How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle_Matt Fitzgerald_2015

How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle
by Matt Fitzgerald (Author)

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: VeloPress; 1 edition (October 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937715418
ISBN-13: 978-1937715410

关于作者Matt Fitzgerald更多资料见
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Matt Fitzgerald出版的十多本畅销运动营养、跑步饮食书籍合集见
Matt Fitzgerald(Runner's World运动营养学专家)书籍合集(附PDF电子书网盘下载地址)

《How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle》简介:

The greatest athletic performances spring from the mind, not the body. Elite athletes have known this for decades and now science is learning why it’s true. In his fascinating new book How Bad Do You Want It?, coach Matt Fitzgerald examines more than a dozen pivotal races to discover the surprising ways elite athletes strengthen their mental toughness.

Fitzgerald puts you into the pulse-pounding action of more than a dozen epic races from running, cycling, triathlon, XTERRA, and rowing with thrilling race reports and revealing post-race interviews with the elites. Their own words reinforce what the research has found: strong mental fitness lets us approach our true physical limits, giving us an edge over physically stronger competitors. Each chapter explores the how and why of an elite athlete’s transformative moment, revealing powerful new psychobiological principles you can practice to flex your own mental fitness.

The new psychobiological model of endurance performance shows that the most important question in endurance sports is: how bad do you want it? Fitzgerald’s fascinating book will forever change how you answer this question and show you how to master the psychology of mind over muscle. These lessons will help you push back your limits and uncover your full potential.

How Bad Do You Want It? reveals new psychobiological findings including:

Mental toughness determines how close you can get to your physical limit.
Bracing yourself for a tough race or workout can boost performance by 15% or more.
Champions have learned how to give more of what they have.
The only way to improve performance is by altering how you perceive effort.
Choking under pressure is a form of self-consciousness.
Your attitude in daily life is the same one you bring to sports.
There's no such thing as going as fast as you can―only going faster than before.
The fastest racecourse is the one with the loudest spectators.
Faith in your training is as important as the training itself.
Athletes featured in How Bad Do You Want It?: Sammy Wanjiru, Jenny Simpson, Greg LeMond, Siri Lindley, Willie Stewart, Cadel Evans, Nathan Cohen and Joe Sullivan, Paula Newby-Fraser, Ryan Vail, Thomas Voeckler, Ned Overend, Steve Prefontaine, and last of all John “The Penguin” Bingham

《How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle》评价:

"How Bad Do You Want It? really brings to life how important psychology is for endurance performance." -- Samuele Marcora, PhD

"Harnessing the power of the setback is a powerful motivation. How Bad Do You Want It? recognizes the fact that we all have the power to adapt and be better than before." – Willie Stewart

Praise for Books by Matt Fitzgerald

"Fitzgerald is going to go down as one of the most competent and prolific authors of books for serious runners covering just about every legitimate aspect of the all-important runner’s lifestyle." ― Letsrun

"Captivating, animated, uniquely readable and downright thrilling. [Iron War] is a truly great read―and an ode to our sport with all its quirky characters and epic venues…It is absolutely comparable to Krakauer, Bowden (Blackhawk Down), or Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm)… Iron War is what we buy books for: Excitement, entertainment, information and inspiration." ― TriSports

"A true page-turner about a too-little-known great moment in sports." ― Booklist (American Library Association)

"Iron War is the very first time our sport has engaged in Krakauer-style journalism, where full-featured personalities are presented to readers without excuse, or pause, or an author's self-censorship. Iron War  is Fitzgerald's Krakauer moment." ― Slowtwitch

"Iron War by Matt Fitzgerald recounts the fabled Ironman world championship battle between triathlete legends Dave Scott and Mark Allen. By the end of the story, [triathletes] will feel like [they] personally know the athletes, raced side-by-side with them, and understands the amazing contribution they made to the sport." ―Active


Book Description

The greatest athletic performances take place in the mind, not the body. How Bad Do You Want It? explores some of the greatest moments in endurance sports to mine concrete habits and tactics we can use to cultivate our own mental strength.

From the Back Cover

"How Bad Do You Want It? will make you see your world as an endurance athlete in a new way. Fitzgerald’s research will help you become your own sports psychologist." - Joe Friel , leading endurance sports coach and author of the Training Bible series


How Bad Do You Want It? looks at epic moments in endurance sports to mine habits and tactics we can use to cultivate our own mental strength.

Top athletes can seem godlike in their abilities. But no matter how skilled they are, talent takes them only so far. The hardest races demand that a champion rely as much on the mind as on the body, using it to confront the fears that we all face: fear of failure, suffering, or change, to name a few.

In How Bad Do You Want It? renowned endurance sports journalist Matt Fitzgerald examines the “psychobiological” model of athletic performance, exploring how athletes are able to overcome physical limitations with mental might. In gripping accounts from triathlon, cycling, running, rowing, and swimming, Fitzgerald puts the reader inside breathtaking races, shedding new light on what science says about mental fortitude and how anyone can cultivate the mental strength to surmount challenges―in sport and in life.

Matt Fitzgerald is a journalist, coach, sports nutritionist, and author of more than 20 books, including the best-selling Racing Weight.


About the Author

Matt Fitzgerald is a certified sports nutritionist and the author of numerous books on running, triathlon, nutrition, and weight loss. His most recent VeloPress books are Racing Weight CookbookRacing Weight Quick Start GuideRUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by FeelRacing Weight, and The Runner’s Diary. Matt is a regular contributor to CompetitorMen’s FitnessMen’s HealthOutsideRunner’s WorldBicyclingRunning TimesWomen’s Running, and other sports and fitness publications. Fitzgerald is a featured coach on Training Peaks, Pear Sports, and Active. He is a certified sports nutritionist (CISSN) licensed by the International Society of Sports Nutrition. He lives and trains near San Francisco, California.

《How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle》读者评论:

EDIT 2015-10-20: so, I want to make clear that, as a book, it's a pretty good read. Matt can definitely hold his own as a writer. My main qualm is that the advice parts of the book could have been written about in 15-20 pages, at most, the rest of the book is filled with stories and anecdotes but many of them have very little in terms of scientific rigor to stand on, so it becomes a "well, if it worked for Prefontaine, it'll work for me" (just as an example) type of proposition. I fully understand we have a much deeper understanding about anatomy and dynamics and metabolism than we know about the mind + body connection; this makes the little practical advice provided in this primer as "it might work for you or it might not" which isn't particularly useful.

Original Review:
This book, unlike Matt's past works, has very little in the way of material, direct practical advice, which is a bit disappointing. This primer is very exploratory and about a very interesting subject for us into endurance sports: mind + body? Mind over body? Body over mind? The book although based on fairly solid scientific grounds, relies too heavily on anecdotes and stories, IMO. This is a stark contrast from his last few works that were science and application thereof to distance running. Training plans, recipes, nutritional advice, energy efficiency, tips and tricks that could help you PR, and so forth. If that's what you are expecting from this book, you'll be, like myself, a bit let down.


This book explains the latest theory of how the brain regulates endurance performance, the psycho biological model. The thesis is that decisions about pacing or quitting are taken by the conscious brain and that these decisions are primarily based on the conscious decisions of how hard, heavy and strenuous exercise is, a feeling called perception of effort, or body's resistance to the mind's will. Endurance performance is a self-regulated behavior on which thoughts and feelings can have profound influences. Perceptions of effort limit endurance performance. The book describes how conscious self-regulation of thoughts, emotions, and behavior can have a dramatic influence on endurance performance. In other words, mind and body are interconnected with the body distinctly subordinate, or as the great Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi opined, "Mind is everything. Muscles-pieces of rubber." Fitzgerald states the thesis of the book, "One cannot improve as an endurance athlete except by changing one's relationship with perception of effort." The author proceeds to devote the remainder of the book to examples of how athletes changed their relationship to perception of effort. As he states, "the best source of knowledge concerning the most effective methods of the example set by elite endurance athletes". Subsequent chapters describe how these elite athletes learned to cope. Jenny Barringer demonstrates the need to learn to brace yourself; Greg Lemond the efficacy of time based goals that are targets, not limits, Siri Lindley transcending self-consciousness to become absorbed in the task at hand; Cadel Evans turning low points into turning points, or angry resolve; Paula Newby-Fraser the importance of believing in yourself and ignoring what your competition is doing; the American contingent who participated in the 2013 World Cross Country championships and placed second,the positive effect of running as a team or behavioral synchrony; Thomas Mancebo and the audience and success effects; Ned Overend and the phenomena that if passion endures so will you; and finally, Steve Prefontaine, who wrote that the value of the suffering involved in racing was what you learned about yourself. The author writes that the purpose of the book is to help you become your own sports psychologist, that "in a race the job of the muscles is to perform, the job of the mind is to cope. But here's the hitch: the muscles can only perform to the degree that the mind is able to cope", The author cautions that "The only way to become really good at coping with the discomforts and stresses of endurance sports is to experience them." The value of Matt Fitzgerald, whether you agree with him or not, is that he inspires you to look at subjects in a way different from how you have previously. Matt continues to inspire.


Matt Fitzgerald has written a very interesting and enjoyable book on the role of mental training for endurance athletes. I recommend this book to all endurance athletes and those who enjoy interesting narratives about individuals who have overcome challenges to become successful. The book can truly be enjoyed on 2 different levels:
• Stories of Elite Athletes who have achieved their best through development of better mental training skills and mindsets – these are truly inspirational stories of courage, resilience and are very enjoyable to read
• A deeper understanding of the psychobiological model – how the mind and body interact for endurance athletes – that can be used to help each person better coach themselves in a true journey of self-discovery to see what they are truly capable of, regardless of their level of athletic ability (these skills are helpful in other area of life as well).

I learned a lot in each chapter of the book but would like to share a bit from 2 chapters that I found interesting and compelling:
• In the chapter “The Art of Letting Go”, Matt chronicles the story of Siri Lindley (triathlete) and her struggles and triumphs. The chapter has some very interesting information on choking during big performances. Perceived effort is heightened by self-consciousness - which then leads to decreased performance. The solution is to reach a state of flow – complete immersion in a purposeful activity – that allows one to be in the moment. A key passage from the chapter: “Paradoxically, it may seem, Siri had to let go of that dream and find contentment in the moment-to-moment process of chasing it in order to complete the personal transformation that was her deeper ambition.”
• In the chapter “The Gift of Failure”, we learn the story of Cadel Evans (Cycling) and secondarily of Nick Symmonds (800M runner) and the valuable coping skill of resilience. There is a cycle of frustration that can cause an athlete to feel defeated or angry. They can use the anger to reach “sweet disgust” – a determination to fight back that fuels positive change.

Additionally, the story of Willie Stewart – “The Workaround Effect” - is one of the most remarkable and inspirational I have read. Stewart lost an arm and still became an elite triathlete by using the coping skill of adaptability – you will not want to miss this story!

The best part of the book is that the author realizes that the path to mastery is unique to each of us. There are general coping skills that work well but how we fold those into the fabric of our lives is something we must figure out on our own. This book gives stories of how other have done it and insights into the coping skills and mindsets that can help each of us perform at a higher level. I will close with the way Matt explains it toward the end of the book:
“The path between you and the best you can be is unexplored territory. You are on your own, to some extent, to discover not only what motivates you to ‘leave it all out there’ but also your special formula for maximum mental fitness. This is what it means to become your own sports psychologist.”





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