Top Bodybuilding Books to Read


If you’re searching for new advice on improving your training programme and enhancing your physique, there are many top bodybuilding books about that can give you some different ideas.

People might read a bodybuilding book for various reasons – maybe you’re tired of reading advice on internet bodybuilding forums, or you’re simply looking for innovative ideas? Some bodybuilders specifically look for books by respected and knowledgeable authors for inspiration.

Whatever the reason, read on to find out more about some of the top bodybuilding books that can inspire you into making changes to your game plan…


  1. Arnold Schwarzenegger: The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding

The bible of body building, fully updated and revised, is written by the maestro himself, the seven-times Mr Universe champion Arnold Schwarzenegger. Originally published in 1985, the classic book was revised by the author in 1999. It contains information on diet, nutrition, training methods, psychology, injury recovery and every other aspect of bodybuilding that you can imagine.


  1. Charles Poliquin: The Poliquin Principles

Canadian strength coach and author Charles Poliquin explains the science behind weight training and strength in The Poliquin Principles – Successful Methods for Strength and Mass Development. He uses research to help bodybuilders improve their training plan and the book contains a lot of technical information. The author has a master’s degree in exercise physiology and offers very in-depth information, so it’s ideal if you’re serious about bodybuilding.


  1. Dave Draper: Brother Iron, Sister Steel – A Bodybuilder’s Book

Former Mr Universe Dave Draper has written a book that’s part training manual, part autobiography. The well-respected bodybuilder won Mr Universe in 1965 and Mr America in 1966, so he is more than qualified to offer practical advice to aspiring bodybuilders. He mixes the advice with some entertaining true stories from his own experiences that will leave you feeling inspired.


  1. Dorian Yates: Blood and Guts

Dorian Yates is a well-respected and accomplished bodybuilding competitor, who has shared his philosophy on training to help others. The five-times Mr Olympia, who retired from competitive bodybuilding in 1997, relates his views on a good diet, the correct technique, intensity and getting adequate rest. He also describes how having the right attitude, integrity and character can help you.


  1. Mike Mentzer: High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way

When he won the Mr Universe title in 1978, Mentzer attained the only perfect 300 score in history. The book describes his invention of High Intensity Training (HIT) which uses short, intensive workouts, rather than hour-long training sessions five times a week. For 10 years, he practiced his own “Heavy Duty” training programme, involving seven to nine sets per workout, three days a week.


  1. Sam Fussell: Muscle – Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder

Fussell published his book in 1991, describing his own journey in the world of bodybuilding. Rather than being an instruction manual, it tells the true story of how he transformed from being a 170 lbs college soccer player into a 270 lbs bodybuilder. It is a moving and inspirational account which reveals what professional bodybuilders must sacrifice to make it to the top.


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