Brain food: motivational books about calisthenics and bodybuilding

Training is necessary not only for your muscles but also for your brain. Therefore, motivational books about calisthenics and bodybuilding can push up your progress.

I’ve read quite a lot of literature for athletes. I won’t say that all the books were interesting and useful. But I want to tell you about a few of them that really influenced my attitude toward training and helped me gain valuable (and even priceless) knowledge.

Best motivational books about calisthenics and bodybuilding (in my view)

1. «Brawn» by Stuart McRobert (alternate name – «Think! Bodybuilding Without Steroids»)

«Brawn» Stuart McRobert

In my opinion, this is a table-top book for every athlete who espouses natural bodybuilding. The main value of this book is not in the training methods or in the exercises that the author describes. Its core value is that it destroys many myths that are popular among gym-goers. For example, that you have to work out almost every day, that amateur athletes should copy the workout routines of professional bodybuilders, or that without isolation drilling you won’t build a beautiful athletic body. I highly recommend reading this book by Stuart Macrobert for those who are just starting their journey in bodybuilding.

2. «Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography» by Leigh Wendy

Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography

A man like Arnold Schwarzenegger needs no introduction. This is an icon of the Golden Era of Bodybuilding. Many athletes still look up to Arnold and dream of touching the same heights as him. Along with this, Schwarzenegger is a very ambiguous person. And those people who know him personally do not always speak of him in very flattering terms. Nevertheless, Schwarzenegger’s urgency, willpower, and inexhaustible energy are worthy of great respect. Leigh Wendy described in his book many interesting facts from Arnold’s life that will help you get to know this great athlete better. «Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography» is truly one of the few motivational books that is worth reading. 

3. «Street Workout, A Worldwide Anthology of Urban Calisthenics» by Al Kavadlo and Danny Kavadlo

Al Kavadlo and Danny Kavadlo

At first sight, the Kavadlo brothers look like two athletic guys who shoot the moon in calisthenics, they have excellent physical shape and they do not lift tons of iron. In fact, Al and Danny Kavadlo made a substantial contribution to the development of street workout. They proved that you don’t need a gym or special equipment for training. An iron pipe, a bench, or even the boughs of a tree can become your exercise machine. Their book «Street Workout, A Worldwide Anthology of Urban Calisthenics» describes the philosophy of calisthenics, provides the basics of bodyweight training, and takes apart the mechanics of the most important exercises. Honestly, Kavadlo brothers’ book helped me make the final choice between calisthenics and bodybuilding. Be sure to read it!

4. «AthleanX’s Train Like an Athlete» by Jeff Cavaliere

AthleanX Jeff Cavaliere motivational books

This book has a special place in my library. Its author, Jeff Cavaliere, is not only an experienced trainer but also a physical therapist. His training methods are focused on the all-round development of the athlete and wellness management down to old age. And this is the main “trick” of Cavaliere. He promotes not just bodybuilding and calisthenics, but athleticism coupled with healthy living. By the way, Jeff Cavaliere says that he “puts the science into strength training.” And he tells the truth. I’d been working out using his training methods for a while. I can say that they differ from those training programs that have flooded the Internet. So if you want to build a strong, athletic, and healthy body, «AthleanX’s Train Like an Athlete» should definitely be on your list of motivational books!

Why should you read motivational books like these?

Nobody’s gonna deny, that the most important things for any athlete are workouts, nutrition, regimen, etc.

But it’s useful to train both the body and the brain.

The bodybuilding and calisthenics knowledge you’ll gain from experienced athletes will help make your workouts more effective, avoid injury, and whip up your progress.