I was fascinated to read about Arnold’s life and learn how he built his physique from an early age. Over 250 pages and I read it within one day. Pretty good for me ha ha. Arnold takes the reader through his early years talking about his early training, what he ate, the contests he entered, talks about his bodybuilding rivals i.e. Franco Columbu, Sergio Oliva etc. He also details about going A.W.O.L. from the army to enter a bodybuilding contest and much more! He provides information on how a beginner should start training and eating, explaining about protein, carbs, fat etc. Arnold provides various bodybuilding training programs for beginners to advanced trainers plus info on how to prepare for a bodybuilding contest. Throughout the book there are plenty of photos of a young Arnold and of him at various bodybuilding contests. The main reason why I love reading this book is more to do with learning about how Arnold trained in his younger years, before he began to strip away body fat and get ripped for Mr Universe and Mr Olympia contests. I enjoyed reading about how and why he began bodybuilding and his pursuit for muscle gains and bulking up and becoming as big as he possibly could, which for him was 250 lbs of beefy muscle. I also love the fact that he prescribes beginners to use a 'full body training routine' three times a week to build the foundation of their physique. No split training until after the lifter has built their desired mass. Arnold – The Education of a Bodybuilder makes for interesting and entertaining reading and I highly recommend it.
3. Strongman - The Doug Hepburn Story by Tom Thurston [ BUY ]
This is the biography of a weightlifting legend by the name of Doug Hepburn. He was from Canada and over came disabilities to become the 1953 World Weightlifting Champion. This is a sad story to be honest about such a talented and highly intelligent man who overcame so many obstacles in his life. But this book is a must read, highly entertaining, superb stories and provides invaluable training information on how the legend Doug Hepburn trained. The training programs suggested in this book would work for any type of lifter, not just for an Olympic weightlifter. If you love reading about strength, then check out this book. Highly recommended.
I purchased the above books years ago and have never parted ways from them. They remain a staple of my bodybuilding book collection. I highly recommend these books to beginners of the bodybuilding game, especially natural lifters who wish to lift weights and build their physiques without resorting to steroids. Yes I know Arnold took performance enhancing drugs but Arnold did recommend basic compound movements for beginners within his book and that is excellent advice for natural lifters or any lifters for that matter. One major lesson to be learned from reading such books, is that very basic training routines are much more effective at building strength and muscle than anything else. You can’t go wrong with sticking with basic compound exercises. Be consistent with your training and diet and train on the very basic lifts and you’ll experience gains FAST!
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Please also consider posting your own bodybuilding book suggestions below. I’d be more than happy to hear what other people think are the best bodybuilding books on the market.
Keep training hard,