Strength training: useful books and videos

Following my article yesterday about how Miss D. and I have started strength training, I received a number of questions asking where readers could learn more.

Extensive videos are provided at Mark Rippetoe’s Web site, and on his YouTube channel.  Almost all of them are very helpful.  Here’s an introductory video from the latter, from one of Mark’s associates.

There are three books that I highly recommend.  The first is “Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training“, by Mark Rippetoe.

This covers all the basics of weight and barbell training, including instructions, warnings and detailed descriptions.

The second book is “The Barbell Prescription:  Strength Training for Life After 40“.

This book “directly addresses the most pervasive problem faced by aging humans: the loss of physical strength and all its associated problems – the loss of muscle mass, bone mineral loss and osteoporosis, hip fractures (a terminal event for many older people), loss of balance and coordination, diabetes, heart disease related to a sedentary lifestyle, and the loss of independence”.  I’ve found it even more valuable than the first in terms of addressing health issues I have to face every day.

The third book is “Practical Programming for Strength Training“.

This book “details the mechanics of the process, from the basic physiology of adaptation to the specific programs that apply these principles to novice, intermediate, and advanced lifters”.  It helps you develop your own training programs to apply the first two books to your lifestyle and needs.

The videos, and those three books, are just about all you need to get started;  but, if you can afford it, I do recommend the services of a personal coach for the first two to three months, to help you get your ‘form’ and technique right.  Injuries are usually the result of bad ‘form’ or incorrect technique, and I’d rather avoid them by getting things right, right from the start!  Certainly, Miss D. and I count our payment to our coach, Carmen, as an investment in ourselves.  She’s great!



  1. All good stuff, especially when done as high-intensity workout. Meaning low to medium weights done very slowly (not abusing momentum), one set to total failure, and quickly. A 15 min workout. 30-60 sec breaks inbetween sets.

  2. Regarding bone density:

    A small study a few years ago concluded that hip joint impacts from running or jogging is what triggers the body to build or replace bone mass. Only required 6-12 strides per day (memory is fuzzy on the numbers).
    They were using college age women and bed rest to set a base line. Haven't seen any more on the subject since the first article.

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