Roman Sebrle, and Other Dominant Athletes in Track and Field

August 6, 2008

Roman Sebrle is known in the world of track and field, but isn’t a household name. The Wall Street Journal a little while back put together a panel of experts to decide who the world’s greatest athlete was. They based their decision on 6 criteria: speed; vision and reflex; stamina and recovery; coordination and flexibility; power, strength and size; and success and competitiveness. Roman Sebrle came out on top. Lebron James was number two.
Roman Sebrle World's Greatest Athlete
[Roman Sebrle has a vertical leap that is higher than most NBA players. He is also can run 100m in 10.26 seconds, has a 26’7″ long jump, a 7 foot high jump, and runs 400m in 47 seconds. He is a freak of nature!]

So How Does One Become World’s Greatest Athlete?

Like many other amazing athletes, he worked through a major challenge. In 1987, at the age of 13, he broke his calf bone and shin bone playing soccer. After this, he had his leg in plaster for 2 months and spent one year learning to walk. Just a few short years later he got involved in track and field and hasn’t looked back since. To be honest…some people just have it. Obviously it took tons of hard work, but this guys seems like a natural.

Many People Think the 100m Dash Is the Ultimate Event

If I could pick one event that has the most hype in track and field it would have to be the 100 meter dash. I think the mystique behind it is that if you are good at sprinting 100 meters, you can dominate a lot of sports. Well…this could be one of the most exciting races in recent history. In case you haven’t been keeping track, the world record has been broken multiple times since the last olympics.

Asafa Powell from Jamaica: 9.74 seconds

[Even though this record has been broken, check how effortless it looks. He looks like he is slowing down at the end of this race. He is my choice to win this event in 2008 in Beijing.]

Usain Bolt…from Jamaica as Well: 9.72 seconds

[Here is Usain Bolt breaking Asafa’s world record. He is flying in this race. This is an exciting video.]

Tyson Gay from USA: 9.68 (wind too high to count as WR)

[This doesn’t count, but it is the fastest time a human has ever run in this event. It is pretty impressive. This is going to be one to watch in Beijing.]

Olympic Athletes, Some of the Fittest People on the Planet

I don’t post the typical fitness magazine models on my site for a reason…I think athletes make for better role models. Plus people who have other interests besides just working out, are more interesting to read about. When you watch the Olympics this year, pay attention to what a functionally fit body looks like…it just doesn’t look as forced as someone who is getting ready for a magazine photo shoot.

What I Take Away from The Olympics

I get energized to work harder towards my goals after watching the Olympics. These athletes sacrificed a ton just for a short “peak moment”. Peak moments like this are what you remember in life…not just mindlessly seeking short-term pleasure.

Note: This article is mainly about track and field athletes, but I am also looking forward to all the other events as well. Any basketball fans out there? I know Team USA lost in Athens in 2004, but would you want to play these guys?

[Imagine if your assignment was to guard Kobe Bryant? How about LeBron James? Hopefully the actually play as a team this time, because they have serious talent!]

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Thanks for reading all these years!



 

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

eric August 6, 2008 at 3:15 am

i already knew that sprinters have great bodies but the physiques of these in the videos you posted are amazing! in my opinion sprinters have a bit too muscular body and too big sometimes…bolt instead looks impressive…like a great mixture between a sprinter and marathon runner!!!
i am wondering how the training of sprinters is structured…do they only perform a large amount of sprinting and running on a track for a short distance? or do they also train for endurance a bit? and what is with strength training? i know they are thrice blessed with great genes but this can not be their only secret, or can it? any ideas, rusty?

Trygve Lunde August 6, 2008 at 6:07 am

The question i always ask myself as a professional athlete
How should i eat? like the macro split.
im a professional soccer player but i want to get really lean. Like brad pitt in Fight Club. Im 84kg and 15% body fat now. I want to go down to around 76kg. and body fat way under 10%. Do you have any tips for what diet i should follow? i dont want my performance to suffer that much since thats my job :p so loosing that body fat and still be able to perform? calories, and % split between the three fat, carbs and protein?

Hulbs August 6, 2008 at 6:30 am

Awesome vids Rusty!

How good is the 100m sprint for men going to be in Beijing!!!! Bring on the games i say.

Powell, Bolt and Gay certainly all have great example of functionally fit bodies.

Hulbs

3ller August 6, 2008 at 9:48 am

And I thought you were busy. 2 posts in 2 days. Thats freakish..lol

Great Posts

eric August 7, 2008 at 7:24 am

i am really curious about how you eat at the moment. did you have changed from warrior to normal carb cycling? or is it still a flexible intermittend fasting syle?
i am also hope you write an article in which you become explicit about being on maintenance mode. i would like it if this post considers especially the most doable nutrition style(fasting, warrior, flexible) and some general eating guidelines..i think you wrote, for example in the “perfect diet plan”, a lot about loosing weight and fat but not specific enough about maintaining. i have i don`t see it why you post about carb cycling and also eating rather frequent a day(perfect diet plan) although you obviously prefer the one meal and fasting stuff.
dont get my wrong, rusty, i really love your site but i try to come up with some constructive critique!

Scott Kustes - Modern Forager August 7, 2008 at 10:22 am

Rusty, good stuff. I love the sprints and the physique of sprinters. I think it’s a much more natural look than bodybuilders and a much more fit look than marathoners.

Eric, I’ll take a shot at your questions, as one who has trained sprinting as an amateur. Sprinters spend a lot of time at sub-maximal intensities, known as tempo days. It might be 10×200 or 6×400 @ 75-85% intensity, with say 2-4 minutes rest between reps. The goal is to crank up the body’s ability to buffer the lactic acid that comes from these phosphagenic and glyolytic efforts. For speed work, the day might be 10 reps total of short sprints, 30-60m with full rest. The goal is to teach the CNS to fire explosively. These are maximal efforts with full recovery, 10-15 minutes between reps, so you aren’t training at submax.

Then there are Speed-Endurance days which frankly suck. Here are a few examples: http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/speedendurance.html Yes, it sucks as bad as you imagine it does from reading that. Active recovery may be a bit of slow distance work, but as far as I know, it’s used more as a way to be active without overtraining rather than as a training method in and of itself.

Hope that helps

Cheers
Scott Kustes
Modern Forager

Heather August 7, 2008 at 12:15 pm

I am so jazzed about the Olympics this go around!! I do find all of these amazing athletes much more motivating than super models!!

eric August 8, 2008 at 5:34 am

cool…thanks a lot scott!
do you anything about their nutrition? is it only a myth that sprinters can eat nearly everything they want without gaining weight!? i think this would be a nice gratification for their hard training : )

Scott Kustes - Modern Forager August 8, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Doesn’t look like my last comment went through. Sorry if this is a duplicate Rusty. If so, feel free to delete one.

No clue on the nutrition part Eric. I know that I had to up my intake of carbs, mainly by eating more fruit and sweet potatoes, but I’m training at a MUCH lower level than someone like Tyson Gay. I’m pulling an 11.65 for 100m. He’s pulling a 9.68 (wind-aided) and probably working out twice a day. HUGE difference.

Then again, he probably also has access to some advanced regeneration techniques (massage, saunas, electro-stimulation, etc) that I don’t. I’d bet they are eating a pretty hefty dose of carbs, along with plenty of protein. And given their genetic advantages coupled with their high level of activity (and super metabolic fast twitch muscles), I’d bet they can eat most anything they want. That doesn’t mean it’s healthful to eat that way, but elite athleticism is rarely healthful either.

It does appear that Tyson Gay has cleaned up his diet in hopes of improving his performance.

If I were training at a level such as his, I’d incorporate plenty of rice, sweet potatoes, and fruit for carbs. I’d probably source some raw milk for a good dose of liquid protein, carbs, and fat. To that, I’d add in as many vegetables as I could eat with plenty of meat, seafood, and eggs, preferably grass-fed/pastured/wild. While I’m a Paleo guy, I think rice and raw dairy are small concessions when there’s a need for a huge intake of calories.

And I have to say that I’m pulling hardcore for Tyson Gay…he’s from Kentucky. Us shoeless, sister-marryin’ rednecks have to stick together! 😉

Cheers
Scott Kustes
Modern Forager

Tom Parker August 9, 2008 at 7:54 am

I’ve not watched any of the olympics yet this year but I am looking forward to watching some of the olympic football (or soccer to you guys over in the US 🙂 ). Some of the matchups you get in the olympics are like nothing else you see during the rest of the year.

On the running front I’m much more interested in the distance running events. Have you heard of Kenenisa Bekele? Watching that guy run the 10km is amazing

Frank August 29, 2008 at 12:58 am

Rusty man,

I gotta say this Olympics was the best ever to me. World records, superstar faces, amazing facilities. I am extremely proud of my native country China and I was impressed(and of course inspired) by all the athletes!

Frank

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