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Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science…

Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation… (2014)

by Mark McClusky

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The book looks into the making of the modern athlete. Sports figures are no longer just born, they are made and McClusky does a nice job briefing charting the development of the professional sports figure. He covers the changes in physiology. body structure, equipment, and methodology.
The book is organized into categories such as genetics, diet, statistics, fatigue, and drugs. While the book largely traces the growth of modern athletics, casual exercise participants will enjoy the scientific breakdown of exhaustion among other chapters.
The writing is friendly and colloquial but nicely intertwined with scientific backing for McClusky's position. The text doesn't largely make a stand or defend a point but is a more general summary of the evolution of sports science. It is a jaunty read and entertaining though there can be some repetition in the prose. This is far from a how-to guide even though some of the methodology described could be picked up by aspiring or young athletes with the supervision of a trained coach. Fans of sports and history alike would enjoy it. ( )
  loafhunter13 | Jun 7, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What goes into making a superathlete? Is a matter of talent versus effort? mind over matter? genetics? fuel? The questions seem to never end and the factors that go into maximizing performance are dizzying. And it doesn't help much that the answer to so many of the questions is "it depends". Add to this confusion new technology; from sports gear and, yes, even here, data mining. All of this to find that one special edge that will cause the "win". Author Mark McClusky does a excellent job of clearing away the confusion by showing what works - and what isn't worth the effort.

While this book takes us into the rarified world of the elite athlete there are a number of ideas and methods that translate quite easily to those of us with less than elite aspirations. Particularly eye-opening to me was the debunking of the "10,000 hours of practice" rule. I also enjoyed how the author seamlessly mixed the science with anecdotal stories - making this a book for anyone interested in athletics. An intriguing (and somewhat disheartening) theory that McClusky puts forth is that we may be hitting the ceiling of what human physiology can accomplish (in other words - world records may become a thing of the past).

As mentioned before, anyone interested in athletics would enjoy this book. But the greatest benefit would be for parents of young athletes - this book lays out exactly what it takes to become a superathlete (which the author affectionately calls "very fit obsessive compulsive sociopaths") and the time and finiancial investment required. Personally, while neither my children or I had aspirations for that athletic pinnacle, the methods described in this book would have been most helpful when they were involved in high school athletics. Highly recommended. ( )
  buchowl | Mar 30, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received “Faster, Higher, Stronger” by Mark McClusky for free through the LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer’s program.

I was interested in this book because I have always been fascinated with the science behind athletic performance. With my scientific background, and as an adjunct anatomy and physiology professor, I thoroughly enjoyed the topics and data presented in the book. Even though it might be a little technical for a lay person, I believe that anyone, especially if you love sports, will enjoy this book.

The book is organized very well into some interesting categories that address everything from genetics, diet, statistics, fatigue, and sport enhancement supplements and drugs. I was extremely intrigued by the information that challenges our commonly known ideas about fatigue, and also by the great extent of research and effort that is put into athletic gear and equipment. I also believe that the information presented is relevant to exercise as a whole and not just for athletic or competitive sports endeavors.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who is a sports enthusiast. ( )
  Virasana123 | Nov 23, 2014 |
11/6/2014 10:33 PM
Looks like good book relevant to achieving expertise.

3/15/2015 1:12 PM I read this last month and sent a copy to Nick. It certainly had some interesting insights into high level sports. It made the strongest argument yet that deliberate practice is NOT SUFFICIENT for achieving performance at the highest levels. For example, there is strong evidence for physiological and even genetic factors at play in athletics. Still, deliberate practice still seems to hold promise - if not for world class performance - but for performance in the top percentiles.
  ntgntg | Nov 7, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm not normally a sports book reader, but this one caught my eye. McClusky gives a good overview of the science of sports performance; some of it is mind-blowingly cool! If I were an athlete, I would definitely re-read this and find out how to get in on some of this science.

If you're interested in sports, sports medicine, performance sports, or science, this is a book that you should read. If you're not into those things, you might enjoy the book anyway. I did! ( )
  homericgeek | Nov 5, 2014 |
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