Play On: The New Science of Elite Performance at Any Age

Play On: The New Science of Elite Performance at Any Age

by Jeff Bercovici


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A lively, deeply reported tour of the science and strategies helping athletes like Tom Brady, Serena Williams, Carli Lloyd, and LeBron James redefine the notion of “peak age.”

Season after season, today’s sports superstars seem to defy the limits of physical aging that inevitably sideline their competitors. How much of the difference is genetic destiny and how much can be attributed to better training, medicine and technology? Is athletic longevity a skill that can be taught, or a mental discipline that can be mastered? Can career-ending injuries be predicted and avoided?
Journalist Jeff Bercovici spent extensive time with professional and Olympic athletes, coaches and doctors to find the answers to these questions. His quest led him to training camps, tournaments, hospitals, anti-aging clinics and Silicon Valley startups, where he tried out cutting-edge treatments and technologies firsthand and investigated the realities behind health fads like alkaline diets, high-intensity interval training, and cryotherapy. Through fascinating profiles and first-person anecdotes, Bercovici illuminates the science and strategies extending the careers of elite older athletes, uncovers the latest advances in fields from nutrition to brain science to virtual reality, and offers empowering insights about how the rest of us can find peak performance at any age.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544809987
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

JEFF BERCOVICI is currently the San Francisco bureau chief for Inc., covering technology and entrepreneurship, and a former senior editor and writer at Forbes. He has been a finalist for the 2013 Mirror Award and has also written for Playboy, GQ, Details, Glamour, and the New York Times.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Racing Against Time 1

The Physiology of the Aging Athlete

2 Fresh Is the New Fit 24

A Better Way to Think About Conditioning

3 Wrestling with Giants 51

The Surprising Benefits of Cross-Training

4 Trick the Mind, Train the Body 67

How Technology Makes Workouts Smarter

5 Ferraris and Toyotas 88

The Science of Efficient, Injury-Free Movement

6 The Destiny in Your Cells 114

What Genes Have to Say About Finishing Strong

7 Consistency Is a Talent 128

The Psychology of Athletes Who Get Better with Age

8 Slow Is Fast 152

Strategy, Complexity, and the Advantages of Experience

9 Careful What You Swallow 173

The Fads and the Facts of Career-Extending Nutrition

10 The Workout After the Workout 199

Why Older Athletes Are Behind, the Recovery Revolution

11 Repair, Replace, Rejuvenate 213

Sports Surgery and the Outer Limits of Human Longevity

Epilogue 236

Acknowledgments 243

A Note On Sources 247

Index 249

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