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Power Speed ENDURANCE: A Skill-Based Approach to Endurance Training Paperback – November 12, 2012
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"While writing The 4-Hour Body, I conducted thousands of tests and experiments and consulted with more than a hundred scientists, doctors, and world-class athletic coaches. It was a three-year quest to find the smallest inputs that create the largest outputs. On the endurance front, one name came up again and again: Brian MacKenzie. If you want to go from zero to marathon in 12 weeks, or perhaps run 100 miles and dead-lift two to three times your body weight without struggle, he's your secret weapon. Listen and learn."—Timothy Ferriss, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Body
About the Author
Brian MacKenzie is a world-renowned strength and conditioning coach and the innovator of the endurance / strength and conditioning paradigm. He created CrossFit Endurance (www.crossfitendurance.com), which specializes in movement with an emphasis in running, cycling, and swimming mechanics. MacKenzie and his program have been featured in Competitor Magazine, Runners World, Triathlete Magazine, Men's Journal, ESPN Rise, The Economist, Tim Ferriss' New York Times bestseller The 4-Hour Body, Men's Running UK, LA Sport & Fitness, and Rivera Magazine. He has consulted with several teams, including the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Champions San Jose State Women's Swim Team.
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Secondly, Mr. MacKenzie is blatantly incompetent. He makes obvious factual errors in his text as well as shows grossly incorrect form in his instructive photos. More on that further down.
The prime sin (bloatedness) has 3 symptoms:
1. The author tries to cover too broad a topic of endurance, strength & mobility. He should have stuck with just the 1st one. Instead you get this 3lbs brick that's a patchwork of topics not holding well together and is so big it's actually awkward to hold in your hands.
2. The most annoying trait of this book: talkative, empty-worded style. And repetitions. Oh my god! So many repetitions! I wanted to drop the book in the trash bin so many times. Each section starts with pseudo-intro that conveys common knowledge dressed in fancy words. Once passed that, the irrelevant comparisons kick in. By the time you actually get to some valuable information, you're already bored and annoyed. And then, just when you were going to start appreciating the reading, the repetitions start, over and over in different wording. Mentally draining.
3. Embellishments. The book is literally packed with colorful frames, photos, sequence photos, close-up photos and a lot of white space. You gotta fill those 400 pages somehow! A lot of trees got killed for no good reason.
Author’s lack of competence:
I could go on and on about the incompetence, but I'll just point out the 3 areas where the author really ‘shines’, with some examples:
1. Clearly he lacks in-depth understanding of the topics covered. He tries to position himself as an expert by repeating after folks like Romanov and Starret, but without actually understanding them. He’s so focused on self-promotion that he forgets it’s easy to verify his “expert knowledge”. Examples:
Page 18 delves into biochemistry: "...pyruvate (the enzyme used to break down glucose)..." - yeah, product of glucose breakdown or enzyme used for glucose breakdown? Not much of a difference, apparently.
Page 31 – mechanics: “The acceleration force being applied to the object is the torque”. That's some heavy duty BS. At this point probably Mr. Jones, an elderly physics teacher, decided to hang himself.
2. The author is clearly incompetent in writing books: his language is meaningless, full of awkward (or just wrongly used) phrases, preaching instead of teaching and making unfounded assumptions, e.g. that reader has no idea about crossfit and then building whole sections around that assumption.
3. Mr MacKenzie, having no talent for writing, not only made the mistake of becoming an author, but also, without the skills required to show proper form, decided to become the model in his instructive photos. And thus, having preached the importance of neutral head position in running in p.27, he defaults back to his forward lean only 2 pages later and stays that way throughout the rest of the book. Don’t even get me started on the strength exercises: soggy KB swing, feet splayed out and dangling around in gymnastic movements, forward barbell position in push press finish, depressingly bad clean (with the bar in front of the feet!), hunched back in snatch setup, etc., etc.. This guy makes basic mistakes in CF movements and that’s the truth. You can even see the grimace of exertion (and pain?) as he struggles with them . The whole strength section (almost 100 pages) is rubbish, potentially damaging to inexperienced people who might apply the technique shown.
In summary: the book way to long and doesn’t hang together, has errors in both text and in illustrations, undermining my trust in the author; it’s written with poor style and little content. It was probably aimed to be an 'all-in-one' guide for starting triathletes, but if you’re serious about any of the topics it covers, don’t bother with this one, just get a proper source. Waste of money.