The Reading Room

Galya and I are asked to recommend books quite often, and while the list changes depending on who’s asking the question, we find that we often circle back to the same books, time and time again. So, we wrote some of them down.

These are just some of the books that have influenced Galina and me over the years. Good reads, all, with solid information and clear direction. The list of influential books is longer than this, of course, but this list is – to use a vastly overused word – the core.

Be sure to check back now and then, as we add more to the library.

Training and working out

Man on Top: Lose Fat, Get Fit, and Control Your Weight For Life, Roland Denzel and Galina Denzel – Yeah, this is our book, and if you haven’t read it yet, why not? It’s got a great home based workout plan that even works in a gym! It’s got lifestyle, diet, training, activity, and nutrition tips that start off slow and don’t force you to change who you are. Also includes a cookbook section, with 50+ manly recipes that are easy to make and family friendly, so you can get fit without forcing ‘diet food’ on the family!

25 Minutes to FitRoland Denzel and Galina Denzel – The truth is, you’ve been lied to, both by the people who tell you that you merely have to walk more to get fit, and by the people who point to bodybuilding magazines and tell you that you need to hit the gym 5-6 times per week. Lies, all of it, and we offer you the perfect counterattack in our No Time To Workout Workout! A home or gym based, one dumbbell workout that’s fast and efficient, and all the workout that you need to succeed!

New Rules of Lifting Supercharged, Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove – The whole series is great, but I recommend you start with this one, which is the newest! It’s got the latest and greatest training techniques, which are currently used by hundreds of Alwyn’s clients at Results Fitness. It’s got almost a year’s worth of programs, too! A great value, and a good read.

New Rules of Lifting for Abs & New Rules of Lifting for Life, Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove – If you’ve been hurt or out of the fitness game for years, one of these two books is a great place to start. These two books changed the weight lifting paradigm, incorporating the most up to date info on core stability, mobility, strength, and health. We don’t call it “the core” for nuthin!

Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Sexier, Healthier You!, Adam Campbell – For the next steps in training, this book brings you the biggest names in fitness, including Valerie Waters, Joe Dowdell, Rachel Cosgrove, and my wife, Galina Ivanova Denzel!

Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises, Adam Campbell – For a man’s next steps in training. You can “taste test” programs by the best in the business. I’m recommending the hardcopy book, in this case.

The Swing! Lose the Fat and Get Fit, Tracy Reifkind – Training with the kettlebell doesn’t get more efficient than this. Tracy distills kettlebell training down to the bare necessity; the kettlebell swing! The book takes you through the very workouts that Tracy used to lose 120 pounds and to help her clients lose weight and get fit, today.

Diet and Nutrition

The Real Food Reset: 30 days to lose weight, kick cravings & feel great! Roland Denzel and Galina Denzel – Yeah, this is our 2nd book, and it’s all about ‘real food’ and what it can do for your health and your waistline. Get in touch with your primal instincts, detox your body, and cleanse yourself of cravings, all with real food!


It Starts with Food, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig – It’s ‘Real Food’ to the core, and detailed in a fun and entertaining style. Ancestral eating at it’s best, with plenty of references in the back to the science of food and our biology, and what bad food choices have been doing to us all these years. It’s a little big ‘tough love’ compared to Mark Sisson’s books, but this is why God made chocolate and vanilla, right?



Never Let Go, Dan John – More a book of inspiration and fitness wisdom, peppered with golden training tips, Dan brings his common sense in an easy to read and entertaining book that’s sure to motivate you for a long time. Dan John is one of my greatest inspirations, and so much of what I do is because of what I’ve learned from him.

Happiness is a Serious Problem, Dennis Prager – I credit Dennis Prager and this book for the inspiration to lose weight and keep it off. At the time of this writing, it’s been ten years since I went on that last diet. Whether you’re overweight, underweight, sick, sad, down, or living a live that’s just not happy, you owe it to yourself and those around you to read this book.



Meals in Minutes: Hearty Soups, Georgeanne Brennan – This book was an impulse buy at the store. It’s not a diet or health focused cookbook, but turns out it’s naturally healthy. The author, Georeanne Brennan also does a great job putting together wonderful dishes with very few ingredients, which are quick, easy, and delicious.

Grillin’ For Life, Bobby Flay – “Grilling is the most basic method of cooking there is. It dates back to the time of cavemen – food plus fire equals good. But when it comes to healthy food from the grill, evolution has been slow… Bobby Flay’s Grilling for Life is, first and foremost, about getting the biggest, boldest flavor possible from food and fire while making healthy choices all the way.”

Art of Manliness Man Cookbook – A free, and manly, cookbook, just for signing up for their newsletter! Subscribe at


Of course, there’s really no end to great books on fitness, nutrition, motivation, and cooking, but these are a great place to start.

There are many more books that have had great influence on us, books filled with things like anatomy, chemistry, and physics. Books chock full of studies and references, and packed high with science! You know the ones. Those books are great, and we rely on them all the time. One one day we’ll sit down and write that list, too.


Roland & Galya

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