Spin® Life Blog

Books We Love!

Books We Love!

Posted by Spinning® on Feb 23rd 2022

When it comes to what we like to do (second to Spinning®, of course), there’s nothing more that warms ours hearts in the winter months than curling up with a good book! In the interest of keeping your heart happy and brain nurtured and nourished, we offer you these books we love – brought to you by our very well-read Spinning® Master Instructor Team. Below you’ll find titles not only about cycling, but also about leadership, breathwork, team building and other facets that go into creating a Spinning® practice – either as a rider or instructor. Enjoy the Read!

Cat Booker

Spinning® Master Instructor & Power Specialist Master Instructor – UK & Ireland

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones - James Clear

The opening chapter, “The Fundamentals,” takes you straight to the theory of making small changes and how they have a cumulative effect. The example given is when the governing body for professional cycling hired performance coach Dave Brailsford. He came into an underperforming Cycling Olympic Team GB, but applied his strategy 'the aggregation of marginal gains.’ During a ten-year span of improvements (2007-2017), British cyclists won 178 world championships, 66 Olympic or Paralympic gold medals, and captured five Tour de France victories in what is widely regarded as the most successful run in cycling history.

Being Aware of Being Aware (The Essence of Meditation Series) - Rupert Spira

S.U.M.O (Shut Up, Move On): The Straight-Talking Guide to Succeeding in Life - Paul McGee

Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day - Jay Shetty

The Cure for Sleep - Tanya Shadrick

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? - Dr. Julie Smith

The Woman Code: 20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life - Alisa Vitti

Pam Blum

Spinning® Master Instructor – Maryland, USA

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art - James Nestor

If I were large and in charge, Breath by James Nestor would be mandatory reading for anyone who breathes… and definitely for trainers who guide others to breathe hard. Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said, “Where the mind goes, the body will follow.” So then, what does the mind follow? The breath. Breath is, of course, life itself. It is the essence of aliveness. The book will breathe more inspiration into the act of respiration and offer ways to harness the untapped, underappreciated power of breath for health and performance. Our ancestors knew this power about long before modern pulmonauts measured it scientifically.

The Body - Bill Bryson

And mandatory reading for anyone who lives in a body, The Body by Bill Bryson, is an entertaining, incredibly informative dive into each system in our body. It reports what science knows now and how the majority of what happens inside is still a mystery of magnificence.

Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What Is Sacred - Mark Nepo

And if I were stranded on a desert island all alone, the book I'd hope to have for sanity and wisdom is Seven Thousand Ways to Listen. It’s one of the most thought-provoking books I've studied. Take this one slow, it's full of heart-felt wisdom that invites deep listening with reflective pauses.

First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life & Living - Richard Bode

Finally, this book for reflection on life and offers an artistic weaving of how the simple lessons of sailing can be universal guides to steering the storms of life…whether the wind is in our sail or we are fogbound. Bode discovers at a young age that he and his rowboat become one, which is what I have felt on my Spinner® bike at times.

Pru Comben

Spinning® Master Instructor - Bristol, UK

ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life - Stacy T. Sims

The reason I love Roar by Stacy Sims is that it makes so much sense. It looks at the way research into sports science has traditionally been conducted using college-age men, however women, as she writes, are not small men! The differences in our biology appear to be small, but sometimes these differences are either ignored or misunderstood…meaning women don't always train optimally. This book isn't just for women though, it's for men who train women, which I expect is the majority of our Spinning® Instructors.

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance - Alex Hutchinson

As for Endure, the Endurance EZ™ is one of my favorites to teach as it brings home the mind-body connection we coach in our classes. Endure takes what we do for 45 minutes and tells stories about people who endure for hours, even days, to achieve terrific feats of human endeavor. It's an inspirational read which shows that almost anything is possible.

Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice - Matthew Syed

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead - Brené Brown

The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness – Dr. Steve Peters

Robin Divine

Spinning® Master Instructor - New Mexico, USA

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success - Carol S. Dweck

I was introduced to the book by a colleague about 3 years ago while I was on a journey to discover a path that would bring me more joy and fulfillment. Having put myself in uncomfortable positions intentionally throughout my life, I discovered through this book the difference between a fixed mindset and growth mindset. Embracing the fact that I have a growth mindset and allowing it to guide my work, personal life, coaching and training has helped me break through barriers I did not believe I could conquer.

Helen Farrow

Spinning® Master Instructor – England

Einstein and the Art of Mindful Cycling: Achieving Balance in the Modern World - Ben Irvine

Einstein and the Art of Mindful Cycling is a gem of a book that has inspired many a ride for me. It is the perfect balance of science and mindfulness that we always reach for in Spinning®. Linking into Einstein’s life, this book explores the strong links between cycling and mindfulness in an easy-to-read manner and is littered with great cycling quotes.

The One Life We're Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart - Mark Nepo

I have long been a fan of Mark Nepo and The One Life We’re Given is a little go-to for me. It’s not a book to read cover-to-cover. Each chapter tells a story from his life and comes with points of reflection or guidance for meditation. I have felt a whole range of emotion when reading some of these chapters from humility and gratitude to sadness and understanding. The quotes he uses are so thought-provoking, inspirational and numerous! Hope you enjoy this little hug of a book.

Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success - Matthew Syed

Every Moment Matters: How the World's Best Coaches Inspire Their Athletes and Build Championship Teams - John O’ Sullivan

Gift from the Sea - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness - Vex King

Melanie Guadalupe

Spinning® Master Instructor - Virginia, USA

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business - Charles Duhigg

There are several reasons why I love the books I shared. However, I’ll pinpoint The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It’s an insightful read which explores the psychology and neurology concerning how a conscious choice can become an automatic habit when repeated. 40% of our daily actions are habit. Duhigg focuses on individual and collective behavior modification and how we hold the power to transform our lives, one choice at a time. As instructors, we influence participants who seek changes to their health and wellness. This book digs deep into the science, provides relatable, research-based examples, and illustrates simple tools that anyone can add to their toolkit to use in their daily lives.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives - Dan Millman

This book was suggested to me at my initial Spinning® Instructor Certification in 1999 by the incredible MI Sarah Morelli. It’s been a mantra for my life – the journey is the destination!

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience - Brené Brown, PhD

SUPERGENES, Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well Being - Deepak Chopra M.D. and Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela - Nelson Mandela

Jeff Krabiel

Spinning® Master InstructorTennessee, USA

Social Skills Activities for Kids: 50 Fun Exercises for Making Friends, Talking and Listening, and Understanding Social Rules - Natasha Daniels

This book has information that would be very useful to our instructor community. It provides multiple exercises on how to better: work with people who are not always friendly, gain the trust of others in an appropriate manner, and make a point or social connection without appearing to too eager. These skills can help instructors learn to encourage others to believe in and commit to the teaching environment.

Tami Reilly

Spinning® Master Instructor – Connecticut, USA

These books have given me the ability to reframe my view on topics related to life and how they can be applicable to Spinning®, coaching and creating profiles. They have added depth and perspective which has enhanced the language and visualization I use when coaching as well as the inspiration for some actual rides. I love reading a book and thinking about how it can be relevant to my students on the bike. Each of these titles have moved me in this way.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives - Dan Millman

Specifically, with The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, was a book that I purchased at the WSSC store back in the day (maybe in 2000)! It instilled in me this idea that as coaches we must find new tools and skills from literature beyond the traditional science and sports psychology books; and that life lessons can be a part of what we deliver on the bike. This book is a spiritual saga that portrays the life of a peaceful warrior as one of meditation, mindfulness, compassion, and acceptance – all of which are relatable in our pursuit of living well. This is something important to my own daily practice of life.

Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence - Gary Mack and David Casstevens

The Warrior of the Light - Paulo Coelho

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World - the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

The Four Agreements - Miguel Ruiz

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia - Elizabeth Gilbert

Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living - Mark Nepo

Maryjo Ruckel

Spinning® Master Instructor – New York, USA

Many years ago, when I first became an instructor, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ride with Johnny G. At the most challenging part of the ride Johnny said, “Dig deep and find your inner champion. We are all champions.” Those words inspired me to not only ride harder on the bike but set in motion my journey to become an MI.

How do we find our inner champion? How do we go behind our eyes and be witness to the words we tell ourselves? Does the story we tell ourselves serve us to discover our champion or just give us excuses? The topic of mental training and sports psychology has been my focus during the last 25+ years as a Spinning® Instructor. Training the mind is crucial to help our students push beyond their threshold to find their inner champion. As Spinning® Instructors, it is important for us to understand all aspects of training, both mentally and physically. What the mind says, the body does.

I’ve selected books that I use to go behind my eyes to explore my own boundaries, on and off the bike. I can’t pick a favorite because they are all important. Each book focuses on different aspects of going within. When I start to feel stale, I just go to my library for inspiration.

The Art of Mental Training: A Guide to Performance Excellence - DC Gonzalez

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself - Michael Singer

Carlos Uribe

Power Specialist Master Instructor - Mexico

It' Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life - Lance Armstrong

Being a cyclist since my teenage years, I wanted to learn how to get faster, climb harder, endure for hours. This is where one of my first books come in: It's Not About the Bike. My favorite cyclist of all time is Lance Armstrong. I've been a super fan of him since his battle with cancer, even before he became a great cycling legend. Since I was a young, training was very important for me. This is why I started reading up on Lance and his coach Chris Carmichael. They were the first to inspire me to become a cycling coach and later a Spinning® Instructor. All the other books come from reading about the life of Lance, his struggles and training.

The Ultimate Ride: Get Fit, Get Fast, and Start Winning with the World's Top - Chris Carmichael

Chris Carmichael's Food for Fitness: Eat Right to Train Right - Chris Carmichael

Exercise Testing and Exercise Prescription for Special Cases - James S. Skinner

Training and Racing with a Power Meter - Hunter Allen

The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss (Why Intermittent Fasting Is the Key to Controlling Your Weight) – Dr. Jason Fung

Complete Guide to Fasting (Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting) - Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore

The Cyclist's Training Bible: The World's Most Comprehensive Training Guide - Joe Friel

Breatheology: The Art of Conscious Breathing - Stig Avall Severinsen

Martha Williams

Spinning® Master Instructor – Canada

The Mindful Athlete, Secrets to Pure Performance - George Mumford

This book brings to life the importance of mindfulness in relationship to performance. To truly be at your strongest requires more than a powerful body, but a clear focused and strong mind. Spinning®, in its truest form, offers more than physical training, it also offers mental training. When we are present, mindful and in awareness, we find our “home.” We find our center. This book exemplifies the power of being mentally strong, giving examples of how the author used mental cues and strategies to enhance an athlete’s performance. (For fun, here is a playlist I’ve used for my Mindful Athlete Ride which I’ve presented at SEJA.)

Thinking Body, Dancing Mind Taosports for Extraordinary Performance in Athletics, Business and Life - Chungking Al Huang & Jerry Lynch

The Power Meter Handbook: A User's Guide for Cyclists and Triathletes - Joe Friel

The Science of Mind - Ernest Holmes

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment - Elkhart Tolle

Luciana Marcial-Vincion, M.A.

Global Master Instructor Team Manager – South Carolina, USA

As much of a science devotee that I am, I find myself leaning in to poetry for much of my messaging when crafting rides. The vulnerability of poetry helps me tap in to the emotional landscape of the mind/body connection in the Spinning® program. I find that the classes with heart and soul coaching layered on top of the scientific training components are the ones that move me the most. Language that calls to the deepest parts of our being can make a ride pure magic! I encourage instructors to seek out poetry that resonates with them personally; there are so many talented poets to explore, ranging from classic to contemporary. Definitely check out Chasers of the Light and She’ll Find the Sky below!

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul - Howard Schultz

Tao Te Ching - Jonathan Star

Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything - Stephen M.R. Covey

The Tao of Teaching: The Ageless Wisdom of Taoism and the Art of Teaching - Greta Nagel, PhD

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds - Carmine Gallo

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever - Michael Bungay Stanier

Chasers of the Light (Poems from the Typewriter Series) - Tyler Knott Gregson

She'll Find the Sky (A Collection of Poems) - Christy Ann Martine

Betty Simmons

Spinning® Master Instructor – Illinois, USA

The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive - Jim Afremow, Phd

Bruce Lee Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living - Bruce Lee

Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence - Gary Mack

Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery - Christie Aschwanden

Breathwork: A 3-Week Breathing Program to Gain Clarity, Calm, and Better Health - Valerie Moselle

The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay

The Holy Bible

Marci Williams

Spinning® Master Instructor & Power Specialist Master Instructor – Utah, USA

Body, Mind, and Sport: The Mind-Body Guide to Lifelong Health, Fitness, and Your Personal Best - John Doulliard

Spanish Language Titles

Adrián Zepeda Baldizón

Spinning® Master Instructor – Nicaragua

El Método H.A.B.L.A - Álvaro Gordoa

On the return flight home from 2018 MI camp, I picked up this book at the airport. It’s allowed me to gain more confidence and security with each class I present. Without a doubt, this book has changed me…

El Poder de los Hábitos - Charles Duhigg

El Monje que Vendió Su Ferrar - Robin Sharma

Fernando Acevedo

Spinning® Master Instructor – Venezuela

Preparacion fisica con pulsometro (Biblioteca Polar Pulsometro) - Neil Craig

I chose this book for two reasons. First, it was one of the first books I read when I was just getting certified some 21 years ago. A great friend and Master Instructor gave it to me – Pedro Plaza. The book has been with me ever since! The second reason is that it has served as a guide for me to understand didactically, and in a very simple way, everything related to training with heart rate, one of the fundamental pillars of the Spinning® program. The book shows how to use a heart rate monitor as a tool to create an individually-tailored training program. It’s is also very easy to read and understand and has many helpful graphics.

Carlos Fuentes

Spinning® Master Instructor & Power Specialist Master Instructor - Spain

El Arte de la Guerra - Sun Tzu

Hasta la Cumbre - Pablo Dominguez Prieto

Mindfulness para Principantes - Jon Kabat Zinn

I-Ching - Thomas Cleary

BONUS: As you might have guessed, one must-read – or re-read for that matter – is the Spinning® Instructor Manual itself. It’s available for purchase in hard copy, but only until we run out. Once they’re gone, they’re gone, so pick up your copy today!