T Nation

Extreme Cardio


This guy is not dying of AIDS. This guy is a world class athlete(Michael Rassmusen) - Tour de France front runner. Thoughts?


Yanno... that's kinda disturbing... they don't all look like that do they? I mean he is a world class athlete so he must be healthy right? That assumption could be totally wrong on my part. Aesthetically he does look ill.


The guy is a world class athlete, what else is there to say? What have you done that's great? Pretty ignorant to compare him to a guy dying of AIDS.

ewww gross look at the guy who's one of the best in the world at his sport.....:stuck_out_tongue:


The farmer's tan is clear indication that he's a runner/biker. Not sure someone that close to dying of AIDS would be getting out as much.


Maybe it's both.


I don't think the kind of training these guys do is healthy anymore. But that goes for most sports imo.

Don't get me worng, I'm not trying to say that pro sport is bad. I just don't think that you can really say it's healthy.


If he's a world class cyclist then it makes perfect sense that his body has adapted the way it has. Little to no upper body mass. I'd like to see a leg shot.


This is why I like mountain biking more. It takes more power and upper body strength. It conditions the entire body. Granted, I would probably be better at Mt. biking if I lost 15lbs, but I'm more interested in powerlifting and not being any more skinny than I already am.

Still, props to the guy for putting in the work to be world class.


Kill it with fire...


Is he peeling off his skin?


I found those pictures quite unsettling but, hey, who am I to judge him?

I can't even ride for hours, up the mountains, like those guys do so props to him to be able to go through such hardship.


I think this guy might be an extreme example, I wiki'd him and he is apparently super obsessed with weight. He doesn't wear anything unnecessary while biking (including taking off a live strong bracelet to save a few grams of weight) so that may carry into his dieting. The only other cyclist I know the name of is Lance Armstrong so I googled him and while he is certainly no big boy he looks a tiny bit heavier than this fella.

Edit: Here's a shot where the guys legs are visible as well:


Looking at some full body shots his legs don't look to be very big at all.


He's extreme, but not that much. His bio says he weighs 130lbs at 5'8. Alberto Contador is listed as 140lbs at 5'9, which isn't much bigger. Miguel Indurain was considered a monster, and he weighed 176lbs at 6'2.


Its well known that athletes engaged in extreme endurance sports (at the UPPER LEVEL) can look quite "sick" during their peak condition. There has been many a tale of BBers cramping up on stage and suffering from dehydration, its the same thing really (willfully putting the body in an extreme state to achieve a short term goal)... We just happen to look different.

Look up ANY long distance cyclist/runner and you will see a similar build (not quite as extreme as this guy also appears to have a predisposition to want to be small).


The pro-bodybuilder physique is, by no means, any more healthy.

He's at the top, he's adapted for his sport, it's what winners do.

Would I want to look like him? Hell no. Would I want to look like a pro BB? Also no.


Dean Karnazes at 5'8, 155lbs(ish) is one of the few well-known ultra distance-type guys who springs to mind for me as having sort of a normal, healthy looking build. Obviously these guys are no more interested in building aesthetically pleasing physiques than BB'ers are in performing mind boggling feats of endurance. Even at levels waaay below that of the Tour, it's amazing the amount of chronic health problems serious athletes struggle with.

Rassmusen seems like a somewhat extreme case, as some have already mentioned. Visually the extremely pale skin and the discolored spots on his chest contribute to the appearance of illness. However I think that the Tour is hard to the point of being actually severely traumatic to all the body's systems. That said, you have to admire the will and determination.

Anything, taken to it's extreme, becomes harmful.


Any relation?


I'm not judging the guy. Maybe I'm an areshole for thinking he looks like he's suffering a wasting disease like AIDS. It's just what came to mind when I saw his pictures.

My real motivation for starting this thread was to discuss extreme endurance sports and compare endurance athletes to crossfit and strength athletes etc. Did not intend to denigrate this guy.

In addition, I haven't done anything great. He's better than me.


That's cause he's an endurance cyclist. Try cycling uphills in the wrong gear for big quads. Here are two Frisco cyclists who ride gearless bikes uphill everyday.