MAXIMUM SPORTS PERFORMANCE by James with the Nike Sport Research Laboratory Fixx
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There are more practical, more complete guides to improving individual sports performance (Garfield and Bennett, Peak Performance; Dardik and Waitley, Quantum Fitness)--but fans and causal browsers alike will welcome Fixx's knowledgeable overview of all-around advances. As a result of the last decade's scientific findings (many, cited here, at the Nike Sport Research Laboratory), serious athletes have much more to go on now than coaches' platitudes and old wives' nos/rums. Fixx highlights a rational approach to training. First, set goals: training is not an end in itself, but ""an activity with a purpose--to learn to win."" Given individual aims and abilities, train as hard as possible. Choose training methods suited to your individual needs (which are sports- or activity-specific); understand what training can and cannot accomplish; don't overtrain; train year-round, not seasonally. And a few yeas and nays: practice overall conditioning; use stress to to improve performance; avoid injury by getting enough rest and knowing when to stop. Fixx then explores these and additional points in detail. In the case of weight training for improved performance, the time-honored rule does hold true: ""We improve at exactly what we practice""--so ""the pattern of movement during training should precisely duplicate the pattern you hope to improve."" (Runners, for instance, do not need to practice pressing overhead weights, though they do need arm strength.) A fine general introduction--for a ready-made audience.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1985
Publisher: Random House