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Free, good eBooks

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:48 am
by mark74
The Internet these days is teeming with free ebooks, but not all of them are worth your time. This thread is about free eBooks that are.

Please note this is NOT a complete list. If you know of another good free ebook, post a reply and share it with us. You can also write a short introduction or review for it, if you feel like it. Any ebook that's good enough will be added to this post for browsing convenience, along with proper credit to the submitter.

And now the good stuff:

John Berardi - Precision Nutrition Strategies for Success
JB's Strategies for Success lays down 10 rules around which the basic nutrition for a person who's training for strength should be built. Although some of the advice may be a bit controversial and the relative importance of some mechanisms is overstated, this is thought provoking stuff for anyone who comes from a standard diet. The book also gives helpful tips and tricks on how to set up the preparation of food in order to support good nutrition in practice.
While I'm frankly skeptical about some of Berardi's views, like the superiority of the grazing strategy, or even its practicality, there's still a great deal of solid information presented in a simple and effective way.
To download, click here (direct link to PDF)

Martin Berkhan - The LeanGains Approach
LeanGains is a daily intermittent fasting regime whose aim is to be a sustainable method for attaining and maintaining a body fat percentage in the single digits. In The LeanGains Approach, Berkhan explains the basics of the system, how and why it works, and also gives an outline that works for beginners doing Starting Strength, the program Berkhan recommends.
To download, click here (direct link to PDF)
For more information, visit Berkhan's site and read this collection of FAQs.

Mehdi Hadim - The StrongLifts 5x5 Report (v3)
StrongLifts 5x5 is a popular strength training program for beginners and almost requires no introduction. The core of the program is multi-set low-rep work on 5 main lifts (squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press and barbell row) organized on two days where three exercises are performed. The system will have you adding weight on a session to session basis, and has rules to address progression, stalls, etc.
The book doesn't go in much depth on the specifics of the program, but mainly explores the rationale behind it, why it works, and its basic layout. For most of the practical stuff you'll be redirected to the StrongLifts blog, where you'll be reading articles addressing all the basics in a compact form. This approach is not without drawbacks, but all the information is basically there, it just requires more work on the reader's part. The StrongLifts blog also offers a wealth of information on a wide array of topics.
At the time of this writing, v3 is the most recent iteration of the program.
To download, click here

Mehdi Hadim - StrongLifts 5x5 v2
Version 2 is the StrongLifts program is provided here for convenience. The main differences between V2 and V3 are:
  • V2 has (optional) assistance work
  • V2 replaces the Barbell Row with the Inverted Row (but nobody will stop you from swapping it in again)
  • V2 is shorter and more to the point, with no success stories and not as many motivational speeches.
To download, click here (no email required)

Bert W. Herring - The Fast-5 Diet and Lifestyle
The Fast-5 diet is an intermittent fasting regime based on a 19/5 eating pattern, i.e. 19 hours of fasting followed by a 5-hour long feeding window. The eBook, which is also available in paperback form, is a step-by-step introduction to intermittent fasting, and aimed to the general public rather than the fitness enthusiast. Still, a number of 'advanced' concepts are presented in easy, understandable way. On the other hand, those familiar with the subject might find the explanations a bit overlong.
If you're thinking about giving IF a try, the Fast-5 ebook will bring you up to speed. However, for the specific details of nutrition, you will have to turn to other sources.
Download from the Fast-5 Website (registration required)

Mike Robertson - Self Myofascial Release
Also known simply as foam roalling, Self Myofascial Release is a form of soft tissue work that's intended to "increase muscle quality", reduce tightness and soreness. A quick introduction to the matter and the tools required will soon leave room for the meaty core of the ebook, a list of procedures to perform SMR on a number of muscles.
For each one of them, it is explained when to treat the muscle, the proper technique, what the most appropriate tool is, and execution alternatives.
It's a great all in one resource that doesn't rely on external links at all, and can be consulted even when you don't have internet access.
To download, click here (direct link to PDF)

Mark Sisson - Primal Blueprint Fitness
This ebook presents a complete solution for getting rid of excess body fat and increase your lean mass, that includes strength training, sprinting and cardio. Intended more as a lifestyle approach than a traditional program, the PBF offers nonetheless a complete full-body strength program ("Lift Heavy Things") which is the core of the book. Entirely based on bodyweight exercises, it comes with a ladder of increasingly hard variations of the basic lifts and a self-assessment test to gauge your current strength level and choose an appropriate starting point; while the easier variations are light enough that even the most out of shape beginners can handle them, the harder ones are probably challenging enough for an intermediate lifter.
Each exercise is both explained the book and demonstrated with a short (YouTube) video illustrating key points for proper execution. Since the Lift Heavy Things program requires almost no equipment, it's great even for those following a more traditional strength program, whenever you don't have access to a gym or barbell.
PBF also has chapters on the role of sprinting and low-intensity cardio, and takes time to address all the basics, like the importance of rest and warm up, the role of assistance work, common mistakes, etc so that even a complete beginner will be able to start off in the right groove.
To download, click here (email required)

Mark Sisson & The Daily Apple Community - Reader Created Cookbooks
Sisson is a proponent of a variation on the Paleo Diet that he calls Primal. These cookbooks contain a wealth of recipes conforming to the Primal set of guidelines, useful when you want to clean up your diet or you just want to try something new.
To download click here (email required)

Toban Wiebe - Complete Notes to Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories"
This is basically a crib sheet that summarizes the popular book by science writer Gary Taubes. It is available both in PDF format to be read on a PC, and an ePub version for eBook readers and the like.
Click here to read and download

--- Snippets and Articles ---

Mark Rippetoe - A Clarification
In this article Rippetoe establishes some guidelines to proper eating for people on a linear progress program. While of course the main focus of this articles is Starting Strength by the same author, it can also be applied to StrongLifts and other similar programs.
Click here to download (direct PDF link)

Mark Rippetoe - An Analysis of Deadlift
The title says it all. This is indepth stuff, for an introduction to deadlift form, look elsewhere.
Click here to download (direct PDF link)

Mark Rippetoe & Lon Kilgore - Weight Lifting Standards
The popular weight lifting standards from Practical Programming, in PDF format.
Click here to download (direct PDF link)

? - Reducing Fat in Cooked Ground Beef
For people on a budget who need plenty proteins without too much fat. It sounds like a lot of work, but here it is anyway.
Click here to download (no email required)

? - Wooden Power Rack Building Plans
This looks like a good, detailed plan to build a power rack out of wood. There is a long article complete with pics of several different racks built from the same template, and two downloadable PDF documents with the actual plans.
Click here to read and download

v01 - original post
v02 - added JB's Strategies for Success, sorted the books according to author's surname A>Z.
v03 - added Notes to GCBC, fixed some horrors
v04 - added Snippets & Articles section: Rippetoe - A clarification, deadlift and WL standards; Reducing Fat in Cooked Ground Beef; Wooden Power Rack Building Plans.
v05 - added The LeanGains Appraoach
v06 - added The Fast-5 Diet and Lifestyle

Re: Free, good eBooks

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:51 am
by Jungledoc
Good idea. Post some more quick! Tomorrow I'm leaving the land of fast internet and taking my Kindle with me!

Re: Free, good eBooks

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:20 pm
by mark74
Bump, updated to v05.

Re: Free, good eBooks

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:40 pm
by mark74
v06 adds The Fast-5 Diet & Lifestyle

Re: Free, good eBooks

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:31 pm
by jennyb
thanks so much for the free ebooks. Great post..we need more posts like this.

Re: Free, good eBooks

Posted: Fri May 18, 2012 4:17 am
by agent000
Will go on vacation next month, and this would be a great past time.

Re: Free, good eBooks

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:58 am
by jeremyrunner
Always looking for something great to read. Thanks for sharing!

Re: Free, good eBooks

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:21 am
by ricki
Thanks mark already I see a couple of good books :)

Re: Free, good eBooks

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:31 am
by BostRedSox12
Nice! I was looking for free diet and exercise ebooks online this is great. Please post more...