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Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success Hardcover – June 6, 2017
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“This is a transfixing book on how to sustain peak performance and avoid burnout. Stulberg and Magness have worked with (and been) elite achievers, and they combine that rich experience with the science of success to share actionable insights.”
― Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take
“Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness have written an essential playbook for success, happiness, and getting the most out of ourselves and our lives.”
― Arianna Huffington, author of Thrive and The Sleep Revolution
“Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness are one-percenters when it comes to skill in translating high performance science for the public. I doubt anyone can read Peak Performance without itching to apply something to their own lives.”
― David Epstein, NewYork Times bestselling author of The Sports Gene
“What do top performers actually do to make themselves great? Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness are here with some powerful answers. From rethinking stress to transcending your ‘self,’ the ideas in Peak Performance will help you become better than you ever imagined.”
― Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive
“Brad Stulberg is my favorite health and science writer and Steve Magness is a deeply thoughtful coach of champions. They are the perfect team to show us, through principles that are applicable to just about anyone and anything, how we can get the most out of ourselves and do so in a healthy and sustainable manner.”
― Amy Cuddy, New York Times bestselling author of Presence
“So much in this book resonates with me. With practical advice for performance in the workplace or on the playing field, Brad and Steve meticulously deliver a comprehensive understanding of peak performance and howto achieve it.”
― Dick Costolo, CEO of Chorus, formerly CEO of Twitter
“Brad Stulberg is one of my favorite writers about two of my favorite topics: physical and mental performance. This book brings them together.”
― Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy
“Tackling the mysteries of human optimization with science and insight from some of the world’s greatest athletes, artists and intellectuals, Peak Performance provides the roadmap you need to transcend your limitations, unleash your inner greatness and, most importantly, sustain it over time. An absolute must read for anyone interested in unlocking potential to become your best self!"
― Rich Roll, author of Finding Ultra and The Plantpower Way
“Brad Stulberg is one of the most gifted science writers of our times, a master at translating fascinating findings into concrete strategies. Peak Performance provides actionable insights from the cutting-edge research on how people excel. This book will be a must-read for anyone who wants to up their game, transcend their boundaries, and get out of their comfort zone.”
― Kelly McGonigal, Stanford psychology instructor and author of The Willpower Instinct and The Upside of Stress
“What do great artists, champion athletes, and brilliant researchers have in common? More than you'd expect, as Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness reveal in this magnificent silo-breaking synthesis of the hidden patterns that enable great performance across disciplines.”
― Alex Hutchinson, Runner's World "Sweat Science" columnist and author of What Comes First: Cardio or Weights?
“Peak Performance is a must read foranyone hoping to grow and achieve success in any area of their life. Relatable and readable, it identifies the skills and disciplines successful people have in common and teaches us what we can do to achieve the success that we want. I am excited to put what I have learned to use in my running and beyond.”
― Kara Goucher, Two-Time Olympic Marathoner
“Full of inspiration and information, Peak Performance is a must-read for anyone dedicated to self-optimization. I will be reading and re-reading this book for years to come.”
― Matt Billingslea, Drummer, Taylor Swift Band
“Brad and Steve uncover secrets of the world's best performers to help us all become more effective in our own pursuits. Peak Performance is a must read for everyone: from athletes to artists, and certainly entrepreneurs. Basically, this book is for anyone looking to take their skills to the next level.”
― Dr. Bob Kocher, Partner at Venrock Capital, Consulting Professor at Stanford School of Medicine, Formerly Special Assistant to the President of the United States on Health Care
“We all wonder why some people become great successes and others do not. It seems a mystery. However, Peak Performance presents the science that illuminates the common practices of game changers, and most important, shows u show we can benefit from applying them in our own lives.”
― David Goss, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at The Ohio State University
“As I read Peak Performance I found myself amazed that there is actually science to back up what I have found true as a sought to maximize my abilities throughout my professional running career. The reader is sure to be perplexed by their surprising findings and empowered to make some changes to their competitive mentality so they can achieve their own peak performance.”
― Ryan Hall, United States Half-Marathon Record Holder
“Peak Performance deeply explores the cycle of intense creativity that remains a mysterious realm even to me―despite my best efforts to mine it for all it's worth. I think it's clear that Stulberg and Magness are really onto something here.”
― Emil Alzamora, internationally-acclaimed sculptor
About the Author
Brad Stulberg writes about health and the science of human performance. He is a columnist with Outside Magazine and New York Magazine and has also written for Forbes, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, Runner's World, and The Huffington Post. Brad is widely known for his ability to merge the latest science with compelling personal stories, offering readers practical insights that they can apply in their own lives. Previously, Brad worked as a consultant for McKinsey and Company, where he counseled some of the world's top executives on a broad range of issues. He is an avid athlete and outdoor enthusiast. Brad lives in Northern California with his wife, Caitlin, and their two cats.
Steve Magness is a coach to some of the top distance runners in the world, having coached numerous athletes to top 15 at the World Championships and Olympic Games. He currently coaches at the University of Houston. Known widely for his integration of science and practice, Magness has been on the forefront of innovation in sport. He serves as an adjunct professor of Strength and Conditioning at St. Mary's University and has been a featured expert in Runner's World, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The BBC, The Wall Street Journal, and ESPN The Magazine. In addition, his first book, The Science of Running, was published in 2014. In his own running, Magness ran a 4:01 mile in High School. He lives in Houston, Tx.
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The book is broken into 3 sections based on their key principles of:
* The Growth Equation (stress + rest = growth)
* Priming - the power of developing optimal routines and designing your day
* Purpose - to keep you focused and motivated
There are many valuable ideas and insights in each chapter. My favorite feature of the book are the "performance practices" - these are callout boxes that distill key ideas into actions you can take right away to start to improve.
I learned and was challenged throughout the book - my 2 favorite chapters are:
* minimalist to be a maximalist - life is about choices and it is important to be highly focused in some areas and minimize the decisions and attention we give to other areas. I loved this quote from Michael Joyner - "You need to say no to a lot of things so that when it is time to say yes, you can do so with all your energy." The key is to be intentional and to make habits for the areas that are needed but not part of your focus.
* transcend your "self". This chapter is on purpose and it challenges a lot of my thinking. I plan to work with some of the ideas mentioned here (and do the exercise on purpose that they recommend) and see how this works for me. I want to understand both the theory and practice in this area so I will be reading some of the works mentioned here in the near future. I am a strong believer in purpose but not "self-transcendence" and that is what I want to understand more.
The book is truly action oriented and I have already starting using the ideas as I read the book over the last few days. I recommend the book highly and for those who are coaches or leaders, I would encourage you to share the ideas with your teams (and encourage them to read the book).
Two additional thoughts - any critical thinker will find areas they disagree with in most books and this is no exception. The power of this book is that it is encouraging me to explore those areas in more detail. Additionally, most of us know that psychology and the social sciences have been plagued with a "reproduce-ability crisis" with many studies. While this work is very evidence based, it is important to remember that these ideas and findings will continue to evolve and change. For those with a growth mindset, that is just another piece of the puzzle in long-term learning and growth.
I hope this book gets a wide audience and helps others in their personnel success and flourishing.
I was familiar with 80% of the research the authors discussed, and they do a fantastic job of accurately discussing the findings in a practical manner. What I love most about this book is that the authors present the findings in such a way that it really begs the reader to question why he/she is approaching life, training, etc. in the manner they are and what can be done to IMPROVE that equation. They recognize this looks different for every athlete and challenge the reader to think about what the "stress + rest" equation looks like in his/her own life. They offer ideas of how to change things, but in a way that is still very individualized (i.e., not formulaic).
This book is fantastic for anyone who wants to understand him/herself better or wants to encourage those with whom they work (e.g., athletes) to do the same. Reading this helped me take an HONEST look at my own life and tweak things to continue my own peak performance path. I really cannot say enough good things about this book, but to appreciate this, you'll need to read it for yourself!
The only "negative" (and it's really not a negative, just a preference) is the "activity" the authors recommend completing at the end of the book because I REALLY do not like those activities in books. However, the authors comment that they, too, do not like these activities, which decreased my resistance :) I see value in the activity and intend to complete it for several domains of my life.
I would highly recommend this to coaches and employers!