Monday, April 30, 2007

So who are the best condtioned athletes?

Geeze, these kinds of articles sell a lot of magazines! They must since nearly every health or weight lifting magazine runs an article about a certain sport athlete being the best conditioned human beings out there. Pick one, they've been declared to be in the best condition at one time or another (probably right at the beginning of their prospective season). So, the question is, which one really IS?

Honestly, in my humble, non-expert opinion, it depends. Remember that little chat we had about slow twitch and fast twitch fiber in the muscles a while back (If you don't go back and read it)? If there was a lesson to be learned from our muscle make-up, it's that we were designed for maximum versatility. Contrast our muscle tissue to a chicken's muscle tissue. The wings and the breasts of a chicken are designed only for fast, intense but brief effort. That muscle is almost all fast twitch. The legs are only used for steady and continuous movement so that is almost all slow twitch muscle.

So, who are the best conditioned athletes? Well, it depends, if you ask me. Most athletes condition their bodies to do things specific to the sport that they're doing and little else. Their muscles are very specialized. Baseball and football player's sports involve quick and intense efforts that demand a high ratio of fast twitch fiber. Marathon runners have a much higher ratio of slow twitch fiber.

This doesn't mean that any of these athlete's method of physical conditioning is right for YOU. While they may be unsurpassed in their chosen activities they lack the versatility that their musles provides them. If you cannot use all of your muscles and if you are strong one way but weak another are you REALLY strong? Think about that when you read these articles in magazines.

No comments: