What does an “athletic” body look like?

A fabulous collection of male and female athlete photos assembled at Nina Matsumoto’s blog.

You’ve seen some of these before on Stumptuous, but the inclusion of the men’s photos further expands the concept that elite athletes — whose bodies are extremely fit, finely tuned, high-performance machines — nevertheless do not usually look like “fitness models”.


Click for larger version.

I particularly love this comparison of male natural (i.e. drug-tested) bodybuilders, heavyweight and middleweight weightlifter, and non-natural (i.e. drug-assisted) bodybuilder, as well as the high jumper and gymnasts comparison. And of course, the sprinters look fantastic.

Ladies, notice the gorgeous muscular legs that many of these grrls are sporting. Ya gotta have strong pins to drive those runs, jumps, and kicks. Notice that you probably couldn’t see daylight between most of their thighs — unlike the fashion model ideal (and the ideal that most women have of how their thighs should be).

Notice the incredible range in body weights, heights, shapes, and body fat %. Most folks are lean or at the low end of normal body fat % but not super-lean.

Also notice: strong midsections, shoulders… and confident faces. These are folks who know their bodies have the power to do things — which is what “fitness” truly is.

Whether you’re a marathoner, shotputter, or trampolinist (represent!), be you. As Bill Withers sang, “Whatever you do, do it good.”