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From Bodybuilding to Ironman - Finding the Ultimate Athlete

Humans have been testing the physical limits of our bodies for thousands of years! We've really accomplished some amazing things. The world record for the longest plank for a female is 4:19:55. That hurts to think about. The longest time for breath held is 24:03. A man named William Pruett ran 5 Ironmans in 5 days on 5 different Hawaiian Islands. These are all very impressive physical accomplishments, but how do we find the Ultimate Athlete.

First, we have to decide what abilities the Ultimate Athlete needs. They will need a balance of Strength, Speed, Endurance, Power, Mobility, and Flexibility. There are many competitions out there that put these qualities to the test, but we are going to narrow it down by ranking IFBB Bodybuilding, Crossfit, Hyrox, Spartan Race, and Ironman. We have broken down each competition, based off of it's physical requirements, to see which has the highest overall balance of Strength, Speed, Endurance, Power, Mobility, and Flexibility.

Let's take a look at Bodybuilding, headed by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness. Most people think of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gold's Gym when they think of Bodybuilding. As a sport, it's been growing in popularity year over year. Bodybuilding has become a massive industry overall, with supplements, equipment, gyms, and competitions. It takes a insane amount of hard work and dedication to pack on so much lean muscle. Overall the goal for competition day is to be at an extremely low body fat percentage with shredded/massive muscles shaped around certain guidelines.

Bodybulding: Total Score: 48.3/100

CrossFit has also become a massive sport and industry overall. The workouts that the 2020 CrossFit Games athletes completed were impressive to say the least. For the general population, CrossFit does have a bad rep for causing injuries and allowing bad form but, when done correctly, it definitely puts the human body to the test in many different ways. Crossfit events range from max out deadlifting to running 6+ miles in the mountains. Some events last under 10 minutes while others go over 1 hour.

CrossFit Total Score: 70.8/100

Hyrox is a newer event on the scene. They started in Europe and have been growing in popularity in the USA. They have been able to draw participants from many different sports because it's a very new concept for a fitness competition and includes a solid variety of exercises. Hyrox events have 8 different workout stations: sled push/pull, Ski Erg, rower, wall ball, burpee broad jump, weighted walking lunge and farmer's carry that are all broken up by 1km of running in-between.

Hyrox Total Score: 69.1/100

Next up we are looking at Spartan Race. Spartan started in 2010 and has since grown to have millions of participants. The majority of the participants are out on the course to have fun, challenge themselves, and get muddy but, the top athletes no joke. You don't finish a Spartan Race without some blood, sweat, and mud. Spartan Race courses range from 5k up to 24hr endurance events. Overall, the majority of the race is spent running on extremely rough and varying terrain and athletes also have to make it through grip/carry intensive obstacles mixed throughout the course.

Obstacle Course Racing Total Score: 58.3/100

Lastly, we have Ironman. To finish an Ironman is a massive accomplishment in itself. To win an Ironman? Are you even human anymore? (That's a compliment.) Ironman started over 40 years ago. To complete an Ironman you have to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and then run a marathon. Some courses are "easier" than others depending on how much elevation change there is for the bike/run and how choppy the water is. Either way, it has drawn in millions of participants.

Ironman Total Score: 47.5/100

We have our winner! CrossFit (according to us) truly does crown the Fitness Man and Woman on Earth. They would really take the crown by a larger margarine if there was a bit more endurance added in. With a power lift station added in, Hyrox might be able to pull ahead. This is not to bring down any of the athletes in any of these or other sports. We respect and appreciate amount hard work and dedication it takes to be the best at any sport.

Let us know your thoughts! Do you agree or disagree with our ranking?


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Visit the Training Programs page in order to learn about the different custom programs we design for athletes in OCR.

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