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Thread: Which sports competitors have to be the fittest overall ?

  1. #51
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Apparently as a overall mixture of endurance, speed and strength these are the top 20.

    The top 3 are 1. Water Polo, 2. Rugby 7s 3. American Football (Running Backs)

  2. #52
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Calling BS on table tennis > basketball

  3. #53
    Darts for the mental fitness. Playing in front of drunken loud 10-15k crowd cannot be easy.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watchmanuk4 View Post
    Cyclists are fit but in a fairly linear way, particularly road cyclists and within that climbers will sometimes struggle to walk around for long off the bike.

    All-round functional fitness and a balance between strength and cardio I would say boxers come out on top.
    I would agree. This is intense cardio.


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  5. #55
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Boxing, to move, dodge and weave around that ring for 12x3 rounds while taking blows and trying to also punch with weighted gloves is something that hits all parts of the body.

    Put it this way, a pro Boxer would find it easier to complete a triathlon rather than a triathlete go 12 rounds..

  6. #56
    Master andyjay's Avatar
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    I would think that some of the top cross fitters must be right up there? The use strength, fitness, technique and donít know what they are going to have compete in for any competition.

    Also, in the list above, saying swimming and 200 free? What about 200Fly, what about all the other events that are done?

  7. #57
    Grand Master Passenger's Avatar
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    Back in the day Brian Jacks the Judo competitor was hugely impressive on Superstars against a range of athletes from different disciplines.
    An early inspiration for me to get into Judo.
    Last edited by Passenger; 19th June 2022 at 10:26.

  8. #58
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    I note that Brian Jacks has been mentioned a couple of times.

    Good though he was, the performances of ANDY RIPLEY & BRIAN HOOPER are probably slightly more noteworthy (IMO, of course!).
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  9. #59
    That table is complete BS, not just because of the table tennis. Whoever made that table up never did a hard sport in their life.

    I'd say competitive rowing has to be near the top. Also, although it's not a sport, ballet dancing is intense, gruelling hell. Think of the men who have to constantly lift and throw girls up in the air, the strength, muscle endurance and flexibility needed as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Calling BS on table tennis > basketball

  10. #60
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    Apparently as a overall mixture of endurance, speed and strength these are the top 20.

    The top 3 are 1. Water Polo, 2. Rugby 7s 3. American Football (Running Backs)
    Who concocted that lot? F1 drivers are the Fittest, strongest and fastest but are not even on the list.

    How many sports can you name where the participants have to go 90-100% for up to two hours

  12. #62
    Master unclealec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    Who concocted that lot? F1 drivers are the Fittest, strongest and fastest but are not even on the list.

    How many sports can you name where the participants have to go 90-100% for up to two hours
    Intercourse?

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclealec View Post
    Intercourse?
    Show off.

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  14. #64
    I would classify fitness as resting heart rate. The more fit the more efficient the body at using oxygen and therefore the lower heart rate. Cross county skiers followed by cyclists here. I think resting heart rates are around low 30ís

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by unclealec View Post
    Intercourse?
    30 second bursts spread over five years don't really count :)

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    Who concocted that lot? F1 drivers are the Fittest, strongest and fastest but are not even on the list.

    How many sports can you name where the participants have to go 90-100% for up to two hours
    American football??
    And to not even have cyclists and triathletes at the top of the list??? What a load of crap.
    F1 drivers are fit but would be bottom third in a 4-6hour stage of a road race (let alone a 3 week tour) or a triathlon.

    Plenty of F1 drivers cycle. Paris-Roubaix would finish them off, even cyclists have that down as an achievement just to finish.

  17. #67
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    My daughter is a fairly competent swimmer, Top 16 in GB, represented her country etc. She has also taken part in MMA. They are very different in terms of the way in which the body is used. She would train a few times a week for MMA.

    Swimming however is on another level training wise, cardio fitness is off the scale, 1.5 hours twice a day, 6 times a week. Additionally they also have land training sessions. Not sure where your tables from Ryan but as a I was Chairman of one of Wale's most successful performance clubs for 6 years, athletes competing at national and international levels. I've seen people from other sports try swimming and they simply isn't any comparison between a club swimmer and a club rugby player. Maybe when you get to pro / semi pro Rugby players they might have a similar level of cardio fitness and endurance.... lets not forget they are being paid good salaries more often than not.

    One of our coaches, ex commonwealth medalist has done boxing and has a child that did gymnastics, based on his experience he was of the opinion that boxing and gymnastics were the only other sports that were next level to swimming. We have several swimmers who have matured and chosen to get stuck in to a bit of Tri, they literally smash it, several of my daughters peers have gone on to represent in the GB squad. The transition to bike and running is relatively straight forward, especially if you already have the cardio to required to support the bodies demands regardless of the discipline. Put a cyclist in a pool or a distance runner...... it's less transferable.

    Also, is it just me, is it fair to compare pro's with club level athletes? I guess any athlete land or water based competing at an elite level is going to be off the scale. Anyway, it's the internet and I'm not looking to win anything, just sharing some views which anyone is free to disagree with :-)

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    American football??
    And to not even have cyclists and triathletes at the top of the list??? What a load of crap.
    F1 drivers are fit but would be bottom third in a 4-6hour stage of a road race (let alone a 3 week tour) or a triathlon.

    Plenty of F1 drivers cycle. Paris-Roubaix would finish them off, even cyclists have that down as an achievement just to finish.
    American football? A game lasts 60 minutes and with the various teams players aren't active for that, let alone 90-100% for 2 hours.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Boxing, to move, dodge and weave around that ring for 12x3 rounds while taking blows and trying to also punch with weighted gloves is something that hits all parts of the body.

    Put it this way, a pro Boxer would find it easier to complete a triathlon rather than a triathlete go 12 rounds..
    For that to be true, the pro boxer would have to finish the triathlon in a similar time to the pro triathlete. Absolutely no chance.

  20. #70
    During the 21 stages of the Tour de France, the average competitor will burn 120,000 calories.

    I donít think there are many sports where so much energy is spent in a single event.

  21. #71
    Hooray,, proper pub chat!

    Clearly it depends on what you understand as fitness.

    Evidently a lot of love for endurance athletes here which is fair enough, and chimes with the obvious picture we have of fitness

    However I'd add a couple of points

    1. Invasion Sports - there should be some merit given for being able to execute the physical activity whilst under direct physical pressure from an opponent, should not be underestimated. Football, Rugby, Basketball, Hockey all relevent here. Footballs the one UK audience most familiar with, the resilience of the top players to battle for the whole game, and moreover to repeat that intensity every 3 or 4 games is amazing and often overlooked. I understand why football players often get a bad press but many of them are supreme athletes.

    2. Skill - Similar to 1. part of some sports fitness is to maintain skill levels over time. Racquet sports, and even say, Cricket fast bowlers then come in to the equation. Tennis players, for example, playing extended 5 set matches, in harsh conditions, a combination of explosive power and stamina. I think they are right up there.

    Great debate!

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  22. #72
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    We turned up for a gym lesson at school one afternoon in 1974 expecting the usual 5 a side game. Before us was a pre prepared boxing ring. We were paired off by weight and height and pitched into two x 2 minute rounds to knock hell out of each other. A youth full of cross country running, football, cricket, cycling, tennis and badminton could not prepare me for those 4 minutes. I have never known something to drain your battery so much in such a short space of time. Exhausting.
    I remember back in the days I fenced, we had some soldiers join us one evening.

    They were doing a 1 week fencing course and joined us for a bit of experience against some more experienced fencers.

    I was never much good, but being a left hander I was an akward fencer and often would fight technically better fencers as it challenged them to fight someone left handed and, shall we say, less conventional in style.

    I figured I should take it easy with someone with 3 days experience, but he came at me like a whirlwind!

    I just managed to fend off his attacks, but I'd never fought anybody so fast

    Turned out he was an Army boxing champion. I had a lot more respect for boxers after that!

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  23. #73
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    None of the listed, but definitely gymnasts for me.

  24. #74
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    Gymnasts

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    Dead right Stef

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Dead right Stef
    I know pound for pound they are the strongest competitors. Just seems they have the range of power, speed, agility and endurance that would be needed to do well in most activities.

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  26. #76
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    A mention for rowing.

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  27. #77
    Err

    Beach volleyball

  28. #78
    Iím not sure the gymnast thing is that relevant - yes, extremely fit. My daughter trained and competed for years, butÖ all routines are fairly short in duration. Training is stop start, and hindered unless you have adequate rest and recovery before going again. For a lot of sports thatís just not a possibility.

    While I dislike crosstraining as an exercise for most people - the fitness level of the top flight is on another level.

    To get a consensus though youíd need to have parameters of whatís important, and a simple test of endurance isnít always going to be highest in everyoneís list. Whilst for others itís going to be whatís the most transferable.
    It's just a matter of time...

  29. #79
    Grand Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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  30. #80
    I rowed at Henley, relatively successfully in the mid 90s and not long after was invited to join a 5 side footy team. First run out and gassed after a couple of minutes. Different disciplines, different types of fitness, one doesn't prepare you for another.

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  31. #81
    Craftsman SydR's Avatar
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    Not sure I believe this list.

    https://www.topendsports.com/world/l.../your-list.htm

    It has ultra marathon down in 53rd place sandwiched between ten pin bowling and lawn bowls. WTF!

  32. #82
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SydR View Post
    Not sure I believe this list.

    https://www.topendsports.com/world/l.../your-list.htm

    It has ultra marathon down in 53rd place sandwiched between ten pin bowling and lawn bowls. WTF!
    Yes, that list is nonsense. Where's soapsud slalom?
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  33. #83
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trident-7 View Post
    For that to be true, the pro boxer would have to finish the triathlon in a similar time to the pro triathlete. Absolutely no chance.
    Its all relative I suppose, what I was saying is that a pro boxer properly trained would have a good chance of finishing a triathlon in a reasonable time whereas I dont think a triathlete would get to 12 rounds, not because of being knocked out but pure blowing out their ass.

    That said unless we actually put these disciplines to the test then its all just hearsay!

  34. #84
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    It's so subjective. How would you compare Usain Bolt to Eliud Kipchoge, for example?

  35. #85
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Its all relative I suppose, what I was saying is that a pro boxer properly trained would have a good chance of finishing a triathlon in a reasonable time whereas I dont think a triathlete would get to 12 rounds, not because of being knocked out but pure blowing out their ass.

    That said unless we actually put these disciplines to the test then its all just hearsay!
    Many boxers are seriously overweight, especially in the heavier categories.
    In fact from roughly middleweight upwards, many struggle in the last third of the bout. While that may not be to much the case at the very top level, it really is very common including among professionals.
    Furthermore boxing not only involves the stamina to dance around throwing punches while avoiding to get hit as much as possible: the latter is a specific skill that determines whether you stay up throughout the fight or go down at one point. A skill that non-boxers do not have and that makes comparing boxers to triathletes impossible.
    That said, I am not sure Tyson Fury would come out well from a punishing swim in cold water.
    Decathletes are unquestionably very fit but what makes them good is their mastery of 10 very specific techniques, without which their performances would very ordinary.
    I cited biathlon at the beginning because the cross country skying is very demanding physically (my own experience is: A LOT more than swimming, and I swim 3 times a week; possibly because you donít get to swim uphill) and then you have to control your heart rate and breathing well enough to shoot.
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  36. #86
    Grand Master Passenger's Avatar
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    Daley Thompson/ Decathletes I think are contenders, fit for 10 events that's something, being strong generalists would logically suggest the broadest spectrum fitness.

    Bit of a left field suggestion...Shaolin Monks who perform Kung Fu...these guys train and condition themselves from childhood, just like the gymnasts...they tumble, jump and flip combined with a lifelong study of martial arts. Their mental control over their bodies would I'm guessing easily match that of biathletes. They can perform extraordinary, almost impossible feats because of their mental and physical training/ conditioning...you can't do that stuff without injuring yourself, probably seriously! If you're not as fit as FFFF.

  37. #87
    Again just a counter-point, but decathlon scoring system generally favours the (faster) runners over the (stronger) throwers. You often see them in the sprint relay team etc.

    Obviously you need a high level of competence across the board to compete, but it's not as all round as you might imagine

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