The model for the ideal athlete has changed throughout the years, most recently the image of a muscular bound performer is considered to be the indicator of great performance in fitness and sports, however, according to fitness specialist, big muscles are not the ideal for sports and fitness. Doctors have expressed that having a low body fat percentage and large muscles does not necessarily mean that you are in good shape, or even healthy.
People who work very hard to gain muscle often have low hormonal imbalance which contributes to low sex drive, chronic fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. This is brought on by the excessive depletion of hormones during exercise. The healthy building of muscles requires adequate amounts of high quality protein and healthy fats. According to nutritionists, when someone has a very high protein intake without crucial hormone building fats, the outcome is a depletion of hormones which is not healthy.
High inflammation is cited as well by fitness specialists as an unhealthy product of excessive muscle building. When an individual works hard to put muscle in his body, they might be putting a lot of stress on their skin. Nutritionists cite that the skin is a reflection of what is occurring with the connective tissue in the rest of the body, which usually is an indicator of low bone density, making the risk of bone fractures and breaks much more likely.
Dehydration is also a common affliction that inhibits athletic performance due to a large amount of muscle mass. Having large muscles in the body requires a lot of water to properly keep them oxygenated. According to nutritionists, lots of individuals with big muscle mass have diets with excessive sodium, which dehydrates the body even further. Making the possibility for cramps and kidney disease increase.
According to sports scientist and writer, David Epstein, the ideal athlete used to be an average build, no matter the sport or position. That evolved in later years with athletes in power positions (linemen in football, centers in basketball, throwers in track and field) being larger, stronger and generally slower. Athletes in finesse positions (point guard, wide receiver, marathon runners) became leaner, faster and fitter. Epstein stated that now a greater emphasis is being placed on endurance. The ability to consistently perform well throughout a sport is becoming the sought after commodity, as opposed to being able to perform well for a short period of time but burning out quickly.
Fitness specialists are saying how big muscles are not ideal for this notion of fitness and prohibit endurance. Large muscles add more weight to carry which provides added stress to the body, thus slowing them down quicker. Speed is essential to generating power, so as an athlete becomes slower they can’t generate as much power, which is generally the goal when gaining muscle. UFC heavyweight champion of the world Cain Velasquez has been praised by the fighting community and his peers for his ability to keep up a high pace throughout a fight. He defeated the very muscular Brock Lesnar to get the title, who had a approximately 40 pounds more muscle mass than Velasquez.
By Andres Loubriel