This month I got a good amount of reading in. I bounced around a bit, some reading for development and some reading for pleasure. Regardless, I learned a ton. Whether it be how great of a writer Vonnegut truly is, how much of a pompous asshole genius Nassim Taleb is, or how dumb I am compared to some very smart strength coaches.
Without further ado, here is the April Reading Romp:
The Black Swan
Mark Manson, who operates one of the best websites on the internet here, said it first. Taleb sounds like a pompous dick. He may be trolling all of us, but it sure as hell doesn’t sound like it. He writes like that nose turned up asshole who was smarter than everyone, or at least likes to think he is.
Regardless, The Black Swan was one of the most thought provoking books I’ve come across in a very long time. Some of the ideas in it are common sense, you just need the veil pulled away. Taleb is just the guy.
For those who don’t know, a black swan event is a metaphor to describe something that happens as a shock, is unexpected, yet obvious in hindsight. It must be a massive event that changes things completely. September 11th was a black swan event.
If you feel like getting challenged, frustrated, and overall smarter, I highly recommend reading this. I know I’ll be reading more of Taleb’s books.
The Art (and Science) of Lifting
Greg Nuckols is quickly becoming known as one of the smartest dudes in the entire strength world. In this book he partnered with YouTube sensation and Chief Gainz Officer, Omar Isuf.
Together they actually put out two books. The Art of Lifting, and The Science of Lifting.
The Art takes a more overarching approach towards weight training, and takes an easier to understand look at things. It’s a book that can be easily digested by a beginner, or a veteran lifter. In fact, the veteran will probably learn quite a few things they’ve done wrong.
The Science is a much more in depth look at how to properly train from a scientific perspective. Where The Art is full of overarching principles, The Science delves deep into the how’s and why’s.
Both are must reads for anyone who hopes to lift for a lifetime, get stronger, stay healthy, and get results. I’ll come back to read these two books again and again over the course of this year, and the great thing is I know I’ll learn something new each time.
Pick it up at Strengtheory.com here.
I’ve never read a book from Vonnegut. I’ve always been told about how great Vonnegut is, and I even remember reading about this very book while I was winning state championships in WWII studies during high school.
Vonnegut didn’t disappoint. Holy hell he didn’t disappoint. Vonnegut is hilarious, serious, and poignant all at once. He has the ability to cut through the veil we view the world through just like great comedians, only he does it with his writing.
Slaughterhouse Five is the story of a guy named Billy Pilgrim during WWII. Vonnegut himself was a WWII veteran. Pilgrim is crazy and travels through time, meets aliens, and is there to view the bombing of Dresden.
All throughout the book, while telling the story of Pilgrim, and making me laugh my ass off, Vonnegut sheds light on how ridiculous war actually is. It’s a burning satire that will have you laughing, and pondering why the hell we even go to war in the first place.
The Hybrid Athlete
There’s a strong chance this is the best book on training I read all year. The Hybrid Athlete was written by Alex Viada of Complete Human Performance. To say Alex and CHP have changed the game would be a gigantic understatement.
It was long thought that endurance athletes couldn’t be competitive lifters, and that the only cardio for powerlifters was sets over 10 reps. Alex and CHP have completely changed that. Drastically.
CHP has coached individuals who can squat 600+lbs and run 5-6 minute miles. Or complete a powerlifting meet one week, and then run a marathon the next week. And perform exceptionally in both.
The Hybrid Athlete is essentially Viada’s/CHP’s programming philosophy and everything they’ve learned. I’ll reference this book hundreds of times over the course of the year, and the book alone is reason enough for me to hope to join their new coaching certification program.
I highly suggest you take a look at Alex’s work and grab his book here.