Monday, October 24, 2011

Am I more fit than a bodybuilder?

Recently, I was flipping through the channels (trying to get away from the 8 channels that were showing Law and Order reruns) and I ran across a Strong Man competition on ESPN2.  For those of you who are not aware, these are the competitions where huge men (or women) try to throw full kegs of beer over a 10 foot fence, carry 300 pound rocks, and try to pull a semi truck with a rope.  As I was watching some guy named Mangus carry a VW Beatle, feeling my manhood slightly in jeopardy, I said aloud to no one in particular:  “Yeah, but what is his 5K time?”

I have a feeling that ever since the second human sport was invented (ironically, probably dealing with rock throwing) the two different types of athletes were trying to compare each other to see who was better.  Pissing matches are eons old.  So, who IS the better athlete?  Me or a body builder?  Let’s take a look:

Bertha – female (I think) bodybuilder.  Able to swallow 20 testosterone pills in a single mouthful.


Adam – male runner.  While I’m flexing every muscle I’ve got in this picture, 
it looks like my dork muscle is showing the strongest.


Let’s take a look at a few objective benchmarks of relative performance:

Bench Press: 
While I’m not sure, but based on her boobs “Pecs”,  Bertha should be able to bench press. . . . .me. . . . while I’m carrying 100 pounds.  The last time I checked, I was getting out bench-pressed by 12 year olds.  (Advantage, Bertha)

Attractiveness to guys:
Zero for both (Advantage, no one)

Half Marathon PR:
Mine is 1:29.  Bertha doesn’t have one because she is too busy running 20 minute sprints to keep her body fat percentage as low as her menstrual cycle.  That is, zero.  (Advantage, Adam)


Ok, those items were MOSTLY in jest but I was seriously wondering how I could compare myself to a meat-head body builder.  It is certainly an apples and oranges comparison, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to pick a winner from two seemingly non-similar items (which is better: Going to the dentist or “The Situation” on Jersey Shore?  Dentist).  At the end of the day, I have to look at effort put forth and the relative “age group” performance.  I’m probably top 5%, but Bertha has to be top 0.1%.  I know lots of people who can run as fast as me but I only know one person who can not only palm a watermelon but can crush it with one hand – Bertha (Actually, “Bertha” is a random picture that I found on the internet).

So, is Bertha the better athlete?  Who is the “best” athlete?  Kobe Bryant?  Payton Manning?  Honestly, I might vote for a decathlon participant – or honestly maybe a triathlete.  Who am I kidding, no matter what the contest, I’m voting for me!  Now, I'm off to practicing pulling semi trucks with a rope.



25 comments:

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

You have to ask yourself this: Do you want to run away from the bear, or kill it with your bare hands?

C2Iowa said...

you need help. haha

XL said...

I take umbrage at the "meat-head" qualifier you pair with "body builder". Not all meat-heads are body builders and not all body builders are meat-heads. I reference the original Meat-Head, Rob Reiner, from All In The Family...not a body builder. And former governor of California, Ahhh-nold...not a mea...wait... ummm...nevermind.

Jamoosh said...

"...and try to pull a semi truck with a rope" - clenched in their teeth. Let's get it right.

Chicken said...

I go with you as the better athlete! Although Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant have the endurance to go a full game, I'm sure neither could run a 1:29 half. I'm sure Bertha couldn't even run a 1 minute sprint! I'm no dude, but I'm pretty sure there's a handful who'd find you more attractive than Bertha!

Colin Hayes said...

Adam, I've dipped my toes into both sides. Did bodybuilding/powerlifting (recreational/non-competitive) and, of course, distance running. They're very incompatible in their training styles. I could never train effectively at both simultaneously. I'm far more of a distance runner, both in mentality and physically...so I'm biased...but I know enough about pro bodybuilding to know that it's EXTREMELY unhealthy (i.e. many of them die from drugs, dehydration, etc). They're actually at their most unhealthy when they're on stage competing. And they're actually much weaker than they look, for the most part. As for the "don't care if I have a gut" strength guys & gals...yeah, they can lift a lot, but most of them couldn't run very far. Having done both, I much perfer the feeling of being in shape to run vs. being able to lift 350 lbs. of the ground.

Teamarcia said...

It's all so subjective. I vote for a tie.
Of course there's my Ironwoman friend Holly who is a body builder in her 'off season'...or is it the other way around?

Colin Hayes said...

Let me follow up with a disclaimer...shouldn't have said "many" pro bodybuilders have died from drugs/dehydration, etc...but a few have.

Kovas said...

The only way to know is to have you fully commit to bodybuilding for a year and then runa 5K.

Brian said...

I would never in any way possible have been mistaken for a bodybuilder, but I stuck pretty well w/lifting from 1997-2009, and I feel like I was in better shape when I was hitting the weight room 2-3x a week and running 3 miles every other day, than I am now, when I'm running much longer distances but can't find time to hit the gym. One of my goals for 2012 (after a March 20 marathon) is to cut back on distance and try for a better balance of strength training and endurance training.

Katie said...

are you tapering? I want to know the reason for all this additional unstructured free time.

...Barbie... said...

Homegirl is scary looking.

TNTcoach Ken said...

I vote Bertha! What's the tally???

Caroline said...

Bertha is scaring the crap out of me...I thought I had a bad pic on my blog today..Bertha..wins!
yikes...
who does that to their body?

I vote Adam!

Tracy said...

My vote is for you, Adam. Honestly, in the real world, I think endurance is much more valuable than brute strength....I mean, that's why God invented machines, right? A typical person is never put in a situation where they would have to carry a VW Bug on their back.....but most of us do have to have the endurance to walk a mall for hours on end.

Adrian said...

Haha yes, I loved this post! I'm a runner with a best friend who competes in fitness competitions (she's a bikini competitor, not body builders) so I've seen both worlds first hand. I know I could out run 90% of the fitness athletes, but there's still a bunch who have amazing skills both strength and cardio wise. So glad I stumbled on your blog, can't wait to read more!

RunningLaur said...

Real question is, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ADAM? HUH?!?

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Are you tapering already?

Morgan said...

There is a reason why we are friends. This post is one of them.

BrianFlash said...

I think NBA players are the most well rounded athletes. They can run, jump, and throw. They have strength and hand-eye coordination. Basically everything.

Between you and Bertha? That's like comparing carrots and melons...

51feetunder said...

I heard that if you pull your rope too much you could go blind...

Jill said...

I vote for you! Or me. Ok, me!

Jamie said...

ew, ew, ew, ew, EW.
Why would any woman want to look like that?? It freaks me out!
Send her letter stating you want to race her in a half. Although I'm pretty sure you'll win...

Beth (i run like a girl) said...

I think I'm in shock.

I'm not sure I've ever seen muscles that big on anyone! ...but to each their own.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I both lifted before kids. But no time after (couldn't bear to put them in the gym daycare after daycare all day) so we started to run more. I am much better at lifting than running (deadlifted over 325 and won a natural bodybuilding contest) but I do think running is healthier. As my husband says, you don't see many big 70 y.o. guys (or gals) walking around, be it fat big or muscle big.