Trainer-Approved Reads

If there’s one thing lockdown has given us, it’s a bit more time to spend on things that make us happy, including sitting down with a good book. Here, three Workshop trainers (and avid readers) share the book that they couldn’t put down…

Period Power by Maisie Hill

Says: Niki Bird, Performance & Fascial Stretch Specialist, Workshop London

"More often than not, especially in the world of fitness, periods are the taboo topic that are whispered about, or worse yet, not talked about at all. Quite honestly, we need to start normalising this conversation. The hormones of the menstrual cycle profoundly influence our energy, mood and behaviour. It affects our everyday lives, from how we eat, sleep, recover, and unsurprisingly when put in that context, our performance and results in the gym. Maisie's book has given me the tools to help manage my training around my cycle. Using certain phases to gain performance advantages and having an understanding of how to really manage the 'darker' days of my cycle. Science, sprinkled in with humour and relatability, Period Power has been a game changer and I only wish someone had given me this to read earlier."

The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Says: Lee Mullins, Founder of Workshop Gymnasium

“I just came back to this book again after hearing the author being interviewed on the Tim Ferris show. It’s all about prioritising things, narrowing the focus and identifying how to improve and do better in one area of life. That's whether it’s building a business strategy, improving your sleep or building muscle. The idea being if you’re chasing every rabbit, you’ll never catch any, but if you focus on one thing then you’ll do that thing better. It’s aimed at business but is totally applicable to everything in life. The same philosophy applies at the gym; what is the one thing you’re after? You could try for lots of goals, but you’ll probably end up getting none. It’s a really great book and I couldn’t put it down when I read it, but I'm always dipping back in for soundbites.”

Why We Sleep by Dr Matthew Walker

Says: Matt Cunningham, Performance Specialist, Workshop London

“I found this book so impactful because Matthew Walker eloquently explains just how crucial getting enough sleep really is. He presents all the latest, modern-day research on why we need consistent good quality sleep, and what the consequences are if we don't receive enough. Many of the facts and figures from the research were truly shocking, and after finishing this book, I personally made sleep one of the biggest priorities in my day to day life. Essentially, for 99% of us, around eight hours of quality sleep is the sweet spot for optimum physical repair, memory, cognitive sharpness, emotional health, hormonal balance – the list goes on and on. And it's not just the time, it is the quality, or the ranges of sleep we experience that matters also. We need to travel through all the various stages of sleep to restore and recover all the systems and mechanisms in our body and brain fully, in order to perform at our best each day. The modern world makes this challenging, due to the disproportionate amount of stimulus we receive, so the book also gives some advice and strategies on how we can best optimise our journey into slumber each evening.”

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