It is no secret, reading is a GOOD thing. I teach hundreds of coaches each year about fitness coaching.

OPEX proposes that daily they live by a simple mantra. TEACH, LEARN, MOVE, CREATE. That is, spend adequate amount of time DAILY on developing and refining and balancing these areas. For yourself as a person AS WELL AS for yourself as a coach.

TEACH – teach a movement, a new skill, something new that you learned – then watch HOW you teach, and how they learn.

LEARN – challenge yourself daily and learn from it, learn a new skill, learn a new way of thinking, learn more about your trade.

MOVE – exercise, move some blood, investigate your own potential – the best teachers were once awesome students of the game of fitness for themselves.

CREATE – design programs, design nutritional plans, design behavioral ideas for others – get into a creative mode at some point in the day.

Reading falls into the LEARN category. The speed at which you consume WHAT you consume does not matter – it is a retaining of this information that is individually MORE important.

Make it a goal to at least knock off 1 book per month this year – it is an admirable goal. You will be amazed at what you can achieve after you review this in January of 2018.

If I were to recommend 12 books to read per month this year and why, these are the ones. The months you read them are in no way connected to each book, it is just used as reference for you.

Print off the list. Check them off as you get through each of them. Then lets report back next year 12 months from now on what you have LEARNED!


What we Need is Speed – Kraaijenhof – for program design an understanding of the strength continuum through the eyes of a speed coach. Sometimes as coaches we only see things in our programming bubble and cannot truly understand another WAY of doing things unless we hear stories that Henk gives on progression and adaption to getting faster.


Thinking Fast and Slow – Kahneman – for lifestyle consulting, we always need higher order versions of understanding the mind. Daniel has a way of making you think about HOW you think an entirely different way – truly “mind” blowing.


AntiFragile – Taleb – for everything really; we discuss consistently this concept of resiliency in fitness – if you want a deeper understanding of it – like Inception level of understanding then read this – it will be uncomfortable but having more ideas on systems and how they intertwine WITHOUT judgment can relieve a lot of stress we as coaches put on ourselves about why things happen the way they do in fitness.


The Swim Coaching Bible – Hannula/Thornton – for prior design purposes – sometimes there are books that have a line up like this with the best in the sport combining ideas on how to improve methods of performance – to me this is a GOLD MINE for a coach – to see how everyone designs differently BUT there are principles that apply to all – magic.


Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia – Jesse – an oldie but a goodie – for assessment and program design, there are some magical old school ideas that will stand the test of time in here – the sport of wrestling has SO much to offer fitness – when you see it from John’s eyes you will see a world of possibilities in conditioning that have been here LONG before you ever did some mixed modal sets.


Flow in Sports – Jackson/Csikszentmihalyi – for lifestyle consulting and behavior around fitness – this is the one – we all know there is this space that top performers go, that some cannot even sense; this book uncovers the keys to getting to that wonderful “zone”; if you have ever felt “the zone” in training – while competing – then you will LOVE this one; as a coach, it will help you design better mindful programs for everyone.


The Vegetarian Myth – Keith – this REAL LIFE story looks into one young lady’s transformation about her views on food; for nutrition interest it is a MUST to get the inside scoop into the possible mentality and awareness that one journeys though in their goal to have a happy planet and quality, healthy life.


The Experience Economy – Pine/Gilmore – for business systems and lifestyle consulting information; this book was transformative for me in 1999 when I began OPEX Fitness. The principles around creating an “experience” for people we serve was truly a game changer for me and my life – this will be on my best reading list forever.


The Brain that Changes Itself – Doidge; we as a human race are still learning about HOW we learn, and why; Norman digs into ideas and a fairly new way of thinking HOW the brain works – for lifestyle consulting and behavior changes – this book is a must, as having a baseline knowledge of HOW things can transform in our brain gives us all hope; for non stop fitness forever!


Free the Idea Monkey – Maddock/Viton – short and sweet, Jim Crowell recommend this one as a short read and I loved it – very brief way to look at ways of being CREATIVE. the process of creativity and how to precisely draw up methods to get INTO that creative space is what coaches need work with; this book can help you align ways of doing this – ideas are magic.


The Cholesterol Hoax – Rogers – for nutrition programming – we coaches are at the front line in the health and fitness world – we get inundated with clients who are scared out of their freaking pants about the myths around cholesterol and heart disease…still… – this one or Ravnskov’s views – pick your poison can point you in the direction of understanding on a NON DIAGNOSIS level about cholesterol – will always be on my reading list for coaches.


A Brief Guide to Brief Therapy – Cade/O’Hanlon -for lifestyle consulting – I cannot believe  this one is 24 years old now – wow, that is a long time since I have read it; but more importantly for the coach, and possibly client – deeper pieces of Erickson and Freud cover topics of “brief” therapy – but this one for the fitness coach is important for its principles ABOUT therapy; we as coaches are not therapists for the mind, emotions or disease in these areas – but we DO communicate on a daily basis – brief therapy discusses methods of looking at creating the optimal balance of challenge and support in your consulting practice WITHOUT diagnosis but solid noticing – which we love.

(Visited 319 times, 1 visits today)

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *