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Peak Performance

Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success

By Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness

Peak Performance Book Overview

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It gives extremely helpful and clear examples, backed by science, on how and why the top performances across all fields are who they are and why they were able to get there. There are countless practical elements you can implement into your daily life to shift your life towards your true potential and peak performance.

I am going to outline a few key points covered in the book. But this is not an exhausted list. I highly recommend you read this book, or at least download it and listen to it as an audio book. Use this list to get your mind thinking, and then dive in and really pull out the information you need to apply to your life as you read through it. Read this book only when you can give your full attention to it. You’ll learn how important that is in this book. But for now, take my word on it. You need to be fully engaged during this reading or listening so you don’t miss a thing. If you do one thing for yourself this year, it should be reading this book.

Overall key concept is the equation of growth. How do we make gains?

Stress + Rest = Adaptation (growth) This equation is true for everything from fitness to art to being a mathematician.

Rest is the most overlooked concept in performance. It’s the one part most of us miss or cannibalize by our daily actions. This becomes very problematic because without adequate rest, the stress that has been placed on us (like workouts) won’t turn into adaptation and gains. As a result, this renders that work literally worthless. And what’s more, we don’t only miss the gains from that current work; we also set ourselves up for injury or burnout in the future. Again, this is true for gaining fitness, knowledge or any other skill in life.

  • “Elite athletes don’t sleep because they are elite, they are elite because they sleep.”

  • “It takes more guts to rest then it does to keep working harder.”

  • “What separates the best from the rest?.... Rest.”

  • “Sleep is the most important thing I do.” -3 time Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae

Stress can be Positive. Not all stress is bad; in fact, we need stress to make gains or progress in all areas of life, not just fitness. A little doubt and uncertainly about whether or not you will be able to do something, like a hard workout, is a good thing. It signifies that a growth opportunity has emerged. The little voice that says, “I can’t possibly do this” is actually a sign that you are on the right track. It is your mind trying to pull you back to the familiar path that represents your comfort zone. Just manageable challenges are about venturing off that path.

In every field, when coming to differentiating top performance, experience was not the critical variable.

  • What makes someone an expert? The amount of deliberate practice they put into his or her given field. Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.