The Best 10 Books That Every CrossFitter Should Read

CrossFit, ‘The Sport of Fitness’, is only a relatively young sport, but there’s already a lot of literature out there.

Many Elite level CrossFit athletes have taken to writing about their personal experiences which makes for fascinating reading.

Even if you aren’t into CrossFit, this list of books is enjoyable, thought-provoking and in many ways helpful.

Here are the best 10, along with a useful synopsis for each one. Enjoy reading!

Note: All page counts are for paperback versions, except where noted.

1. ‘Speal – A David and Goliath Story’ – Chris Spealler and Andréa Maria Cecil

This is a great read about one of the innovators and stalwarts of the sport.

At 5’5 and weighing 64kg, his general physique is much smaller than all of his counterparts at The CrossFit Games.

The book depicts Chris Speallers life from his college wrestling days, right through to his competitive career in the CrossFit Games as it gained traction from 2007 onwards.

He openly delves into family, friends, his faith, personal struggles as well as what it’s like to the smallest guy in the CrossFit field.

Ease of read: 8/10

Pages: 346 pages

Published: 2018

Audible: YES | Kindle: YES

Speal – A David and Goliath Story

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2. ‘Hard Work Pays Off: Transform Your Body and Mind with CrossFit’s Five-Time Fittest Man on Earth’ – Mat Fraser

Written by the 5x winner of The CrossFit Games, Mat Fraser releases his HWPO secrets for anyone who wants to train to win.

A compilation of beastly workouts, programmed by the master himself and technique masterclasses, the exercises range in everything from weightlifting, gymnastics, kettlebells, running, swimming, rowing and Strongman.

It’s well crafted into sub-sections which makes for easy cherry picking. But the intention of the book is that you cover it all, so make sure to do so.

The book is recognised to be suitable for all levels, utilising “CrossFit’s infinitely” scalable system.

Particularly suited for those garage or Open Gym trainers who like solitude and grit, much like Mat Fraser in his parents basement!

Grab a copy and get lifting.

Note: this is more of a ‘training manual’ and not a memoir.

Ease of read: 7/10

Pages: 272

Published: 2019

Audible: YES | Kindle: YES

Hard Work Pays Off: Transform Your Body and Mind with CrossFit’s Five-Time Fittest Man on Earth’ – Check Price Here

3. ‘As Many Reps As Possible’ – Jason Khalipa

Written by the labrador of CrossFit, Khalipa goes into the what it took to be crowned the 2008 Fittest on Earth.

His open writing style admits how addiction to success took hold, and that he had accepted a recalibration was needed of what in the world is most important.

Without giving too much away (but this is noted on the book synopsis) the Khalipa family were dealt a serious hand of adversity when his youngest daughter Ava was diagnosed with Leukaemia.

A must read for anyone that wants to know about the nitty gritty of parenting and spouse-hood, whilst training twice a day 5-6 days per week for The CrossFit Games.

Ease of read: 8/10

Pages: 145

Published: 2019

Audible: YES | Kindle: YES

As Many Reps As Possible – Check price here

4. ‘What It Takes To Win’ – Rich Froning Jr – with David Thomas

The GOAT of CrossFit (Greatest Of All Time) puts pen to paper in this thrilling repertoire of his experiences at The CrossFit Games.

One of the first CrossFit athletes to get a book out there, Froning talks about his home life, his faith and how it helped shape who he is, and the sheer determination to win.

It contains many firsthand accounts of standout workouts at the Games for him, where he has won 4 times as an individual, before stepping back to compete (and dominate) in the Team category.

He breaks down that infamous rope climb in 2010, too!

Great to hear from The Champ and well worth a read.

Ease of read: 7.7/10

Pages: 284

Published: 2015

Audible: YES | Kindle: YES

What It Takes To Win – Check Price Here.

5. ‘Start Your Engines’ – Samantha Briggs

British-made Sam Briggs has been around the sport for a long while. This book looks through the lens of an athlete who’s on the older side.

Sam is the epitome of resilience, a true inspiration.

Tia Claire-toomey

Briggs is now over 40 and qualifies for the Masters category 2 (40-45). She started her high-level competitive streak in her late 20’s, winning The CrossFit Games in 2013.

Get inside the athlete mind with her take on what it sounds, feels and looks like to compete at ‘The Fittest on Earth’ – the biggest and hardest test of fitness the world’s ever seen.

This carefully crafted memoir also details her life in Northern England, dealing with injury as a professional athlete and what it means to be Sam “The Engine” Briggs.

Ease of read: 7.5/10

Pages: 336

Published: 2021

Audible: YES | Kindle: YES

Start Your Engines – Check Price Here

6. ‘How I Became The Fittest Woman On Earth: My Story So Far’ – Tia Claire-Toomey

After winning The CrossFit Games in 2017 at 24 years old, Tia recites how she was always highly competitive, but was never number 1 at anything.

She’s won The CrossFit Games a mammoth 6 times and taken 2nd twice, making her the most successful female CrossFitter in its history. Her title and trophy cabinet will be hard to beat. She’s technically the actual GOAT, going one more than Fraser.

Furthermore, she has represented her country, Australia, in the -58kg Olympic Weightlifting category at the Commonwealth Games, where she took gold. Further accolades include silver at the Pacific Games, and silver and bronze in the Oceania Championships

This story is one of determination and diligence, inspiring thousands of men, women, boys and girls around the globe.

The paperback edition is well worth it for the illustrations which really brings her story alive.

Ease of read: 8.5/10

Pages: 200

Published: 2018

Audible: NO | Kindle: YES

How I Became The Fittest Woman On Earth: My Story So Far – Check Price Here.

7. ‘Dottir: My Journey to Becoming a Two-Time CrossFit Games Champion’ – Katrin Davidsdottir

Starting CrossFit in 2011 when she was only 18, Icelandic Davidsdottir took back-to-back 1st place finishes at The CrossFit Games in 2015 and 2016.

Her book describes how a lack of qualification in 2014 for The CrossFit Games provided that fire in the belly, which ultimately provided her with the focus to go ahead and win both subsequent years.

She still continues to be one of the fittest women on earth and was trained for a number of years by Ben Bergeron.

She is now trained by Jami Tikkanen and hails from CrossFit Reykjavik, which is renowned for its output of CrossFit titans.

Certainly worth a read for anyone needing some exercise and competitive inspo!

Ease of read: 7.75/10

Pages: 203

Published: 2020

Audible: YES | Kindle: YES

Dottir: My Journey to Becoming a Two-Time CrossFit Games Champion – Check Price Here.

8. ‘Start Where Others Stop: 9 Strategies For Optimising Your Mind’ – Zack George

Hailing from the UK and known as the fittest man in the UK in 2021, Zack George offers a biography, with some science thrown in.

Also included is the ever-important mental health topic, which is so prominent today, especially in the digital generation where things can be toxic.

His life story manifests throughout the book and he comes across a thoroughly interesting and compassionate character behind the silverback strength.

A clear take on how important the mind is to the body. Something that’s so easily forgotten or overlooked in sport, and in life.

There is a lot of sentence which start “I this”, or “I that” which can be a little grating, but still enjoyable.

It could arguably fit in the self-help section as well as sports and fitness.

A really interesting read all-around. It’s peppered with anecdotal evidence and exercises to help you’re mindset (SWOS – start where others stop).

Ease of read: 7/10

Pages: 240

Published: 2021

Audible: YES | Kindle: YES

Note: Hardback only from April 2021. Paperback on 2023 preorder.

Start Where Others Stop – 9 Strategies For Optimising Your Mind. Check Price Here.

9. ‘Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World’s Fittest Athletes’ – Ben Bergeron

We can’t really not include this book. Chasing Excellence – of the same name as his podcast – provides real-world experience and empirical data on how to be a more excellent human being.

Bergeron has coached a notable number of the fittest athletes in the world, such as Katrin Davidsdottir, Mat Fraser, Brooke Wells and Cole Sager, just to name a few.

His program ‘CompTrain’ has been donned by thousands around the world.

With just 5 minutes of listening to his podcast or reading this book, you can see just how his positive and iron-clad mindset positively affects his team members.

The takeaways are far more expansive than just CrossFit. The applications can be used for work, parenting, family, fitness – or anything else in your life that needs levelling up.

It’s easy to see why this book is so popular.

Ease of read: 8.75/10

Pages: 202

Published: 2017

Audible: YES | Kindle: YES

Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World’s Fittest Athletes – Check Price Here.

9. ‘Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE’ – Phil Knight

This is one of those hard-to-put-down books. Funny, fascinating, exciting, interesting – all of the adjectives!

Nike is one of – if not the – biggest sporting brands on the planet. But it came from the humblest of beginnings.

Plagued by huge debts, Japanese money going hand-to-mouth and a lot of gambles, Nike came to be the multi-billion dollar brand and culture it is today.

With over 21k reviews on Amazon and maintaining a solid 4.7 stars, its clear just how special this book is.

An absolute must-read – even if you’re not into sports!

Ease of read: 9.5/10

Pages: 400

Published: 2018

Audible: YES | Kindle: YES

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE – Check Price Here.

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