What is the best fitness book?
The best fitness book is one that you make yourself. Above you can see a photo of one of my own fitness books. It is just a really cheap notepad with scribbled notes and some stick men to jog my memory about what certain moves look like. In this post from last year I talked about learning a new exercise routine being a skill and this is just an extension of that. When you learn anything new you don’t revise from the textbooks, you revise from your own notes. You can scribble, you can cross out, you can put asterisk’s next to your favourite exercises, you can jot down your repetitions. It’s OWNERSHIP.
Picking the best fitness book
Most fitness books have an agenda. The biggest one of course is that they want you to buy the book – which is fine. What bothers me most about them however is the page space they then take up telling you why theirs is the best fitness book you ever will see (until they release an ‘update’ of course). The quality of a fitness book is something only YOU can decide AFTER you have done whatever the book is recommending. I have books that are several hundred pages long that have maybe TEN pages of exercises. If I don’t think a fitness routine is very good, or isn’t working for me, that isn’t MY fault. I haven’t FAILED.
I am not of course talking about the motivational side of fitness books, which is a subject in itself really, because I do think that some kind of ‘spur’ is important. By the time that fitness book is in your hands however you are as ready as you are going to get. What you don’t need is to read another 100 pages about how your current life is terrible and you’re lucky not to be dead already.
Fitness videos as a tool to make your own fitness book
The notes in the photo came from a fitness video. I sat and watched the video in comfort, I didn’t try and follow the moves. This particular one was already broken down into 5 minute segments, but if it hadn’t been I would have done this myself. I watched that 5 minute video a good 2 or 3 times THEN tried it myself with it playing in the background. I STILL didn’t give it 100% or do all the reps in the video, I just wanted to see what they felt like. Only then did I make notes. Only after ALL of that did I try the thing properly – with my notebook open and the video playing. As I went along I might pause the video and scribble an extra note or two, but generally this is how I went through the entire video. Now, no matter where I am, that routine is written in my OWN words in a language that I understand. It is MINE.
Start your own fitness journal
A bit like a wedding scrapbook, a fitness journal can be just a collection of things you read and see. The only thing I will say is, try and get a spiral bound notebook like the one I have above. Can you guess why? Yep – it’s so it can lie flat when you are trying to exercise!