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The Best Personal Training Books

author image Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.
The Best Personal Training Books
Some fitness books are invaluable for personal trainers. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The training manual for your personal training certification exam may be the first personal training book you read from cover to cover, but education does not end with certification. An extensive personal training library is one of a trainer's most important tools. While many fitness books are available, some frequently appear on fitness organization and personal trainer "best of" lists.

Anatomy and Human Movement

Of the thousands of anatomy and human movement books on the market, few address the specific concerns of fitness instructors. Perhaps that's why the "Fitness Professionals' Guide to Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Human Movement" by Lawrence A. Golding and Scott Golding sits at the top of the book list on the International Dance Exercise Association website. The authors provide in-depth descriptions of the muscle actions involved in more than 300 exercises, and the accompanying CD-ROM lets you see the exercises in action.

Most Comprehensive Book

Douglas Brooks is a familiar face at most fitness conferences. Boasting a master's degree in exercise physiology, elite certification from most major certifying organizations and more than 20 years of industry experience, this sought-after fitness presenter wrote one of the most comprehensive personal training books for today's market. The 608-page book covers breaking into the industry, testing and assessment procedures, time management, marketing and business management, and trainer development. Brooks includes sections on special populations, such as people with asthma, diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis.

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Athletic Programming

Physical therapist Gray Cook's "Athletic Body in Balance" is a must read for anyone working with the recreational or professional athlete population. Cook introduces the functional movement screen, designed to identify muscular imbalances and faulty movement patterns. He then presents a game plan for balancing muscle groups and improving movement quality. Cook, a frequent fitness conference presenter, works with NFL, NBA, NHL and WNBA athletes. Physical therapist and athletic trainer Mike Reinold lists it as one of the best strength and conditioning books. "The Athletic Body in Balance" has even earned respect from the bodybuilding population. Former Mr. Universe Dave Drape and his wife, Laree, reviewed it on their On Target Fitness Product review website, and stated that Cook's methods may keep younger bodybuilders pain free, a luxury not afforded to older competitors.

The Funniest Book

Every personal trainer has his mishaps. The ability to laugh at and learn from them is the key to success. Thomas Plummer's "Naked Woman at My Door and Why That’s a Bad Thing" is written for the small-business owner, and is a must read for anyone who wants to open a small personal training studio or open a personal training business. Plummer does not coddle his readers, Instead, he offers tough love, berating them for having an affair with the receptionist, gaining weight when they are supposed to be role models and sticking to outdated training concepts.

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