Athlete Body Size Changes Over Time

Over the last 100 years the average human has changed in body size and shape, a change generally attributed to improvements in health and nutrition. The same goes for competitors in sports, the body size and shape of the current crop of elite athletes is very different from their counterparts from years past, and the changes are expected to be greater than what is seen in the general population.

Athlete body size and shape is becoming more specific to the sports. As well as the population advances in health and nutrition knowledge, there have been great advances in athlete training methods and sports nutrition knowledge, as well as more time allocated to training.

Sport is no longer a leisure activity of the elite class, there are more opportunities and rewards for anyone who participates, resulting in a greater pool of athletes. Athlete pathways and talent identification results in sports people being better suited to their sport, both in ability and body size. Consequently, the modern athlete is very different from times past.

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We have used athlete data from champions throughout the last 100 tears to study the body size and composition of athletes from around the world and how that relates to performance. Here are details of some of our analysis of athletes.

Athlete Changes Over Time

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