Inspirational Gym Audiobooks – Great Biographies To Listen To At The Gym
Listening to music while going to the gym is a great idea. Most gyms have a speaker system going, but people usually bring in their own music device and listen to their headphones. I love listening to music while working out. A good, high energy song will pump me up and give me a little adrenalin rush, making my lifting seem easier.
At the same time, I don’t read as much as I would like. Between work, the gym, seeing friends, getting groceries, doing laundry, etc. I don’t have much time for reading. This is why I love audiobooks. With an audiobook I can listen to a really well narrated reading of a book, while having my eyes and hands free to do something else.
I started listening to audiobooks a few years ago and have no looked back. I especially like that audiobooks to do strain my eyes. At work I sit in front of a computer all day, reading text. My eyes work hard for those eight hours. I want to give my eyes a break, so instead of reading books, I listen to books.
I also listen to audiobooks at the gym. They don’t get me pumped as much as a high energy song, but they do make the gym more interesting. My mind is stimulated just as much as my body. And the time I spend working out goes by much faster.
Right now it’s winter. The days are shorter and colder and it’s a little harder to get out of bed in the morning. There are definitely days where I find myself thinking that I should skip going to the gym. One thing that keeps me going is knowing that for the hour that I will be at the gym I will not only be working out, but will also be able to listen to the next chapter of whatever audiobook I am currently into.
A benefit of having headphones on while at the gym is that random guys will be less likely to come talk to you. This is especially important for women. Guys at the gym will go out of their way to talk to any woman there, when clearly all the woman wants to do is get her lifts in. But even guys have to deal with the older dudes who go into the gym, hang out the weight and tell everyone that will listen about their past days as a power lifter, or what they think about politics, or what advice they have to offer in terms of nutrition. These dude suck. They are gain goblins. Instead of letting you do your set they sit there, demanding your attention, blabbing on about whatever. With headphones on and an audiobook or music playing, they will usually ignore you.
Personally, I listen to just about anything while at the gym. Science fiction, fantasy, history, biographies, whatever. But I have found that there are certain books that will inspire me to go to the gym and inspire me to lift harder. These books are usually biographies of successful athletes. Hearing someone write about all the hard work that they had to put in to make it big is really inspiring. Listening to the dedication and resolve that others have inspires me to be more dedicated and resolute.
These are five of the most inspiring gym audiobook biographies and autobiographies that I have listened to. They all made me want to get up and be the best person I could be, inside the gym and outside the gym.
Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger
If you are into bodybuilding, weightlifting or go anywhere near the weights at your gym, this is a great book to listen to. It’s a real treat when the author of a book narrated the audiobook himself. In this case Arnold narrates the first and last chapters of the book.
This inspiring audiobook is an autobiography of Arnold’s life. From his youth in Austria, to when he first discovered bodybuilding to his becoming a movie star. It’s all there, all the things that inspired Arnold. He spends a good amount of time talking about his gym days and what it was like to be a star bodybuilder, but he also talks about other aspects of his life. I had no idea that he became a millionaire well before his first movie.
Arnold has a true drive to get the most out of life. You see hear how he goes through all aspects of his life trying to be the best there is. This book is an inspiration for the gym, but also for life outside of the gym.
It’s a story about some kid in rural Austria, moving to the United States and becoming one of the most famous people in the world. A truly inspiration story.
Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson
As Arnold is the most famous bodybuilder of all time, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson is the most famous boxer of all time. To his fans he will always be known as champ. Tyson is also a controversial figure. A kid from the hood, with a troubled childhood and a troubled adult life. He had everything and lost everything.
This biography goes through Mike Tyson’s life story. From his childhood, to his first fight, to getting sent to juvenile detention and learning how to box. If it wasn’t for boxing, Mike would have likely ended up in prison or dead. Instead, he found a sport that challenged him and made him great.
He also had plenty of screw ups along the way, and he describes all of them. Looking back, some are funny, but many are tragic. Tyson describes the criminal elements of his past, how poorly he and others managed his money, how he made some really terrible mistakes, his drug addictions, and his boxing career. It’s an incredible story.
Before listening to this audiobook I knew little about Tyson beyond his boxing career. I had no idea he came from one of the poorest neighborhoods of Brooklyn. I had no idea he was fat as a child and has always struggled with his weight. This books is more than just a sports memoir, it is a truly interesting autobiography.
Way of the Fight by Georges St. Pierre
Georges St. Pierre is one of the great Mixed Martial Arts fighters. He was the number one ranked welterweight in the world for several years and the Canadian Athlete of the Year. His name, or the acronym that many know him by, GSP, is known to all MMA fans.
In this autobiography, GSP describes his life, and the handwork and dedication it took to get to be a champion. Like Mike Tyson, St. Pierre was bullied as a child, but grew up to become one of the toughest fighters in the world.
While Mike Tyson and Arnold Schwarzenegger talk about many aspects of their lives, they do not always focus on how driven they were. Their audiobooks are great biographies and can be enjoyed by athletes and non-athletes. St. Pierre’s book on the other hand will be appreciated much more by those who are themselves athletes. Gym goes, mixed martial artists, boxers, and anyone else who takes part in a sport will get the most out of this book.
Way of the Fight is all about the dedication and handwork it took GSP to become a champion. Along with describing his own life, this book shows those who helped and inspired GSP along the way. The lessons they taught him. These lessons are passed on the listener of this audiobook.
To me, hearing the amount of work that it took for someone like St. Pierre to get to the top of their field really proves that dedication and hard work pay off. This book got me into the gym and got me excited and pumped to be there. It inspired em to push myself as hard as I could, wether that was at lifting weights or at boxing. If I decide to start boxing again, I will likely re-listen to this book to remind me the dedication that a martial art requires.
Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi
I’m not much of a tennis fan. I’ve played it, and it’s fun to play, but it isn’t a game that I regularly take part in. I pick up a ten nick racket once every couple of years and play a game or two for some reason. And then I forget all about tennis.
I’ve also never watched a full tennis match. I never got into it and don’t really want to start watching it.
That being said, Andre Agassi’s autobiography is great. I have a feeling that anyone who is a master of their sport is going to have an interesting and inspiring story to tell. It’s impossible not to struggle and fight to become the best at something. Especially something as competitive as a sport.
That I don’t know anything about the tennis world made this book even more enjoyable. Not only was I listening to someone who was talented and driven, I was also learning a ton about a world that I am unfamiliar with. I’m familiar enough with weight-lifting and boxing to have a sort of understanding of where Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Tyson or GSP are coming from. I understand a lot of what they are describing because I also lift weights and I also have been in fights. Not at their level of course, but to the point where I have an idea of the emotions they are describing.
Andre Agassi’s world is foreign to me. And that made it even more interesting. Agassi was one of the most dominant tennis players of the 1990s and is considered to be one of the top players of all time.
Agassi was a tennis natural. As a child, coaches saw his raw talent and were able to help him mold it and to become one of the worlds best. It was not all smooth sailing though. Injuries and personal life got in the way of his tennis career at times. In 1997 most people thought his career was over. Then Agassi came back, defying the odds and continuing to be a star for almost another decade.
This story is one of reluctant dedication. Agassi was often a tennis rebel. a nonconformist who was able to conquer the tennis world.
Shut Up, Legs!: My Wild Ride on and off the Bike by Jens Voigt
Jens Voigt was a German professional cyclist. However he was not a champion. He was not the best mountain climber and he was not the best sprinter. He has never won the Tour de France or any of the other grand tours. He has won a couple stages in the tour de France and has won single-day races. He beat the world hour by riding 51.110 kilometers in 60 minutes at the age of 43.
While Voigt is not the greatest cyclist of all time, he is a fan favorite. This is because of his aggressive style. In professional cycling, a peloton is formed where most of the cyclists ride together in one big group. This peloton cuts down on wind resistance, making riding easier. People do not realize that cycling is a team sport. It’s all about helping your team members cut down on wind resistance by riding in front of them.
Jens Voigt would often willing to break out of the pack and attack the rest of the field. He would break away from the peloton and fight against the wind resistance, challenging the rest of the pack to catch up to him. He was also very honest and fortnight with the media. During interviews he would give his honest opinion.
Voigt’s story is different than the other biographies on this list because he did not have the natural talent to become a star. Reaching the top of any sport is a combination or dedication and training, but also of being born with the right raw talent. Not everyone is born with the ability to be #1. For some, the hard work and dedication can lead to being very good, but just short of being great.
Voigt is one of these really good stories. He talks about cycling, his career, and his personal life. Especially interesting is his life in East Germany and how that shaped his view on competition and cycling.
Certain sports books are a long list of accomplishments. Shut Up, Legs!: My Wild Ride on and off the Bike is more than just a book about cycling. It is a full biography from one of cycling’s most adored professionals.
Leave a comment if you know of any other great sports autobiographies. I am always looking for inspiring gym audiobooks.