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Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance
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Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  1,408 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
In this title, sports nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald offers the first comprehensive and science-based approach to weight management for runners, cyclists, triathletes, swimmers, rowers, and cross-country skiers. For endurance athletes, the power-to-weight ratio is critical. After all, an extra 10 pounds demands more than 6 per cent more energy at a given pace. "Racing Weight ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Velo Press (first published 2009)
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Jan 12, 2010 Meghan rated it liked it
I came across this book when I was in the running section at Barnes and Noble. A woman who was also there recommended it to me as we discussed our upcoming races. I am a runner and she is a triathlete. I found when training for the 2009 Marine Corps Marathon, my training program and everything else I read seemed to focus mainly on the mileage and never on the nutrition. This bothered me because I knew I was not eating properly. Once you take on that type of distance the amount of food and type o ...more
Aaron Maurer
Jul 23, 2011 Aaron Maurer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I train for my first marathon I decided to give this a read. I posted several posts last year about the first version of this concept of Racing Weight. I found this book to be very helpful. As I read the Quick Start Guide I found much of it to be very similar to the Racing Weight: How To Get Lean for Peak Performance. That is not to say that it is a bad book, but for being a quick start it was still crammed with information. A lot of good information. I performed the calculations and I unders ...more
May 31, 2013 Sebastian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And that is how it's done!

I was blown away by this book. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about nutrition, but I found a whole lot of useful information here about things to tweak in my eating patterns to improve my sports performance and to get leaner. Before I go into the details let me pose a few questions for you:

1)Do you think the lowest weight you can achieve should be your target weight to maximize racing performance?
2)Do you agree with low-carb diets being the best way to lose weig
Jun 17, 2013 Mirkat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Matt Fitzgerald offers endurance athletes a different approach to weight reduction than the usual "diet" model. Instead, he outlines a system of improving diet quality, managing appetite through nutrient timing, calculating carb needs based on ideal racing weight + training volume and protein needs based on body weight, and finding the appropriate balance of training volume and intensity. He also identifies how to determine ideal weight/body composition.

As a vegan athlete, I will mention that he
Dmitry Trofimov
May 17, 2016 Dmitry Trofimov rated it really liked it
While the book is mostly focused on the nutritional component of the athletic training process, it offers a bit more than that. Among other things it covers strength training benefits and the question of high volume vs. high intensity, which I found quite worthwhile.

As for the athletic dieting, the book proposes a quite straightforward approach in six steps, which is not very common though:

1. Improve the quality of your diet: eat only high quality food (lean meat and fish, vegetables, diary and
Dec 27, 2013 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, running
I first ran across the first edition of this book a couple of years ago when I was looking for a solid, research-based, user-friendly primer on nutrition for endurance athletes, but dismissed it as probably too numbers-on-the-scale-focused for me. Then earlier this year Fitzgerald released a second book, The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition: A Cutting-Edge Plan to Fuel Your Body Beyond "the Wall", which I devoured in a day & a half & loved. From that book, I really didn' ...more
Mark Sloan
Sep 17, 2011 Mark Sloan rated it liked it
The meat of this book is contained in chapters 7-11. Fitzgerald includes a Diet Quality Score table and a lot of advice on how to reach your optimum racing weight. He includes specific advice for endurance sports like distance running, rowing, swimming, and triathlon.

Chapters 12-14 felt a little bit like fluff to me. They covered some sample recipes for athletes, a list of what some pro athletes eat, and a quick chapter containing Fitzgerald's opinion on some of the most common available supple
Apr 28, 2011 Shira rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiber
This is a rare thing; a book for runners that attempts to actually help and educate you, not make you buy more junk. His books can be dense with information at times, so skim away (read the part about energy drinks, for example) and then return to different parts of his book as questions pop into your head.
You could absolutely read this straight through, but I found it useful to pick through it in bits and pieces (at least for the second reading). I think Fitzgerald is a gifted author with a ta
Alexandra Chauran
Jun 10, 2015 Alexandra Chauran rated it it was ok
I'm probably judging this book more harshly because I actually paid for the Kindle edition. The author seemed to flip-flop on his target audience. The first 40% of the book seemed to oddly enough be geared towards overweight people who have no idea that what they're eating is bad. Then we got into a quality, meaty portion of the book until I was about 54% through and then he flipped back again. I got this book because I thought it was for athletes fine-tuning those last body fat percentage point ...more
Kellie Reynolds
Dec 28, 2014 Kellie Reynolds rated it it was amazing
I did not expect to rate a book about sports nutrition with 5 stars. It deserves 5 stars for 3 reasons- the content is useful and important, the topic is well researched and based on data, and the author (Matt Fitzgerald) is an excellent writer. I do not know how many other authors are an English major, sports journalist, athlete, and certified sports nutritionist. The combination results in a fantastic book!

The main premise of the book is that endurance sports performance is best when the athle
Oct 25, 2011 Niki rated it really liked it
Great information for nutrition for endurance atheletes...that is if you are an elite competitive runner. Fitzgeralds information and advice was sound, all backed by research and common sense. I learned a lot about the athlete's body and ways to nourish it best. However, for the recreational endurance runner, this is not a practical guide. Still a great read!
Apr 03, 2014 Alicia rated it liked it
I am not a fan of super science-y books and this was one of them. I wish there was a recap at the end, with a simple outlined plan for each athlete type. I feel like after reading through all the science, I forgot what the 5 steps were and how to apply them to my life. I thought the chapter on supplements was nice and I also liked seeing the snapshot of elite athletes food diaries. didn't make me feel good about my own food log but it was nice to see that a lot of athletes use bars and drink mix ...more
Jesse Morrow
I was at a controle in the 2011 Boston Brevets 200 km Brevet. People were getting gatorade and chips and various century ride fare. The discussion turned to gear of course - because that's what cyclists talk about.

Fortunately the typical Randonneur is not the typical century rider. So, when somebody said, "For more speed at Paris-Brest-Paris I'm looking into getting a lighter bike..." one guy cut him off with: "When I need speed, I just drop some pounds right here" [patting his gut] "it's a lot
Jan 01, 2014 Maria rated it really liked it
A fantastic book that explains what it takes to get lean and still fuel yourself to train, specifically for endurance sports. It's fantastic to have a book specifically focused on active folk as the approach varies from those looking simply to lose weight, but engage in less physical activity. I love that the focus is on optimum performance weight - there is no doubt that to a certain point being leaner enhances performance (& happens to come with aesthetic benefits too). As with all these t ...more
Oct 13, 2014 Diana rated it liked it
I checked this out from the Los Angeles Public Library, and started reading it on the bus home, then in the bathtub, then in bed, taking notes. I think it is a quick and easy read for anyone interested in what their goal weight should be for quick running performance, and how to achieve that. I learned how to calculate what percentile of weight I am in, and what my elite weight could be, and what an attainable goal is. The book discusses the best way for runners to lose weight, and what not to d ...more
Stephen Redwood
Mar 07, 2014 Stephen Redwood rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
Practical, science based, anti-fad, useful and readable advice on how to figure out and get to the right combination of weight and body fat to produce your best endurance race performances - assuming you have the right training behind you, of course. Punctuated with summarizing tips on how to map together training with eating healthily, it ends with case studies of how several top athletes approach nutrition - the theory being that if they are doing it and being successful and the science suppor ...more
Henri Hämäläinen
Apr 03, 2013 Henri Hämäläinen rated it really liked it
Since my triathlon enthusiasm started I have been trying to get in to a lighter weight for better results. Losing weight has never been easy for me and with raising amount of training load, it has been even harder. That's the reason I got my hands in to a book from Matt Fitzgerald: Racing Weight.

Matt Fitzgerald is a sport nutritionist with a background of endurance sports, coaching endurance sports and working for food companies making products for endurance sports. For me that was background en
Jan 06, 2012 Jeannie rated it liked it
Racing Weight:
Racing Weight teaches athletes (runners, cyclists, triathletes, cross-country skiers, rowers, swimmers, etc) how to lose weight effectively without losing your nutrients, strength or conditioning. He has five steps to get lean for events. His book also has lists of what professional athletes eat and recipes from Pip Taylor, a triathlete.

Book description from Amazon:
Book Description
Endurance athletes are weight-conscious and given the miles and hours spent training, there’s a lot at
Kelli Stephenson
Dec 31, 2014 Kelli Stephenson rated it it was ok
There were a lot of interesting facts in this book based on many studies, but in depth reading shows many if the studies were on a very small sample of people which really doesn't prove much. He threw a lot of factoids and studies and numbers at the reader, but I didn't really gain much that will help me. The best part of the book was the end: sports specific strength training exercises and a few decent enough sounding recipes.
Jul 31, 2016 surfurbian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While the information in this book is not new and can be found in other places [that's why they call it re-search:)], the book does organize the information in a way to be extremely helpful to the endurance athlete. I believe it offers an effective system that addresses nutrition and exercise as well as mental discipline/health. I think anyone looking to make the transition from a more casual competitor to an elite one would benefit from a careful reading of the book.

Although elite athletes are
Kristi Mangan
Jan 01, 2015 Kristi Mangan rated it liked it
3.5. The title is misleading: This book is not about losing weight so much as it is about developing the optimal body composition (fat/muscle) for peak performance. The information on determining what that weight is and facts about nutrition are presented clearly and supported with what seems to be solid research, but I found Fitzgerald's method for calculating diet quality score vague and confusing.
Oct 16, 2012 Marissa rated it liked it
Just wrote a huge review and it didn't save. booooo!

To sum it all up, this book lives up to its title and it jam packed full of tips to reach optimum weight for peak performance. It is 95% about nutrition and really breaks down cars/proteins/fats and how much athlete of individual sports should eat. It has examples of endurance athletes food diaries and offers exercises tailored to specific sports (running, cross country skiing, swimming ,cycling etc.) Touches on nutrient timing, and has a chap
Jun 13, 2013 Riannon rated it liked it
There were a few interesting charts at the beginning, and some interesting discussion about carbohydrates, but there was also a lot of filler material which is basically common knowledge. It might be more useful to someone who has never opened a book on nutrition or exercise in their life, but I don't think that applies to most athletes, which I thought was the target audience of this book.

I also felt like there could have been more detail and discussion of the athletes' sample diets, which wer
Koji Kawano
Feb 27, 2013 Koji Kawano rated it liked it
Racing Weight is a book about a weight-loss system for endurance athletes, and it offers a complete solution to achieve the optimal racing weight for endurance athletes. There are two books: The first book is for those endurance athletes who are in the middle of training and want to shed weight to maximize performance. The second book is for those who are starting to get into an endurance sport, or starting a new season, or maintaining off-season fitness and want to lose weight before they get i ...more
Jul 06, 2012 Matija rated it really liked it
Need to follow the advice in this book for a while to truly judge its worth.

A couple of points so far:

- Very easy and quite interesting to read (only took me a week).
- A bit too US-centric.
- Could do with more practical guidelines rather than scientific studies.
- On the theoretical side, a very good explanation how body stores and uses food for energy.
- On the practical side, it doesn't reveal much more than you already know (except in the part where he talks about counting calories in and out).
Jan 25, 2016 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I really liked this. I'm no elite athlete, but the simplicity and not uptight approach to fine tuning your weight impressed me. I think it's a doable and reasonably healthy approach to eating, even if you're not trying to get to that ultimate "racing weight".
Rob Robideau
Jun 03, 2013 Rob Robideau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Athletes, Anyone
Find Your Perfect Weight for Optimum Performance

The author does a fantastic job of simplifying a complex subject!

This isn't your typical diet book. It is written specifically for athletes or active individuals, but the principles presented are offered in a way that they can easily apply to anyone.

The author makes no sweeping generalizations, but rather offers advice on how to find out what your body needs and what will work best for you. He not only advises to listen to your body and what it ne
Cyanne Demchak
Aug 18, 2015 Cyanne Demchak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved about 90% of this book. The concept is so simple, but so difficult to achieve and you have to be committed to the nutrition as much as the training to become truly successful in teaching your endurance goals.

I'm loving how focused it has me on whole foods, while allowing a splurge (1 free glass of wine a day, yes please) without making you feel guilty. But it also focused on that weight reduction for most endurance athletes is actually bad, because they tend to lose muscle, rather than
Connie Smith
Dec 01, 2014 Connie Smith rated it really liked it
The Diet Quality Score app is so easy to use and as far as food diaries go, this one's fun! Mr. Fitzgerald referenced how his mom made a game out of the loathsome chore of cleaning up toys, a memory which influenced his point assignments when tracking food categories during the day. For my needs, the DQS makes more sense than calorie counting.
Feb 02, 2014 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, practical book on body composition management (despite the title, it's really about composition) for endurance athletes. A slight focus on the run (secondarily tri), but almost entirely general information with some details for a range of sports. Contains about the most reasonable approach to food-tracking that I can imagine.
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