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:
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.
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.
Influencer is another phenomenal book on behavior change and can be extremely powerful when used in conjunction with Switch.
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.
Willpower and The Willpower Instinct are the best resources available for understanding the science of self-control and complement each other very well.
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.
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.
Getting Past No is the best resource available for understanding how to resolve disagreements.
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 is a phenomenal resource for keeping people captivated and interested in what you have to offer.
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.
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.
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 Isn’t So is a great introduction to many of the most prevalent logical fallacies that can impede critical thinking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.