CrossFit, the high-intensity fitness phenomenon, has taken the fitness world by storm. Originally founded in 2000 in Santa Cruz, CA, more than 4 million people worldwide now consider themselves CrossFitters. With its emphasis on functional movements and intense workouts, CrossFit has amassed a passionate following that's all about competing against yourself. Workouts of the day (or WOD's) are constantly being constructed to test your power, speed, endurance, and mental grit.
Unlike some recreational exercise programs or activities, the CrossFit community is a tight one, where veterans embrace beginners and the young and the old come together.
Why Read CrossFit Books?
Today, there are so many resources for CrossFitters, and most of them are digital. While online content can be informative, I've often found that books offer a more comprehensive and well-rounded approach. Assuming you're reading a physical book and not on an eReader, they also force you to abandon your screens, which in itself should lead to better focus.
I had the opportunity to attend the 2023 CrossFit Games in Madison, WI. Watching these men and women compete was an adrenaline rush but also a good reminder that I have so much to learn. Check out the video below as the men tackle the legless rope climb:
Not to be outdone, here is some footage from the women's alpaca redux:
Here are a few more reasons why reading CrossFit books can elevate your training:
1. In-Depth Knowledge
CrossFit books delve into the foundations of the training methodology, covering essential concepts such as functional movements, programming, nutrition, and mindset. By gaining a deeper understanding of these principles, you can optimize your workouts and progress more effectively.
2. Expert Insights
The best CrossFit books are often written by experienced coaches, athletes, and experts in the field. They offer valuable insights and wisdom gained through years of practical experience and study, providing you with expert guidance and advice to enhance your training.
3. Workout Programming
CrossFit books frequently include workout programming guides and training plans, helping you structure your workouts for optimal results. These resources can be particularly useful if you prefer a structured approach to your training, seek specific guidance, or are trying to shore up areas of weakness or previous injury.
4. Motivation and Inspiration
Several of the books below are from the athletes themselves who have overcome challenges, achieved remarkable transformations, and been recognized on a worldwide stage. Reading about their journeys can ignite your motivation, fuel your determination, and remind you that anything is possible with dedication and perseverance.
The Best CrossFit Books
When it comes to the best CrossFit books, there are great ones out there. Whether you're a beginner looking to understand the foundations of CrossFit or an experienced athlete seeking to fine-tune your skills, I'm confident we have something that will suit your tastes. Here are my top recommendations:
"Becoming a Supple Leopard" by Dr. Kelly Starrett
This book is a must-have for any CrossFit enthusiast. Dr. Starrett, a renowned physical therapist, shares his expertise on movement mechanics, mobility, and injury prevention. With detailed instructions, illustrations, and corrective exercises, this book will help you optimize your movement patterns and enhance your performance.
"Inside the Box" by T.J. Murphy
Delving into the CrossFit community and its impact on individuals, T.J. Murphy's book provides an engaging narrative about the transformative power of CrossFit. Through interviews and personal stories, Murphy highlights how CrossFit has changed lives, fostering camaraderie, and empowering individuals to push their limits.
"Power Speed Endurance" by Brian MacKenzie
This book focuses on developing endurance, power, and speed for CrossFit athletes. MacKenzie, a renowned endurance coach, provides comprehensive training strategies, incorporating running, rowing, and swimming into CrossFit workouts. With a focus on developing the aerobic capacity required for high-intensity workouts, this book offers valuable insights for improving performance.
"Strong Medicine" by Chris Hardy and Marty Gallagher
This book explores the intersection of CrossFit and medicine, emphasizing the importance of combining functional fitness with intelligent training. It delves into topics such as injury prevention, rehabilitation, and longevity in the CrossFit world. With practical advice and case studies, it offers valuable guidance for athletes and coaches alike.
"Chasing Excellence" by Ben Bergeron
In this book, renowned CrossFit coach Ben Bergeron shares his philosophy on achieving excellence in life and fitness. Drawing from his experience coaching elite athletes, Bergeron provides valuable insights into goal-setting, mental toughness, and strategies for personal growth. With anecdotes, practical advice, and a focus on mindset, "Chasing Excellence" offers a roadmap for taking your CrossFit journey to new heights.
"Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength" by Steven Low
Bodyweight movements and gymnastics skills are integral to CrossFit training. This book offers a comprehensive approach to mastering bodyweight exercises, including progressions, programming, and mobility work. With detailed instructions and progressions for various movements, "Overcoming Gravity" provides a roadmap for developing bodyweight strength and unlocking new skills.
"HWPO: Hard Work Pays Off" by Mat Fraser
Fraser won an unprecedented 5 CrossFit Games titles. I love philosophy around training, where if an activity isn't helping him win, he doesn't do it. The book does a great job taking you through the workouts, training hacks, eating plans, and mental strategies that have helped make Fraser a champion.
"Dottir: My Journey to Becoming a Two-Time CrossFit Games Champion" by Katrin Davidsdottir
Like Mat Fraser, Katrin Davidsdottir is one of the greatest Crossfitters of our generation. A two-time, back to back champion, she grew up as a gymnast and used that foundation to start CrossFit in 2011. Despite not even qualifying for the games in 2014, she returned the following year and won the entire competition.
Be sure to also check out our list of best sports motivational books.
Last, if you're in the market for a cold therapy training tub, check out Ice Barrel. Ice baths do wonders for recovery, and these are portable, don't take up a lot of space, and are high quality.
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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