I recently had the opportunity to get my hands on Brian MacKenzie’s new book, “Power, Speed, Endurance.” While the cover may look bland at first glance, upon opening the book, the content is anything but.
I originally met Brian at a Level 1 CF Endurance seminar while a coach at CrossFit Atlanta in 2008. His coaching methodology on proper running mechanics was literally the first I had been exposed to, which is a ludicrious thought considering I’ve competed at the highest level of track and field. Because of this introduction, I quickly learned the “why’s” behind my innumerable running injuries, particularly with my feet (plantar fascitis). What became of it was a brief stint as a CrossFit Endurance coach and the opportunity to sharpen my ability on coaching the proper technique of running. Running was to be approached as a skill, much like any other complex movement (snatch, clean, muscle up, etc).
I hold Brian in the highest regard as a coach. The CrossFit Endurance program has challenged and rewrote the way we approach classic endurance training. More objectively, CFE has renewed my athletic potential as a runner while adding muscle, strength, power and speed. To say that I have benefited from his program would be an understatement. Not many Division I athletes can claim that they are faster and stronger now than when they competed in college. To put in perspective, collegiate racing weight was around 160. While competing in 2011 (while only running less than 30 miles per week), racing weight was 178. My personal best for the year with sub-par training regiment and a foot injury was 1:49.1. My SB (season best) while a senior at Georgia Tech was 1:50.59.
BMac’s book goes beyond just running, however. As a guru of skilled movement, he also breaks down proper swimming and cycling technique. The pictures and descriptions are done so well, it’s almost makes for a great a coffee table reader; numerous, detailed and dynamic. This book is a Bible for not just the endurance athlete but any individual that calls himself an athlete. Beginner or elite, every one has something to learn in here.
Because this is a book on POWER and SPEED in addition to skilled movement, Brian goes in detail the lifts that are important to all athletes ie. cleans, deadlifts, low-bar back squats, etc. He also dives into basic programming.
Building an athlete requires the foundation of skill and then the necessary application of force to make him or her stronger. However, injuries will always arise. Therefore, his section on mobility with the mobility guru himself, Kelly Starrett, is indispensible. He breaks down each common mobility trick and application as it would apply to the runner, swimmer and cyclist. Brilliant.
To say that I would recommend this book is an understatement. It is a completely thorough undertaking of movement, programming (endurance, strength, classic approaches, etc) and philosophy that is just not possible to find in one source anywhere else. Lots of time, blood, sweat and tears went into making this masterpiece. My only wish is that it had a section on rowing! But then again, you have to leave something for Volume II ;) With the holidays just around the corner, “Power, Speed, Endurance” would make an awesome gift for the beginner or seasoned athlete. From workouts to form maintenance, there’s something inside for everyone.
Never Let It Rest,