What is a Real Athlete?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 02, 2007 5:26 PM GMT
    I had met this hot muscular guy last weekend at pride after the Pride and Remembrance 5km. We were chatting and I was dicussing the racing that I do as a runner/duathlete/triathlete and his comment in response to that was

    "OH so your a real athlete and don't just lift weights."

    I thought this was a funny comment to make. What do you guys think?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 02, 2007 6:01 PM GMT
    I think one should participate in a competitive sport in order to be called athlete or jock. I'd never refer to myself as either.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2588

    Jul 02, 2007 6:05 PM GMT
    Maybe he was thinking a lot of guys lift weights for vanity,looks,etc.Real exercise is long distance running,swimming,cycling and so on....?You`re thinking of yout health,raising money for charity or something if you do that.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2588

    Jul 02, 2007 6:10 PM GMT
    Or maybe playing in a team sport?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 02, 2007 6:14 PM GMT
    I tend to agree with McGay, I've always classified athletes as people who play team and/or competitive sports. And I'd also never call myself a jock or athlete. I've got a brother who is totally a jock--baseball, tennis, martial arts, etc. Now, if you measured week by week which one of us spends more time being active (weight training, biking, running, etc.), I'd win hands down, but I absolutely say he's the athlete in the family.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 02, 2007 6:18 PM GMT
    according to the OED, the original meaning is "one who contends for a prize," but is now more commonly used to mean anyone who plays a physical sport or one who has achieved great physical strength through training.

    If you want to attach extra baggage to it, you probably need an adjective of some sort.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 02, 2007 7:23 PM GMT
    My definition of "athlete" is a person who actually uses his athletic skills to DO something athletic in his every day life, outside of the gym.

    Run, swim, row, bike, climb, play basketball etc.. Athletic endeavors that involve endurance and strength. Yes, competition can be part of that...but "competition" goes far beyond the typical couch potato's definition of "team sport clashes".

    Going to the gym to lift weights is athletic, of course, but a person that merely does that is not what I'd call an "athlete", no matter how buffed.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 02, 2007 7:31 PM GMT
    I'm just a middle-aged guy with a nice-ish physique from weight training. I wouldn't dream of calling myself a jock or athlete. Hell, if I spend even an entire day on my feet, just walking around, my foot with the collapsed arch will have intermittent stabbing pain for several days.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 03, 2007 2:24 PM GMT
    can_duathlete- u lift weights? lol "the maple leaf forever".
    athletics with a "personal" purpose, a goal such a provincial/state or world/olympic title. Not necessarily paid for their passion to their sports.
    But thats getting to sound "elitist", which at the end of the day I am.
    A real athlete applies training principles, excels(gets better) to reach their PB. The paraolympics is a good example to spectrum of athletics.
    I think of military training, these men are athletic-strength, endurance, speed, skill, psychologically prepared.
    So in the end there is a spectrum of real athletes.
    Just do it.
  • VolleyNJ

    Posts: 30

    Jul 03, 2007 2:50 PM GMT
    Even this forum space separates "fitness" with weight training included from a "sports" section.

    You're a bodybuilder if you belong to a gym (and actually go). An athlete competes in a competitive sport. Jock is a bit esoteric. Athletic supporters and couch potatoes and Monday morning quarterbacks all consider themselves 'jocks.' Yeah, they ain't.

    I say, if you think you can consider yourself a 'jock,' then you better go pick up that ball and BRING IT ON.

    VolleyNJ
    2 bronze, 1 silver, 1 gold just this year, played in 10 tournaments.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 03, 2007 2:55 PM GMT
    athletic supporter. *giggle*
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2588

    Jul 03, 2007 4:36 PM GMT
    I sometimes think of an "athlete" as someone with a natural talent for a sport/fitness,physical activity,etc.;something God given,or coming from genetics,maybe;something training simply brings out,but doesn`t create;a potential rather than achieved.Of course,this can mean a wide range of activities,not necessarily sports,as ybwc says.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 04, 2007 10:51 AM GMT
    According to mindgartens response" it's one who competes for a prize" could be a billiards player then? they have athletic bodies don't they?LOL

    And the comment that the guy made to can du athlete, obviously was hangin in gay bars too long.LOL. Bodybuilding is a sport, they compete for a prize, and most just lift weights.

  • Jul 04, 2007 11:34 AM GMT
    Here comes the geek in me; according to Webster's an Athlete is:

    A person trained in exercises, games or contests requiring physical strength, skill stamina, speed etc.

    Also Jock is defined as:

    A male athlete.

    Using this simple measure puts it into perspective for me; essentially anyone practicing or training for a particular activity requiring physical strength, skill stamina, speed would be an athlete.

    Keep in mind the origins of the Triathlon, a group of guys debated who was the better athlete, a swimmer, cyclist or runner. All certainly are athletes, but each thought of themselves as superior.

    So, be kind to all your fellow athletes and give them the support they deserve.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 04, 2007 4:48 PM GMT

    I use to compete but don’t have much desire anymore. I don’t need to prove how great an athlete I am or am not. I do think however there is a “jock mentality” which I recognize in myself but not in everyone who stays in shape. It has to do with an interest in trying new sports that require a physical output and then trying to improve their skills in that sport. I've taken up mountain biking and kayaking recently because it suits my current home. It could be more subtle like going on a hike or a bike ride. An athlete prefers the most rigorous route with the steepest hills and most spectacular views. Non-athletes look for the flattest most boring routes and may compain the whole way.

    On my last trip to LA I went to a gym for a swim when the master swim team took the pool over. I had just paid 20 bucks to be there so I swam with the team. I have swum with master teams before but that was about 20 years ago. I was not the slowest that day but it would not have bothered me if I were. I know no matter how good your are at a sport there are a lot of people much better. That is part of what I would call the jock mentality. A lot of people in the same situation would have been intimidated and left the pool. I had a great chat with one of the swimmer hunks in the Jacuzzi afterwards. One of the many benefits of attaining a jock mentality.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 04, 2007 4:56 PM GMT
    Actually, I think the original word referred to a SPECIFIC prize at some festival in ancient Greece. Inevitably, the specific diffuses. Kinda like "champaign,""kleenex,""aspirin," etc.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 05, 2007 8:24 AM GMT
    Well, at one time in my life I was an athlete....world class! Trained 4 to 6 hours a day with only about 2 weeks of a year for almost 18 years.....now, I consider myself a former athlete. However I personally consider anyone who trains on a regular bases with a goal of obtaining a personal best during specific competitions or events has earned the title of ATHLETE!

    love the post guys......new here!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 05, 2007 9:08 PM GMT
    Play a sport! Know how to play a sport! Coach a sport! Have worn a uniform on a court or field . . . anywhere outside a bedroom!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 16, 2007 4:29 AM GMT
    According to Webster's Dictionary, an athlete is a person trained in exercises or games requiring strength, skill, stamina, etc.

    In the true ancient Greek Olympic form, most athletes were also superior in intelligence. Gold medalists were not simply required to succeed at playing a sport, but were also required to flex their brains at various art forms such as poetry, philosophy and various other intellectual thought provoking activities. Equestrian sports was among them - they require no strength - but smarts.

    I believe an athlete is a combination of both - but also have the ability to be healthy enough to put your body through certain physiological stresses and still come out able to talk about it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 15, 2007 10:38 PM GMT
    I agree with the guy OP quoted: there is a difference between someone who is lifting weights (as in doing fitness exercises in a gym, not in competitive weight-lifting) and a "real" athelete. Someone can be unfit and lifting weights to improve fitness, that's not an athelete. Someone can be unfit but look chiseled ("washboard" etc.), and still not be an athelete. Bodybuilders are not atheletes in my opinion, as looks cannot prove that the muscle is actually fit and useful. A "real" athelete is able to use his body for physically challenging purposes (prize-seeking or not) and does better than a great majority of folks. Just my 2 cents.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 15, 2007 10:47 PM GMT
    I'm a national level competitive bodybuilder. As part of my training routine, I do 1/2 hour of level 12 interval training on the stairs a minimum of once a day (i.e., just like running bleachers at full tilt) Some days, I do three workouts: intervals in the morning; weights midday; intervals at night, and, sometimes, I walk, too.

    I can hold my heart rate at over 160BPM for over 20 minutes.

    I'm not only strong, but, I also am very lean, and I have exceptional endurance. I'm considered at 0 risk of heart attack by my doctor.

    I would argue that, in terms of overall athleticism, I have a higher level of all indicators across the board. I assure you, I'm quite fit by whatever measure you use.

    Yes, there are fat folks that lift weights; skinny people that run and have no muscle mass.

    In my case, sports science is leveraged to the highest degree to maintain an optimal machine through advanced training techniques, and various forms of manipulation of the body.

    You can't do bodybuilding at the level I do without a comprehensive understanding of how the machine works.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 15, 2007 11:26 PM GMT
    LOL - MtndudeSF just got 'pwned.'
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2007 1:23 AM GMT
    Chuckystud, I think you're probably a real athelete; I don't know you but I believe your assertions that your muscles do perform exceptionally (i.e. way above average), not just look impressive.

    I reserve my opinion however that by using a appearance-based standard to judge contestants rather than a performance-based standard, body-building as an institution does not have the authority to christen "real" atheletes.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Aug 16, 2007 7:16 PM GMT
    One definition is:

    A superior athlete is one who has above average physical skills (strength, agility, and endurance) and is thus more suited for physical competition


    So whatever athletic endeavor you are doing, if you have an above average skills (perhaps in all three cateories) you would probably be considered an athlete.

    It was probably a backhanded complement, not classifying you as a gym bunny, who lifts for show. Those guys usually have nice upper bodies and little chicken legs!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 16, 2007 7:25 PM GMT
    BUT what qualifies as a sport?

    Is a dancer an athlete even though they dont compete?

    Is a martial artist an athlete?

    Does competition become a factor?