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Faster, Better, Stronger: A Customized, Scientific Approach No Mat

Faster, Better, Stronger: A Customized, Scientific Approach No Mat

by Eric, M.D. Heiden M.D.

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Are you weary of cookie-cutter fitness plans devoid of anything you can actually use? Or programs promising great abs by Monday?

Eric Heiden, M.D., and Massimo Testa, M.D., are renowned physicians who've spent their lives facing every conceivable exercise problem, helping both elite athletes and people who want to finish a 5K or


Are you weary of cookie-cutter fitness plans devoid of anything you can actually use? Or programs promising great abs by Monday?

Eric Heiden, M.D., and Massimo Testa, M.D., are renowned physicians who've spent their lives facing every conceivable exercise problem, helping both elite athletes and people who want to finish a 5K or achieve lower blood pressure.

Part I of this book is a treasure trove filled with everything everyone should know about fitness but that even the best athletes do not, including how to start (or restart) an exercise regimen; eat before, during, and after a workout; lose weight while getting fit; treat aches and pains; diagnose fatigue; harness your thoughts; and select the activities best suited to you. Part II unveils a twelve-week fitness program, tailored to your needs, which will optimize your time, efforts, and results.

Faster, Better, Stronger, named one of the top ten books of the year by Disaboom.com, is highly inspiring and fun to read, with stories from Dr. Heiden at the Olympics and from Dr. Testa about helping the world's top cyclists as well as elderly and obese patients.

Doctors rarely make guarantees, but Dr. Heiden and Dr. Testa are willing to guarantee this: Everyone can get better. Including you.

Editorial Reviews

USA Today
“Eric Heiden wants you to know that exercise doesn’t have to be hard work; it can be play. [Faster, Better, Stronger] is easy to read and doesn’t get bogged down in the science.”
Sacramento Bee
“[Faster, Better, Stronger] explains high performance athletic concepts in simple language and provides safe and sane training advice to the masses.”
Triathlete Magazine
“Max Testa is changing the way Americans train.”
Jim Ochowicz
"Wow—what a perfect combination: Eric and Max! A book on general fitness by this incredible team could change a person’s life."
Bob Wassom
“Max Testa is changing the way Americans train.”
—Jim Ochowicz
“Wow—what a perfect combination: Eric and Max! A book on general fitness by this incredible team could change a person’s life.”
—Michael Castleman
“Extremely well-written and fascinating, this book can make a tremendous difference in how you feel and how you perform. Thumbs up!”

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Read an Excerpt

Faster, Better, Stronger
10 Proven Secrets to a Healthier Body in 12 Weeks

By Eric Heiden
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008

Eric Heiden
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061215230


Better Shape

When you buy a car, you know that it will slowly deteriorate the more you use it. Park it in a garage and it will remain pristine, but drive it and the tires will wear out, its oil will need changing, its paint will grow dull, and its working parts will break down. Put more miles on a compact and it does not become a Mercedes or a Ferrari.

Your body, however, is different. It does become a Ferrari the more you use it. How? We have arrived at ten requirements, or secrets, to making that happen. These basic tenets, listed here and explained in the coming chapters, are guaranteed to usher you to greater fitness. If you follow these general rules, you will get better.

1.Follow the right program. Choose a program that is scientifically based and can be tailored to your needs. Then stick with that program for at least twelve weeks.
2.Set a goal. The right main objective along with certain incremental goals provides the perfect mix of mile markers and motivation.
3.No patience, no gain. Gauge your expectations for achieving your goals not by the clock, as you would a salon treatment, but by the calendar, as you would a vegetable garden.
4.Assess your starting point. To get from Point A to Point B, you have to find out your current condition—your Point A.
5.Alternate hard and easy days, working on not just one but all four components of fitness: aerobic conditioning, strength training, flexibility, and balance and coordination.
6.Treat exercise like the powerful drug that it is. "Take" your exercise at the right time, in the right amount and intensity, for the right duration.
7.Fuel your body with the right food and fluids. Eat from all of the food groups, and at the right times (especially before, during, and after exercise), to provide the ideal building blocks your body requires for fitness.
8.Equip yourself with the right basic gear and troubleshoot aches and pains early. Doing this can go a long way in helping you go a long way.
9.Train your brain. Know the vast physiological metamorphosis exercise sets in motion in your body. Your positive (or negative) thoughts and your understanding of what's happening with your body have a motivational and a biological impact.
10.Everyone can get better. Everyone.

These ten concepts encapsulate what we have witnessed working when it comes to the discipline of fitness. If you read no further but apply these rules to any program you use from now on, you will have already notched up your ability to hone your body through exercise. We'll show you how to apply these rules in the rest of this chapter and throughout the book.

Follow the Right Program

We live in the most fitness-conscious civilization ever known. The proliferation of gyms, popular exercise regimens, videos, and yoga studios has made fitness a multimillion-dollar business and has sustained a variety of fitness philosophies, many in conflict with one another. Millions of people spend too much time, money, and sweat to get fit, and often they fail. Why? They suffer from the same debilitating fitness problem: oversimplified approaches and techniques, often explained by people with limited medical or scientific background.

Too many of these fitness ideas are based on one piece of scientific understanding and not the whole picture. They address only one facet of fitness, or they address all of us as if we were so many identical widgets marching out of a factory with the same strengths and weaknesses, the same starting point, and the same schedule. "Experts" of the moment oblige everyone's desire for fitness information. They dish out advice that is loosely based on a technique that worked for a few celebrities or one high-profile athlete; thus a "hot new training tip" starts circulating. Would-be athletes instantly feel that they have been given some secret to achieving higher performance . . . ​until they start applying it. Then they realize they have nothing. And they fail again.

The sheer number of magic fitness tricks out there tells you there's no magic trick. Magic? No. But there is an entire field of training science and medicine relatively unknown to the average fitness-seeker. So we will give you an exercise plan, yes, but also the proven science that is the basis of the plan. We will give you "what to do" but also "why to do it," backed by a huge body of evidence, which is the root of our guarantee: You can definitely get more fit. Once you understand the how and why, you will be armed for fitness for the rest of your life.

Why a Program?

So why do you need a program? Why not just do a lot of everything? If you moved to a part of the world where there were no cars, no escalators, no UPS—say, to the steppes of Mongolia—maybe you wouldn't need an exercise program. Or if you lived in a society where your lifestyle required a great range of daily physical activity, again, maybe you wouldn't need a program. Certainly preceding generations did not. But because the amount of activity required of most people today is so minimal, and the time available to exercise is so tightly circumscribed by work, family, civic, and other obligations, most people need to be precise with the precious time they do commit to fitness.

Fitness is a term that encompasses a fistful of physical qualities: cardiovascular health, muscular strength, flexibility, balance and coordination, and ideal weight. A person who is fit, in our mind, embodies all of these qualities. To help you get there while making the best use of your exercise time, money, and energy, our fitness program proposes the best activities at the correct duration and intensity, a week at a time.

Each week of this program is a cocktail of varying activities, thirty to sixty minutes in length. A typical week looks something like this:

We prescribe to patients the exact duration and intensity of activity they need each day, but those specifications would be hieroglyphics to you now if we listed them here. By the time you reach Part Two, however, it will be a piece of cake. There we will shepherd you through assembling the ideal twelve-week program for you, based on your current level of fitness.


Excerpted from Faster, Better, Stronger by Eric Heiden
Copyright © 2008 by Eric Heiden. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Jim Ochowicz
“Wow—what a perfect combination: Eric and Max! A book on general fitness by this incredible team could change a person’s life.”
Bob Wassom
“Anyone who wants to be stronger, healthier and feel better can benefit from this book… Faster, Better, Stronger is as foolproof as it gets.”

Meet the Author

Eric Heiden, M.D., won five gold medals in the 1980 Olympics. Then he became a champion cyclist and received a medical degree from Stanford University. Together with Massimo Testa, M.D., one of the foremost cycling trainers in the world, he founded the UC Davis Sports Performance Center. Both authors live in Park City, Utah.

Massimo Testa, M.D., is one of the foremost cycling trainers, physicians, and exercise physiologists in the world. He has been a professional cycling team physician since 1985 and has worked with some of the best pro-cycling teams in the world, including the one that ushered a U.S. team into the international spotlight for the first time.

DeAnne Musolf has written for The Economist, the Washington Post, Life, and Fortune. Her next book is Catapult: The Biology of Ambition. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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