15 Must Read Health, Exercise, Nutrition & Coaching Books from Fitness Expert Michael Wood

“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” – Henry David Thoreau

We all understand the value of reading good books especially when they come from the industry that we work in. For me that world is the health and fitness industry. Over the past thirty years I have read and have had the good fortune of reviewing hundreds of books.

Before we get to my book recommendations, I first wanted to share two articles that I read this week, the first is an article that talks about the reading habits of a few big name entrepreneurs. The second article also appeared this week on Business Insider regarding the one book college professors from some of our elite schools would recommend to others.

The following list includes some of the best health/fitness/nutrition/coaching books I have read. For a review and more information on any of the books, simply click the title of the book and to find out more about the author click on their respective name. Finally, if you’re interested, you can find my complete suggested reading list here.


The One-Minute Exercise, Martin Gibala, PhD, Avery, 2017

Exercise for Mood and Anxiety, Michael Otto, PhD,  Jasper Smits, PhD, Oxford Press, 2011


Deep NutritionCate Shanahan, MD, Flatiron, 2017

Always Hungry?, David Ludwig, MD, Life & Style, 2016

The Diet Fix, Yoni Freedhoff, MD, Harmony, 2014

Mindless Eating, Brian Wansink, Ph.D, Bantom Books, 2006


The Story of the Human Body, Daniel Lieberman, PhD, Pantheon, 2013

How Fat Works, Philip Wood, PhD, Harvard University Press, 2006


Supple Leopard, Kelly Starrett, DPT, Victory Belt Publishing, 2013

Conscious Coaching, Brett Bartholomew, MS, CSCS, Create Space, 2017

Functional Training for Sport, Michael Boyle, MS, ATC, Human Kinetics, 2003

Athletic Development, Vern Gambetta, MA, Human Kinetics, 2006

Core Performance, Mark Verstegen, Rodale Books, 2005

Can You Go?, Dan John, MS, On Target, 2015


Challenging Beliefs, (and the Lore of Running), Tim Noakes, MD, Zebra Press, 2012


To All Fitness Enthusiasts: Feed Your Intellect

UnknownEach month I end up reading a great deal of health and fitness related content for pleasure as well as for my job as Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub. If you’re a health and fitness enthusiast like me then I’m sure you’re doing the same. Here is a partial list from February that may interest you and if not please forward it to someone who shares our interest.

Book: The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Your Work by Yoni Freedhoff, MD. I was fortunate enough to get an early copy and could not put it down. I have followed Dr. Freedhoff, an obesity expert from Canada, since his early days and his blog, Weighty Matters, can be found here. The book is a must read and prior to reading this I would recommend checking out the book Sugar Blues.

Research Paper: Chronic Exercise Preserves Lean Muscle Mass in Masters Athletes, Andrew Wroblewski, Francis Amati, et al. The Physician and Sports Medicine, 39(3): 172-178, 2011.

Audio Book: The Sports Gene by David Epstein, looking for something to listen to during a business trip or that ride to the office then this is it. Epstein writes for Sports Illustrated and his audio book about the “inside” look at athletic performance is outstanding.

Blog Post: Strength Training as a Base by Paul Romeo, Master FitCoach/Owner, Koko FitClub.

Fitness Magazine: Why Stair-Climbing is Good for Runners by Matthew Solan.