Top 5 Strength and Conditioning Books

Jul 22, 2022

Photo Credit: Lubos Houska

By: Danielle Abel 

As a coach or a trainer, you might be wondering what some of our favorite books are for strength and conditioning in general. So, we put together a list of some of our favorites for you.  

1. Coach Wooden's Leadership Game Plan for Success


This book was a requirement for the Coaching program at Ohio State University. Coach Wooden reviews his pyramid of success in the book. If you don't know John Wooden, he is a 10 time college basketball coach who coached for UCLA, and he's regarded as one of the best basketball coaches in history. 

  • Leadership style
  • Coaching style
  • Techniques to engage athletes
  • Building relationships

The principles in this book are easy to understand and are great for both beginner and seasoned strength coaches who want to get the intangibles of coaching correct. 

2. Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy


This book by Dr. Brad Shoenfeld covers all of the science behind muscle hypertrophy and classifies the concepts into key components. 

  • Muscle physiology
  • Anabolic pathways
  • Muscle growth signaling
  • Training volume

The book goes through hypertrophy research and compares studies to one another, and also provides really useful practical applications like volume and recovery recommendations to use for yourself or your athletes. 

3. Periodization for Sports 


This is a classic book, but it's really practical and can be helpful for strength coaches working with different types of athletes. It goes over different types of training for athletes and how to progress and periodize a variety of different training modalities for different athletes. It is also a very helpful reference to have on hand. 

4. The Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning


The hard cover is a really useful reference guide for strength coaches because it gives you an overview of the foundations and principles of strength and conditioning. It's a nice book to refer back to if you choose to read other books that teach different systems or methods of periodization. 

  • Physiology & Systems
  • Training Principles

5. Conscious Coaching


This book presents archetypes of different athletes and includes different types of athlete characteristics, and gives you ideas on ways of connecting with them. It's a very practical book that's easy to apply in real life, unlike some sports psychology books that are difficult to put into practice. 

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