Monday, March 29, 2010

Today's Athlete

Today's athlete is a thing to marvel at but it wasn't always the case. The Olympic records for both the marathon 200 meter or whatever record you want to look at in the early 1900's is considered mediocre in today's standards. Not only is it mediocre but its mediocre compared to the top high school athletes who beat the world records of the 1900s by full 2 seconds or more, or in case of the marathon by a full 20 minutes.

How can this be? Because we have gotten more efficient and better in our training methods. As our athletes have gotten stronger, faster, and leaner our regular population has gotten fatter, bigger, and weaker. Back a hundred years ago the difference between a world class athlete and the regular person wasn't even something you could always detect with the naked eye. They sometimes just looked like a regular person, no one would know they were world class at something unless someone told you so. But overtime the differences have grown and grown and athletes have separated the gap and never looked back. I guess that's why we consider athletes to be elite, because they don't move in the pattern we do of getting bigger and bigger. They are something special, something not like us...but they shouldn't be. Even the athletes of yesteryear who looked like a regular guy or girl would look mighty fit in today's standards because the standards have well...frankly dropped. Athletes are athletes but you never saw them as something "elite." In another era is was not uncommon for a regular person to walk into a professional team or a college team and be one of the best players. Today you couldn't even imagine it.

Training for athletes has gotten better overtime. The workout and fitness routines for the regular person has historically...sucked and continues to suck. Instead of improving or evolving, there's just fitness crazes and fads which are the enemies of training evolution. As the trainers of athletes train in a similar manner, how regular people train, and even the training of personal trainers for the regular population changes from person to person. There is no uniformity but all types of science, even sports science should be universal.

So you can train like everyone else, or you can train like an athlete.
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