Book it – fitness reading to put on Christmas list

This Christmas, give the fitness enthusiast in your life the gift of knowledge.
A fitness book is a great way to show you care about their quest to improve themselves and help them do it at the same time. Or treat yourself to a workout book.
There are thousands and thousands of books out there that will tell you all about the body and exercising. Here are 10 of my favorites:

“ACSM Fitness Book”The American College of Sports Medicine gives easy-to-understand instructions on setting up a program and customizing it to fit your goals and schedule. Photos show proper form for strength training and flexibility exercises and you’ll even learn how to assess your fitness level and track progress. Includes a blank workout log to record your workouts.

“Strength Training Anatomy” by Frederic Delavier
One of the best-selling strength training books ever published, this tells you about as much as possible in one shot about the human form in action. There are more than 400 full-color illustrations and articles breaking down the body’s muscles in each region and best exercises to work them out. If you have a question or problem with a certain area, look it up and go right to the pages that break it down.

“Getting Stronger” by Bill Pearl and Gary T. Moran
An outstanding book for explaining the basics of weight training for novices, as well as for bodybuilders and athletes. It also includes sport-specific training for 21 different sports. You’ll find detailed instructions and pictures (over 100 fitness programs) as well as information about equipment, working out with injuries and special attention is given to women who are pregnant.

“Developing Resistance Training Programs” by Steven Fleck and William

This is an outstanding book to show you different resistance training philosophies and workouts.

“The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding” by Arnold Schwarzenegger
The greatest bodybuilder of all time is also a complete student of the body. Schwarzenegger offers tremendous insight.

“Body-for-LIFE” by Bill Phillips
This 12-week program by Bill Phillips has been a best-seller for years, largely because of simplicity. The workout includes traditional exercises, like squats and bench, but uses a high intensity method of training that centers around working to failure. The cardio is also highly intense – 20 minutes for three times a week at a very high rate. The nutritional advice is not as current as some other sources, but the workout provides and excellent challenge.

“Joe Weider’s Ultimate Bodybuilding” by Joe Weider
A true original and pioneer in the fitness world, Weider’s book offers an extremely well-rounded guide to what it takes to successfully build your body.

“Strength Training for Young Athletes” by William Kraemer and Steven

One of the best books out there to learn the special needs and programs of youngsters just starting out down the fitness road.

“Jumping into Plyometrics” by Donald Chu
Learn all about one of the best ways to cross train – plyometrics. These jumping and agility drills combined with regular weightlifting are a key to building explosive athletes.

“Body Rx” by Scott Connelly
Last, but certainly not least, it doesn’t make much sense to put lots of effort into training and then not eat right. This book offers a weight loss program, workout routines and nutritional plans that have you eating six times a day.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at