Fitness Education Products
Finding high-quality information about fitness, nutrition and health can be a daunting challenge. So, we’ve taken away the guesswork of having to separate fact from fiction. Here you will find our reviews and recommendations of the best fitness education products on the market today.
The products you see listed below consist of Books, e-Books, Manuals, and DVDs. For easy use, we’ve broken them up by interest – Functional Training, Mobility, Corrective Exercise, Fat Loss, Nutrition, etc.
Foundations of Strength and Conditioning
Science and Practice of Strength Training – From the late Mel Siff, author of Supertraining, this book is packed full of training wisdom from one of the most referenced coaches in the strength and conditioning in history.
Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning – This book brings together the combined knowledge and expertise of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. It is the starting place for those interested in obtaining the most reputable personal training certification in the country.
Starting Strength – Classic text from Mark Rippetoe, one of the smartest guys to ever pick up a barbell. This book is the seminal text if you are interested in learning the fundamentals of the squat, bench, overhead press and deadlift.
Practical Programming for Strength Training – Another gem by Mark Rippetoe where he breaks down how to program for novice, intermediate and advanced trainees. Beyond just the programming knowledge, the authors wax poetic on almost every subject in the strength and conditioning world.
Advances in Functional Training – In my opinion, this is the best book that Mike Boyle has every put out. Coach Boyle gives you a virtual how-to guide on building a strong, functional body with his characteristic wit and insights.
Athletic Body in Balance – This is the first book put out by Physical Therapist Gray Cook introducing the base concepts for the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Cook packs this book full of useful advice and self-tests to help anyone spot an correct movement impairment problems.
Eat, Move and Be Healthy – Corrective exercise specialist Paul Chek’s personalized guide to eating better, exercising responsibly, decreasing stress and improving digestion. This is more of a comprehensive guide to holistic health than a simple book on exercise (although there is plenty of that inside too).
Functional Strength Coach 3.0 DVD – It is impossible to adequately put a price on the 25+ years of strength and conditioning experience of the venerable Coach Boyle. This nine-DVD set covers the joint-by-joint approach to training offering straight from the granddaddy of functional training himself.
2008 I-FAST Performance Enhancement Seminar DVD – Robertson and Bill Hartman’s annual performance seminar is a great multiple-disk DVD set that covers all the basics of functional training for strength and conditioning.
Scientific Core Conditioning – From the Corrective High-Performance Exercise Kinesiology (C.H.E.K) Institute, this 8-disk is a virtual treasure trove of information. This is one of the best resources out there to understand the importance of the core to the rest of the body and how to test for core dysfunction.
The Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual – Eric Cressey put this manual and DVD set together for off-season athletes looking to build muscle, increase sports specific strength and injury-proof themselves for the season. Truly a great purchase for any athlete or coach.
Show and Go – This is a four-month programming manual written by Eric Cressey. It comes complete with an online database and supporting videos. If you are looking for a good place to begin building ridiculous strength, this is definitely worth the investment.
Muscles: Testing and Function With Posture and Pain – Written by The late Physical Therapist Florence Kendall, this is the reference as far as functional anatomy and muscle testing is concerned. This is more of a college-level textbook than a beach read, but invaluable for any practitioner who trains people with pain.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes – Shirley Sahrmann breaks down the walls between muscles and movement. Like Kendall’s book, this is a college-level text for any trainer who works with people suffering from movement related pain disorders.
Bulletproof Knees – This product contains both a comprehensive manual and DVD that deals with everything and anything related to the knees. Written by Mike Robertson, this is a great resource for anyone who has ever missed a training day due to knee pain.
Movement – Gray Cook’s long awaited follow-up book goes into awesome detail on the both the Functional Movement Screen and corrective strategies. This book is a little more on the technical side for most people, but Cook writes with such common sense and logic that it is impossible to not appreciate human movement in a completely new way after finishing this book.
Low Back Disorders – Dr. Stuart McGill’s incredible first book dealing with the subject of chronic lower back pain. This book is on the clinical side, but a must read for anyone who deals with patients or clients with a history of lower back pain.
Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance – The follow-up to Dr. McGill’s first text, this book deals more specifically with re-programming athletes who have suffered lower back injuries. A little less technical and more accessible than the Low Back disorders, I would recommend a cover to cover reading for anyone who has ever suffered from back pain.
Anatomy Trains – Massage therapist Thomas Meyers outlines fascial anatomy like nobody before him ever has. In this text, he introduces a huge amount of information and anatomical science showing how every muscle is literally connected to every other through the fascial highway. Not a huge amount of do-it yourself information, but a fascinating read.
Optimal Shoulder Performance DVD– Eric Cressey and Mike Reinhold (head Athletic Trainer for the Boston Red Sox) put this epic DVD series detailing how to assess, manage, and train around shoulder problems. These guys have been responsible for training over a billion dollars worth of shoulders in their careers, and for that alone you ought to listen.
Advanced Functional Movement Screen DVD– If you can’t get to a FMS certification course, this video series is the next best thing to learn the basics of movement screening and corrective exercise.
Secrets of Primitive Patterns DVD – Gray Cook and Lee Burton do a phenomenal job teaching you how to regress human movement all the way down to its developmental foundations. This DVD is an excellent tool for coaches working with clients that lack basic core stabilization.
Secrets of the Shoulder DVD – This video picks up shoulder rehab at right about the point where most physical therapy exercises leave-off. Gray Cook introduces shoulder exercises designed to increase thoracic spine mobility, scapular stability, and rotator cuff function. A must see for anyone who has ever had to overcome a shoulder injury.
Secrets of the Backside DVD – Deadlift, Deadlifts and, well, Deadlifts. This video outlines the importance of the Deadlift in exercise programs. From soup to nuts, this is one of the best resources available for learning this important movement.
Secrets of the Core DVD – Think a strong core is just built through isolation exercises like crunches and sit-ups? Think again. This DVD shows the faulty logic involved in most core strength programs and offers guidance on how to build functional core strength using full-body movement patterns.
Secrets of the Hip and Knee DVD – In this two disk DVD, Cook and Burton teach a systematic approach to screening and address dysfunction of the hip and knee. Although the testing protocols alone are worth the price of admission, the corrective strategies are not to be missed.
Scientific Back Training DVD – Paul Chek provides an excellent resource for people suffering from back pain and coaches who deal with injured athletes and clients. This is another marathon 5-6 hour DVD series that goes into tremendous detail on assessing, programming and restoring function in the lower back after an injury. This DVD also includes a wonderful step-by-step instructional on passive joint mobility screening.
Real World Fat Loss: Destroying the Dogma – A practical guide to fat loss programming by fat loss expert Alwyn Cosgrove. In this guide, Cosgrove debunks many of the fat loss myths in the fitness industry while offering some great alternative training strategies.
Warp Speed Fat Loss – This might be the best fat-loss program ever written by Alwyn Cosgrove. Not for the recreational exerciser, this online manual includes a 28-day food plan and detailed program from Cosgrove and his partner in nutrition Mike Roussel.
Cardio Strength Training – Another great book by Coach Dos that deconstructs the myth of long-slow-distance training for fat loss. The author does a great job providing you with specific templates and guidance for you to put together your own gut-splitting metabolic workout.
MMA and Gymnastics
Training for Warriors – Written by mixed martial arts training guru Martin Rooney, this book is a must have for anyone interested in training for combat sports or who wants to see a great compilation of cool exercises that Rooney dug up during his two year fitness trek around the globe.
Building the Gymnastics Body – Extremely comprehensive and detailed book on the science of gymnastics strength training. With over 200 gymnastics-based exercises, this is an incredibly useful guide for anyone interested in developing the incredible strength, symmetry and physique displayed by world-class gymnasts.
Assess and Correct DVD – One of the most comprehensive products available for self-assessment and correction of muscle imbalances associated with physical activity. Very user-friendly and a great buy for the money. Includes commentary by Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman as well.
Magnificent Mobility – Another Cressey-Robertson collaboration, this product is a must have for anyone who lacks mobility in the lower body. For the bad hip, bum knee, and sore lower back crowd, this is an essential.
Inside-Out – One of the best upper body warm-up routines ever written. This is a great companion to Magnificent Mobility.
Precision Nutrition – Without a doubt, the best nutritional resource there is on the market today. Dr. John Berardi puts everything you need to know to get started on a nutritional plan into this program. This comes with a great binder full of information, a comprehensive cookbook and online support.
Gourmet Nutrition – Dr. Berardi’s companion cookbook to Precision Nutrition. You will find oodles of fantastic recipes for meals, shakes and snacks to complement your lean eating plan. Check out the protein pancake, they’re the best.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Rank this at the top of the list for best books ever written on the subject of nutrition, ever. Author Michael Pollen takes you on an amazing journey from the farm, to the factory, to the dinner table in this epic work. If you’re not reexamining the way you eat by the end of the book, then you should check to see if you still have a pulse.
In Defense of Food – Another brilliant book by Michael Pollan, and the follow-up to Omnivore’s Dilemma. Here, the author offers practical advice and strategies for increasing consumption of real food and decreasing our reliance on the heavily processed non-food items that populate the average grocery store.
The Warrior Diet – Ori Hofmekler’s extremely interesting approach to nutrition and the evolutionary science of intermittent fasting. This is quickly becoming a favorite of some of the best and brightest people in the field.