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Learning to Breathe Fire : The Rise of Crossfit and the Primal Future of Fitness
by J. C. Herz


Overview -

The absorbing, definitive account of CrossFit's origins, its explosive grassroots growth, and its emergence as a global phenomenon.
One of the most illuminating books ever on a sports subculture, Learning to Breathe Fire combines vivid sports writing with a thoughtful meditation on what it means to be human.  Read more...


 
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More About Learning to Breathe Fire by J. C. Herz
 
 
 
Overview

The absorbing, definitive account of CrossFit's origins, its explosive grassroots growth, and its emergence as a global phenomenon.
One of the most illuminating books ever on a sports subculture, Learning to Breathe Firecombines vivid sports writing with a thoughtful meditation on what it means to be human. In the book, veteran journalist J.C. Herz explains the science of maximum effort, why the modern gym fails an obese society, and thepsychicrewardsof ending up on the floor feeling as though you're about to die.
The story traces CrossFit s rise, from a single underground gym in Santa Cruz to its adoption as the workout of choice for elite special forces, firefighters and cops, to its popularity as the go-to fitness routine for regular Joes and Janes. Especially riveting is Herz s description of The CrossFit Games, which begin as an informal throw-down on a California ranch and evolve into a televised global proving ground for the fittest men and women on Earth, as well as hundreds of thousands of lesser mortals.
In her portrayal of the sport's star athletes, its passionate coaches and its chief armorer, Rogue Fitness, Herz powerfully evokes the uniqueness of a fitness culture that cultivates primal fierceness in averagepeople.And in the shared ordeal of an all-consuming workout, she unearths the ritual intensity that's been with us since humans invented sports, showing us how, on a deep level, we're all tribal hunters and first responders, waiting for the signal to go all-out.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780385348874
  • ISBN-10: 0385348878
  • Publisher: Crown Pub
  • Publish Date: June 2014
  • Page Count: 356
  • Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.75 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Health & Fitness > Exercise
Books > Sports & Recreation > Training
Books > Sports & Recreation > Sports Psychology

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-04-21
  • Reviewer: Staff

New York Times columnist Herz presents a breathless, fervor-of-the-converted ode to the CrossFit empire. The “punk-rock hype” of the movement began in a Santa Cruz, Calif. gym frequently mainly by ex-Marines. The CrossFit routine focuses on short, intense workouts, based on a brutal Workout of the Day, usually named after women or soldiers killed in action, and clock in between three and 25 minutes. The idea is to attain true “functional” fitness, rather than machine-based fitness, which deprives practitioners of “the knowledge of what their bodies, as glorious machines, can do, and the competence and satisfaction of actually doing it.” Herz covers the biology of the routines, the ideals of founder Greg Glassman, the austere meat-based diet, and the tight-knit, competitive community surrounding this practice. Herz’s liveliest writing comes in passages depicting an achievement-oriented world in which women compete on the same level as men, often beating them. Herz’s overwrought adoration of the phenomenon is the book’s main shortcoming. Agent: Sloan Harris, ICM Partners. (June)

 
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