Joseph Addison is famously quoted for saying, “Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.” Since your brain is considered a muscle, think about reading like another type of workout you can engage in.
One of the best ways you can continually improve your training skills and strengthen a fitness business is through reading. This allows you to learn new tools and techniques that can boost your expertise.
From understanding muscle mobility to uncovering marketing tactics, we’ve gathered our top list of books for personal trainers to read in 2024. (And if you’re not a trainer but looking for a good gift for one, this is the list for you!)
Best Books On Personal Training
Ignite the Fire: The Secrets to Building a Successful Personal Training Career
Often hailed as being the best book for personal trainers, Jonathan Goodman shares his years of insights and experience as a trainer.
Personal Fitness Training: Beyond The Basics
Trainers new and tenured will be able to learn from Joe Cannon. He gives you practical steps for how to best work with your clients and grow your own business.
Start Your Own Personal Training Business
Get down to the basics of starting your own personal training business and how to find success in each step of the process.
How to be an Awesome Personal Trainer
This is one of the best personal trainer books for creating a long, enjoyable fitness career. Ben Coomber helps you learn everything from pricing to productivity to keeping clients happy.
Go beyond learning how to move people physically, learn how to move them mentally and emotionally as a personal trainer.
Day by Day: The Personal Trainer’s Blueprint to Achieving Ultimate Success
Kevin Mullins teaches you how to build and optimize your personal training business while busting myths and offering his best leadership advice.
Best Books On Movement & Pain Management
Becoming a Supple Leopard
“The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance”
Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy
Brad Schoenfeld shares practical knowledge on the mechanisms of muscles and how to ensure your training tactics are giving your clients the best results.
How many times have you heard a client say they are suffering from back pain? Stuart McGill offers a progressive plan on how to treat and prevent back injuries with clients.
The Body: A Guide for Occupants
Bill Bryson shares a myriad of fun facts on how the body works and we can have a better appreciation for the mysteries and miracles of the human body.
Best Books On Strength Training
Strength Training Anatomy
This illustrated text gives you an in-depth look at how muscles function during workouts (while being packed with some of the best strength training advice).
“Ian King’s Guide to Getting Bigger, Stronger and Leaner”
Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning
The NSCA’s comprehensive guide goes back to the basics to help you learn how to make the most effective strength training plans for your clients.
Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training
Mark Rippetoe provides detailed instructions on how to approach strength training in a simple and logical way (for both you and your clients).
Best Books On Diet & Nutrition
Good Calories, Bad Calories
“Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health”
The Protein Power Lifeplan
Talk about a power couple! Michael and Mary Reades give their best tips, advice, and recipes for treating common health problems, like diabetes or heart disease, your clients may face.
Wired to Eat
Robb Wolf takes a new scientific approach to dieting as he shows how to cater a diet to an individual person’s body and metabolism.
By studying different diets from around the globe, Catherine Shanahan teaches you how to use traditional foods and meals to combat today’s decline in rich nutritional diets.
The Hungry Brain
“Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat”
Best Books On Marketing & Advertising
This new way of embracing advertising can make you more approachable, inviting, and appealing to potential customers.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On
Jonah Berger is uncovering the reason why things go viral, why some ads fail, and how you can capitalize on the most powerful form of marketing: word of mouth.
The Ultimate Sales Machine
“Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies”
The Tipping Point
You’re a trainer, not a marketer — but it’s key to know how to market yourself. In this book, Malcolm Gladwell shows you how little things you do can make a big difference.
Best Books On Small Business Management
Business and Sales: The Guide to Success as a Personal Trainer
Eddie Lester is known for helping trainers go solo and grow their own businesses. Now he’s sharing his best tips for finding and securing the long-term clients you desire.
The 4-Hour Workweek
A classic entrepreneur read, and New York Times Bestseller, this book helps you learn how to maximize your time and take your schedule into your own hands.
The Lean Startup
“How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses”
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
Starting a small business is hard work, so it helps to know what you can do from the start to avoid pitfalls and set yourself up for success.
John Berardi helps you navigate the highly competitive landscape of health and fitness businesses so you can find the path to a successful training career.
Best Books On Personal Growth & Development
Chances are, you may have heard of this book before. But we wouldn’t be recommending it if we didn’t think it was stellar! This book is fantastic for learning more about starting and breaking habits.
Start with Why
Learn how to start with the “why” to become a great leader, business owner, and individual.
Ego is the Enemy
Ryan Holiday teaches a valuable life lesson through stories and history that will inspire you to reach new levels of success and change the world around you.