T Nation

What is Athleticism?

Seriously, I am trying to figure it out.

What are the physical qualities that make an athlete?

Will General Physical Preparedness constitute the bulk of this person’s training or does his training need to be geared toward a more specific activity?

Does an individual have to compete in a “sport” to be considered one or can there be “generic” all-around athleticism?


The human body is a machine built for performance.  It seems a waste to not use it in its full capacity.  Why only, for example, lift heavy weights when huge feats of maximal strength are only one part of living in the real world?  Why not also train explosiveness, speed, agility, flexibility...and yes, the dreaded endurance systems too?

So my question is: how does an amateur combine the qualities of athleticism into a general training regimen so that he may have all around "fitness"?


I’ve got 1 exercise for all your fitness needs.

The one arm cable crossover with simultaneous single leg squats and hip abduction.

Fitness level acheived after performing these? Over 9000.

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
Fitness level achieved after performing these? Over 9000.[/quote]

Those don’t work for me at all…I am already at level 9099.

fitness? Crossfit.

Athletecism? practice from a young age at a sport.

Farmers farm,
hunters hunt

hunters can farm but their just not as good,
farmers can hunt but their just not as good.

If you want to be the king general fitness go ahead, but overall it’s just not as impressive as a Lebron who played and practiced 1000000 hours of basketball since 5. How could you possibly disrespect the human work ethic, by saying you should be able to be as good as him by practicing 5000 hours of basketball and doing 950000 hours of bulgarian split squats?

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
I’ve got 1 exercise for all your fitness needs.

The one arm cable crossover with simultaneous single leg squats and hip abduction.

Fitness level acheived after performing these? Over 9000.[/quote]

I LOL’d.

To the OP: I judge athleticism by how well I’d do in a pick-up game. Most of the time here, that’s basketball. In the states, it was Ultimate frisbee.

It’s not something I train for, but if I’m training right, there should be a good bit of carry-over.

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
I’ve got 1 exercise for all your fitness needs.

The one arm cable crossover with simultaneous single leg squats and hip abduction.

Fitness level acheived after performing these? Over 9000.[/quote]

OVER 9000?! THERE’S NO WAY THAT CAN BE RIGHT!

(props to whoever gets this)

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
fitness? Crossfit.

Athletecism? practice from a young age at a sport.

Farmers farm,
hunters hunt

hunters can farm but their just not as good,
farmers can hunt but their just not as good.

If you want to be the king general fitness go ahead, but overall it’s just not as impressive as a Lebron who played and practiced 1000000 hours of basketball since 5. How could you possibly disrespect the human work ethic, by saying you should be able to be as good as him by practicing 5000 hours of basketball and doing 950000 hours of bulgarian split squats? [/quote]

Yes, I get it…but can an individual become “athletic” without training for specificity?

You cite Crossfit for general fitness and I agree those people have a great base of strength and conditioning but there doesn’t seem to be a method or “science” behind it. I question their Workouts of the Day because they seem to lack any structure between one day and the next, which would seem to me to not allow for progression in any one particular skill. For example, one cannot get better at doing ring muscle-ups by doing them only once a week.

For an example go to this link and look at all their WODs for the last few weeks:
http://www.crossfit.com/

The more I study this the more I understand the paradox:
On one hand one who does not train for specificity will never be great at anything but those who specify their training activities will lose out on other qualities. It is impossible for the average person to excel at every quality…or even excel at one of them in some cases.

[quote]Rocker3829 wrote:
LankyMofo wrote:
I’ve got 1 exercise for all your fitness needs.

The one arm cable crossover with simultaneous single leg squats and hip abduction.

Fitness level acheived after performing these? Over 9000.

OVER 9000?! THERE’S NO WAY THAT CAN BE RIGHT!

(props to whoever gets this)[/quote]

lol, to easy

my selector only goes to 11 anyway…

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
Rocker3829 wrote:
LankyMofo wrote:
I’ve got 1 exercise for all your fitness needs.

The one arm cable crossover with simultaneous single leg squats and hip abduction.

Fitness level acheived after performing these? Over 9000.

OVER 9000?! THERE’S NO WAY THAT CAN BE RIGHT!

(props to whoever gets this)

lol, to easy[/quote]

You cut down Mac?

No golf…

My puppy jumped from the floor to the dining room table today. That was pretty athletic.

Good topic.

Beyond practical applications and general health, being “athletic” is only a means to an end for me. That end being that I look athletic.

[quote]MangoMan305 wrote:
HolyMacaroni wrote:
Rocker3829 wrote:
LankyMofo wrote:
I’ve got 1 exercise for all your fitness needs.

The one arm cable crossover with simultaneous single leg squats and hip abduction.

Fitness level acheived after performing these? Over 9000.

OVER 9000?! THERE’S NO WAY THAT CAN BE RIGHT!

(props to whoever gets this)

lol, to easy

You cut down Mac?[/quote]

yeah, i just got done watching fight club and felt inspired…

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
I’ve got 1 exercise for all your fitness needs.

The one arm cable crossover with simultaneous single leg squats and hip abduction.

Fitness level acheived after performing these? Over 9000.[/quote]

Wow dude, I don’t think I’ve ever actually laughed out loud from seeing something on this site, but I was fuckin’ cracking up immediately when I saw your picture.

I’m going to go ahead and call athleticism a complicated, abstract construct based on one’s ability to produce above average physical performance in areas of strength, speed, power, endurance, agility, reaction time, coordination, as well as the skills to work these abilities together to be able to excel in a variety of physical activities and sports - even ones to which they have just been introduced.

[quote]ElbowStrike wrote:
I’m going to go ahead and call athleticism a complicated, abstract construct based on one’s ability to produce above average physical performance in areas of strength, speed, power, endurance, agility, reaction time, coordination, as well as the skills to work these abilities together to be able to excel in a variety of physical activities and sports - even ones to which they have just been introduced.[/quote]

Good definition.

I was reading some of the old Russian literature on the subject and one of the interesting things that struck me was how much differently they prepared their youngsters for a career in athletics by not introducing them to sports specific training but rather giving them all around physical preparation which also gives them a chance to feel out their unique skills and abilities thereby helping to develop an actual interest in sport.

The data seemed to indicate that while western children came into their chosen sports much earlier they had a far greater chance of leaving the sport due to injury and a much younger age of retirement.

Now, if I could only find the PDF file…