Recommended by Rachel Young Director of Business Development @Myzone
Where do the best ideas come from?
And how do we apply these ideas to the problems we face - at work, in the education of our children, and in the biggest shared challenges of our age: rising obesity, terrorism and climate change?
In this bold and inspiring new book, Matthew Syed - the bestselling author of Bounce and Black Box Thinking - argues that individual intelligence is no longer enough; that the only way to tackle these complex problems is to harness the power of our 'cognitive diversity'.
Rebel Ideas is a fascinating journey through the science of team performance. It draws on psychology, economics, anthropology and genetics, and takes lessons from a dazzling range of case-studies, including the catastrophic intelligence failings of the CIA before 9/11, a communication breakdown at the top of Mount Everest, and a moving tale of deradicalization in America's deep South.
Recommended by James Lorey Operations Director @ Your Personal Training
What links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google?
What links Team Sky and the aviation industry?
What connects James Dyson and David Beckham?
They are all Black Box Thinkers.
Black Box Thinking is a new approach to high performance, a means of finding an edge in a complex and fast-changing world. It is not just about sport, but has powerful implications for business and politics, as well as for parents and students. In other words, all of us.
Recommended by Jack Malin CEO and Founder @ Membr
Imagine if you stopped selling and just started helping, wouldn't that change the way you prospect? It would certainly change the volume of people you presented to.
Bob Moesta, lifelong innovator and co-architect of the “Jobs to be Done” theory, shares his approach for flipping the lens on sales. Bob shifts the focus of sales from selling, to helping people buy and make progress in their lives—demand-side sales
Recommended by Stuart Perrin, Rachel Young, Dave Alstead, Jack Malin and many others
In Can't Hurt Me, David Goggins shares his astonishing life story and reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities. Goggins calls this The 40% Rule, and his story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach their full potential.
Not the easiest of reads but absolutely worth the investment
Recommended by Chris Thompson Owner at Umbrella PT Training
Ego is our biggest enemy. Early in our careers, it can prevent us from learning and developing our talents. When we taste success, ego can blind us to our own faults, alienate us from others and lead to our downfall. In failure, ego is devastating and makes recovery all the more difficult. It is only by identifying our ego, speaking to its desires, and systematically disarming it that we can create our best work.
Recommended by Dave Alstead Head of Member Experience at UK Active
If ever a recommendation is referred to as "probably the best book I've ever read" you should definitely give it your time. This book is the account of how the NIKE brand came to be in the words of its creator Phil Knight. Smattered with life lessons and a touch of humour this read will add value to any aspiring entrepreneur.
Recommended by Oliver Bell (Client services Director CIMSPA)
An outlier is an observation that lies an abnormal distance from other values in a random sample from a given population.
In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth and amongst others how the Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history.
Pretty interesting read for anyone especially a Personal Trainers looking to climb the ladder of success.
Recommended by Charly Stakim and Jon Nasta
The book that everyone was talking about in 2012
The Chimp Paradox is an incredibly powerful mind management model that can help you become a happy, confident, healthier and more successful person. Prof Steve Peters explains the struggle that takes place within your mind and then shows how to apply this understanding to every area of your life so you can:
- Recognise how your mind is working
- Understand and manage your emotions and thoughts
- Manage yourself and become the person you would like to be
Effectively understand yourself and others better and appreciate why sometimes you do the craziest things.
Really useful model for understanding more about behavior and ultimately how you can have an effect on change
Recommended by Carl Smith Business Coach @ ConceptFitnessConsultancy
Yes, thought it about time I recommended a read of my own and also since the big man hasn't had a mention yet I am more than happy to be the one that suggests this as a must read for any Personal Trainer.
Arnold's life story is truly inspirational and for any aspiring bodybuilder brought up in the 80s and 90s there was no better story to aspire to. His account is one of grit and determination but probably the biggest takeaway for me is his ability to set goals, create a vision then let nothing stand in his way of achieving them.
Recommended by Stuart Perrin Founder and CEO of Coach Gyms
Stuart played an instrumental lead in growing the Xercise4Less brand from 2 gyms to its peak of 51 and has recently started his own chain of gyms, Coach, watch out for one popping up near you soon.
This book is a great read for anyone chasing success, Matthew calls it 'catching Greenlights.'
Recommended by Josh Mullin (Founder of PT Toolbox and the Facebook group UKPTs)
Josh has been supporting Personal Trainers for many years now and when he recommends a book for Personal Trainers to learn from, it must be worth a read.
Highly decorated Navy SEALs, now successful businessmen, show readers how to lead and win in business and in life with principles learned on the battlefield.
Recommended by Paul Stead (Company Director @Imagesound)
I love this series of books not only for their size ;-) but their content is just as relevant now as it was in 1982. Yes culturally there has been significant change and some of the management techniques and humor maybe a little off but the basic premise and ideas within are still super useful in management and in life.
Again you may ask why is this one relevant to a Personal Trainer and I would again refer you to the role which is often to manage a large team of people with behavior change.
Recommended by Danny Noble (Founder/Trainer @ FITMOB)
In a world where we often spend far too much time and focus on moving the mountain with one big push this book takes a contrary approach. Its the little repetitive behaviors that over time can make the biggest difference.
From the Fitness Business owner who commits to waking up 5 minutes earlier each day to a Personal Trainer who recommends his client do just 2 push ups per day. James Clear calls these Atomic Habits.
Definitely an interesting read....... or listen
Recommended by Jon Wright ( Founder, Xercise4Less)
In an industry where over 80% of the Personal Trainer roles are self employed to be successful you not only need to start to consider yourself a Fitness Business Owner, Marketeer, Administrator and Strategist to name just a few but also an Entrepreneur.
Mastering the spelling is the easy part ;-) Standing out from the crowd should maybe be a prime directive in today's arguably saturated world of Personal Training and often its the little ideas that spark an evolution. This book uncovers some of those such ideas.
Award-winning podcast creator Guy Raz has interviewed more than 200 highly successful innovators from across the world, from the founders of Five Guys, Airbnb and Bumble to James Dyson and Reed Hastings of Netflix, to uncover amazing true stories like these. In How I Built This, he shares tips for every entrepreneur’s journey: from the early days of formulating your idea, to raising money and recruiting employees, to finding your market and, finally, to paying yourself a real salary. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting their own business or wondered how trail-blazing go-getters made their own dreams a reality.
Recommended by Hans Muench (Fitness Management Business Consultant and Executive sparring partner ;-)
There are a number of books on the topic but this one keeps the process down to 5 steps that teach the art of selling without feeling like you are selling. Sales is probably one of the biggest barriers to a PT Business's success. Typically we don't like selling , it makes us feel uncomfortable and hence we often shy away from the main thing, asking for the business. However, once these skills are mastered your Personal Training business will grow from strength to strength.
This 200-page, twelve chapter book helps personal trainers increase their sales by teaching 5 steps to selling PT: prospecting, how to establish rapport, qualifying, product presentation and how to ask for the sale.
In addition to providing the reader with the fundamentals of selling Conrad’s approach is to teach trainers that selling is nothing more than educating people to make a good decision about the product or services they are considering.
Recommended by Dr.Dane Vishnubala (Consultant Physician in Sport and Exercise Medicine | GP | University Lecturer SEM and MBBS)
"Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning is the essential text for strength and conditioning professionals and students. This comprehensive resource explains the key theories, concepts and scientific principles of strength training and conditioning as well as their direct application to athletic competition and performance. The scope and content have been updated to convey the knowledge, skills and abilities required of a strength and conditioning professional. It now offers an expanded ancillary package for instructors with access to a 61- video collection and a test package to assist instructors evaluate students' understanding of key concepts. "
Recommended by Charly Stakim (Owner @ Trained by Charly Personal Training) and Stuart Perrin (Founder and CEO @Coach Gyms)
Many, many experts and entrepreneurs have dubbed the book as a 'life-changing' read, saying it literally contains the building blocks to get your life back on track, turn it around, or enhance it in one single book - depending on your personal aims and so long as you put the practices in place to build the habit of Miracle Mornings into your day.
Hal's book explains in greater detail, but the method to a Miracle Morning is shared widely over the internet, and once you try it, it seems to build momentum really fast.
A Miracle Morning should consist of 7 steps:
1. You wake up well before you normally do (normally 2 hours before you leave for work)
2. You have a period of Silence
3. You read or say Affirmations
4. You do Visualisations
5. You Exercise
6. You do some important Reading
7. You Scribe / journal / write
Recommended by Tom Cowen ( Owner @ Tom Cowen Personal Training Studio)
In Ben's own words
" This book is all about making you the best possible practitioner you can possibly be, an AWESOME Personal Trainer. Whether you are a PT, an S&C coach, a masseuse, anyone working face to face with clients, in a gym or fitness environment, you can learn something from this book. There are many things you will not have considered in your working environment and how it affects the people that matter, your clients. Knowing about training, nutrition, movement and lifestyle is of course key, but what about all the others skills you need as a coach to succeed? "
Recommended by Mike Evans ( Director of Operations BMF)
Isn't this a Leadership book?
How is this related to Personal Training you may ask. Well aren't you managing and leading your clients behavior every day? When you're running your weight loss challenges your boot camps or your Nutrition seminars aren't your managing a team?
Creativity, Inc. is a book for Managers who want to lead their teams to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, with behind-the-scenes examples from Pixar itself. It is a book about how to build and sustain a creative culture with a unique identity.
Who moved my cheese was recommended by Verity Lidgett ( L&D Head of Department)
What Verity had to say:
"This has always been my go-to book when introducing industry colleagues to Change Management literature! I was never a big reader, so at less than 100 pages (and large text) it is right up my street 🤣
Who Moved My Cheese is the story of 4 characters; 2 mice and 2 little people, and how they respond to the 'cheese', which represents their normal, moving, which represents change. The book allows you to explore which character you personally resonate with. Do you 'Scurry' towards change and embrace it wholeheartedly. Have you enjoyed the challenges this year has brought and relished the opportunity to think quickly on your feet and adapt your business? Or perhaps you're more like 'Haw'. You've had a grumble (haven't we all 😭) and felt overwhelmed at times, but have slowly started to adapt to this new normal! I'll leave you to find out who the other characters are 😍
Anyway, once you understand the very simple but different reactions to change, and appreciate your own personal response, it really does help you to move forward. You'll even find yourself laughing at the way react when facing impending change in the future 🤭
I hope you enjoy this one. 'Out of the Maze', by the same author, is well worth a read once you've finished too 🐭🐹"
The Game Plan was recommended by Peter Wright experienced CEO and business turnaround specialist
What Peter had to say :
"This is a book about mental toughness at work. I think the strategies and approach Steve advocates can be applied to any of us in an organisation. There are times when things get on top of us and pressures mount and lose confidence and self belief - without self belief we are all in trouble.."
The Ride of a Lifetime was recommended by Rachel Young ( Director of Business Development at MyZone and owner of "Are you Supercharged?" )
This book was written by the 15 year CEO of Disney about creative leadership. As a Personal Trainer you lead and manage your clients behaviour daily. This book is a very worth while read for any PT looking to grow these skills.
The one Minute Manager was recommended by Jason Diprose ( General Manager and Owner and Founder or Jason Diprose Personal Training)
Here is what he had to say;
I always personally come back this book "the one minute manager". It's the one I find myself using every day! Whether in my role as a Trainer or Manager this book has takeaways. From a Trainers perspective its all about managing behavior in the right way to get the best results from my clients.
OVERSUBSCRIBED was recommended by Graeme Hind Founder of the LFX Network @my_lfx.
Here is what he had to say;
Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley is a must read for people who are self-employed, especially personal trainers.
The book reminds you to value yourself and your unique qualities when marketing and selling your services. It even contains references to PT!
I’m an audio-book fan and once I started listening to this I couldn’t turn it off.
The book was recommended to me by international retention and marketing specialist Jon Nasta
The Power of Moments comes recommended by Jon Nasta International retention and marketing specialist.
What if a Trainer could design a lesson plan that he knew his client would remember 20 years later?
The book delves into how to create stand out moments and not just be part of them.