From HarperCollins:

#4 on the New York Times Bestseller list



If you're interested in understanding the American character, there are plenty of texts to consult— including, of course, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence and Alexis de Tocqueville's meditations on this country. Here's another work to add to the mix: John Brenkus's "The Perfection Point," about the absolute limits of human athletic performance.
                                                           Wall Street Journal


Beyond fascinating. An imagined scenario...accompanies each chapter. They aren't just hypothetical vignettes but truly moving accounts that move beyond sports journalism and approach literature."


"Hugely entertaining. A deft hand for imparting suspense...enjoyable fictional mini-scenarios. The chapter on competitive breath-holding is a winner."

                                                  —Sunday Times of London


"Fascinating reading!"

                                                  —The Independent (London)

“Sure to spark debate in sporting and scientific circles,  the book is engagingly written, well argued, and —even when  the conclusions seem almost science-fictiony— entirely plausible.”
Booklist (*starred review)

New York Times Bestseller List: #4

Barnes & Noble: #1 top seller #3 top seller

Wall Street Journal: #7

Publisher's Weekly: #5

I ghost-wrote The Perfection Point with my friend John Brenkus, the host and executive producer of "Sport Science" on ESPN. It's one of the most exciting book projects I've ever been involved in. The following from the book jacket describes it well:

Until 1954, common wisdom and scientific knowledge considered a sub-four minute mile impossible for human physiology. And then Roger Bannister broke the mark, followed quickly by a host of other athletes. Today, the world record stands at 3 minutes 43 seconds. But even that number doesn't tell the full story of how fast humans can run a mile. While world records are a mark of how well people have done, they don't explain how well people can do - or what the absolute limits of human performance are. Now, in "The Perfection Point", John Brenkus, the host, creator, and executive producer of ESPN's "Sport Science", provides an in-depth look at the outer edge of what's possible for a variety of sports. In breezy, highly readable style and easy-to-comprehend language, Brenkus applies statistics, physics, and physiology to explore such questions as: What's the highest someone can dunk a basketball? What's the most weight someone can bench press? What's the farthest we can hit a baseball or drive a golf ball? What's the fastest a human can run 100 meters? Beginning with current world records, Brenkus seeks to find the limits of human ability to pinpoint the perfection point - a speed, a height, a distance that humans can get closer and closer to but never exceed. For years coaches, pundits and fans have speculated about the extremes of human performance. "The Perfection Point" finally provides the answers.

The Perfection Point is available (at a nice discount) at and Barnes & Noble. I hope you have as much fun reading it as John and I did writing it.

-lee gruenfeld 




Hardcover: 256 pages

ISBN-10: 0061845450

ISBN-13: 978-0061845451

Check it out in Wired Magazine
Full Wall Street Journal review