I’ll be honest with you… I never really liked to read… In fact, I hated reading.
Staring at a wall or counting the hairs on my arms seemed more compelling.
I used to watch the movie versions of the required reading in high school, hoping that the story was the same.
Only to be red-faced in English class, by the teacher saying “Have you even read the book ADAM?!”
Now the tables have turned, and I read for both pleasure and purpose. I was lucky enough to have a good friend and mentor early in my career, suggest that I should give reading another chance.
I remember him saying once you finish and enjoy that first book, it will lead you to the next. He was right.
To paraphrase one of my favourite writers (James Altucher), I’m not listing these books to make myself look smarter, rather these are the books that helped me to become smarter.
Start with WHY—By Simon Sinek
This is no detailed “how to guide” for improving your health. Rather it’s a book on real world examples of great leaders on how they communicate and how you can adopt their mindset to inspire yourself/others.
Business, leadership and communication are the main subjects. However, there can be strong relatability to concepts around your health and fitness aspirations.
This book helped me to understand my mindset around health, training and self-improvement.
Now when setting targets for myself and clients the shift is made to emotions rather than the methods. Emotions always outweigh reasons. When we make choices based on a strong emotional connection, we own it.
Understanding this concept has helped me to drink the green drinks, push the last sets and follow through when it counts.
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”—Simon Sinek
Wooden On Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization—By John Wooden
Like the title suggest this book is on leadership and how John Wooden (arguably the greatest coach of all time) used his concepts, methods and beliefs to create success.
This book details the mental, emotional and physical qualities essential to build a winning organisation and shows how to develop skill, confidence and “to be at your best when your best is needed.”
My personal takeaways and relating it to health and fitness were focusing on the basics before anything else.
All too often we get complicated without true mastery of the fundamentals. Be detailed and meticulous in recoding the metrics you’re trying to improve. This has not only helped me with my health but also how I coach my clients.
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little Things make the big things happen.” -John Wooden
The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t born It’s grown—By Daniel Coyle
This book dispels the myth of talent and breaks it down from a neurological standpoint. It has great examples of how individuals and demographics became world class.
Daniel speaks about how myelin is hardwire for skills in your body and how deep practice increases myelin around your neural pathways.
My key lessons from this book was how we can improve skills and movements via deep practice, by breaking it down into its smallest units. I have applied these key principles to improve my exercise technique but also for learning a new skill.
This book gave me a level of self-belief that if I applied myself with these steps, then I could change outcomes for things I thought were reserved for people with good genetics.
“Although talent feels and looks presented, in fact we have a good deal of control over what skills we develop, and we have more potential than we might ever presume to guess.” – Daniel Coyle
The War of Art – By Steven Pressfeild
This is nothing but tough love. The main message is being a professional. Don’t wait for motivation, the perfect day/moment or other people’s approval. Sit down and do the work.
The stories and anecdotes from the author are priceless.
My key takeaways for exercise and health are do the things perceived to have the greatest challenge. We all love doing the things we’re good at, but working on the weakest muscle or link will yield the greatest results.
“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”—Steven Pressfeild
As this email was getting a bit long, I thought I’d stop it here… But if you’re interested in hearing about two more books, submit email below and you will have access to them.
Keep sending your questions through, I’ll be putting together another Q&A video later this week.
P.s. I have recorded my first podcast interview that will be released soon. Stay tuned for release date.
P.p.s. See my latest YouTube clip below