Books or resources to learn about exercise physiology?

Hi! I recently started analyzing my training more deeply and got (in part thanks to the deep discussions in the TR Podcast) got really interested in exercise physiology. Any recommendations on some introductory books, websites, podcasts?


I’m thinking about getting this one as I know very little about the subject but, after being on this forum for a while, have got very interested in the subject. Anatomy and Physiology For Dummies

While it’s technically around running, many of the same principles apply. Science of Running by Steve Magness covers a lot of the physiology behind running which follows the same principles for cycling. Second half of the book then becomes a bit more fixated on running training but if you also run it’s a great and highly detailed read.

Endure by Alex Hutchinson is a great read regarding some of the physio limits that bodies face in endurance sports. It’s not as pure of a deep dive as Science of Running but is a rather compelling read and focuses on what physiological (and psychological) aspects limit endurance performance.

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This was one of my textbooks as an undergrad (previous edition):

Physiology of Sport and Exercise 7th Edition With Web Study Guide
by W. Larry Kenney PhD, Jack H. Wilmore, PhD and David L. Costill, PhD

At that point, it depends on what you’re interested in. I assume endurance sports. The publisher Human Kinetics should have texts and books about specific topics. I would start there if you want to take a more academic approach.

I thought this lecture series was also good:
USA Cycling Coaches Clinic - Sport Science

(one nice thing about listening to that series is that you’ll never be one of those annoying ppl looking for “scientific proof”. Lecturer does a fantastic job of elucidating how popular media, and society misunderstand how to apply scientific findings (at a high level).

Maybe start there.

If it’s cycling and power-training specific concepts that you want to understand, there is Coggan and Allen’s book, as well as the whole cottage industry that came out of that. (By using TrainerRoad you are a participant in that industry.) You could take a deep-dive into the WKO4/TrainingPeaks videos. You’ll learn a lot, but that stuff is very cycling (and power training) specific. The drawback there is that you might not be able to tease out the difference between basic sports physiology concepts (that apply across the board) and power-training jargon and ideas. For example, most physiologists in the world likely don’t know (or care) what FTP is, but they can tell you about lactate dynamics all day. The drawback to just taking the academic approach is that you’ll learn about something like glycolysis (for example), but not necessarily how to apply basic physiology to the real world (your day-to-day training).


:+1:t3: This is very good


I can’t remember exactly where I saw it … probably on the Christmas 2021 gift thread … but I’ve started listening to the audiobook version of Endure by Alex Hutchinson and I really like it. The book goes as deep as @chad does on some of his deep dives but the author has decades of writing experience. Highly recommended.

I read the 6th edition of Physiology of Sport and Exercise. Excellent book.

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I did a masters in Exercise Science (albeit in the mid '90s); Wilmore and Costill were the gold standard reference. Used it again when I taught exercise phys in PT (physio) school. I would imagine the updated textbook is just as informative and well laid out

I’m on chapter 2 at the moment, Dr Skiba is a great communicator. It’s more aimed at understanding yourself and potentially self coaching, but it’s a lot of the “why” behind the words too


I like this book, too. Just finished it. I appreciated the sections on modeling. And of course it wouldn’t be a book by Skiba w/o good coverage of CP, W’, and W’Bal. I don’t have dog in the fight with any of the tools (GC, WKO5, etc), but I liked the more “academic” presentation of those concepts.

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I’m enjoying this very much. Brooks is ISM mentor

Sorry I didn’t mean to respond to you, just a general reply to the thread

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Hah, yes a lot on W’ and CP so far. I’ve been so used to more ley terms like LT1, LT2 etc, that relating back and fore has my head spinning at times!

Hoping that it will solidify my thoughts that (for me) heavy sweetspot is just a little too hard

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I just picked up a copy of:

Textbook of Work Physiology by Per-Olof Astrand

Stephen Seiler always mentions this book. Since it’s an older book, it’s easy to find a nice copy for $10-20.

I’m also reading the Skiba book which I would recommend. I wish I read his books five years ago. It really gives a nice top down view of training for endurance sports.

Really want to pick this up but doesn’t seem to be available in the UK (yet?). Interestingly, whenever I click the link for the book it takes me to the UK amazon site and shows me a book called “High-Performance Nutrition for Masters Athletes” instead!

I had to go direct, Amazon wasn’t showing delivery to the UK.

I got stung on international shipping, but hey ho.

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