I consistently read 1-2 books a week, and have been for the last thirteen years. Even though not all of these books are fitness related, that is how my curiosity started with different topics.
As you master exercise, let your curiosity drive you towards solutions for your client’s problems. Instead of thinking, “this is out of my expertise,” challenge yourself by learning everything you can about that topic. Once you have a better understanding, you will then be able to add it to your tool kit for other clients.
The books I’m recommending below are foundational books that serve the vast majority of people who hire a personal trainer. These are people who want to lose fat, get healthy and be fit. If you’re targeting athletes, there are many books out there on sports specific training, but I have to say Supertraining by Mel Siff is the athletic bible.
There are three pillars that are important in understanding how to help your clients lose fat and feel amazing.
First it’s nutrition. If your client wants to lose weight and you don’t understand nutrition, they might as well go find a new trainer. Nutrition and exercise work together, so with exercise alone, most of these clients would be wasting their time.
The second pillar is exercise. We all know how important it is to move.
Third is Psychology; if you can’t get them to stick to anything you say, well… your success rate isn’t going to be very high.
Here are a few books that I recommend that cater to the three pillars I have mentioned.
This book detailing Dr. Weston A. Price’s global travels studying the diets and nutrition of various cultures. The book is filled with pictures and evidence that can’t be ignored.
When you start exercising with clients you quickly learn that most people lack in flexibility and mobility. This book outlines an almost “paint by numbers” way of fixing these issues. Its simplicity is fantastic.
As personal trainers, changing people is what we are really doing in the big picture. Chip and Dan has given us a great scientific breakdown of how to change when change is hard. This can be applied to anything but it is especially important for someone looking to change their habits.
A mentor of mine once gave me advice that I’m passing along to you.
“You’re only as smart as the books you read and the people you meet. So start reading and start meeting.” So I did.