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Most writers like to read, and i am the same. I just read a lot of different genres, however i can’t ever switch off that “lifter” switch, so I’m always trying to apply what I read to my training. Usually, that does not exercise so hot C Ready Player One is an excellent book, but I can’t say reading it helped me hit any PRs.

Sometimes, though, I do have some insights from non-lifting related books which will make a big difference. Listed here are three of my recent favorites.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Method of Living a great Life, by Mark Manson

The title provides it with away a bit here, but Manson’s not saying you should just stop caring. He’s saying you should be very deliberate in what you choose to care about. In fact, I really love the exact way he phrases this: “How would you choose to suffer?” Sounds a little strange, but, Manson argues, life is going to involve suffering C sorry, there is however no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and no happily-ever-after. That’s okay, though, because studies have shown that happiness is really closely associated with suffering C as long as that suffering is within quest for something you worry about.

Buy this book HERE.

How Does It Apply to Lifting?

Well, for just one, it’s extremely helpful if you are having trouble trying to pick a goal. For example, lots of people choose to do meets or shows because they’re supposed to be fun, or supposed to cause you to a much better athlete, or due to pressure from peers C after which quickly realize that the training alone isn’t everything fun or different. They’re going in focused on the end result and find they don’t benefit from the process.

If you go along with the idea that the whole point is to go through the suffering of preparation, it makes it very easy to find out ahead of time be it really worthwhile to you or otherwise. Exactly the same does apply to goals like squatting a particular weight or losing some fat, also it can be useful if you’re dealing with an injury or illness, too.

Mindset: The brand new Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck

So many strength athletes and bodybuilders are virtually obsessive about their genetic potential. Some of them goes to ridiculously extreme lengths to justify why they haven’t progressed past the level of a barely-competent beginner. Be it the fact they’re ecto- or endomorphic instead of mesomorphic, their leverages, or even their height, it doesn’t matter. Ultimately, it’s not their fault – it’s their parents’.

Buy this book HERE.

In case you haven’t noticed, I do not think much of those who get stuck on genetics, or on any other excuse why they can’t succeed. It’s a defeatist attitude, and it’s straight-up stupid. In Mindset, Psychologist Carol Dweck goes a step further. She argues that putting any value on your genetic potential might have negative consequences. That holds true no matter your actual genetic potential!

How Does It Affect Lifting?

Let’s say you have great genetics, and you are constantly congratulating your self on your advantageous leverages and full muscle bellies. Well, as it turns out, it’s very easy to obtain caught up in the idea that, because you will have great genetics, it’s not necessary to strive. And genetics or otherwise, effort is always necessary to success, so getting stuck in that mindset is a surefire method to derail progress and waste whatever genetic potential you may have. The flip side, of course, is no better. Constantly bemoaning your short biceps and frail joints can easily discourage you from trying to get big and strong to begin with.

Mindset adopts much more detail about the mental characteristics that distinguish high performers for any field, and there’s plenty of other useful takeaways for your training and for your life outside the gym, and so i recommend it.

Antifragile: Things that Gain From Disorder, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Fair warning up front: Taleb is definitely an absolutely brilliant statistician. As is often the case with absolutely brilliant scholars, his writing can be a little dense and hard to follow. This is not light bedtime reading. His thesis is, basically, that what doesn’t kill you enables you to stronger. It is unfair to the book and also the author to distill a thoroughly-researched, 500-page book right down to a clich, however C I have only one column to tackle three books.

Buy this book HERE.

If we go a bit more in-depth, Taleb argues that many things benefit from random stress. At this point, you’re probably considering terms like “muscle confusion” and “CrossFit,” and honestly, I believe the “antifragile” argument might be used in favor of those programming methods. That’s not where I’m headed, though. I believe that (some type of) order and structured progression is a key component of good programming.

How Will it Affect Lifting?

The thing is, many people who benefit from the routine of a structured training program enjoy routine outside the gym, too. Actually, in my experience, lots of people appreciate it a lot they start to get a little really stressed out whenever a routine is modified. For instance, you could begin to fret when your vehicle stops working suddenly and you’ve got to push it a mile to the nearest service station, that your squat session later that night may not go so well.

Well, yeah, it probably won’t go well, and you should absolutely adjust your plan to take into account the fact that you just did my equivalent of a complete year’s worth of cardio in an afternoon. But you shouldn’t stress about it. The “antifragile” mentality can help to reframe these types of obstacles as opportunities for growth C both personal and physical growth. That reframing alone will reduce stress, improve performance, and increase happiness, therefore it is worth considering C and Antifragile may be worth reading.

What books have helped you feel a much better lifter?

Editor’s note: This information is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video would be the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes happen to be sourced exclusively by the author.