Training your mind is just as important for improving life as is training your body. Below are a few of our favorite books to either expand your thinking or increase the effectiveness of your time spent in the gym…

A More Beautiful Question book cover

A more beautiful question

Asking better questions leads to getting better answers... to any problem you're trying to solve. And it's rather simple to do. In fact, after reading this book, you may wonder why you didn't come up with some of the techniques yourself!

How to be an Imperfectionist book cover

How to be perfect an imperfectionist

We all have varying degrees (and "flavors") of perfectionist habits, and those habits often prevent us from accomplish tasks both large and small. (You know... like finding the "perfect" time to start the "perfect" diet or exercise program.)

This book explains the differences between the main types of perfectionism and offers specific strategies to overcome each type. Any task you undertake after reading the book won't end perfectly, but you will be much more likely to complete it... And "imperfectly finished" is better than "perfectly incomplete" any day of the week.

The Power of Habit book cover

The power of habit

Our lives are a result of what we habitually do (or don't). Yet we often get trapped in the thinking that we're unable to change our "less than optimal" habits. This book will teach you how to discover the triggers that lead to your habitual actions and, subsequently, how to go about changing them in a strategic way.

Limitless book cover


Before Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile barrier, very few thought doing so was possible. Now, however, even some high school runners can accomplish the feat.

Sometimes the only barriers to achieving great things are (1) not believing we can and (2) not knowing how we can. Fortunately, breaking those barriers is often as simple as someone showing us that doing so is possible. This book does just that (in a few key areas of life).

Kettlebell Simple & Sinister book cover

Kettlebell Simple & Sinister (S&S)

This is an exercise book. But it's also a book about habits. (Have you noticed a trend in these recommendations yet?)

It's a great introductory program for beginners and a great minimalist program for those who have trained for awhile. It requires minimal equipment (one or two kettlebells) and produces a range of benefits—increased strength & muscle mass, decreased body fat, more resilient shoulders, and improved conditioning, to name a few.

And it's simple. However, "simple" doesn't necessarily mean "easy". That's where the sinister part comes in...

The Quick & the Dead book cover

The quick and the dead (Q&D)

In nature, organisms are typically either quick or they're dead (whether they're predator or prey).

While things are a little less dire in society, training that produces adaptations that make us "quick"—which tends to improve both our athleticism and our physiques—also produces respiratory and metabolic benefits which help us ward off a variety of negative conditions that typically occur in conjunction with advanced aging.

Similar to Simple & Sinister, the training protocols in this book are simple and require only a single kettlebell. However, they're not as effective for beginners. If you're a beginner, start with S&S, and don't progress to Q&D until after you've completed "Simple". You can thank us later.


Your health & fitness are affected at least as much by what you do in the kitchen as they are by what you do in the gym. And just like in the gym, consistency in the kitchen produces the best results.

So the important question to answer is what you’re able to do consistently as opposed to how much you can do at once.

With that in mind, we suggest picking from the recommendations below just one item which seems to solve your biggest nutritional challenge. And if you’re either not sure where to start or know that you’re generally more successful with external accountability (as are most of us), consider registering for our nutrition coaching program.

Precision Nutrition coaching logo

Precision Nutrition

Start here. Really.

The products listed after this are great, but they're not magic. If you regularly eat like crap, they won't do much for you. On the other hand, they'll be quite helpful if you also improve some basic nutrition habits, if even by just a small amount. So on that note...

The Precision Nutrition (PN) blog is an amazing resource for both quality nutrition information and, more importantly, habit management. And improving habits is ultimately the most effective solution for a lot of problems—if you hadn't guessed based on most of our book recommendations.

After all, you probably already know that eating a salad, baked potato, and cut of lean steak is more likely to help you reach your fitness/physique goals than eating a bag of chips or a frozen pizza (for example). But "knowing" and "doing" are two different things.

That is where PN—and habit management—comes in...

(And, again, if you feel a bit overwhelmed after checking out PN's site, consider participating in our nutrition coaching program. As PN-certified coaches, we'll help you implement the strategies in a logical order for your specific situation!)

Proceller8 Balance probiotic supplement

Proceller8 Balance

We each have trillions of bacteria and other microbes living in our intestines and elsewhere throughout our bodies. The intestinal microorganisms perform much of our digestion & nutrient extraction and subsequently have a major impact on our body composition, immune system, and overall health. Unfortunately, a variety of poor health choices & circumstances (e.g. minimal fiber intake, smoking, drinking alcohol, and stress) can kill off a bunch of these little buggers and negatively affect our health.

P8 Balance will improve your gut microbiome and digestion by providing a blend of 10 types of beneficial bacteria, fiber (which the little guys love to feed on), and digestive enzymes.

Proceller8 Charge mental focus & energy supplement

Proceller8 Charge

Soda & coffee are two of the most consumed beverages in the U.S. They're also two consumables which most commonly contribute to weight gain, partly due to their being used as a "replacement" for an hour or two of sleep—poor sleep wreaks havoc on our hormones and often causes us to eat more—and partly due to their contributing excess calories to our diets. (There aren't any calories in diet soda or black coffee... But there are plenty of calories in the creamer, three pumps of syrup, and bag of Cheetos that often get added or eaten along side of them.)

P8 Charge is a great replacement for both soda and coffee (but not a good replacement for those couple hours of missed sleep). Due to a combination of caffeine (about as much as a cup of coffee), B vitamins (which are necessary for basic metabolism), and other synergistic nutrients, expect to get 4-6 hours of focused mental energy without any caffeine-related jitters!

Proceller8 Hydration electrolyte replacement supplement

Proceller8 Hydration

Staying hydrated provides a multitude of benefits: smooth digestion & excretion, joint lubrication, temperature regulation, satiety, and mental focus to name a few. And sufficient electrolytes—namely sodium and potassium—help to maintain a healthy blood pressure and allow nerves, organs, and muscles to work properly.

While good old-fashioned H2O is generally the best option for staying hydrated, sometimes we need a little boost (like during tough workouts) or even just some extra flavor. P8 Hydration fills both roles while also providing significantly less sugar than other "sport" beverages.


Now that you’re ¾ of the way down the page, we’re finally to the products that you’d probably expect to be recommended by a gym.

What can we say…? We’re more than just a gym. And, these recommendations will certainly have been worth the wait! 😉

The StrongFirst shield logo


Accomplishing any goal (including one related to conditioning) is easier if you're strong. And StrongFirst teaches how to develop strength. Check out their blog for tons of advice on kettlebell, barbell, and body weight exercise technique; training programs; and stories of everyday folks whose lives have improved by focusing on strength development.

A Prio minimalist shoe from Xero Shoes.

Xero Shoes

Xero sells a variety of zero-drop, minimalist, Huarache-inspired shoes. From casual sandals to performance shoes and hiking/winter boots to dressier shoes you can wear to the office, you're sure to find a pair (or five or eight, if you become a super fan like Ryan) to fit all your footwear needs.

A 24 kg kettlebell from Rogue Fitness

Rogue e-coat kettlebells

Rogue's new e-coat kettlebells are some of the most durable and comfortable kettlebells we've used. And in relation to plenty of other similarly designed kettlebells on the market, buying a couple won't break your piggy bank. To top it off, they're also made right here in these good old United States of America.

A TICKR FIT heart rate monitor from Wahoo Fitness.

Wahoo TICKR FIT heart rate monitor

Heart rate tracking is almost a requirement for the most effective conditioning-related training. And the Wahoo TICKR FIT has a perfect combination of all the characteristics we look for in a heart rate monitor... It's comfortable (worn around the forearm), out of the way (unlike a watch, and particularly useful when training with kettlebells), rarely requires respositioning (like chest strap monitors often do), and is easy to use (Bluetooth connectivity to your Android or iOS phone).