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Can't Hurt Me, by David Goggins
Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
David Goggins is the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. Oh, and he's a record-breaking endurance athlete who was named "The Fittest (Real) Man in America" by Outside magazine. Need more? He did all of this after enduring a childhood wracked by poverty, abuse, and prejudice.
Now, when that kinda guy offers you some life advice, you'd be wise to shut up and listen.
When we asked T Nation Instagram fans to name the one book that influenced them the most, this one came out on top. – Chris Shugart
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Sprint 8 Cardio Protocol, by Phil Campbell
Maximal Results, Minimal Time. Go Beyond High-Intensity Interval Training
Hey, want to do something in the gym that's boring AND doesn't really work all that well? Then do slow cardio. Doesn't that sound like fun? No? Then this book is for you.
It's all about sprint-intensity training. These types of workouts promise to recruit all three muscle fiber types, including both types of fast-twitch muscle fibers, "thereby conditioning the anaerobic and aerobic processes of the heart muscle in many different ways."
On top of that, the workouts will trigger a tsunami of natural growth hormone release that's equivalent to injecting it. And you'll only need three, 20-minute workouts a week.
Okay, yeah, the book's ad copy is a little over the top, but it was recommended to us by Christian Thibaudeau, who knows a thing or two about training, so it's worth looking into. – Chris Shugart
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Extreme Ownership, by Jocko Willink
How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
The problem with leadership and management books is that they all start to sound the same. The same tired analogies, the same cliché platitudes, the same inspiring (but ultimately meaningless) drivel that makes you throw up in your mouth a little... or a lot. That's what makes this book a breath of fresh air: it's none of those things.
In short, this book takes SEAL leadership tactics and training to the masses, and it does it in a way that's practical and immediately applicable. It's inspiring and real, and the war-story narratives will keep you flipping those pages. – Chris Shugart
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The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, by Mark Manson
A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
This is the self-help book for men who'd rather palpitate their prostates with a dirty spatula than read a self-help book.
You will not be coddled; you will be slapped across your dumb face. This book is anti-positivity, anti-feel good, and anti-participation trophies. There's not a single unicorn or rainbow within its pages, and you definitely won't be advised to "manifest your truth to the universe" or construct a dream board.
And weirdly, after you read it, you may find yourself in the place you need to be to discover true happiness. No, really. – Chris Shugart
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Change Maker, by John Berardi, PhD
Turn Your Passion for Health and Fitness into a Powerful Purpose and a Wildly Successful Career
John Berardi got his start here at T Nation way back in the year 2000, and since then he's certainly made a name for himself in the world of nutrition. But this isn't a diet book. Nope, it's a book about how to find success as a fitness professional.
In this detailed and interactive career guide, Berardi offers up a blueprint to follow for fit pros and those thinking about becoming fit pros. It covers everything from broad principles to the nitty-gritty details that'll help you make more money in this cutthroat biz. – Chris Shugart
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Beat the Heart Attack Gene, by Bradley Bale, MD, and Amy Doneen
The Revolutionary Plan to Prevent Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes
Here's a fun fact: you're probably going to die of heart disease. Yes, even if the tests your doctor gives you come back from the lab looking good. And yes, even if you hit the gym often.
See, there are genetic factors involved. And the way most doctors test for vascular disease today isn't the most up-to-date method. That plaque in your arteries sorta "hides" from conventional tests.
The cardiovascular specialists here have a different approach, one that promises to help you outsmart the "heart attack gene." This book breaks it all down in an easy to understand – but kinda repetitive – manner. But it's worth checking out since 50 percent of us carry at least one of the genes that makes us prone to ticker problems. – Chris Shugart