A question I get fairly frequently is to recommend books on developing muscle mass. And unfortunately, there tend to be few on the list. In my experience over the years, books tend to come in one of two categories.
The first is a book on training written by whatever professional bodybuilder is popular at the time. Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding is probably one of the best known (and just carrying the damn thing is a training effect in its own right) but Dorian, Tom Platz and many others have written books as well. Occasionally coaches such as John Parillo, who’s book is actually quite excellent, or Vince Gironda, who’s book is, well, interesting have been written.
And while there is certainly information to be gleaned from these, they are always colored by the issue of steroid use. Steroids often make the training being done far less relevant. Again, I’m not saying that the advice should be ignored, it just has to be considered within the realities of the sport.
At the other end of the spectrum tend to be scientifically (or to use the current term “evidence based”) tomes on the topic. Most of these have actually dealt more with strength training than bodybuilding per se and a lot of them leave a lot to be desired in my opinion. A lot of this, honestly is that, for most of the years of exercise science research, there just wasn’t a lot of good stuff on muscle growth being done. That’s changed in recent years. Which brings me to today’s product review which is Brad Schoenfeld’s new textbook on the topic.