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Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes--and What We Can Learn from Them Hardcover – Oct 30 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avery (Oct. 30 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594631530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594631535
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.5 x 23.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Faster, Higher, Stronger is one of the most lucid and entertaining books I've read about sports science and how it is making better, faster, stronger athletes. More important, though, Mark McClusky clearly explains why this science matters to the rest of us and how we can use it in our lives. A smart and important book.”
Gretchen Reynolds, author of The First 20 Minutes
“Success in top-level sports is no longer just an athletic contest -- it’s a learning contest that takes place on the frontiers of science, technology, and the human body. If you’re interested in understanding and competing in this new world, you need to buy Mark McClusky’s smart, invigorating, and useful book, right now.”
Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code and The Secret Race
“In my more than 20 years researching the field of health and fitness, few books have captured my attention like Mark McClusky's riveting investigation of the groundbreaking science fueling elite athletic performance. Faster, Higher, Stronger breaks the code and gives everyday readers a chance to steal the cutting-edge secrets of the pros.”
Dave Zinczenko, author of Eat This, Not That
“Is fatigue mostly in your head? Can built-in talent take you to the Olympics in only four years? Will big data transform how we play basketball? Faster, Higher, Stronger is a brilliant, fun report on the science of hacking your performance.”
Clive Thompson, author of Smarter Than You Think
“Mark McClusky has written an enlightening, intelligent, comprehensive look at the merging of sports and science. It’s truly fascinating stuff.”
Jeff Pearlman, bestselling author of Showtime
“An engaging journey through the intersection of sports and science, Faster, Higher, Stronger is a must-read for armchair athletes, coaches, parents, and anyone who wants to understand human potential."
Chris Anderson, bestselling author of The Long Tail and Makers

“Today, in sports, what you are is what you make yourself into. Innate athletic ability matters, but it’s taken to be the base from which you have to ascend. Training efforts that forty years ago would have seemed unimaginably sophisticated and obsessive are now what it takes to stay in the game. Athletes don’t merely work harder than they once did. As Mark McClusky documents in his fascinating new book, Faster, Higher, Stronger, they also work smarter, using science and technology to enhance the way they train and perform. It isn’t enough to eat right and put in the hours. “You need to have the best PhDs onboard as well,” McClusky says. This technological and analytical arms race is producing the best athletes in history.”
The New Yorker
“McClusky’s eye-opening account of sports science shatters outmoded training myths and heralds a revolutionary new terrain, in which the combination of high-tech methods and scientific breakthroughs designed will give the sports fan something wondrous to watch.”
Publishers Weekly
“In Faster, Higher, Stronger, journalist Mark McClusky takes us into the world of athletics, looking at what differentiates winners from losers in elite competitions, from the Olympics to Formula One auto racing. The focus on extremes of excellence and performance at the margins of human capability makes a great read. The casual sportsman is not forgotten, as McClusky touches back on his own golf game to help weekend athletes relate. Marginal gains, trainability, and best fit run through the book, which is filled with engaging stories of athletes reaching the podium or missing by a hair.”
“Speed-skating super-suits, motion-tracking cameras, the 10,000 hour rule—it's all covered in Mark McClusky's engrossing look into how athletes use science to avoid injury, train smarter, and shatter records.”
Mother Jones
“McClusky states that “every great athlete is the product of the interaction between their genetics and their effort,” and he presents rigorous research with an accessible style relatable to both professional and lay readers alike. All of this trickles down to amateur athletics as well, and McClusky does a good job of relating cutting-edge science to people wanting to run their 5K a little faster or shave a few strokes off their golf handicap.”
“While most of the work is dedicated to advancements in sports science, McClusky saves the inevitable conversation of performance-enhancing drugs for the conclusion. He tries to discover the thin line between finding and utilizing scientific advantages and actual cheating. It's a difficult one to discover, but the book's overall strength is McClusky's willingness to engage those questions many sports fans have trouble navigating. This is a fascinating read about the creative—and sometimes bizarre—training techniques extreme athletes use. VERDICT: This brief but detailed tour of modern sports science will garner strong interest from athletes, sports fans, and even couch potatoes.”
Library Journal

About the Author

Mark McClusky is the editor of Wired.com and founding editor of Wired Playbook. Previously, he was special projects editor at WIRED, an editor and reporter at Sports Illustrated and SI for Kids, and a founding editor of Sports Illustrated’s website. A former member of the baseball analytics collective Baseball Prospectus, McClusky contributed to several of its bestselling books, and is a coauthor of Alinea by Grant Achatz. He lives in Oakland, California.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really interesting read for anyone interested in human performance, sports and psychology.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lots of interesting perspectives and research on a wide variety of aspects relating to athletic performance. As a teacher and coach, I learned some practical information, and I also used this book for a grade 11 performance psychology class, and the students found it interesting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great read and fast delivery.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa14fe60c) out of 5 stars 52 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa150c15c) out of 5 stars Insightful look at the use of science in sports Oct. 27 2014
By AmazonFan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
If you have read any of Mark McClusky's writings on the convergence of sports and science in Sports Illustrated or Wired magazine, then you are familiar with his years of exhaustive research on the subject.
In Faster, Higher, Stronger, McClusky builds on his previous articles to provide a fascinating, in-depth look at how science, technology, medicine, nutrition and training work together to improve the performance of elite athletes.

Today, even the casual athlete is aware of how technology and science are used to improve performance, whether it be through a golf swing analyzer, the design of a new running shoe or through altitude training. Throughout the book, McClusky uses examples of familiar athletes to illustrate the progress made in various sports and the advantages of different training techniques for strength vs. endurance vs. skill athletes. He even discusses several long-held but misunderstood training concepts, like the need for carb replenishment during workouts less than 75 minutes long, that weekend athletes can apply to their own workouts. There is a wealth of information here - sometimes reading like a medical or chemistry textbook so be prepared - but it is incredibly fascinating and informative.

With so much emphasis on Olympic and professional champions, I was beginning to think McClusky would leave the elephant in the room of sports unaddressed. But in the second to last chapter, "Athletes' Little Helper," he finally tackles the delicate issue of performance enhancing drugs (and the fall of icons like Ben Johnson, Marion Jones and Lance Armstrong). It's one of the more interesting chapters in the book and McClusky does a good job of walking that fine line between jaded sports journalist and unabashed fan.

Faster, Higher, Stronger is not just for those aspiring to Olympic greatness or a place on the roster of a professional sports team - that would be a very limited audience. Instead, it is written for the average layperson who wants to better understand the strides made in the study of how the human body works when pushed to its physical limits.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa150cb04) out of 5 stars Good, General Overview of the Intersection Between Sports and Science Oct. 27 2014
By Kevin Joseph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Mark McClusky's survey of the scientific influences of sports performance offers a comprehensive look across a number of subjects that other recent books have handled individually and in greater depth. For example, The Sports Gene offers a deeper look at genetic contributors to performance, and other books examine performance enhancing-drugs and data analytics in more detail. Consequently, the text moves from subject to subject without putting forth a remarkable thesis beyond the rather-obvious observation that science is affecting the way athletes approach their sports, in much the same way as it is affecting other aspects of our lives. For me, the most groundbreaking portions were those that discussed how science is allowing athletes to train more intelligently and specifically to hone those skills sets unique to their particular sports. That said, the writing style is clear and engaging, and the author makes good use of interesting anecdotes and studies to support his observations. So I would recommend this book for someone who has not read extensively on these subjects and wants a good, general overview of the intersection between sports and science.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa150c5dc) out of 5 stars Interesting and Enlightening; An Enjoyable Read Oct. 31 2014
By Craig Stephans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
McClusky covers a wide gambit of science's contributions to the sports world in the last decades. I appreciate that the book covers a plethora of sports. He discusses sports ranging from individual performances like track & field, swimming, weightlifting and cycling to team sports like soccer, baseball, football and hockey. The subjects include nutrition, specialized training, equipment, lifestyle, age factors, genetics, and more.

The book is well-written and researched. McClusky incorporates scientific data, sports facts, interviews and citations of research. Readers will learn all that goes into championship athletes and their teams. A focus is on what sets the elite tier athletes apart from the other great professional and amateur athletes. So much of the work involved is geared toward finding slight edges here and there. A good way to sum up the contributions is in the words quoted from a book about cycling, "performance by the aggregation of marginal gains." The book touches on the many little ways of improvement by science and expert training.

For the average athlete, there are some bits and pieces to take away. One thing I will try to practice is the shot of espresso before the event, as practiced by European cycling teams and shown to at least trick the brain into thinking it is not fatigued.

I think the book could have been enhanced by a chapter at the end that summed up and itemized the gleanings for the average athlete or parent of athletes to incorporate in their routines and lives.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa150cf30) out of 5 stars A great read for athletes and coaches Jan. 2 2015
By John O'Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great followup to "The Sports Gene" this book dispels many of the myths that surround elite athletic performance, and gives the everyday athlete and coach solid advice on how to use sport science to improve their own performance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa150cb64) out of 5 stars Highly recommended and very enjoyable. Dec 4 2014
By Pat Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting book and one that I would highly recommend. It poses some very interesting questions that have had my mind racing since starting the book. I would say this is a good book for anybody who has even the slightest interest in science or sports. I many ways it's a book that celebrates sports and makes one appreciate all the effort, skill, and knowledge that goes in to elite athletics. Without a doubt, this is a very interesting read.