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No Limits: The Will to Succeed

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  907 ratings  ·  154 reviews
""When I'm focused, there is not one single thing, person, anything that can stand in the way of my doing something. There is not. If I want something bad enough, I feel I'm gonna get there.""Michael Phelps is one of the greatest competitors the world has ever seen. From teen sensation in Sydney to bona fide phenom in Athens, he is now -- after the Beijing Games -- a livin ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published December 9th 2008 by Free Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,648)
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K.D. Absolutely
I enjoyed reading this book. I think part of the reason was that the hype of 2008 Beijing Olympics has died down and people are now looking forward to 2012 London Olympics. The timing freed me from too much “noise” from on-line opinions of fans and critics of Michael Phelps (born 1985). Strong on-line opinions can sometimes influence my enjoyment in reading biographies and memoirs of famous people.

It’s been half a year since I read an athlete biography or memoir. At the start of this year, I re
When it comes to things Michael Phelps is good at, swimming is number 1. Getting you fired up by reading could be number 2. The book reads like a conversation. Well, conversation is a mild way of putting it. The book is inspiring without being egotistical. There is no "Look what I can do cause I'm better than you" but rather a "Look what you can do if you get out there and try." I recommend it to young athletes, to former athletes, to anyone who has ever competed for anything. Just be warned tha ...more
Summary of the Phelpsian recipe for world-beating success: start with a supportive Mum who will dig you out of bed, stuff some breakfast into you and drive you to training before daylight, have ADHD and wean yourself off ritalin, and find a talented and supportive coach who can take you from a tantrum-throwing youngster to an Olympian and give you heaps of support and sage advice about life along the way. Also learn from all your mistakes, be prepared to train your butt off even when you really ...more
Erich Byelick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mackenzie H.
228 pages

No Limits: The Will to Succeed, is the story of the road Michael Phelps took to acheive his goal and contract of eight gold medals in one Olympic game. He explains the eight charcteristics he had to win each and every race: perseverance, belief, redemption, determination, confidence, courage, will, and commitment. In the 400 individual medley he needed to have perserverance. The individual medley was rather difficult because Phelps had to be strong in all strokes. Other ind
I was one of the ones caught up in the Olympic games in the summer of 2008. I had Phelps fever and was looking for 8 also. Letting my at the time 8 year old stay up to watch the swims live.

So fun being able to see her face and know that she also one day could do that! (well maybe not Olympics but competitive swim for sure.) Maybe even College! Okay she is only 10!!!

Michael's journey to Beijing is one of swimming, swimming, swimming and really very little else. Everything is about the pool. Alt
I listened to this book after the one by Apolo Ohno because I was interested to read more about Olympians. Michael Phelps is certainly an inspirational athlete. He has done much to prepare himself for his sport, and it shows (winning 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics). However, I found the book to be disorganized - it wasn't in chronological order, so it was hard for me to follow which meet or Olympics he was talking about. That probably doesn't matter too much, but to me, it was a problem. ...more
Jenna Fisher
I was interested to hear about Phelps' ability to push himself and overcome limitations that others had imposed on him. His is a story of hard work and motivation. The part that stuck out to me was that he learned to concentrate on finding out what he *could do, rather than worry about what he couldn't do. or what others were doing.
The writing was a bit simple and the way the book was organized, did lend itself to repetition but I didn't find it confusing or annoying.
It's not a work of art, di
Jan 10, 2009 Erika added it
This was my secret santa gift this year because everyone who knows me knows that I find him very fascinating. However, I wasn't expecting much when I started reading this. But I was pleasantly surprised. It's not literary work of genius, but it's definitely an inspirational book, and reminded me just how much there is to get out of life if you only have some passion and dedication. It's a get-your-butt-off-the-couch book for sure. And, as is Phelps' intention, it makes the sport of swimming much ...more
I'm a sucker for these types of books, what can I say? :P

It was interesting to read just how much time and preparation Phelps puts into his career. This would be an eyeopener for anyone who thinks that swimming just isn't that hrd, or that Phelps doesn't deserve to even be considered as one of the world's greatest athletes.

Make no mistake- this book isn't high quality literature. ;) But if you're interested in reading about what went into preparing for his amazing accomplishment at the 2008 Bei
Not my favorite book in the world. It seemed like he was trying to be modest the whole time, but it came out as major cocky. Also, maybe it wasn't my favorite because he kept saying how much harder swimming is than running. Still a great athlete, but I think it is definately debatable whether he is the "Greatest Olympian of all time." Swimming is the only sport where your could even come close to winning that many medals, sure, but does the number of medals you win correlate with the kind of ath ...more
No limits
Michael Phelps

This book is about the greatest Olympian to ever live. Michael Phelps. He wrote this autobiography for people to understand what it is like for him to live and what goes through his mind before a race. This book was right after the 2008 olympics in Beijing. This was the Olympics where he won 8 gold medals defeating Mark Spitz’s record with 7 Gold medals in one Olympic games. Michael explains his problems as a child such as having ADHD and being a very unbehaved chi
Dawn Ling
As an ex-national swimmer for about 8 years, I really enjoyed this book as I could relate to all the obstacles and grueling training he had to undergo. In this book he shares how you can overcome distractions and remain motivated to reach your goals. Great book to inspire anyone who aims to accomplish their dreams.
Jill Campbell
I actually loved this book, which surprised me. I couldn't put it down, read it in 2 days. I am not sure whether I would have felt the same way if I hadn't been a swimmer in my previous life. Chris and I agree, it is a book we will have our children read when the time is right.
John Baker
In No Limits, Michael Phelps relives his life in this book all the way from his childhood to post-Olympic life. In the book Michael Phelps assesses his life and discusses all of his issues that he had with his coach and family. He also discusses all of his great successes that he had in His career all the way from his first gold medal to his high school tests. Michael Reveals his personality to his fans and shares his opinions on life.

Michael tells his family issues and emphasizes how lucky he w
Ben Walling
When anyone mentions the sport of swimming, the first name they think of is Michael Phelps. As a swimmer myself, I am always jokingly asked if I will be the next Phelps. I decided to read " Michael Phelps- No Limits, the Will to Succeed" to discover more about his upbringings, triumphs, and setbacks to help me as a swimmer, and also to gain knowledge on the most decorated Olympian of all time. Alan Abrahamson set out in this biography to teach readers more about the name they all know. "No Limit ...more
Chris Kahn

After examining No Limits by Michael Phelps it is clear that if a person needs encouragement to keep working hard they need to read this book. If the reader just need a little more push to finish they should read this book.

There were a few quotes that stuck out to me and one was about if you say cannot then you are limiting yourself on what you can do. This quote stuck out to me because it is really true if you think about it. I also enjoyed a little story that Michael said and it was like Mich
The perfect book to learn the inside scope about what was going on inside Michael during his incredible Olympic journey, in particular Beijing. Not only do we learn about Beijing, but we learn about his childhood, goals, fitness, difficulties, and everything leading up to the most historic Olympic journey of all time.

Amazing to hear about how many difficulties he had to go through from injury, ADHD, being bullied, and poor decisions. A lot commentators would talk about his body and talent that
Ken Roebuck
No Limits is the inspirational story of Michael Phelps' phenomenonal drive to win eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics. It explores the hard work, commitment, and sacrifice that go into reaching any goal. Whether it is on the starting block during an Olympic swim meet or in the weight room on a typical day, Phelps's dedication and determination has led him to unparalleled excellence. Filled with anecdotes from family members, friends, teammates, and his long time coach, No Limits reveals an in ...more
Five stars for the inspirational message behind this book: to be truly great at something does not come easy. It takes work - real work. Not just putting in a bit of time here and there, but dedicating your life to it - sacrificing things you could otherwise be doing, getting up and putting the work in when you'd rather sit on the couch and watch Alexander Skarsgard movies. Okay, I'm talking about myself now (although Phelps may be a Skarsy fan too - no one is immune to that Viking Hunkdom). Tho ...more
Anna Sochacka
First - it's not kind of book I would normally read, I don't like biographies, I'm not American, but as mother of two swimming children I did, dutifully. I must honestly say, I enjoyed this book. My goal for it was to understand, what does it mean, from kids and parents' point of view to become seriously busy with swimming. And this book answered many of my questions, well, gave me a lot to think. It's written in first person, which makes it very personal, and that's what I've wanted to know, wh ...more
Regan DeWitt
In No Limits: The Will to Succeed, Michael Phelps chronicles his record-breaking eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics through eight chapters. Each chapter is about a different race, which he explains the different aspects of each one, and also explains what happened with each race at the Athens Olympics, four years prior. Through the 400 Individual Medley, he tells the story of how his swimming career began, and how he and his coach, Bob Bowman, met and have interacted ever since. The 400 F ...more
Jungho L.
This book was about Michael Phelps and how he succeeded in swimming and how he accomplished to get 8 gold medals. Michael Phelps started swimming when he was just 7 years old. Both of his other sisters did too. As a young child, Michael did poor in school. The reason was that he had ADHD. Michael started training with a person named Bob Bowman. He was the main reason why Michael was so successful. During his early teen age years, Michael set many records in swimming and by the age 15, he tried o ...more
Andrew Caparell
No Limits by Michael Phelps naturally caught my eye as I am a sports fan. Plus, the fact that it was an autobiography intrigued me. This book was written after the Beijing Games which Phelps Obtained an unprecedented eight gold medals and world-record times in seven events. His performance at the 2008 Games set a new standard for success. This story is told by Phelps and he explains how he prepared, trained, and how he came to have the greatest olympic performances ever.

The story starts with Mic
Alison John
No Limits: The Will to Succeed
By Michael Phelps and Alan Abrahamson
288 pages

This story about Michael Phelps, tells how he achives his eight gold medals in just one Olymic. In the book, he explains how and what he did to get those medals. Michael worked hard everyday. He would be at the pool whenever he could. Michael would always be swimming. Michael has been dreaming about going to the Olymics and winning a gold medal. He thought is was not possible for him to go to the Olymics. Th
Jason Pelaez
In the novel, No Limits: The Will to Succeed, by Michael Phelps and Alan Abrahamson, Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympic Champion to ever live takes the reader into an in-depth look into his legendary eight races and eight gold medals at the 29th Olympiad in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Michaels went through a lot of tough times and tiring days in his life to become one of the all-time greats, but he did it and has no regrets. Michael also gives a good brief history about each discipline he swam ...more
David Cain
This short work takes the reader through each of Phelps' eight gold-medal winning swims at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I really enjoyed this book! A caveat, though - I am a competitive swimmer. Phelps describes his time progression in various events, his performance at different meets leading up to the Games, etc. and for those not a part of the swimming world, this might quickly become tiresome. I found it fascinating, though, and this level of detail helped explain what motivated Phelps to achi ...more
The book has a slow start, but it picks up. I learned that Phelps would consume between 8,000 - 10,000 calories per day in preparation for the Olympics in Beijing.

I'd give the book 3.5 stars. He is a talented swimmer, but no real clear signs of tough struggle through his life, (ie: he didn't grow up poor, abusive father, etc.) He did have an attention disorder, but I think that most young kids just have a real short attention span whether they are diagnosed with a problem or not, I think is subj
Grant Combs
No Limits: The Will To Succeed is a great book. It is about Michael Phelps, world- class swimmer, and his journey to the top of the Olympics to become the most decorated Olympian of all time. Written by Michael Phelps and Alan Abrahamson, the autobiography tells what is necessary to achieve your dreams: hard work, dedication, passion, and will. The book revovles around the swimming world, and includes meets, travel meets, and games played on the Olympics swim team, which turns out is pretty simi ...more
Penny Linsenmayer
Read this with my 9 year old son, who is a competitive swimmer. He was very inspired, and though I found it to be statistics-heavy at times, my son kept up well enough with the numbers. Structuring each chapter around a particular event that he swam in the 2008 Olympics was effective, though the narrative did meander a bit much sometimes. Overall, a good read, especially if you are reading it with some interest and knowledge of competitive swimming.
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It is hard work and dedication that gets you anywhere. 1 6 Jun 09, 2013 06:55PM  
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“If you say "can't" you're restricting what you can do or ever will do.” 16 likes
“So many people along the way,whatever it is you aspire to do,will tell you it can't be done.But all it takes is imagination.You dream.You plan.You reach. There will be obstacles.There will be doubters.There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you,there are no limits.” 13 likes
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