Shrugged Collective

10 Training Books CrossFit Athletes and Coaches Should Read – EPISODE 81



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Olympic Weightlifting; by Greg Everett 

Mastery of the squat, clean, jerk and snatch are essential for all serious CrossFit athletes.  Greg does a masterful job of outlining and teaching all aspects of the lifts as well as gives some sample programming toward the end.  This is the first book you should read if you are new to CrossFit and/or weightlifting!

Speed Power Endurance; by Brian Mackenzie 

Brian presents a modern training model for endurance athletes that allows them to build incredible capacity while keeping overuse injuries to a minimum. 

Becoming a Supple Leopard; by Kelly Starrett 

Lack of mobility is likely the single biggest limitation keeping you from achieving perfect technique.  Kelly shows you how to find and fix your restrictions in a way that’s easy to understand and fun to read.   Best part is that it has tons of pictures for every stretch you’ll ever need.

Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System; by Donald Neumann 

Training is movement and movement is functional anatomy.  This is the best functional anatomy text in the world.  Learning how your muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons work together to produce movement is essential for writing high level programming as well as avoiding injuries and/or assisting with rehabilitation. 

Muscles: Testing and Function, w/ Posture and Pain; by Florence Kendall 

This is a classic text in the world of physical therapy.  By understanding how posture influences mobility you can spot limitations before they happen.  Testing for individual muscle length (and muscle strength) gives you the opportunity to identify specific weaknesses that provides a rational for future programming.  

Movement; by Grey Cook 

Creator of the Functional Movement Screen, Grey Cook produced an easy system to spot movement inefficiency using 7 simple movement screens.  Each fundamental movement used by humans (squatting, bending, lunging etc.) has predictable compensations patterns (ways you can screw it up… ie., bad technique like knees diving in when squatting).  Grey shows how and why these compensation patterns develop and how to fix them.

Practical Programming for Strength Training; by Lon Kilgore and Mark Rippetoe 

Kilgore and Rippetoe provide a thorough introduction to how to write workout programs for any athlete in order to achieve a predetermined training result (get stronger, faster, etc.).  Ideal programming for beginner, intermediate and advanced athletes is very similar, yet VERY different; knowing these details is what turns good coaches into great coaches.  

Supertraining; by Mel Siff and Yuki Verkhoshansky 

Supertraining is a landmark book in the world of strength and conditioning.  It covers every facet of strength training including how the body responds, adapts and ends up stronger.  This text is dense with mountains of information; read it at least twice.  

Ultimate MMA Conditioning; by Joel Jameson 

Though marketed to MMA coaches and athletes, this book is a must read for any and all strength coaches for every sport (especially CrossFit). Joel digs deep into the world of energy systems development (conditioning) and shows you the why’s and how’s behind getting into world-class shape.  

Weightlifting Programming; by Bob Takano 

Bob delivers a very straightforward approach to writing weightlifting programs.  His professional approach explains training all aspects of athlete development, but most importantly how to get stronger specifically to improve your clean, jerk and snatch.  It’s fun to read with TONS of examples.

LSD vs. CrossFit, Order of Books (3:20) Olympic Weightlifting by Greg Everett (8:30) Power, Speed & Endurance by Brian MacKenzie, Positions (10:12) Out of Position Injury (11:28) Repetition Work (13:54) Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett (16:14) Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System by Newman (19:35) Movement by Gray Cook (22:20) Muscles Testing and Function with Posture and Pain (26:13) Order of Reading and Rereading (28:54) Maximum Mobility (32:55) Progenex Commercial (34:44) Technique WOD (35:13) Super Training by Mel Siff (40:08) Practical Program for Strength Training by Rippetoe & Kilgore (44:20) Ultimate MMA Conditions by Joel Jamieson (47:32) Read, Learn, Understand and Relate (49:04) Following Programs Then Create Your Own (51:25) Mike’s Coach Recommendations (53:05) Chris’s Coach Recommendations (54:10) Doug’s Coach Recommendations (55:30) Learning, Practicing and Doing (56:44) Other Resources, Websites, Blogs and Seminars (57:45)


Chris Moore is a writer, recovering meathead, fledgling raconteur and rabid imbiber. He's also cohost and resident potty mouth on Barbell Shrugged, a weekly podcast devoted to Crossfit, strength, fitness and all things brash. His experience is drawn from over twenty-years spent training for and competing in American Football, Powerlifting, a bit of strongman and a dash of mixed martial arts. Also, it's possible that he's had one too many cups of coffee. A caffeine fever is a hell of a thing, you know?

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