Recommended Reading

 

I believe that one of the simplest ways to understand a professional is to get a glimpse of his bookshelf.  The books you would find on my bookshelf are:

 

Psychology

influence Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Influence is one of the most powerful psychology books ever written.  The principles outlined in this book explain why people behave the way they do and I don’t think there is anybody who wouldn’t benefit from reading this book.

 

 

 

 

switchSwitch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath

Switch is an incredible resource for detailing the intricate aspects of behavior change.  For anybody who wants to change their life or the life of their clients, this book can teach you what you need to know in order to be successful.

 

 

 

 

InfluencerInfluencer:  The New Science of Leading Change by Kerry Patterson et al

Influencer is another phenomenal book on behavior change and can be extremely powerful when used in conjunction with Switch.

 

 

 

 

habitThe Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit provides extremely fascinating insight regarding the extent to which our lives are influenced by habit and how we can take advantage of this in order to improve our well-being.

 

 

 

 

willpowerWillpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister and The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal

Willpower and The Willpower Instinct are the best resources available for understanding the science of self-control and complement each other very well.

 

driveDrive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

Drive is an absolutely fascinating read regarding the basis of motivation. This book will challenge everything you believe about the topic and should be required reading for all managers, teachers, and coaches.

 

 

 

 

Communications

friendsHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People is a classic for a reason.  The principles espoused by Carnegie are truly essential for anybody who wishes to communicate well.

 

 

 

 

past-noGetting Past No:  Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation by William Ury

Getting Past No is the best resource available for understanding how to resolve disagreements.

 

 

 

 

 

accountabilityCrucial Accountability by Kerry Patterson et al

Crucial Accountability provides an excellent approach for effectively holding people accountable without creating resent or backlash.  This should be required reading for all coaches.

 

 

 

 

 

pitch-anything Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

Pitch Anything is a phenomenal resource for keeping people captivated and interested in what you have to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Change

nudge

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

Nudge is an amazing resource that introduces the concept of “choice architecture” for social change. This philosophy may likely be the future of government and public policy and can be applied by individuals to reach their own health or personal goals.

 

 

 

 

redirectRedirect:  The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change by Timothy Wilson

Redirect is another phenomenal resource that empirically assesses the process of behavior change.  This book analyzes a variety of public health interventions and explains the psychological principles behind why some worked while many have failed.

 

 

 

 

Critical Thinking

mistakesMistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

Mistakes Were Made provides amazing insight into how truly difficult it is to admit when we are wrong and explains why people can continue to fervently believe in ideas that have been irrefutably been proven to be false. This book explains so much about the way the world works and I would highly recommend it to everybody.

 

 

how-we-know-what-isnt-soHow We Know What Isn’t So by Thomas Gilovich

How We Know What Isn’t So is a great introduction to many of the most prevalent logical fallacies that can impede critical thinking.

 

 

 

 

 

trick-or-treatmentTrick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine by Edzard Ernst

Trick or Treatment provides excellent insight into the reasons why many snake oil remedies may appear to work and why clinical trials are so important. This should be a must-read for all health professionals.

 

 

 

 

Exercise

 essentialsEssentials of Strength Training and Conditioning by Thomas Baechle and Roger Earle

Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning acts as a great foundation for understanding basic physiology and exercise programming.  This is the required textbook for the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam and thoroughly covers everything you would learn from a four-year degree program in exercise science.

 

 

 

rippetoeStarting Strength:  Basic Barbell Training + Practical Programming for Strength Training by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore

These two books are the most comprehensive books ever written on the topic of exercise technique and programming.  These should be considered absolutely mandatory reading for all fitness professionals.

 

movementMovement:  Functional Movement Systems by Gray Cook

Movement is an extremely insightful and eye-opening summation of the importance of proper movement and why it is essential to have a benchmark for movement quality.  This book is also the manual for performing the Functional Movement Screen.

 

 

 

 

priMyokinematic Restoration, Postural Respiration, and Pelvis Restoration by the Postural Restoration Institute

The Postural Restoration Institute courses have been a real game-changer for me and have been integral in allowing me to help my clients move better.

 

 

sahrmannDiagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes by Shirley Sahrmann

Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes is an extremely comprehensive resource for assessing and treating movement impairments.  This is not a book that can easily be read from cover to cover and works more effectively as a reference material.

 

 

 

 

Nutrition

mindless-eatingMindless Eating by Brian Wansink

Mindless Eating is an absolutely fascinating account of the number one cause of overreating:  “mindless eating”.  This is an absolute must-read for anybody interested in weight loss.

 

 

 

 

 

cholesterolThe Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo

The Great Cholesterol Con is the most evidence-based analysis of the “Lipid Hypothesis” that I have ever seen.  After assessing the research cited by Colpo, it is difficult to make a case for reducing cholesterol or saturated fat intake.

 

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

OutliersOutliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers is an absolutely incredible account of what it takes to be successful at anything in life.  This is one of the few books that has truly changed the way I see the world.

 

 

 

 

 

sports-geneThe Sports Gene:  Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein

The Sports Gene is an absolutely phenomenal overview of the genetic component of success and highlights the intricate synergy between nature and nurture.  I highly recommend reading this in conjunction with Outliers since they offer different perspectives on the same topic.

 

 

 

zebrasWhy Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers is an incredibly comprehensive overview of the effects of stress on the human body.  I can honestly say I learned more from this book than any physiology course I took in college and I believe it should be required reading for all health professionals.

 

 

 

 

pain

Explain Pain + Painful Yarns by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley

Explain Pain and Painful Yarns are excellent introductions to the biopsychosocial model of pain.  These books will completely revolutionize the way you understand pain.

 

 

placeboThe Placebo Response:  How You Can Release The Body’s Inner Pharmacy for Better Health by Howard Brody

The Placebo Response is an incredible resource describing much of the research surrounding the placebo effect.  I think this is a very important topic for health professionals to understand because not only does it explain the mechanism behind dubious dietary supplements and alternative medicine practices, but more importantly it teaches how evidence-based practitioners can utilize the placebo effect to provide patients with superior results.

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