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No Limits: The Will to Succeed

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,687 ratings  ·  232 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, 228 pages
Published December 23rd 2008 by Free Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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K.D. Absolutely
Jul 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs, sports, guy-lit
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
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Tarinee Prasad
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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

I have always been inspired by sports persons .Their discipline ,determination and stories of their hard work and sacrifices for their goal .so when I came a
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
Dec 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies
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
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jill Campbell
Apr 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Manoj Arora
1/ Do something in this lifetime that no one has ever done before.
That is how he made his goal to be the best Olympian ever. Dream big. Learn from new obstacles and challenges. Transform yourself.

2/ When I was in school, a teacher said that I would never be successful. Things like these stick, and then motivate you.
Yes, they do. Negativity around you can push you into a corner OR can pull you out of your comfort zone to break the shackles and write your own destiny. It all depends on how you ta
Mackenzie H.
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sullivan Elenburg
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This autobiography by Michael Phelps is the true story to his famed 8 gold medal run at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. The book goes on about the struggles that Michael had but also the victories he had as well. The book is very informative and it teaches you a lot about swimming. If you don't like swimming, or get bored with a lot of facts in a book, don't read this. But if you are like me, who doesn't care whats in it as long as there's Michael Phelps, then this is definitely a book yo ...more
Erich Byelick
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-read
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
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember following Michael Phelps as a teenager and young adult. I remember sitting on the edge of whatever chair I was on as I watched the television screen in 2008. This book gave me the same goosebumps and brought the same emotions flooding to the surface as 2008.

The book itself is well-written; however, if you are not familiar with the different races/terminology of competitive swimming, you will have to stop and do a little research every so often. The structure is also a little confusing
Jan 10, 2009 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
Jenna Fisher
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
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
Mar 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Priyanka -
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dedication,grit and willpower and hard work 'all the time',that's what makes Phelps a champion.He inspires and believes in working really hard towards your goals-'To see just what I am,truly,capable of'
Setting incredible world records with his 'Phelpsian feat' ,Micheal Phelps wins your heart with his honesty and hard work.It's inspiring and overwhelming to read the journeys of champions like Phelps who want to see what they have in them and go that extra mile when others dare not.
Mar 12, 2009 rated it did not like it
this is THE worst book about sports i've ever read. the sentences were repetitive, too short, and extremely annoying. there was no cohesiveness. I was very disappointed with the co-author and i found myself groaning aloud every 10 pages or so. but you can't really blame phelps since he never really got a proper education outside of the pool. that abraham guy, though...god, he's an awful writer! ...more
Dawn Ling
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Elena Problem
Nov 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
it's extremely bad. even for me being a fan. ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaylee Marino
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I decided to read No Limits by Michael Phelps because I am a swimmer and have heard stories and read articles about his life as a swimmer and his obstacles. I never knew exactly how he did it, how he became the greatest swimmer ever. From ADHD to depression, injuries, or even to just everyone telling him he couldn’t acomplish his dreams, he was dreaming too big but he pushed through it and became the most decorated Olympian of all time.
The main plot of the story is just the events in Michael’s
Madison M.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it as far as reading a biography goes. Of course not a lot of people love biographies, but as a swimmer I had to pick this one for my biography unit at school. It was definitely an interesting book, one part pointing out the stuff that he eats. Which I read about before, but reading it in this book and thinking about myself before a swim meet. Ya I would probably throw up in the pool.

Me being a swimmer now could have changed my perspective on how things go in the swimming lifestyle. Rat
Slater Fleck
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fresh from the pool at 7 years old Michael Phelps tells us his life story in the amazing book "No Limits The Will To Succeed". Michael Phelps is known as the greatest swimmer that has ever lived. In this book he talks about how he got to be the best, how he trained how he ate how he did everything to be the best. Also in this book it talks about life lessons and how to be a successful swimmer. One of my favorite quotes from the books is what his coach bob tells him all the time is W.I.N "What's ...more
Carla Guedes
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Although poorly written, this book was actually worth reading. As a learning support teacher, I am always looking for the story of the kid with learning challenges that makes it in the world, the one that succeeds in spite of all challenges with school. Phelps' story is definitely one of success and one of the human spirit succeeding regardless of challenges and neurological challenges. There can be little doubt that he managed to achieve an incredible feat, and all this despite being diagnosed ...more
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Rating 3 on 5, as though the book was good, didn't serve my objective of getting some insights onto his character and strength (also also some inspiration). Seems like as an individual Michael Phelps is pretty sorted out and has clear priorities in life. What I liked about him is that he didn't get into trash talk about his peers. One more admirable quality is his tendency to try to set goals to become best of himself, and not really compare with others! I think that's a great approach towards l ...more
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
In much the same way that America has a military industrial complex and a prison industrial complex, this book leads me to think they have an athletic/sporting industrial complex as well--what with the frequent pronouncements of "the USA is best in the world!" and all that. Par for the course in an athlete's autobiography, for sure; it just felt off at times. This was also filled with your standard sports clichés and platitudes to the tune of "nothing is impossible" and "hard work will get you a ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked the book because it was written in Michael Phelps' point of view. I knew lots about Phelps before I read this book, such as how he won 8 gold medals in 1 Olympics and how he won 23 gold medals total. There was also many things I didn't know like how he had ADHD and how when he was in high school, he chose to not take his medicine so he could get mentally stronger by himself. What really surprised me is how hard he would train and the things he had to give up in order to be an Olympic swi ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
This autobiography covers Phelps' athletic career through the 2008 Olympics. I like athlete biographies whether or not I am a fan of the sport or the athlete. I am not especially interested in swimming but am familiar with Phelps' accomplishments. This book is basically out of date now as the author has competed in further Olympic Games and won even more gold medals.
If you are looking for information about Michael Phelps' personal life, you will not find it here. He almost exclusively
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It is hard work and dedication that gets you anywhere. 1 7 Jun 09, 2013 06:55PM  

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Michael Fred Phelps II is an American former competitive swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (23),Olympic gold medals in individual events (13), and Olympic medals in individual events (16). In winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps broke fellow American swimmer Mark Spit ...more

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