Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

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J_
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by J_ »

I think one aspect in athletics is quite different to wheaton tables like ERE, Permaculture and Health. These three are about attitude, skills and knowledge and not (very) dependent on age.
In our rowing club there are performance test which are age-related. For example: a male skiffer must row 20 kilometer in two hours to achieve the test, a male skiffer over 65 must row 14 kilometer in two hours.
So I think there must be an build in age aspect in an wheaton atletics table.

Alphaville
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Alphaville »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:08 am
yet something unattainable by 99.999% of the human population.
all roads lead to the orthopedist :D

Scott 2
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Scott 2 »

2birds - your examples make my point. The training for every feat you describe is torture for the non athlete, just absolutely horrible. I agree there are levels to it, and what the world class competitor puts in makes the typical athlete look untrained.

I paid a professional strongman to teach me to lift weights. One of the most enlightening parts, was that from his perspective, I was hardly even trying. What he'd put into every single rep, I couldn't even find on my most motivated PR. Trying to find that intensity would wreck me. I didn't have the will power. I couldn't prioritize recovery. I'm not an athlete.

Alphaville
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Alphaville »


jacob
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by jacob »

Scott 2 wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:30 am
One of the most enlightening parts, was that from his perspective, I was hardly even trying. What he'd put into every single rep, I couldn't even find on my most motivated PR. Trying to find that intensity would wreck me. I didn't have the will power. ...
In combining this with what HB said about children's sports, I wonder whether this [ability to push through] is innate or acquired? I have noticed those who have never done serious sports as children have a tendency to break/quit a set much sooner, usually complaining about it being uncomfortable, "hard", or hurting. In extreme cases, some don't even like to sweat. Maybe sweat is a straw man but in terms of pain, those who push through have a good understanding of whether it's acute or chronic or an injury or not an injury whereas those w/o similar experience have no idea---it just hurts, so they stop or hold back.

My second point WRT children's sports which is more to HB is that that time as a child---when the body is yet to get wrecked by too much sitting and eating---might be the last time where a person gets to experience the advantage of a fully functional body to learn these things and how a human body works or could work. Whereas someone who skipped all sports/movement and ended up on the "untrained/overweight" side as an adult would have a much different expectation of what the baseline is. To wit, I would consider it a great shame and totally unacceptable if I could not run a simple 5k w/o break whereas the "non-sporty" type would consider that a great accomplishment and possibly the peak of their potential. In short, someone who have trained as a child have a much different idea of what they could/should do than someone who didn't. The Overton windows in terms of what they individually consider to be "in-shape" are quite different and may not overlap.

Alphaville
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:55 am
In combining this with what HR said about children's sports, I wonder whether this [ability to push through] is innate or acquired? I have noticed those who have never done serious sports as children have a tendency to break/quit a set much sooner, usually complaining about it being uncomfortable, "hard", or hurting. In extreme cases, some don't even like to sweat. Maybe sweat is a straw man but in terms of pain, those who push through have a good understanding of whether it's acute or chronic or an injury or not an injury whereas those w/o similar experience have no idea---it just hurts, so they stop or hold back.
acquired.

but maybe the natural hedonism is better than the inculcated warrior ethos?

due to youth training i’m programmed to push too hard. if i do “easy” exercises it feels like i’m doing nothing. i enjoy the good pain until it becomes bad. in middle age this inevitably leads to torn ligaments, strained muscles, and other sort of damage my body can no longer absorb. but hey, i was already injuring myself when i was 17. practice makes perfect!

now i have to consciously and purposefully have take it easy—very easy—when doing any sort of exercise to avoid injury, because my pain threshold is high. it’s not till the next day or when something snaps that the damage becomes apparent. which makes my doctors rich.

this btw extends to any form of physical work, lifting things, carrying groceries, etc. i tend to go beast mode.

“tough” is overrated. smart is better.

daylen
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by daylen »

jacob wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:55 am
I have noticed those who have never done serious sports as children have a tendency to break/quit a set much sooner, usually complaining about it being uncomfortable, "hard", or hurting. In extreme cases, some don't even like to sweat.
Or they were bored and made up an excuse so they could go do something else. Like talk about it (Ne vs. Se).

7Wannabe5
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

It's pretty easy to pick out the likely future athletes from any group of 4 or 5 year old children. Some can run gracefully, dribble, catch, and shoot a ball, and others still have to practice going down a flight of stairs without looking at their feet while clutching the banister. So, I would place my chips on "nature" rather than "nurture." I am definitely in the non-athlete category, and can only be made to attend or watch a sporting event if there is gambling involved and somebody else is covering my bets, or I am hoping for secondary effect such as upper body strength of athletic partner coming in handy in bed. If only I had a nickel compounded over 40 years for every time some smart-for-a-jock type tried to move my needle from shapely to in-shape (sigh...)

Alphaville
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:20 am
I would place my chips on "nature" rather than "nurture."
of course ability is natural, but "athleticism" is a kind of contemporary warrior code that requires discipline, strict cultivation, and competitive testing. anybody can be drafted into it.

i, while a fairly clumsy oaf, managed to nevertheless excel at sports involving strength and endurance under the qualified direction of a coach (some people are quarterbacks, some are linebackers). i had a high school friend who grew up stereotyped as a pencil neck but in high school managed to become a successful long distance runner, again, with proper training-- the fact that he was light made him hard to beat on long distances. and in college i had an obese friend who walked around wobbling like a giant penguin, but nevertheless was able to destroy most opponents in a fight due to martial arts training since childhood: to see him in action was a peculiar sight--had a brutal grip too.

everyone can train to participate in athletic activities; whether one has natural strength, coordination, speed, ability, etc, is a different story. in my opinion, the training is the thing.

mathiverse
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by mathiverse »

Anyone have book recommendations about how to create a running training program? I am currently following a program I found online to train for a 10k. I want to be able to make my own program once this one ends.

Alphaville
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Alphaville »

i don’t have one in terms of a “program,” but for a fun and inspiring read, “born to run” was a really good book.

mathiverse
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by mathiverse »

@alphaville - Thanks for the rec! I'll check it out for some fun.
Alphaville wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:59 am
i don’t have one in terms of a “program,” but for a fun and inspiring read, “born to run” was a really good book.
Also to be a bit clearer, I don't want a book about a program that I could use. I want a book about how to create a program I can use. What's important to consider? How to avoid injury? What types of training are common on programs? (eg long runs, periodization, speed days -- these are all things I heard of in passing, but haven't read much about) And potentially other considerations.

I've seen programs to "run a 10k" or "run a marathon" online and I'm using one right now, but I haven't seen as much about how to create your own program based on the goals you decide for yourself. I'm sure there are books/online guides/etc for this that I can find. But I'm curious if folks have read good ones on this general topic of training and have recommendations.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Hristo Botev »

I got this book from the library a couple years ago when training to run a half-marathon; it's got a bunch of training plan variations in the back. Worked for what I needed it to do; I don't think I'd pay for it, though. https://www.amazon.com/Runners-World-Ma ... 1609616847

Alphaville
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Alphaville »

oh, definitely read born to run. it’s about ultramarathoners but it goes into evolution, body mechanics, cultural practices, etc.
[eta: oh, i see you edited, cool]

i’d look at introductory books for athletic trainers too, something along these lines maybe: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/289 ... c-training
(that one is old but popped up in my search)

there are also video/online courses...

to add again: since athletic training is a career, there are introductory college books about it, and while they can be pricey, i think some can be rented for a semester etc. but i’d look at the local library first.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Alphaville:

I have very little warrior or team spirit and basically zero genetic tendency towards pleasurable chemical rush upon viewing projectile arriving at target. I probably would like to surf if I had learned how to when young, because I did enjoy such activities as tobogganing and crashing my bike into the lake from the top of the hill. The last team sport I played was volleyball, and I was voted Funniest Player, because I would frequently make quite bold, failed attempts to return the ball. Also, I am a very good loser/winner because I don’t really care about the outcome of such pointless activities.

Alphaville
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:02 pm
The last team sport I played was volleyball, and I was voted Funniest Player
hahahaaa, i think here in this forum as well, those are some great descriptions :lol:

and i get your point about preferences, but one can be forced to engage in such activities by school/parents/peers/the army/etc, the same as one can be obligated by social structures to be a “student” at least till some required graduation and/or a “worker” thereafter (although some people will do their best to resist such mandates and drop out successfully).

Scott 2
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Scott 2 »

Re: @jacob's question on intensity - yes, it can be trained. However, there is a broad disparity in potential by individual. My peak capacity is probably less than the output of an athletic 10 year old. It is just how I am wired. Yes, that argues for us all existing on an athletic spectrum. But, I still consider an athlete someone who plays a sport, at a competitive level. The label doesn't apply until one is well along the continuum.

I participated in some strength contests during my early 20's. I was always last in every event, by a far margin. The other people would yell on their max efforts, so I did too! My wife teased me - "it's obvious you are pretending, the yells seem fake". They were - nothing to do with my attempt. I figured the noise produced the performance, so I copied it. I'd been lifting weights since I was 12.

Ten years later, the strongman coached me that I needed to explode into every rep of every set. We used bands and chains to teach me to accelerate. I put a velocity timer on the barbell, to get immediate digital feedback on each rep. I learned to chase the clang of plates stopping, as the barbell reached end range of motion. I used loud music to override my natural mental inhibitions.

Gradually, about 6 months in, noises started to involuntarily escape, but only during max effort attempts. It turns out, the straining comes first...oh. It took another 6 months to a year before I could muster that intensity on a typical set. Even now, my natural inclination remains. I have tricks to get out of my head and override my nature. But, I always have to choose them. From what I understand, athletes find the intensity automatically. Like @Alphaville mentioned, they need tricks to turn it off.


Re: @mathiverse - asking a bunch of internet money nerds how to run good is probably the wrong strategy. Physical skills are learned in person, from people already better than you. IMO, most early sports performance gains come from getting the unspoken basics right. A good community or coach will immerse you in them. Training programs factor in at the high levels of competition, but are probably better sourced from a coach who knows you well.


Why do I care about any of this? My life is better when I recognize my capacity and set realistic expectations based upon it. I am able to fully appreciate the trade offs required for an (often arbitrary) goal. That understanding allows me to choose wisely, instead of burning my energy chasing something I will never be.


I stopped working with the strongman, btw. After 9 months of grinding his training plan (without the required attention to recovery), my body was done. I picked up a cold that lasted several months, and could barely train it all. One set of deadlifts had me sucking wind for minutes. It was not glamorous, but was a good lesson recognizing and respecting my personal limitations.

Alphaville
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by Alphaville »

@scott2 - from what you’re telling here, it sounds like your muscle fibers are mostly the slow twitch type, which favor low intensity activity and endurance. it’s innate, and you can tell from a dna test actually.

from that point of view you might be more suited for aerobic endurance sports like long distance running or bicycling, rather that feats of speed/strength. have you ever tried something like that? without going intp extremes like ultramarathon or triathlon...

just curious, because yours might be a case of picking the wrong discipline for your nature, which quickly leads to frustration, and the fact that you persisted in spite of being last every time actually shows strength of character.

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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by jacob »

The yelling is a side-effect of tensing the chest/abdominal (everything around the lungs and heart) muscles to assist the effort. The valve on this pressure system is the diaphragm. If you hold all the air in under strain, your BP goes way up, so the smarter---I would say natural---way is to let it out over time. Yelling or sustained grunts provides a good duration to do that as opposed to say coughing. Boxers do the same with a "hiss" or a kiya. This takes stress off of the lungs and heart which is a good idea, especially if the force is generated in shocks like a punching which would otherwise link back to the puncher himself.

Seems to me that people naturally hold their breath when lifting something heavy, even when they shouldn't. If you want to see what effect this has try exhaling deeply before or while lifting and you'll be quite a bit weaker. The "athlete" part comes in why breathing syncs up with the movement according to when power is needed and when it's okay to relax. This can get quite complicated but with experience it comes/feels automagically.

As a power lifter, you probably saw Eddie Hall's 500kg deadlift that caused some minor brain bleeding from the excessively high BP which went out his nose. Making some noise reduces that pressure but it also takes a bit of strength off. The key then is not to yell through the sticking point but get rid of the pressure ASAP when it's no longer needed.

suomalainen
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Re: Are you an athlete? How do I become an athlete?

Post by suomalainen »

I don't really get the focus on the label. Who cares about the label? Do the actions of so-called "athletes" that appeal to you and don't do the ones that don't. Whatever your lifestyle ends up being labelled, so be it.

As to a running program, three options:

1) run as and when and where and how you feel like - au naturale. Listen to your body and do what it wants to do.
2) follow a preset program intended to get you ready for whatever your "goal" is. Want to run a certain distance? in a certain time? with a certain amount of elevation gain? There's a program for that.
3) design your own program intended to get you ready for whatever your "goal" is. This is generally* accomplished by levels:
(a) just finish - slow build is the key. don't increase distance, speed or elevation by more than 10% in a week, and don't increase more than one of those metrics in any week. You have a goal to do X distance, so work backwards to figure out your weekly mileage. Throw in some lower-mileage rest weeks every 3 weeks. If you're starting from zero, it'll take longer. The first 3 miles are the hardest. (Well, maybe the last 10 or so of a marathon training program are pretty fucking hard too).
(b) finish in time - do the "just finish" approach, but add in speedwork once or twice a week. Think of doing 800s or 1200s or 1600s (depending on your target race distance) and increasing your speed each week - again not more than 10% a week.
(c) doing a hilly race - do the "just finish" approach and the "finish in time" approach, but reduce to 1 speed-day a week (level with where you have been), but add in a hill work out every week. Start slow, and build speed on the same hill or add more hills, but not both.

That's pretty much the gist. It ain't rocket science. If you get injured, stop. Pain is not a good thing. It will not go away by training through it. RICE and all that. Anyway, good luck.

* general guidelines. Since you're designing your own program, adjust as you need to based on how your body is doing.

ETA: I had friends who hired coaches to get them ready for ironmans and marathons. It's not really needed. The principles are very basic. The coach is really just there as a motivator / accountability-inator.

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