ASK A TRAINER: Can you recommend some fitness books?

Dear Fitbabe, Do you have any recommendations for general strength training/cardio/flexibility books? It doesn’t have to be a book, just some source of information. I am a young female (a former student of FFG’s actually), athletic, with a history of chronic back pain. I have undergone a nerve ablation procedure in my back and am temporarily pain free. My goal for the year is to get stronger and more flexible. I play rec sports but I want to go to the gym and workout with weights. I am a beginner at this and it is difficult to find some simple work out programs. I hate going to the gym without a plan. I am specifically looking to bulk up my arms and strengthen my back. I am not so much interested in a book with diet tips or nutritional advice, as I am a healthy weight and am not out to lose pounds. What I would like is a book with a variety of workouts, with descriptions of each exercise, so that I can simply choose one and go! I want to make sure I don’t pick up a random book that could potentially give me bad advice, or promote outdated exercises.


Hello Jammy!

First of all I commend you for continuing to pursue fitness after such an awful injury! Many people are afraid of re-injuring themselves and become sedentary as a result. It sounds like you need a physical assessment from someone like myself who can then prescribe certain movement patterns that are pain free, and that will correct any muscle imbalances. This way you would be able to continue to exercise with your goal of strength and flexibility. You can find a trainer with a background in kinetic chain assessments at the Universiity of Alberta Professional Fitness Unit, or you can message me for more information about how to arrange a consultation with me to get you started! There are many books which are amazing, and I could recommend some but it is much more appropriate for you to see someone in person first, to get you moving in the right direction. A book cannot tell you which muscles are tight and weak, and you may not realize that you are favouring certain movement patterns in which your dominant muscles are taking over.

Deanna Harder

Fitness Leadership Diploma, CSEP-CPT (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology-Certified Personal Trainer), and Figure Competitor

This entry was posted in Ask a Trainer and tagged by fitbabe. Bookmark the permalink.

About fitbabe

Deanna Harder is a college-certified, highly knowledgeable personal trainer, with over 20 years of experience. In addition to running her own business in Edmonton, she has competed in 6 figure competitions, and is always ready for a new challenge. Fitness Leadership Diploma, CSEP-CPT (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology-Certified Personal Trainer)

3 thoughts on “ASK A TRAINER: Can you recommend some fitness books?

  1. Hi Jammy, Thanks so much for your question. I want to second Fitbabe’s advice that you consult with experts before consulting fitness books or online sites. The best investment I ever made was hiring a personal trainer who taught me how to lift weights properly, with good form, correcting and encouraging me. I also consulted an athletic therapist–namely Scott Morris at NAIT in Edmonton—and he told me how to avoid reinjuring my back and gave me daily physio exercises to strengthen it.

  2. I have to say FFG/REN, It is an absolute delight reading your blogs/rants. This morning especially. I needed some light humour and it was the perfect medicine. Waiting 20 mins for a bus to show up that’s supposed to arrive in 3 mins was a treat…..(Insert sarcasm here) but this post was perfect 😉 thanks so much!

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