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Recommended Reading

Aggressive Strength is not just about being strong physically. If you desire the acquisition of complete strength, then work on your mind and character as well and take advantage of the following websites and books:

Business, Being Successful, and Interactions with Others

The following is a list of books that will make a tremendous impact on your business life. In addition, these books will provide some insight into how you and others operate. The more you know about yourself and others the stronger you are.

Thick Face, Black Heart by Chin-Ning Chu
This is one of my favorite in your face motivational books. It dismisses the myths about the necessity of positive thinking to be successful. Yes, you can be a negative SOB and still lead a very successful life. If you are ever in a place where negotiation is a necessity, you will want to apply the tips from this book. Get it right now. If you do not like this book then you have super high estrogen levels and really need help. This is a testosterone book if there ever was one and any person that wants to take charge of his or her life will love the book.

What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justify The Meanness by Stanley Bing
Several years ago, a friend recommended that I check out a book entitled The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. While I thought that the book was excellent; I felt that the language was archaic and that the book was difficult to comprehend. Stanley Bing addressed this problem effectively with his outstanding book. Stanley’s book is both entertaining and educational and packed with information that every businessperson needs to know. While I do not necessarily recommend that you practice some of the teachings in Stanley’s book, Stanley does go over many things that you absolutely need to know. Knowing when and how people are trying to manipulate you is critical and this book will reveal a great deal about common methods that many people use.

The Art Of War by Sun Tzu
This book is a classic that every man and woman should have in his or her personal library. In fact, if you have not read this book, then get off the computer and go pick up a copy at your local bookstore. If you are too cheap for that, then at least go to your local library and get a copy now. Sun Tzu was a brilliant warrior and you do not have to be a soldier to benefit from his work. Anyone that is a management, a coach, or any other position in which you are in charge of others needs to read this book. This book will teach you how to rally the troops to get the job done. In addition, this book will teach you how to act in various situations to stack the deck in your favor. If that does not motivate you to read it, then you obviously do not care about being successful in any way.

Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Forget about Tony Robbins and all of the other modern-day motivational speakers and self-help gurus. This is the book that started it all and the only one you need to read on how to acquire wealth and achieve your goals. Napoleon engages with the reader effectively and this may very well be the one book that changes your life. I have read it dozens of times and still turn to it when I need extra motivation to carry forward. While the focus of the book is on the acquisition of wealth, you can use the principles that Napoleon reveals to be successful in any endeavor.

A Book Of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
While this is a book on effective sword fighting, the parallels to self-mastery in any field are amazing. As you learn about how to be an effective swordsman, you will earn how to master whatever your field it. While Sun Tzu’s “Art Of War’ focuses on how to lead a group, Musashi’s “Book Of Five Rings” focuses on how to lead yourself. Both are necessary as being in the world for most of us means that we will be interacting with others and need mastery of self to do so effectively.

Unleashing The Warrior Within by Richard Machowicz
I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Richard when I first got started in the training world. Richard is a serious stud and unlike other people that write books about goal setting and motivation, Richard actually practices what he preaches and reveals clearly how his philosophy kept him alive in dozens of near-death situations. Richard is a ten-year veteran of the elite Navy Seals and in addition to writing books and doing seminars, Richard provides security for many of Hollywood’s elite. He does not insult your intelligence with this book and demonstrates clearly what it takes to be among the elite.

Management Secrets of the Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko
Richard Marcinko is another veteran of the Navy Seals and knows a thing or two about how to motivate others and what it takes to be successful. What Stanley Bing did for Machiavelli’s work, Richard has done for Sun Tzu’s work. If you have trouble getting all of the content in “The Art Of War” then read Richard’s books to see the teachings in a modern context. Applying Richard’s teachings might not make you the most popular person, but it will certainly make you a leader and someone that stands for something, rather than being a politician.

Sex Money Kiss By Gene Simmons
I am not a fan of the band KISS. However, they are one of the most successful rock bands and their success goes way beyond making records. Now the band has the level of branding that they have. The tremendous success of the band has a great deal to do with Gene Simmons. This is a very interesting book about Gene’s philosophy on life and his ideas on how to make a ton of money. Gene is an engaging writer and conveys his points clearly and in an entertaining manner. He is a straight shooter that is not trying to be PC or win the popular vote. You may not agree with everything he believes, but this book will give you a lot to think about.

Pulling Your Own Strings By Dr. Wayne Dyer
That is right the bald guy that is on PBS all of the time talking to a room full of smiling ex-hippies. This is one of Dr. Dyer’s older books and is much more hardcore than his new age stuff. Dr. Dyer reveals all of the different ways in which people try to victimize others and the numerous ways in which people victimize themselves. One of the best lines from the book is “Risk-taking is at the heart of not being victimized by institutions and bureaucracies.” Every day you will come across people that play power games with you. These people can come in the form of co-workers, friends, family, bosses, etc. Learn how to be aware of people that are trying to pull your strings and what to do to avoid being a victim.

The True Believer: Thoughts on the nature of mass movements By Eric Hoffer
This is a fascinating analysis of the nature of mass movements and what kind of people are attracted to them. Hoffer covers the conditions that are common that cause people to be drawn to mass movements and the frightening things that people are capable of when they lose their individuality and become part of a group. Hoffer explains that being an individual can be too much of a responsibility for many people to handle and they want the illusory freedom that comes with relinquishing power to another person or group. One of the most interesting quotes from the book is, “They who clamor loudest for freedom are often the ones least likely to be happy in a free society.” Many people find more pleasure in being part of a group that is fighting for a cause than being an individual after the goal of the cause has acquired. If you have ever wanted to know why some people are strong individuals while others seek comfort in the confines of a movement, then this is a book that is for you.

IronMind: Stronger Minds, Stronger Bodies By Randall Strossen, PH.D
Being strong is far more than what you can do physically. If you are strong physically, but weak mentally then you are missing a crucial element of overall strength. The mind plays a great role in the acquisition of physical strength. You are only going to go so far if you are not mentally tough. This book is a compilation of Strossen’s excellent monthly columns in Ironman Magazine. If you are interested in enhancing the mental side of strength training, then this is the book for you. After you read the book, you will understand why social pressure can be a growth inhibitor, how inner qualities transfer to outer results, how to develop concentration, and how to forge through frustration.

Strength Training And Conditioning

Of course, my reading list would not be complete without my favorite books on building strength and conditioning.

The Best Natural Sports Medicine Book Ever by Dr William Wong, N.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Wong is by far the most knowledgeable person that I have come across on alternative medicine and sports supplementation. Everything that he recommends works and I often consult with him and send my online clients to him. His systemic enzyme product rocks. Just the other day I had some knee pain and took ten capsules of his Vitalzym supplement. The pain was gone in a few hours. This book is outstanding and covers a variety of topics such as tools for recovering and rebuilding, what supplements to take for various injuries, and how to train to prevent injuries. Dr. Wong goes over several exercises that you should avoid like the plague and explains why the bench press is a bad idea for trainees over the age of 30. My favorite section is chapter 5 which covers how Russian athletes train and the variety of different skill sets that they work on for optimal performance. Get this book now if you want to avoid going under the knife and want to know what to do to recover from injuries.

The Complete Keys To Progress by John McCallum
McCallum’s excellent column “Keys To Progress” appeared in Strength & Health Magazine from 1965 to 1972 and shaped an entire generation of trainees. This book is a compilation of all of John’s columns put together by Randall Strossen of Ironmind Enterprises. It is simply a must-have for any serious trainee. This book is a wealth of information that you will be referring to constantly. In addition to being informative, McCallum is an engaging writer and has a great sense of humor. This is not a dry textbook that will put you to sleep in ten minutes flat. Want to lose fat? Check out the section on P.H.A training. Want to pack on some size? Check out the section on bulking up. This book covers proper training and nutrition in great detail and is one of the most comprehensive books on training.

Rock Iron Steel: The Book of Strength by Steve Justa
Justa is one strong hombre and this books shows you how he got there. It is a fun read with a variety of training programs that will make you much stronger. In addition, Justa covers how to train for strength endurance and why you must have it to truly be strong. I love the chapter on using singles for building strength and the program that Justa reveals is a real winner. Other topics such as barrel lifting, partial lifting, and the back lift are covered in detail. If you want to get really strong, then get this book today. You will not regret it.

Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets Of Strength And Development by Brooks Kubik
Disgusted with the demise of effective strength training and the rise of soft living and training, Brooks rocked the fitness world with this masterpiece. If I could only have one book on strength training, this would be the one that I would pick. Brooks covers everything from the mindset that you need to be strong, to what exercises to focus on to get there. Brooks also gives several examples of effective programs to get started. This book has without a doubt influenced me more than any other training book out there.

Brawn by Stuart McRobert
This is a great book that has a similar feel to Brooks’ book. The major difference is that Stuart is focused on building a bigger body rather than getting super strong. Nothing wrong with that and if that is your goal, then get this book. If I could only have one book on bodybuilding, this would be it.

Serious Growth Training Manual by Leo Costa
Leo’s manual had a tremendous impact on my training when I first got started. Although I think that the frequency is probably too much for most people, I am sure that others will have great success on Leo’s program. I like his ideas on micro-periodization. I think that many athletes make the mistake of staying on a program too long and Leo shows you how to change your program frequently for continual progress.

The Poliquin Principles by Charles Poliquin
Charles Poliquin is one smart guy and I like the fact he is strong as hell rather than just some academic armchair expert. At times Charles can be too technical. However, it is worth the time to understand his training programs as he can back up what he states with major results.

Spirituality and Inner Development

In today’s world, it is far too easy to become super materialistic and forget about what is really important in life. I have seen many people grow old and while on their death beds, they often have regrets about not creating enough meaning in their lives. Believe me, you will not wish that you spent more time at the office when your time comes or that you made more money. Life requires balance, and to help you keep yourself and your character intact, you need a strong spiritual foundation. Now, I am not here to convert anyone to any religion, and picking a religion does not necessarily mean that you will build a spiritual foundation. That is a path that you have to go alone and discover for yourself. Here are a few books that have helped me with inner development.

Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh is a wonderful human being and his books are magical. Thich breaks down the fundamentals of Buddhism into a context that is easy to comprehend and practice. Regardless of what your religious beliefs are, you will find the teachings in this book universal, useful, and insightful.

Way Of The Peaceful Warrior By Dan Millman
This is a book that I return to often whenever I want some motivation and clarity in life. It is part fiction and part non-fiction, but all thought-provoking and well written. I really like books that use stories to convey spiritual ideas about how to live a deeper life. Through reading about Dan’s journey from his mentor “Socrates”, you will ponder a great deal on your own life and think about what you can improve on to achieve a higher level of well-being.

The Sufi Path To Mindfulness by Kabir Helminski
The Sufi philosophy contains a wealth of spiritual information. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to understand many of the concepts. Fortunately, Kabir breaks down the Sufi philosophy into a modern context the masses will have no trouble comprehending. This is a great book that I refer to frequently.

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
This book is a movie waiting to happen and I am sure that it will one day. James does an amazing job of revealing universal spiritual teachings in an entertaining format. The story is interesting by itself and I think that it is incredible how James skillfully adds in spiritual teachings as you follow the story. I like how he goes over the energy battles that people often have with each other and how destructive they are. Another great book for learning about yourself and others.

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
There was once a time when man lived with the earth and only took what was necessary. Unfortunately, today people tend to waste the world’s resources, and the devastating effects on the world and all of the world’s beings are only too apparent. Ishmael is a great work of fiction in which a Gorilla tells an unlikely hero about what course needs to be taken to save the world. This is a very entertaining and creative book with a timely message.

Health and Nutrition

Eat Plants Lift Iron By Stic of Dead Prez, Afya Ibomu, and Scott Shetler NSCA CPT 

Great book on how to put together a whole food plant-based diet to thrive like never before. The book is loaded with great recipes and is perfect for anyone who wants to transition to a vegan diet or is already on one and wants to take it to the next level. 

The Anti-estrogenic Diet By Ori Hofmekler
The author of the “Warrior Diet” has outdone himself and has put out my favorite nutrition book on building muscle, burning fat, and clearing excess estrogens. If you have high estrogen levels forget about getting lean and ripped. Forget about feeling strong and powerful as a man should. Forget about looking like a man and have fun with your “bitch tits” and estrogen bloated gut. Be a man and take charge of your life. We live in an estrogenic world both literally and metaphorically and we all need to fight back. This books covers how to modify your diet to become an estrogen obliterator! He addresses all of the flaws of the Warrior Diet and provides tips for just about anyone on how to modify the undereating/overeating concept to be at your best. There is something for every man and woman in this book. Get it today or have fun with all of the estrogens in your life.

The Miracle Of Fasting by Paul Bragg
Paul was an amazing human being that practiced what he preached. His beliefs on health and nutrition worked so well that Paul was still extremely active until the day he died. He died at age 91 while surfing! When is the last time that you saw a 91-year-old man that was that active? While I do not agree with everything in his book, I like his writing style and think that it is a goldmine of information on nutrition and health.


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