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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

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  3,096 ratings  ·  183 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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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  3,096 ratings  ·  183 reviews


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Sebastian
May 31, 2013 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
...more
Angela
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running, nonfiction
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't get th ...more
Aaron Maurer
Jul 23, 2011 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
Meghan
Jan 12, 2010 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
Mirkat
Apr 26, 2013 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
...more
Rainey
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have tried to renovate my diet for years. What I like best about this methodology is that it doesn't put me inside of a box with set numbers or calorie totals, it simply asks me to make choices. I'm awarded points for making good choices in the app with the number assigning, and making poor choices comes with point deduction consequences. He breaks everything down so easily that the real glaring errors in my diet became so apparent and I easily was able to make good changes. This book was reco ...more
Victoria Zabuzova
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kellie Reynolds
Dec 25, 2014 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
...more
Sara
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This was fine, and I definitely got distracted reading it. Nothing ground breaking here, although I'm also not sure how much science there actually is to back up his plan (in part because I am not going to read the studies and because most of them seem to be very small). ...more
Mehmet S.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been a life changer. I am living by this book!
Alexandra Chauran
Jun 08, 2015 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
Mark Sloan
Sep 06, 2011 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
...more
Shira
Apr 28, 2011 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
...more
Niki
Oct 18, 2011 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! ...more
Charlotte
Oh boy, do I feel conflicted about this book.
Parts of it I really liked, parts of it I very strongly disliked - hence the 2 stars.

First of all, this is the first book I've ever read where I've consciously found it to be triggering. I definitely would recommend that people with eating disorders (whether active or recovering) do NOT read it.

It starts out with a very strong "skinnier is faster" message that lasts a few pages, and then as an afterthought it is mentioned that of course it is possibl
...more
Andrea
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very comprehensive guide to getting to any endurance athlete's ideal weight. This book is easy to read and has very practical information that can be easily integrated into anyone's life. I really enjoyed this book, it helped me understand why I've felt so different every time my body has changed either into a heavier or lighter version and why my best times and feelings have been when I have been on my lightest even though it's at those times when I'm eating more but with healthier and more c ...more
Maya Goldstein
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent

Tons of science-based information on the correct way to approach weight management as an endurance athlete, with a focus on practical strategies that are realistic for the average person to implement (ie, how to manage appetite rather than weigh/count all your calories). Perfect for beginners or amateur athletes whose weight might be holding them back from optimal performance.
Joe Moya
Almost a 4 star...

Portions are dated but most of the information is basic information that for a beginner is useful. There is nothing profound or different about the contents but most is easily followed. The only negative is the repetitive use of the same information. It would have been nice had he edited out those repetitive portions and added some discussion about some outlier dieting strategies.
Tyler
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running
I started running about 5 years ago, and I want to finally focus on improving my performance, specifically my marathon time. one aspect of that will be to manage my weight, and this book has great information on how to go about doing that. The recipes and suggested strength-training exercises are also a plus.
Jeni Burckart
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book with a simple approach to eating focused on eating high quality foods. A good read while training for my next half marathon because anything that hints at cutting calories is just going to starve training. This book takes a realistic approach to changing body composition while training to improve performance.
Jewel
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books about fitness and health. It offers a fresh perspective for those who are looking to go deeper with their fitness. It also includes info from top athletes in a number of different sports. I reread it often.
Mel Edwards
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guilt-free and sensible

The gist is eat a better balanced diet. About 2/3 of the book was interesting but nonessential to my needs. The essential part was worth the price of the book.
Esther
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running
I think it is an amazing book. I only give 4 out of 5 stars because I think the Quick Start could have been a bit more elaborate. I know he wants to sell his Quick start book as well but still a brief sketch of a training/ nutrition plan would have been nice
Alan
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fitness, running
Seems well reasoned, and useful. Target audience is runners, swimmers, cyclist, triathletes, rowers, and others who primarily require endurance and are more or less, depending on the sport, hampered by excess body mass in racing.
Julie
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: runnerd
Excellent research-backed info on eating and training right for healthy athletic weight and performance. Helpful charts and tables
Mori Bell
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect motivator prior to a new training cycle.
Maris
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will help athletes as well as non-athletes to manage weight. DQS offers hassle free system how to oversee daily calorie intake
Lisa
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty ok. Learned a lot about the general benefit of lean body mass and performance. The tips and explanations were great. Wish there were more exercises and assignments to follow along.
Mark
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
No nonsense, comprehensive and practical.
Jonathan Grant
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has confirmed all my previously held beliefs about bananas.
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Matt Fitzgerald is the author of numerous books on sports history and endurance sports. He has enjoyed unprecedented access to professional endurance athletes over the course of his career. His best-sellers include Racing Weight and Brain Training for Runners. He has also written extensively for Triathlete, Men's Fitness, Men's Health, Outside, Runner's World, Bicycling, Competitor, and countless ...more

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“But for endurance athletes, doing so is a little different because macronutrient balance also has a major impact on training performance and many athletes do not consume enough carbohydrate in particular to maximize that performance. Any measure that boosts your training performance will also tend to make you leaner.” 0 likes
“While it pays to be light and lean in all endurance sports, there is thankfully no single, ideal body type for any specific endurance sport. The variety you see in the physiques of world-class cyclists, runners, and other endurance athletes can be surprising.” 0 likes
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