My Favorite Wrestling Books (The Classics + New Ones)


We all know that there is really no substitute for practice, hard work and training when you’re learning a sport like wrestling. However, if you’re really serious and enjoy wrestling, then you might find that watching videos, reading books and even talking to people can be very beneficial to your wrestling career, and not to mention enjoyable.

If you’ve been looking for the best wrestling book out there, it’s a good thing you’re reading this post. We have done a lot of research and we’ve concluded that the first book you should keep in mind is A Wrestling Life by Dan Gable. This book covers Gable’s Olympic win, but it also tells the story of how he got into sports and later got into wrestling. It’s a great story to read on the weekend, for example. If you’d prefer something different, maybe Wrestling for Beginners by Tom Jarman and Reid Hanley might be able to meet your expectations.

Best Wrestling Books (Reviews)

You can find wrestling books on just about everything from:

  • Wrestling techniques
  • The history of wrestling
  • Professional televised wrestling
  • Wrestler Autobiographies
  • Different styles of wrestling
  • More

If you enjoy reading and enjoy spending your time learning as much as you can about your favorite sport, then there’s no reason that you can’t find a few good books to help you out when you’re trying to learn. They can give you some good history and background on your sport, help you out on techniques that you’re still struggling to understand, and even help you with your diet and exercise routines.

When you’re out shopping for a book on wrestling, there can be a lot of material out there, so it’s sometimes confusing to know what book is worth reading and which one you’re just going to end up buying only to be an impressive paper weight sitting on your desk. Make sure you read some reviews and know what you want to get before you purchase anything.

There are a lot of books out there to sift through, and there is also a lot of useless information. We have read quite a few wrestling books, so we have our favorites. Here is our review of the best wrestling books on the market.


When there are so many books for beginners and about the wrestlers themselves, it can be a tough choice. But after discussing with other readers, have come up with a list of 5 wrestling books that we consider to be the best in the market.

Here you can have a brief overview about the 5 books:

A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable
University of Iowa Press; Hardcover Book; English (Publication Language); University Of Iowa Press (Publisher)
Wrestling For Beginners
McGraw-Hill; English (Publication Language); McGraw-Hill Education (Publisher)
Four Days to Glory: Wrestling with the Soul of the American Heartland
English (Publication Language); It Books (Publisher)
The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling
English (Publication Language); Avery (Publisher)
Wrestling For Dummies
English (Publication Language); For Dummies (Publisher)


Books We Have Reviewed

Different readers have different perspectives when it comes to a book. No book can be a bad book as each one has its own views and purpose. Being that the case we decided on these five books. We finalized on these books because we felt they can add true value to a wrestler or someone who wants to be one.

  1. A Wrestling Life : The Inspiring Stories Of Dan Gable
  2. Wrestling For Beginners
  3. Four Days To Go: Wrestling With The Soul Of The American Heartland
  4. The Squared Circle: Life, Death And Professional Wrestling
  5. Wrestling For Dummies

Since a book should not be judged from it cover and the small table above cannot do justice to the books, we have a detailed review of each of them below.

1. Editor’s Choice – A Wrestling Life by Dan Gable

A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable

For any aspiring or current wrestler who wants to make it big, the Olympic gold is the ultimate target. Every wrestler wakes up every morning aiming to win that gold. If so take advice from the man himself who won the gold and is a coach responsible for many successful wrestlers.

This book does not talk about just Gable’s Olympic win; it talks about how he got into sports as a young boy, how wrestling was not his first option and how he eventually found his calling. It discusses the idea that Olympic medal winners are those who were nurtured in that sport from a very young age. However, there are many success stories where the true talent was discovered much later than what anyone would expect.

This book also highlights his techniques and teaching methods, which can benefit many of the readers, who are looking for a new strategy or style of fighting. For those who have given up hope and wonder if they are going in the right direction, this book can show them how wonderful wrestling is.

Some Questions Answered

Does the book cover only the life of Gable?

No, it even covers his various strategies, teaching methods and philosophies, which can help young wrestlers

Is the book only about his wrestling career?

No, the book covers many other aspects of his life. This is because everything around him influences his performance and choices. Hence the book covers various events that changed the life of Gable.

Check it out

2. Wrestling For Beginners

Wrestling For Beginners

No matter which level you are in, the fundamentals of wrestling will never change. Some techniques, though basic, will go a long way to help you win. This book, specifically written for the beginners, covers the basic techniques and moves that are the foundation of wrestling.

It is not just about the techniques, locks, take downs, maneuvers, etc, but the book also covers the conditioning required, the diet needed how to increase flexibility, build endurance, etc. Wrestling or any other sport requires one to be fit and healthy throughout – both physically and mentally. A well balanced diet will go a long way in keeping a wrestler fit and healthy.

Once a person is into wrestling seriously, they need to know the rules and regulations, weight limits, etc like the back of their hand. The special appendix at the end of the book covers it all and ensures the reader is not left in the dark on any front.

Some Questions Answered

Will beginners benefit out of this book?

Yes. Every beginner needs to know the basic moves and techniques, before they can master a move and create a signature style for themselves. This book has details regarding various moves, holds, etc to help any beginner to get a firm grip over what is expected out of them in this sport.

Check it out

3. Four Days To Go: Wrestling With The Soul Of The American Heartland

Four Days to Glory: Wrestling with the Soul of the American Heartland

Though America is known for its wrestlers, people did not get there easily. In the midst of training and competition, every sportsperson has to face criticism, neglect, rejection, family drama and politics.

This book covers the wrestling journey of two small town boys who participate in the Iowa state high school wrestling championship. The author has written about the struggles faced by these two boys and how they overcome it to perform their best in the match. Along with family history and events that affect the boys, the book also covers the various struggles these boys had to face during the tournament itself.

Four Days To Glory successfully conveys how the real champions focus only on the sport and the end results, without letting anything else influence and distract them from their goal.

Some Questions Answered

  • Does this book talk about the various techniques and methods?

No. This book focuses more on the wrestlers than the sport and its nuances

  • How will it help any aspiring wrestler?

It shows any athlete that the journey to success is never easy and when it comes to sports, a true athlete has to let go of everything and focus only on the end result. A small distraction or sway of thought is good enough to lose the gold.

Check it out

4. The Squared Circle: Life, Death And Professional Wrestling

The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling

Started out as a column about wrestling and wrestlers, David Shoemaker’s writing about the young wrestlers who died too young had more than a million page views. The author has set out to throw more light on the sport which is as real as the others but is perceived to be scripted by the general public.

This book is on our list because we know how true and dangerous wrestling can be. We know how challenging wrestling can be, just like any other sport, yet it has not received its fair share of appraise. This is due to the general notion that all those moves and fights are known to be scripted.

In this book, the author has written about the pro wrestling world, the wrestlers and even the intellect of the fans. The book was a very good and insightful read as the split up of the content based on the eras was very refreshing. We were able to connect with the events and visualize the change our wrestling world had undergone.

Some Questions Answered

Does the book talk about any particular wrestler?

No. The book covers the entire wrestling history and all the wrestlers, split into eras for better understanding of the reader

Why is this book a good read for wrestlers or those who are interested in the sport?

This book takes the reader through the entire history of the sport. What is was and how it evolved in to a sport it is today. It shows how it impacts the lives of people and the culture as a whole.

Check it out

5. Wrestling For Dummies

Wrestling For Dummies

Whether you are an aspiring wrestler or a fan who wants to learn more about the sport, this book is for you. The book covers all the basics, rules, techniques, etc about wrestling. As the name suggests, this book is suitable for those who know absolutely nothing about wrestling as well.

Being experienced in the field of wrestling, we found this book to be pretty straight forward and elaborate when it comes to what one needs to know about the sport. Armed with this book, one can watch a match and understand not only what is happening but be able to judge the fouls and the scores too.

We found this to be a favorite among parents whose kids are into wrestling. Not knowing anything about the sport but wanting to be on the stands to cheer on their kids, these parents did not know when to cringe or when to cheer. This book has taught them how the scoring system works and what is right and wrong in the world of wrestling. It has also helped the onlookers know and judge if the person they are supporting is winning or losing.

Apart from all this, the book does justice to its coverage of the sport’s history too.

Some Questions Answered

What Does The Book Cover?

It covers six different styles of wrestling and tells how they are different from the modern “pro-wrestling”

Who is the book aimed for?

For anyone and everyone who wants to know more about the sport. Be it the scoring, rules or the styles. This book can be your wrestling bible if you are clueless about the sport.

Check it out

Our Final Thoughts

Reading wrestling books can be beneficial and entertaining, especially if you have a good book in your hands. You still want to make sure that you’re not ignoring your actual training by spending hours trying to research techniques in a book, but you can find a lot of good information and fun facts from reading.

When you’re shopping for your next wrestling book make sure you know:

  • What type of book you want
  • Who the book is written by
  • Whether you want the book to better your game or just for entertainment
  • How the book will benefit you
  • How much you want to spend on your wrestling books
  • Has the book been peer reviewed and given positive feedback

If you find a great wrestling book that meets all of the things you’re looking for, then you can really help yourself get ahead in your wrestling game and also pass a few hours reading something interesting and fun.