Physical Conditioning and Training – Recommended Reading

Physical Conditioning and Training

by Cameron Martz

Recommended Reading

Strength Training:

The Complete Book of Abs (Villard Books, 1993)

The Complete Book of Butt and Legs (Villard Books, 1995)

The Complete Book of Shoulders and Arms (HarperPerennial, 1997)

The Complete Book series is written by three brothers- Kurt, Mike, and Brett Brungardt. They supplement their own knowledge and experience with the expertise of other renowned coaches and trainers from across the nation. If you are to buy only three books on exercise, these are the ones to get.

These books provide anyone with more exercises and variations than you’ll ever need. Though some of the form shown in the pictures could be improved, the basic explanations of the exercises are enough to help you expand your current palette. Example workout schedules are included, as well as a useful guide for developing your own routines. These books also illustrate and describe the relevant human anatomy.

Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, National Strength and Conditioning Association, edited by Thomas R. Baechle (Human Kinetics, 1994)

A 2nd edition is set for a late summer release, though this edition is still one of the best references for the technically oriented athlete. Basically a graduate-level textbook better used for its explanations of how the body adapts to strength training, rather than as a how-to guide.

Cardiovascular Training:


The New York Road Runners Club Complete Book of Running and Fitness, by Fred Lebow and Gloria Averbuch (Random House, 1999)

Though many good references for runners exist, this is the one they try to copy. Currently on its 3rd edition in 6 years, meaning that they work to keep the info up to date.


The Cyclist’s Training Bible, by Joe Friel (Velo Press, 1996)

Friel’s nutrition advice is not supported by research, but his approach to training is the best that we currently know. Friel also wrote an equally informative text on triathlon training (The Triathlete’s Training Bible), though the fundamentals are exactly the same in both books.


Not a book, but the best source of swim coaching in the United States. US Masters Swimming has a chapter in every major city and even in some very small ones. You can’t beat a coach and a training group for getting the most out of your body.

Human Anatomy:

The Atlas of the Human Anatomy, 2nd Ed., by Frank H. Netter, MD (Novartis, 1997)

“Netter” is the bible of the medical student and is the reference to get for the athlete interested in seeing “inside” his or her body. His artwork graphically illustrates and labels the entire human anatomy better than any other single reference. This book is not for the squeamish.