Top 5 books on bodybuilding

If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book. – J.K. Rowling. I am sure you are going to find the right book in this post. I have shared the best bodybuilding books

Bodybuilding Books

Bodybuilding Books are an incredible source of learning for bodybuilding.  If you are serious about your fitness and want to transform your body the right way, investing in a good book on bodybuilding is a great idea. I am going to share the best bodybuilding books. You can find all the information regarding exercise, diet, technique, inspiration, and the right mindset to achieve your goals in one place.  

Below is the list of top body building books recommendations that can add great value to your knowledge and help you reach your fitness goal in the most efficient way possible.

Top bodybuilding Books: Starting Strength

Starting strength is a beginner’s guide to weight training. It teaches you fundamental techniques and forms to perform strength-based exercises like barbell lifting and basic squats. It is one of the top bodybuilding books.

This book will guide you with detailed instructions on how to perform each exercise along with an in-depth explanation of the physiology behind the techniques. It also includes illustrations of each exercise so that you can perform correctly and avoid common errors that most novice trainers do. If you are new to barbell training and want to learn the correct techniques early on, this book is definitely for you.

High Intensity Training

I don’t believe this list can be complete without the mention of Mike Mentzer- one of the greatest bodybuilders in history. This is the most effective and genuine fitness book loaded with incredible knowledge and proven principles of bodybuilding. Mike’s principles and ideologies are well-proven and backed by good science. You will not only learn about the techniques, nutrition, and exercise but also understand the science that goes behind each principle. The book also has some striking pictures of world-class bodybuilders that will do its best to keep you motivated to achieve your goals. It is an excellent muscle building books.

THE 6-Pack Checklist: Best bodybuilding books for beginners

6 Pack Checklist by Nate Miyaki –  Nate Miyaki has written several books for bodybuilding. 6 Pack Checklist is one of the top bodybuilding books.  If you want to get a lean and ripped body with ‘six-packs’ in the shortest time, this one is a must-read for you. This book offers easy training exercises to perform and a well-structured diet with sensible advice on what to eat and what to avoid to achieve quick results. The author has also addressed some common fitness misconceptions and myths to provide you a clear path for achieving your dream body.

How much protein, how much carb, how much exercise, what to eat, what not eat. Every question you have in your mind is in here.

If you are beginner to bodybuilding and looking bodybuilding books for beginners, this is the book you should start with.

Bodybuilding Knowledge book – Championship Bodybuilding

Championship Bodybuilding Chris Aceto – Chris is the widely recognized author and expert in the bodybuilding circles. Chris Aceto books are highly regarded and referred to by top bodybuilders. He has written another book Everything you need to know about Fat loss.

This book is without doubt one of the best bodybuilding book. It is a complete bodybuilding program that covers all the aspects of fitness and teaches everything you need to know about nutrition, muscle physiology, training schedule, and supplement. All the basic and advanced techniques are divided into three sections based on your fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced which makes it easy to read without getting overwhelmed with too much information.

Championship bodybuilding is an all-in-one guide that touches all the relevant topics and truly deserves to be in your fitness library.

Best fat loss books: Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle

Burn fat feed muscle – Tom is yet another legendary figure in the industry. Burn the Fat, Feed the muscle is yet another best book on bodybuilding.  This book has two very specific sections, one is about goals and planning. This is probably the only bodybuilding books that get into such details. The second section is about interpreting your results. How to take feedback on your weekly progress and how to make adjustments from thereon. Pure Gold!

This book is also described as “fat loss bible” for its proven strategies to lose weight. It is one of the best fat loss books. It offers a detailed nutrition plan, training technique, and strategy for eating the right food. The book will help you learn about carbs, protein, fat, macro-nutrients, and much more to understand your diet well and make changes in your eating habit to achieve your personal goal.

This book is highly recommended to anyone looking for an effective, healthy, and successful fat loss. It is the complete bodybuilders nutrition book.

Bodybuilding Autobiography Book

Now that you have looked at some of the best books on bodybuilding, lets take a look at some bodybuilding autobiography books. These books are about Legendary bodybuilder of the past. How they overcame challenges in their life to become the greatest of all time.

Total Recall – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Total Recall – Arnold Schwarzenegger Total recall is a book about Arnold’s journey from being a champion bodybuilder to a famous actor, and then political leader. Born in Austria, Schwarzenegger was fascinated by bodybuilders from his young age. And he was busy working hard to become one. His career began when he moved to America and won the crown of Mr universe. Later, he became the world’s biggest movie star and then was elected to govern California. Besides achievements, Schwarzenegger talks about his struggle to overcome obstacles in his life. His determination towards achieving his goals is one of the striking features of his personality. One can learn a lot about the drive to achieve remarkable success. It is one of the best book on bodybuilding.

Brother iron Sister Steel – Dave Draper

Brother iron Sister steel – Dave Draper One of the renowned bodybuilders and a former Mr.America, Mr. Universe, and Mr. World winner. Dave is also known as The Blonde Bombshell in Bodybuilding communities. This book is for fitness enthusiasts of all ages and fitness levels.

He has shared his approach to bodybuilding and humorous stories of his personal life. Besides weight training and nutrition, Dave also shares his highs and lows during his journey and points out his mistakes. He also talks about his memories with the legendary muscle mass- Arnold Schwarzenegger. The book has smooth, easy-going, and fun language to keep you engaged till the end.

Beyond the Universe – Bill pearl

Beyond the universe- Bill pearl This is an inspiring autobiography of an American professional bodybuilder Bill Pearl. He was named ” world’s best-built man of the century”. The book shares interesting stories from his personal and professional life. He reveals secrets of weight training that led him to win the Mr. Universe title four times. The book is written in a humorous tone and has pictures that never got published before. The book tells what goes behind the scenes of bodybuilding championships. The story goes through many unexpected twists and turns that will definitely inspire the readers. Every fitness enthusiast must have this book.

Dorian Yates: From the Shadow

Dorian Yates: From the Shadow Dorian Yates has given a very honest insight into his Philosophy that made him Mr. Olympia six times. The book provides stories of how he overcomes a series of challenges during his journey.
He earned the nickname The Shadow for his habit of surprisingly appearing at bodybuilding contests at the last minute.

Dorian is well known for his tough mentality and vigorous training style. He has opened many gyms around the world after retiring from professional bodybuilding.

Flex Ability

Flex ability is an honest account of how Flex wheeler overcame odds in his life and became a true winner.
Flex had a keen interest in martial arts and started bodybuilding as a teenager. He won iron-man pro and Arnold’s classic competition several times.

He narrowly missed winning at Mr. Olympia due to an accident that left him paralyzed. But with sheer resilience, he overcame this obstacle and made a comeback.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has regarded him as one of the best bodybuilders of all time. Flex always had a reputation for being arrogant and overconfident. But he calls it a clever way to compensate for his introversion.
The book also covers his fight against kidney disease and depression, giving examples of his great willpower.

The Black Prince My Life in Bodybuilding: Muscle vs. Hustle

The Black Prince My Life in Bodybuilding: Muscle vs. Hustle: Robby Robinson, also known as the black prince, is an American former bodybuilder. He won several titles including Mr. America, master Olympia, and Mr universe. In his book, he talks about his bodybuilding time in the 70s era and his struggle with racial prejudice.

He shares his thoughts on the current bodybuilding style and advocates fitness without drugs and chemicals.
After taking retirement at the age of 55, he continues his journey as a personal trainer and lifestyle coach.

Best Bodybuilding Nutrition Books

The next few books are some of the best bodybuilding nutrition books

The Bodybuilder’s Kitchen

The Bodybuilder’s Kitchen 100 Muscle-Building, Fat Burning Recipes, with Meal Plans to Chisel Your Physique : It is one of the best nutrition books for bodybuilding. This book offers a collection of 100 recipes and 5 full-week meal plans. It also provides a clear macro nutrient value of each recipe to identify the servings. The recipes cover everything from snacks to smoothies to appetizers and even desserts. Along with suggestions on what to eat, the book has useful information about diet science. Colorful pictures of scrumptious recipes will definitely make you try out new recipes. It is one of the must-have bodybuilding nutrition books.

The Shredded Chef

The Shredded Chef 125 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying Healthy– The shredded chef is a cookbook designed for athletes who want to lose fat and build muscle. This is the ultimate bodybuilders nutrition book. All the recipes laid out in the book are quick, easy to make and use clean and simple ingredients. The book also gives a guide to choose high-quality sources for different nutrition. This book will make sure that the journey of achieving your dream body doesn’t deprive you of tasty food.

Nutrition books for bodybuilding: Advanced Sports Nutrition Dan Benardot

Advanced Sports Nutrition Dan BenardotThis one is for all athletes looking for a way to enhance their training performance. The book focuses on the nutritional need to maximize performance training. Dan shares helpful tips on energy balance, nutrients, and the right supplements. All the information and tips shared in the book are supported by extensive research.

Bodybuilding diet books The Complete Contest Prep Guide Layne Norton PhD, Mr Peter Baker

The Complete Contest Prep Guide Layne Norton Ph.D., Mr. Peter Baker – This one does an excellent job of laying out a comprehensive guide for contest preparation. This bodybuilding nutrition book comes in two versions: male and female. Layne has talked about nutrition and calorie balance to maintain body composition. It is one of the best bodybuilding nutrition books. The book covers in-depth topics like supplements, contest preparation dieting. It also has a section on how to adjust your diet and workouts during contest preparation. This book is a gem for Coaches. The last section of the book covers techniques and poses. It also covers in depth about salt and water manipulation pre contest. This is a commonly misunderstood topic and Layne has explained it perfectly.

The section on workouts can be improved though. The second version of the book contains an extra chapter on Steroids and their usage in bodybuilding competitions.

Weight Training and Bodybuilding Books

The Muscle and Strength Pyramid Eric Russell Helms, Andy Morgan, Andrea Marie Valdez

The Muscle and Strength Pyramid: Nutrition Eric Russell Helms, Andy Morgan, Andrea Marie Valdez – This is one of the best weight training and bodybuilding books. This book offers principles to make exercise routines realistically and practically. Writers has debunked many myths and given solid evidence to support his claims.

The book breaks down the information into 6 hierarchy level:


Volume, intensity, and frequency



Rest periods

Lifting tempo

Each section helps athletes to learn the concepts one by one and use them in their routine. The book is written in straightforward language to help you understand complex concepts.

high threshold muscle building ct

black book of training secrets

practical programming riptoe

The Poliquin Principles: Successful Methods for Strength and Mass Development

Bodybuilding books for females

Strong & Sculpted by Brad Schoenfeld 

Strong and sculpted is a science-based female body transformation book. The author, Brad Schoenfeld has offered a complete training program that is simple and effective. Brad is a renowned fitness expert and author of several fitness books. He is also regarded as one of the leading authorities on body composition training. 

In strong and sculpted, Brad has created a series of workout programs and provides blueprints of achieving your goals. The first chapter begins with debunking some bodybuilding myths and setting the origin of the program. Later the book dives into the details of exercising. It tells you how much weight to lift, how many sets, and how often to work out. It covers over 100 exercises demonstrating with photographs and step-by-step instructions. 

As you keep on reading, the workout plan evolves. You will find new variations and advance exercises with the same details as in the basic program. The final chapter of the book gives special training techniques for competition-level programs. It also covers cardio training with a focus to build muscle and strength. 

Strong and sculpted is one of the simple yet powerful female bodybuilding books. It can truly help you with your fitness journey and build an effective and sustainable result.

Delavier’s Women’s Strength Training Anatomy Workouts Frederic Delavier

This book is one of the top female bodybuilding books for optimizing strength training. The book is written based on women’s unique anatomical features. The author, Delavier offers his exceptional knowledge of human anatomy in this book. 

Delavier has studied morphology and human anatomy for manyy years. He has written for many fitness publications and is an author of several best-selling bodybuilding books. 

Women’s strength training is a complete guide to weight lifting. With over 290 coloured illustrations, 157 exercises, and 49 programs on strength training, the book is a completed guide. Step by step guide and pictures will ensure you understand the correct form and techniques of each exercise. You will get to learn so much about human anatomy. You will see how muscles interact with each other and skeletal form structure and grow. You will also learn how different variations in movement can isolate specific muscles. This can not only help you work on your entire body but also achieve target muscle goals.

This book is a proven standard program to lose weight and build a sculpted body. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced-level female athlete, this book will help you enhance your performance. This one is a highly recommended book to learn more about exercise and building skeletal muscle.

The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess by Lau Schuler 

If you are looking for the most efficient way to lose fat and achieve muscle definition, this is among the best female bodybuilding books. The book refutes the common myth that is: heavy lifting will bulk you up. It offers a unique perspective and revolutionized how women see weightlifting. The author, Lau Schuler is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is also a National Magazine Award-winning journalist. He has written on fitness Men’s health, Men’s health muscle, and Men’s fitness. 

Lou Schuler offers a new perspective on weightlifting. Part one of the book has debunked many such myths humorously. It offers several science-based research to separate myths from facts and create new rules. The book reveals that there is no difference between men and women when it comes to lifting weights. It tells you how lifting heavy weights can increase metabolism and burn more fat. 

The book includes easy-to-understand, well-explained, and illustrated exercises. The workout plans focus on stimulating big muscle groups rather than working on only isolated muscles. The author explains that a full-body workout improves core strength and incorporates small muscles too. 

New rules of lifting for women also dive into nutrition. It offers tips and suggestions on setting a balanced micronutrient. It also helps you monitor and figure out how many calories you need per day based on your goal and muscle mass. A detailed food plan is also included in the book with a range of healthy snacks and meal recipes.

Weight Training for Women: Exercises and Workout Programs for Building Strength with Free Weights by Brittany Noelle

Another great female body transformation book that caters to all females who dream of having a strong and lean body. The author, Brittany Noelle, is a female fitness coach and personal trainer. She has been certified by both the National Academy of Sports medicine and the national council on strength and fitness. Her depth of knowledge and unique approach has helped many clients live a healthy life. 

Weight lifting can be confusing. And intimidating, if you are just starting. This bodybuilding book makes it all easy for you. Brittany has done an amazing job at breaking out the basics of weight training. And helping women feel comfortable with lifting weights and enjoy the process. The book walks you through the fundamentals of creating a weightlifting program. Whether you are a daily gym goer or exercise at home, there is so much that the book will offer. 

Weight training for women includes a step by step guide for developing a workout routine. It also offers dozens of illustrations of each weight training exercise. The book focuses on weight training for different purposes. Such as improving muscle strength, bone density, cardiovascular health, and preventing injuries. Each exercise includes tips on how to execute them safely and adjust the intensity. 

The book also offers a guide to design the workout and schedule your week of exercise effectively. Plus, advice on basic nutrition and pre and post-workout habits will help you see great results. 

Weight training for women is a female bodybuilding book written in a friendly and easy language. Great illustration and easy explanation will help many women who are just starting their fitness journey. One of the must-read female body transformation books for building strength through weightlifting.

Best bodybuilding Books reddit

Reddit is one of the top sites for bodybuilding communities. Recommendations for best bodybuilding books reddit are

Arnold’s encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding

Arnold’s encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding – Written by Arnold Schwarzenegger, this book is regarded as the Bible of bodybuilding.

Whether you are an amateur athlete or a competitive bodybuilder, this book will delight you. Arnold has laid out his full-proof strategies and techniques for a bodybuilding competition. Inside the book, you will find information on diet, nutrition, and tips on defining each muscle.

The book also covers the treatment and prevention of sports-related injuries. You will also find expert advice on maintaining optimal energy.

Jim Stoppani’s encyclopedia of muscle and strength

Jim Stoppani encyclopedia of muscle and strength- This is a research-based guidebook for building muscle and strength. Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., has done groundbreaking research on muscle growth and has won several prestigious awards in the field.

This book has over 381 exercises and 116 complete training programs. Each exercise in the book is designed to suit different goals and fitness levels. If you are looking for an ultimate resource backed with solid science, this book will serve you the best.

Bill Pearl’s Keys To The Inner Universe.

Bill Pearl’s Keys To The Inner Universe – This book is a complete manual and guide on weight training you can ever find. Bill pearl is a four-time winner of Mr. Universe. He has covered every major weight training topic to help athletes of all ages and fitness levels.

The book has over 1200 exercises illustrated with proper technique and pose. Each exercise has a short description of how to execute and its difficulty level.

Bill also covers basic nutrition and detailed information about ten basic muscle groups. Topics are well explained with the help of muscle charts and illustrations. Over 250000 copies sold, this book is a highly recommended book for athletes.

Dan John’s Intervention and Never Let Go

Dan John’s Intervention and Never Let Go- Never let go discusses the philosophy of bodybuilding in a very simple and clear manner. It has a compilation of articles on various lifting techniques and spiritual philosophies.
Clear and straightforward language has made complex concepts easy to understand. If you like reading online blogs about bodybuilding, getting yourself this book will save you time and add great value.

Eric Cressey’s Maximum Strength

Eric Cressey’s Maximum Strength – Maximum strength is aimed at weight trainers who want to make the most of their strength training sessions and define muscle. The book offers workouts broken into four phases: foundation, build, growth and peak. Each workout phase includes several exercises for different volumes, variations, and fitness levels.

The program begins with the foundation phase to set a base of strength using low reps. As you move to another phase, it involves a variety of higher and lower reps. These exercises have clear instructions along with the author picture performing them. The book has an excellent nutrition section as well. It includes two detailed meal plans and some basic nutritional and supplement advice. This book is a complete and solid training program to build muscle and get stronger.

Best Bodybuilding Books 2020

Mike Israetel Books

Scientific Principles of Hypertrophy Training by Dr. Mike Israetel, Dr. James Hoffmann, Dr. Melissa Davis

Scientific Principles of Hypertrophy Training by Dr. Mike Israetel, Dr. James Hoffmann, Dr. Melissa Davis is one of the Mike Israetel books.

It is a goal-oriented guide on how to achieve optimal muscle hypertrophy for a defined body. This book is for athletes who are looking to refine their training for muscle growth. You will find dedicated chapters to each of your target body areas including arms, legs, butt, back, and abs.

The book offers practical advice on planning a hypertrophy program based on your goal and fitness intentions.
The programs are explained in a precise manner with scientific research to support each claim. The book is a little dense on technical information and scientific theory so you need to commit time.

The Resistance Training Revolution The No-Cardio Way to Burn Fat and Age-Proof Your Body―in Only 60 Minutes a Week Hardcover by Sal Di Stefano

The Resistance Training Revolution: The No-Cardio Way to Burn Fat and Age-Proof Your Body―in Only 60 Minutes a Week Hardcover by Sal Di Stefano

Sal Di, a personal fitness trainer and Co-founder of Mind pump media. He focuses on weight training and reveals why it’s the best form of exercise to lose fat. The book covers recent studies to show the health benefits of resistance training.
There are over 60 fat-burning and metabolism-boosting exercises anyone can do at home. Sal Di also breaks down common fitness misconceptions about building lean muscle.

Some sections offer the right formula of nutrition and many self-assessments to track your progress.
The book is an incredible guide to optimize workouts and get fast results most effectively.

Functional Training Anatomy Paperback – by Kevin Carr, Mary Kate Feit

Functional Training Anatomy Paperback – by Kevin Carr, Mary Kate Feit – This is a highly educational book on functional training. It explains how knowledge of anatomy plays a huge role in your exercise performance.
It includes colorful anatomical drawings to show muscle activation for different exercises. Besides strength exercises, you will find various nontraditional exercises. Each exercise is paired with step-by-step illustrations and instructions to perform them correctly. These exercises are designed to improve the strength and flexibility of the body.

Science of Strength Training: Understand the anatomy and physiology to transform your body by Austin Current

Science of Strength Training: Understand the anatomy and physiology to transform your body by Austin Current –  This book has everything you need to know about training, nutrition, and muscles. The book includes complete workout plans with over 100 home or gym exercises. Each exercise shows the muscle group being used and provides the right techniques.

The book is also packed with useful tips on how to manage fatigue and avoid common injuries.
It also covers valuable nutrition and dietary advice for vegans and vegetarians. The program and exercises are versatile and can easily be implemented to suit individual needs and goals.

Best old school Bodybuilding Books

Unleashing the Wild Physique by Vince Gironda and Robert Kennedy

Unleashing the Wild Physique Ultimate Bodybuilding for Men and Women Vince Gironda and Robert Kennedy

This one is an excellent old school bodybuilding books written by profound American bodybuilder Vince Gironda. He was also known as ‘Iron Guru’ for his great physique. It has a considerable amount of nutrition knowledge and unique exercise to build muscle. The author has compiled philosophies and bodybuilding strategies he used in bodybuilding.

Blood and Guts Dorian Yates

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Blood and guts by Dorian Yates – Dorian Yates has shared various programs and philosophies to train muscle and mind. Dorian is considered to be the first mass monster for his massive physique. His book is one of the best old bodybuilding books.

He focuses on lifting combined with high-intensity exercise. His philosophies have revolutionized muscle gain techniques and helped bodybuilders reach their goals. The book also includes inspirational stories of Dorian winning several competitions.

The New High Intensity Training The Best Muscle-Building System You’ve Never Tried

The New High-Intensity Training The Best Muscle-Building System You’ve Never Tried – The new high-intensity training is a highly detailed guide for high-intensity training(HIT). It provides methods to approach high-intensity training (HIT) for explosive muscle growth.

The book begins with background information on basic HIT principles. It also covers a short biography of Arthur Jones (one who introduced HIT).

Inside his book, the author has provided 6 months HIT course for muscle growth. He has laid out the techniques in a most detailed manner with exercise illustrations. The book also has several photographs of renowned bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you are a serious athlete seeking to build muscle in a fast and safe way, this old bodybuilding book is for you.

The Mind in Body Building Frank Zane and Christine Zan

The Mind in Body Building Frank Zane and Christine Zan – Building muscle and physique requires more than just lifting weights and eating right. One aspect that is not much talked about is training your mind. ‘The mind in bodybuilding’ is one of the old bodybuilding books that aims to help you excel in that area. The book shares personal growth practices to achieve goals in every aspect of your life.

It covers a variety of techniques such as meditation, acoustic vibration, stress management, and many more. You will find loads of information on self-improvement and body-mind balance. It is one of the best old school bodybuilding books.

Pro Style Bodybuilding Tom Platz

Pro-Style Bodybuilding Tom Platz – Pro style bodybuilding is written by one of the legendary bodybuilders -Tom Platz. It is a complete guidebook for exercise, nutrition, and practical tips for competition. Some techniques of Tom Platz may appear outdated for today’s standards of bodybuilding. But his explanation of weight movements is excellent and remains highly informative. This is one of the great old bodybuilding books with amazing pictures of bodybuilders of all time. You will get great insight into what fitness contests back in the days looked like.

The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer The Art, Science and Philosophy of a Bodybuilding Legend

The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer The Art, Science, and Philosophy of a Bodybuilding Legend – The book not only covers Mentzer’s bodybuilding techniques but also gives detailed insight into his philosophy of life.
It includes interesting stories and pictures from his professional and personal life.
If you have already read ‘high-intensity training’ by Mike Mentzer, this book will allow you to learn more about him. One of the most inspiring old bodybuilding books.

Winning Bodybuilding A complete do-it-yourself program for beginning, intermediate, and advanced bodybuilders by Mr. Olympia

Winning Bodybuilding A complete do-it-yourself program for beginning, intermediate, and advanced bodybuilders by Mr. Olympia by Dr. Franco Columbu has written this book to provide a simple and no-nonsense approach to weight training.

It has simple exercise routines and nutrition information for sustainable muscle growth. Written in the early 70s, this is one of the old school bodybuilding books that still hold great value and remain relevant.

There you have my friends. There are some of the best bodybuilding books. If you think I have missed some, feel free to share in comments!

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