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Tapering and Peaking for Optimal Performance Paperback – May 4, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Tapering and Peaking for Optimal Performance, competitive athletes will finally find the scientific answers to all their practical questions about tapering. This book will provide a substantial advantage to coaches and
athletes."

Professor Tim Noakes
MBChB, MD, DSc, FACSM
Author of Lore of Running

"Tapering and Peaking for Optimal Performance bridges the gap from science to competition. Inigo Mujika tackles the critical issues of performance with ease and excellence."

Louise Burke, PhD, APD
Head of the department of sports nutrition
Australian Institute of Sport
Author of Practical Sports Nutrition

“This book comprehensively covers the tapering and peaking process. The author does a nice job of combining current research with common techniques used in the profession so that any athlete can use this information to achieve optimal performance.”

--Doody’s Book Review


About the Author

Iñigo Mujika, PhD, is a lecturer in the department of physiology, faculty of medicine and odontology, at the University of the Basque Country in Leioa, Spain. Previously, Mujika was also the head of the department of research and development at the Spanish professional football team Athletic Club Bilbao. As a researcher, sport science practitioner, and coach, Mujika is widely considered one of the most respected experts on tapering and peaking for optimal performance.

Since 1992, Mujika has been devoted to the research of tapering and peaking for sport performance. He has published over 20 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 6 book chapters, and 10 other publications on tapering-related issues. He has also presented nearly 70 lectures on tapering at conferences and seminars worldwide.

As a sport physiologist, Mujika works closely with elite athletes and coaches in a variety of individual and team sports. From 2003 to 2004, Mujika was senior physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport. In 2005, he worked as physiologist and trainer of the professional road bicycle racing team Euskaltel Euskadi. He is also a coach of world-class triathletes, having coached Olympians Ainhoa Murua (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008) and Eneko Llanos (Athens 2004).

Mujika is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and serves as associate editor of the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. He holds a doctoral degree in biology of muscular exercise (1995) from the University of Saint-Etienne in France and a second doctorate in physical activity and sport sciences (1999) along with an Extraordinary Doctorate Award from the University of the Basque Country in Spain. In 2002 and 2007 he received the National Award for Sport Medicine Research from the University of Oviedo in Spain. He has also received two awards for his work with triathletes: Best Coach of Female Athlete (2006) from the Spanish Triathlon Federation and the High Performance Basque Sport Award (2007) from the Basque Sport Foundation.

Fluent in four languages (Basque, English, French, and Spanish), Mujika has lived in California, France, South Africa, and Australia. He currently resides in the Basque Country, Spain. Mujika enjoys surfing, cycling, swimming, strength training, and hiking, as well as cinema and traveling.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; 1 edition (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736074848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736074841
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lyle Mcdonald on August 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the book provides an amazingly detailed (tediously so) literature review of every study on tapering, very little new information is provided in terms of the practicalities.

The entire message of the book could have been summed up in 2-3 sentences

1. Taper 2 2 weeks, 3 if you do a big overload before the taper.
2. Cut volume progressively to about 60% of pre-taper values.
3. Maintain intensity of training.
4. For sport with a high 'feel' component, don't cut frequency too hard.

That's it, 100+ pages and the above is the entire take home.

Top level coaches were applying the information that this book presents nearly 30 years ago in practice. My own coach has been tapering his athletes for the past 20 years in this fashion.

As well, the book fails to even examine the issue of sports with World Cup series. In modern sport, the idea of peaking for a single event is decades old, most athletes have to be at their top level for extended periods to either earn World Cup points or money (or both).

While a 2-3 week taper for a single event might be ideal, it's simply no longer practical in the context of modern sporting demands. For a book released in 2009 to omit this issue in the least (it's at least touched on in Freeman's Excellent "Peak When it Counts.") is absurd.

The entire section on mathematical modeling, while interesting, is pointless given that the author himself says that the models don't accurately match with real-world experience. Why include it if it doesn't matter except to pad the page count?
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I have seen Inigo Mujika speak a few times on this topic, so thought it was about time I took a more in-depth look into his work.

Firstly, I really like how this book is organized. It is logically laid out, and this means that it is easily read cover to cover, or used as a reference.

This book is not one that a coach or athlete is going to find revolutionary. Instead, you should be able to take a few key points that will help you prepare for competitions. It is likely to help you justify why you are doing and what you have done in the past, something that can be important if your program is under question.
For a sport scientist or student, the book will give you lots of "food for thought", and is well referenced so may assist you in researching tapering or other related areas.

I work in team sports, and although the majority of the research and information is for individual events, still was able to take much from this text.
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Just about the only book on the art of tapering I've seen. Very technical but within is some very good information. Take your time and treat this like a text book. Highlight it, make notes in the margins.
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I am a strength coach and was looking for some tapering information to use in guiding my trainees. This book is geared toward endurance athletes. Other than a small bit of data from Mike Stone, this is not a book that will be used as a reference in my library. In fact, if I had not already put my name in it when it showed up in my post office box, I would have sent it back.

The book is well written with much useful information for the aerobically inclined, but it is not for me.
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Haphazard structure and disjointed ideas which pander on about outdated or ineffective methodologies. Westside Barbell, Mark Rippetoe, Greg Everett or most NCSA publications are a safer bet in terms of understanding periodization.
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Not what I expected but still full of information. There is a lot on what other athletes do, they are great models. I was expecting more of a here's how and what will work best.
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