Athletes Transcend in Multiple Sports?
Can an athlete transcend more than one sport and be dominant? It has been attempted from an NFL player playing Baseball, to a college football player dominating the sport of professional basketball. However if you remove overall athleticism from the mix, can it be done? Can a Power lifter be competitive in Strongman, and bodybuilding? Can a Cross-fit champion be a bodybuilder, while power-lifting? A lot of elements come into play that determine the likelihood of any possibility.
That the first example, Power-lifting and Strongman go hand in hand, but where the power lifter trains for one rep, the strongman lifts near maximum weights and incorporates functionality by moving it a distance for time. Both sports require giant diets to allow the body to take that type of trauma and recover, and therein lies the issue with being capable of being a competitive bodybuilder. Besides symmetry, genetics, and muscle mass diet plays an even more important role in allowing the body to be displayed in that fashion on stage. Where heavy weight power lifters and strongman consume over 8-10 thousand calories a day all year, professional body builders have to consume exact amounts of nutrients while dieting for a show, and the closer to the show the weaker you become. The only professional strongmen in the game that have visually been close to a bodybuilder’s physique are Mariusz Pudzianowki of Poland, and Derek Poundstone of the USA. Both Athletes stand at 6’1, Mariusz competed at 315lbs and Derek Competed at 340lbs. Both of these athletes often looked like they could pull a semi-truck onto a bodybuilding platform and pose down next to Phil Heath or Jay Cutler. Most other power athletes would have to take a year hiatus to come close, but in turn that would devastate their power.
The second example would seem more plausible but it depends where you draw the line. Cross-fit competitors exhibit lean, functional bodies, and good overall strength. Olympic lifting definitely would complement their styles and abilities but does power-lifting fit? They could definitely compete, but would they be able to reach a record breaking level on any platform whether state, national, or world record. The problem with cross-fit is what makes the sport amazing, endurance. The body doesn’t want to hold massive amounts of muscle with the intensity that they train with. Cross-fit is a muscle stripping sport if you’re not in tune with your body, and supplementation. Which makes the idea of bodybuilding seem impossible. However, I think the cross-fit body can definitely lend to a physique competition if dieting is right. Symmetrical lean muscle, on tapering frames could definitely be done. However, being on a bodybuilding level as a cross-fit competitor is rare, if not unheard of.
I commend any athlete for attempting more than one discipline with the idea of being competitive at each. It takes a lot of drive, genetics, nutrition, and downright stubbornness to even consider it. I would enjoy following any athlete that would want to transcend 2 or 3 sports. It would be a great story, and journey to follow.