Cover image for Faster, higher, stronger : how sports science is creating a new generation of superathletes, and what we can learn from them
Faster, higher, stronger : how sports science is creating a new generation of superathletes, and what we can learn from them
McClusky, Mark.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Hudson Street Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
xii, 274 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Veteran journalist Mark McClusky brings readers behind the scenes with a new generation of athletes, coaches, and scientists whose accomplishments are changing our understanding of human physical achievement and completely redefining the limits of the human body.
Hacking the athlete -- Gold Medal genetics -- Eating to win -- The search for excellence -- The fast track to greatness -- Learning to be the best -- Tools of the trade -- What getting tired means -- Staying strong -- The numbers game -- Athlete's little helper -- The limits of performance.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV558 .M34 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The world of high-performance athletics is changing forever. Not so long ago, you could compete at the top level with hard work and a good coach. Today, it s impossible to separate the achievements of athletes from the scientists who support them. Veteran journalist Mark McClusky takes readers behind the scenes with a new generation of athletes, coaches, and scientists who are changing our understanding of human physical achievement and completely redefining the limits of the human body.

Author Notes

Mark McClusky is the editor of and founding editor of Wired Playbook . Previously, he was special projects editor at WIRED , an editor and reporter at Sports Illustrated and SI for Kids , and a founding editor of Sports Illustrated 's website. A former member of the baseball analytics collective Baseball Prospectus, McClusky contributed to several of its bestselling books, and is a coauthor of Alinea by Grant Achatz. He lives in Oakland, California.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

For today's elite athlete, every aspect of training is measured, monitored, and adjusted to create even the smallest competitive advantage. McClusky, editor of, examines the evolution of sports science over the last 100 years and its effects on the nutrition, training, equipment, and recruitment of Olympians and professional athletes. For example, nutritional supplements allow Tour de France athletes to more easily consume the nearly 9,000 daily calories they need for optimal performance, and British rowers have recently won medals due, in part, to recruitment based on scientifically determined body types rather than experience in the sport. McClusky states that every great athlete is the product of the interaction between their genetics and their effort, and he presents rigorous research with an accessible style relatable to both professional and lay readers alike. All of this trickles down to amateur athletics as well, and McClusky does a good job of relating cutting-edge science to people wanting to run their 5K a little faster or shave a few strokes off their golf handicap.--Clark, Craig Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Whenever American media mentions the triumph of super athletes, it usually involves cheaters using performance enhancing drugs. However, McClusky, the editor of, tells the other side of the story. An increasingly commercial blend of science and sports training gives the elite athlete a winning margin over other competitors. Old training regimens such as weight lifting and resistance workouts are passe and have been replaced by biomechanists, physiologists, nutritionists, strength coaches, recovery experts, and statistical analysts, leading to the creation of such superstars as LeBron James, Lindsey Vonn, Mike Trout, and Serena Williams. McClusky addresses the notion of superior genetics, pills and substances that supposedly enhance performance, the identification of potential elite athletes, and ways to tailor tools and techniques that enhance specific skills for athletic superiority. With clear-cut analysis and detail, he tackles the new innovations in sports gear such as lighter track shoes and drag-cutting swimsuits; he also discusses the scientific discoveries concerning fatigue and endurance. McCluskey's eye-opening account of sports science shatters outmoded training myths and heralds a revolutionary new terrain, in which the combination of high-tech methods and scientific breakthroughs designed will give the sports fan something wondrous to watch. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

McClusky (editor, pushes against the stereotypes of sports science (and performance-enhancing drugs) in his concise debut title. He explores the myriad ways in which scientists and inventors search for even the slightest edge in athletic competition by examining advancements in nutrition, equipment, training methods, and even athletic attire. Later, the author discusses the oft-repeated "nature vs. nurture" debate and comes to some new conclusions on this issue. While most of the work is dedicated to advancements in sports science, McClusky saves the inevitable conversation of performance-enhancing drugs for the conclusion. He tries to discover the thin line between finding and utilizing scientific advantages and actual cheating. It's a difficult one to discover, but the book's overall strength is McCluskey's willingness to engage those questions many sports fans have trouble navigating. This is a fascinating read about the creative-and sometimes bizarre-training techniques extreme athletes use. VERDICT This brief but detailed tour of modern sports science will garner strong interest from athletes, sports fans, and even couch potatoes.-Brett Rohlwing, Milwaukee P.L. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
1 Hacking the Athletep. 1
2 Gold Medal Geneticsp. 15
3 Eating to Winp. 37
4 The Search for Excellencep. 61
5 The Fast Track to Greatnessp. 77
6 Learning to Be the Bestp. 95
7 Tools of the Tradep. 115
8 What Getting Tired Meansp. 139
9 Staying Strongp. 161
10 The Numbers Gamep. 181
11 AthleteÆs Little Helperp. 199
12 The Limits of Performancep. 221
Acknowledgmentsp. 241
Notesp. 245
Indexp. 265