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Old 06-08-2014, 04:01 PM   #1
janitor
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Default Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

I am not coming down heavily on the side of this argument, but it should be heard:

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Old 06-08-2014, 04:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

Another interesting recent study:

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Old 06-08-2014, 05:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

No, while many of the advances have been through drugs, or other tools, one or two have been the result of techniques improving, or increased competition. That dude who figured out in the sixties that you could jump higher if you jumped backwards was a real innovator in his sport. Not sure there have been more advances in the last fifty years though. Then I hear that the outfits of the Olympic skaters and swimmers had a lot to do with cutting down friction and improving times.

But then you look at say, the women's track records and they are mostly held by soviets in the sixties cause they just got juiced to the gills and nobody has been able to get close since. Same thing happened with the long jump. The dude who set the record back in the sixties has been about three yards farther than everyone since, except for the guy who set the world record a year or two ago, at what I'm assuming was a track meet which doesn't test for hgh, steroids, or the clear.

I remember seeing some articles about the rate at which records are broken around the time of the last Olympics. The more testing for drugs you do, the less impressive the winners that year are. I saw an article that compared the weight lifting records and claimed you could tell what drugs the participants were on each year based on how far outside the norm they were. They were like here's the sixties with steroids, and here's the 80s with this other type of steroid. Here's where we started testing for them, and look at the drop off.

Then again it also depends on which sports you are thinking about. The skill to natural physical ability ratio isn't the same in all sports. For instance, I don't think that being super strong, or fast, or tall has anything to do with being good at golf. If you consider billiards, auto racing, curling, bowling, or fishing sports, they certainly require less physical ability than football or basketball.

In the case of auto racing, you might say that all the advances are advances in technology. Or in competitive shooting or archery, the marksmen seem to have all kinds of gadgets which they wouldn't have had a century ago.

For the most part, I think that advances in sports are often just people finding new ways to exploit the rules, or adaptations to recent rule changes, such as adjustments made when the rules were changed from Broughton Rules to London Prize Ring Rules to Marquiss of Queensbury rules to glove fighting to 15 round fights to 12 round fights etc. Some improvements come about either because the sport is more popular and has a wider fan base with a larger talent pool to draw athletes from. An example of this would be the talent base of a regional sport like Hurling vs the talent pool of an international sport like Soccer. Another example of this would be when the color line was dropped in baseball. Some times, you can see an improvement with the injection of large sums of money into a franchise. An example of this would be when sports became televised and no longer had to rely entirely on their live gates for financial support. Further improvement, came when lucrative endorsement deals were given to athletes by businesses.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

It basically boils down to rules, steroids/ped's, and equipment.

Change any one of those variables, and your output's totally different.

In some cases, the progress is overstated- the last 100m dash before steroids started being used in sprinting was likely 1956. The gold medalist had a personal best of 10.2- or, only 6% slower than the current world record despite advances in PED's and tracks being faster (the current Tartan track design was introduced in 1968- no runner had ever run sub 10 seconds before its introduction). This is in contrast to weight lifting, where some of the records are over 30% more than what the already juiced-up levels of the '70's were.

Take the popular example of the East German women's squad- one of the poor girls got juiced up so bad, she had to have a *** change. The scary part is if you walked by her (him) on the street now, you'd never know he was born a woman.

For rules, just look at the NFL- teams are passing for TD's and yards at an unprecedented rate because of rule tweaks. The switch from 100 round fights to 15 round fights to 12 round title fights has resulted in boxers being able to focus more on being explosive and training for that. As a result, they're able to dial back conditioning work (as is painfully evident with a number of heavyweights) and focus more on bulk.

We'll continue to see the three variables I mentioned tweaked and refined for more performance because, let's face it- we're a world of performance whores obsessed with that extra 10th of a second savings, kilo lifted, touchdown pass, or home run.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

Not sure if it has been mentioned above, but every generation people are taller and as a consequence bigger overall.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

Funny how back in the 50's 60's and 70's guys in boxing were going 15 rounds fighting better competition and sometimes fighting 4 times a year, without peds, roids, etc they trained hard took no shortcuts, and had balls of steel, and were real men.

Guy's of today in the peds era a lot of them can't even go 12 rounds, fight only once a year, and cheery pick, because they are scared to lose and have no confidence in themselves, peds and roids haven't helped the sport at all in my opinion, if anyone is caught juicing i wouldn mind seeing them banned for life....

Guy's of today are wimps compared to the fighters of the past.....
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SILVER SKULL 66 View Post
Funny how back in the 50's 60's and 70's guys in boxing were going 15 rounds fighting better competition and sometimes fighting 4 times a year, without peds, roids, etc they trained hard took no shortcuts, and had balls of steel, and were real men.

Guy's of today in the peds era a lot of them can't even go 12 rounds, fight only once a year, and cheery pick, because they are scared to lose and have no confidence in themselves, peds and roids haven't helped the sport at all in my opinion, if anyone is caught juicing i wouldn mind seeing them banned for life....

Guy's of today are wimps compared to the fighters of the past.....


Men were MEN back then.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SILVER SKULL 66 View Post
Funny how back in the 50's 60's and 70's guys in boxing were going 15 rounds fighting better competition and sometimes fighting 4 times a year, without peds, roids, etc they trained hard took no shortcuts, and had balls of steel, and were real men.

Guy's of today in the peds era a lot of them can't even go 12 rounds, fight only once a year, and cheery pick, because they are scared to lose and have no confidence in themselves, peds and roids haven't helped the sport at all in my opinion, if anyone is caught juicing i wouldn mind seeing them banned for life....

Guy's of today are wimps compared to the fighters of the past.....
Wimps is a harsh call. But you make some good points above, and by comparison the fighters of today fall well short of what their predecessors went through on a far more regular basis.

One of the biggest problems of today is guys taking the easiest career path possible. Instead of testing themselves against the best like the fighters of yesteryear were far more willing to do.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

We had Arnie and Stallone as action heroes.

Kids today get Twat Effron and Just Beiber!
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

In regards to rule changes, didn't there used to be no shot clock in basketball; so when a team was up a couple of points they'd hold onto the ball and run out the clock? This resulted in low scoring games being in the 30s, rather than 90s-100s which is common now.
2009-10 100.2
2008-09 99.95
2007-08 99.92
2006-07 98.7
2005-06 97.0
2004-05 97.2
2003-04 93.4
2002-03 95.1
2001-02 95.5
2000-01 94.8
1999-00 97.5
1998-99 91.6
1997-98 95.6
1996-97 96.9
1995-96 99.5
1994-95 101.4
1985 110.8
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Scoring across the league dropped to 91.6 points per game in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season, the lowest average since the shot clock was introduced in 1954.

The NBA responded by started by limiting the hand checking allowed by defensive players, then began curtailing the use of forearms. The 3-second rule was introduced during the 2001-02 season to keep post players from camping out in the lane. [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
Higher scoring games = more entertainment = more fans = more money. Imagine how slow boxing would be if we didn't have a referee breaking the fighters up from a clinch? Probably twice as many strikes are thrown in a boxing match as in an mma match because of that one rule. Referees are artificially speeding up the action, the same as shortening the length of fights speeds up the pace. Back in ancient Rome, the hesitant gladiators would be prodded with hot irons.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SILVER SKULL 66 View Post
Funny how back in the 50's 60's and 70's guys in boxing were going 15 rounds fighting better competition and sometimes fighting 4 times a year, without peds, roids, etc they trained hard took no shortcuts, and had balls of steel, and were real men.

Guy's of today in the peds era a lot of them can't even go 12 rounds, fight only once a year, and cheery pick, because they are scared to lose and have no confidence in themselves, peds and roids haven't helped the sport at all in my opinion, if anyone is caught juicing i wouldn mind seeing them banned for life....

Guy's of today are wimps compared to the fighters of the past.....
Like I said in the Is Anthony Joshua a boxer or a Bodybuilder thread, "I can never understand why a man who is 6'6" would ever take steroids. My mouth dropped when I heard that Vitali Klitschko got popped for the stuff once too. I can just picture these behemoths curled up around a pint of Haagen-Dazs crying, 'Look at these little twig arms. I'm tiny, pathetic, and weak! I'll never be the champ of the world!' Smashing mirrors, walking around in platform shoes. Got that self-loathing and poor self body image of a little girl."

Unfortunately, if you banned everyone who ever cheated you'd lose all your top guys. Roy Jones, James Toney, Evander Holyfield, Shane Mosley, and if we're honest, most of the others too. That same thing that makes them driven zealous highly skilled competitors is the same thing that makes them cheat, that willingness to do anything to win. If you took the drugs away they'd find some other avenue to cheat, like Duran punching Ken Buchanan in the dick, or Mares punching Agbeko in the dick, or Mayweather sucker punching Gatti and Ortiz, or holding and hitting, punching off the break, head butting, punching the back of the head, stepping on the feet, as we've seen Hopkins do from time to time.

Last edited by OvidsExile; 06-08-2014 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brixton Bomber View Post
We had Arnie and Stallone as action heroes.

Kids today get Twat Effron and Just Beiber!
Good point, but Arnie and Sly were only steroidal geeks.

Back in the 1930's the kids looked up to Olympic champions Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe as their movie heroes.

As old men have always known, everything has gone to hell since I was young.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

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Originally Posted by janitor View Post
I am not coming down heavily on the side of this argument, but it should be heard:

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Thanks Janitor.

Very interesting indeed and food for thought on all levels.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

Stallone, Arnie, Willis, Gibson, and Chan were good and so were the 80s. I don't know that they were better than John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Steve McQueen, Charlie Bronson, Sean Connery, Lee Marvin, Kirk Douglas, Jimmy Stewart, and Burt Lancaster before them.

Jason Statham, Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat, Tony Jaa, Liam Neeson, et all have a lot to live up to.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Are advances in athletic performance merely an artefact of technology?

Interesting article to say the least and it does raise some good questions. Besides the ever present use of steroids and other illegal PED's, the improvements in equipment and tracks, fields and stadiums, along with rules have made a significant impact in sports performance across the board. Using our favorite sport as an example, it's quite obvious that the new rulesets and advances in equipment over the years have led to significant changes in boxing, as well the boxers who participate in it. Better and bigger gloves, better handwraps, footwear and mouthpieces as well as shorter fights and fewer fights in a calendar year, more weight divisions and available title belts per division have forever altered the sport...and in many ways for the worse. Another factor I've noticed is that with advances in media viewing (Close camera angles, HD color etc) Fighters appear to be so much larger today than thier predecessors who were filmed in black and white from inferior cameras and further away from the action. Joe Louis today would appear larger and more muscular with modern cameras and HD flat screen tv's. Might seem strange but I feel it's true. Everything is geared to keeping today's customer with the short attention span happy. Ranting's over for now...but does anyone see my point(s)?
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