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Hard Work Isn't Always Enough

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If you are talking about the person I am thinking, he wasn't morbidly obese at the time. He is insanely strong, and I don't think your average 300 pounder does cartwheels. Having a brother that was also an All American further implies athletic genes. That guy was stronger and more athletic than 99.99 percent of 300 (at the time) pound men. A horrible example.

 

You are basing your assumptions off of strength being a product of genetics and not hardwork. And yes, he was obese at the time of his gold medal. There are plenty of athletes who are obese.

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Strength is a product of both. Again, 3 sport athlete in HS. Cartwheels at 300 pounds. Crazy strong. I would argue that he is a freakish athlete, but I am ok with you disagreeing. But to say he was a below average athlete compared to the population as a whole is ridiculous.

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Strength is a product of both. Again, 3 sport athlete in HS. Cartwheels at 300 pounds. Crazy strong. I would argue that he is a freakish athlete, but I am ok with you disagreeing. But to say he was a below average athlete compared to the population as a whole is ridiculous.

 

Ridiculous? You are telling me he has superior DNA based off of a cartwheel and participating in sports in Wyoming. Those have nothing to do with genetics.

 

BMI

Body fat %

Hormonal function

Brain development

Metabolism

Muscle fiber type

 

These are things that are genetic. How do you consider our Olympic champ to stack up in those genetic factors? Having trained along side him, I would say he is average at best, and deficient in all of the genetic factors I listed. He got what he got because he busted his ass and hunted it down like a dog; he wasnt dealt a very good starting hand.

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So strength is not genetic, but BMI and body fat percentage are? Ridiculous. You can get to a certain body fat percentage based on work ethic. A lot of people do not have the genetics to ever be able to bench press 400 pounds. All of these things are factors of work ethic and genetics. You are also neglecting the fact that weight classes are an artificial man made construct. Rulon size overall is a positive as a wrestler.

 

Yes, the cartwheels are relevant....to pull that off at his size you aren't a below average athlete. Yes, it is relevant that he also had a brother who was a national caliber athlete. Yes, it is relevant that he was a 3 sport athlete and was All State in 2 sports. That doesn't happen to below average athletes.

 

Don't go strawman here. You didn't say that he was below average by the standards of Olympic Athletes or guys at the OTC. You said he was below average compared to the general population. Anyone making that argument shouldn't be throwing stones about anyone's "Brain Development. "

 

I am not saying he is a genetic freak. And I agree that he won because of his work ethic ( and some stupid rules. ) But calling him a below average athlete...it is just foolish. I enjoy your posts, but you are totally wrong on this one.

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I guarantee that Burroughs has put in 10,000 hours when you account for everything. Meaning not only time on the mat but lifting, running, watching film, etc.

 

Dirty, there isn't a single world medalist with "average genes". Maybe average for world class wrestlers but not average overall.

 

How would anyone know this? You cannot simply look at someone and determine the advantages and disadvantages of their genetic makeup by watching a few matches. America has had Olympic champions with genetics that are inferior to average everyday joes.

 

Given your own statement, how would you know THAT?

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So strength is not genetic, but BMI and body fat percentage are? Ridiculous. You can get to a certain body fat percentage based on work ethic. A lot of people do not have the genetics to ever be able to bench press 400 pounds. All of these things are factors of work ethic and genetics. You are also neglecting the fact that weight classes are an artificial man made construct. Rulon size overall is a positive as a wrestler.

 

Yes, the cartwheels are relevant....to pull that off at his size you aren't a below average athlete. Yes, it is relevant that he also had a brother who was a national caliber athlete. Yes, it is relevant that he was a 3 sport athlete and was All State in 2 sports. That doesn't happen to below average athletes.

 

Don't go strawman here. You didn't say that he was below average by the standards of Olympic Athletes or guys at the OTC. You said he was below average compared to the general population. Anyone making that argument shouldn't be throwing stones about anyone's "Brain Development. "

 

I am not saying he is a genetic freak. And I agree that he won because of his work ethic ( and some stupid rules. ) But calling him a below average athlete...it is just foolish. I enjoy your posts, but you are totally wrong on this one.

 

So it is your opinion that our Olympic champ has the same ability to learn, hormonal function, and body composition of an average person?

 

Your body composition is one of the most telling signs of genetics. Calling that ridiculous is a red flag. This is physiology 101.

 

How many sports you participated in also has absolutely zero to do with your genetic makeup. BTW, I have multiple non athletes who participate in rec BJJ classes that can do cartwheels. Again, this is physiology 101. Cartwheels have zero to do with genetic makeup.

 

To be honest, it is very difficult to just look at or even train with someone and make assumptions based on their genetics. I concede that you could be right and our Olympian may very well have great genetics, but based on his self admitted learning disabilities, his now morbid obesity, and how he stacks up athletically with normal people, I would say he at average or below as far as genetic giftedness. He himself stated in his book that he started out way behind the curve compared to other kids. Thats not in an athletic hotbed; its in the middle of nowhere.

 

My original point was that this was a pretty average guy and he maximized an average hand into Olympic gold. What you saw on tv wasnt a guy walking in off the street; he had to build all of that up through hard work. Mijain Lopez or Karelin you might have an argument, but from my experience, our big dog did it with hustle and tenacity.

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I guarantee that Burroughs has put in 10,000 hours when you account for everything. Meaning not only time on the mat but lifting, running, watching film, etc.

 

Dirty, there isn't a single world medalist with "average genes". Maybe average for world class wrestlers but not average overall.

 

How would anyone know this? You cannot simply look at someone and determine the advantages and disadvantages of their genetic makeup by watching a few matches. America has had Olympic champions with genetics that are inferior to average everyday joes.

 

Given your own statement, how would you know THAT?

 

I would not make a conclusive statement, but based on his genetic cues during training, his genetic cues after training stopped, and the battery of tests administered by professionals that this gentlemen made public during a weight loss competition coupled with what I learned and observed during post grad education and first hand observation of his training, he didnt strike me as someone who was genetically gifted. I would not be opposed to a strong argument that would discredit me. With this particular gentleman, I am more playing devils advocate, as the 120kg class can be swayed heavily by things other than technique.

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I disagree with MOST simply because the Russian wrestlers disprove GENETIC SUPERIORITY. Usually, most of them look soft and less defined physically. They spend many hours away from competitions and actually, believe that the only strength needed is that which equals their body weight. This is why rope climbing- and old school isometric exercise is still their main preparation. American BODY BUILDING and constant COMPETITIONS imo is an American blunder. The body needs time to recover- the brain needs time to relax.

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i dont think we're going to solve the nature vs nurture debate here, but i think its ultimately moot. all things being equal, if everyone puts in the same amount of training, practice, coaching, etc, then difference is going to be genetics. some people are born with muscle fibers that twitch faster than others. but the rub is you have to train your butt off to make it to the point where you can use your natural born advantages. you need both the training and the genetics, i dont see anyway around that.

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I guarantee that Burroughs has put in 10,000 hours when you account for everything. Meaning not only time on the mat but lifting, running, watching film, etc.

 

Dirty, there isn't a single world medalist with "average genes". Maybe average for world class wrestlers but not average overall.

 

but only mat time and film go toward mastering the craft, and film could be up for debate. i can have 10,000 hours in the weight room and on the road and it didn't do me an ounce of good toward mastering wrestling. when i wrestle i will be stronger, more powerful, and better endurance to complete the techniques, but it didn't do anything to help my wrestling

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olddirty, you have some good contributions but in this case (I believe you are still competing), you are the prototypical high-level athlete -- working hard is everything and you can overcome any obstacle with training.

 

You are just wrong on this one, plain and simple. Competitors at the world level are just not average in geneitic makeup. Think about what you are saying. There are 8 billion people on the planet. How many total athletes compete at the World/Olympic level? Even if there are 1,000,000 world level athletes (there are FAR less), that's 0.0125% of the population, or 1 in 10,250 people.

 

There were 302 events at the 2012 London Games, so roughly 1,000 medals in a year at the world level.

 

1,000 medalists in a world of 8,000,000,000. So your statement is the people in the top 0.000001% of the world, some or even 1 are "average" genetically. In other words, that 1 guy who medaled, there are let's say, 3 or 4 BILLION people that are genetically superior.

 

It's just an insane argument. 8 billion people dirty. That's 8, with a "B". If you're just in the top 1 billion, you're better genetically than 87.5% of people on earth. I'll go out on a limb and say that EVERY world medalist is in the top 1 billion on earth, and that's understated drastically.

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olddirty, you have some good contributions but in this case (I believe you are still competing), you are the prototypical high-level athlete -- working hard is everything and you can overcome any obstacle with training.

 

You are just wrong on this one, plain and simple. Competitors at the world level are just not average in geneitic makeup. Think about what you are saying. There are 8 billion people on the planet. How many total athletes compete at the World/Olympic level? Even if there are 1,000,000 world level athletes (there are FAR less), that's 0.0125% of the population, or 1 in 10,250 people.

 

There were 302 events at the 2012 London Games, so roughly 1,000 medals in a year at the world level.

 

1,000 medalists in a world of 8,000,000,000. So your statement is the people in the top 0.000001% of the world, some or even 1 are "average" genetically. In other words, that 1 guy who medaled, there are let's say, 3 or 4 BILLION people that are genetically superior.

 

It's just an insane argument. 8 billion people dirty. That's 8, with a "B". If you're just in the top 1 billion, you're better genetically than 87.5% of people on earth. I'll go out on a limb and say that EVERY world medalist is in the top 1 billion on earth, and that's understated drastically.

 

I said we had one that was of average genetics in my opinion. I think you guys are putting way too much stock in genetics with literally zero info on what each person's genetics conisist of. You talk about 8 billion people on earth. How many of those 8 billion have good genetics but never choose to pursue sports? I would bet it is much more than the total number of world medalists we have had in wrestling. Trying to argue that point is both impossible and improbable.

 

Until someone can show some data on genetics other than what we have, then they cant make conclusive statements like we can about their training time. All we have on record for our wrestlers is strength, BMI, and body composition, and with a few, hormonal levels. I can promise you that we have guys with BMI, body mass compositions, and strength numbers that are average or worse than a random person who is not an athlete. Like I said in my very first post that everyone is overlooking: Putting in 10,000 hours of focused practice may not make you a world medalist but it will make you a very good wrestler.

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Your average high school 106 pounder has a "better" BMI and body composition than Bruce Baumgartner or Steven Neal. It is a stupid indicator of athleticism. Strength is a decent indicator, and Rulon was stronger than most Olympians, let alone the general public.

 

If someone invented a new sport that you knew nothing about, would you pick a 30 year old Rulon over a random 30 year old American? Of course you would.

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The problem here is that hard work is almost always a prerequisite for success, but it in and of itself doesn't always mean that you'll be successful. Without hardwork your chances of success are slim to none. With hard work, your chances are greater for success, but success is not guaranteed. Olddirty doesn't seem to grasp this and he most likely never will. Hard work = success, no shades of grey about it. Black and white, badda bing, badda boom.

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Your average high school 106 pounder has a "better" BMI and body composition than Bruce Baumgartner or Steven Neal. It is a stupid indicator of athleticism. Strength is a decent indicator, and Rulon was stronger than most Olympians, let alone the general public.

 

If someone invented a new sport that you knew nothing about, would you pick a 30 year old Rulon over a random 30 year old American? Of course you would.

 

Of course, because Rulon trained more and worked harder. I would pick a 30 year old Rulon over someone with vastly superior genetics as well. Why? Because I know he would out work the other guy and be more tenacious, no matter what the other guys genetic starting hand was.

 

Again, you are basing strength on genetics. I agree that Rulon was stronger than some Olympians, but I would argue that he was stronger based on his hard work and overall time spent strength training comparitively.

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Again, you are basing strength on genetics. I agree that Rulon was stronger than some Olympians, but I would argue that he was stronger based on his hard work and overall time spent strength training comparitively.

 

Do you know Rulon's natural strength level before he became a world class wrestler? He may have been very gifted in the strength department before he ever stepped a foot on the mat.

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Your average high school 106 pounder has a "better" BMI and body composition than Bruce Baumgartner or Steven Neal. It is a stupid indicator of athleticism. Strength is a decent indicator, and Rulon was stronger than most Olympians, let alone the general public.

 

If someone invented a new sport that you knew nothing about, would you pick a 30 year old Rulon over a random 30 year old American? Of course you would.

 

Of course, because Rulon trained more and worked harder. I would pick a 30 year old Rulon over someone with vastly superior genetics as well. Why? Because I know he would out work the other guy and be more tenacious, no matter what the other guys genetic starting hand was.

 

Again, you are basing strength on genetics. I agree that Rulon was stronger than some Olympians, but I would argue that he was stronger based on his hard work and overall time spent strength training comparitively.

 

Rulon Gardner worked his butt off for the Olympic Gold, you'll get no dispute out of me about that. However, by your logic he defeated Karelin simply because he worked harder than him? Give me a break. Karelin was one of the hardest workers that the sport has ever seen. "Train like a Madman" ring any bells? A lot of factors came into play for why Gardner won that match. To simply accredit it as "he worked harder than Karelin" and that's why he won, is ridiculous.

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Of course, because Rulon trained more and worked harder. I would pick a 30 year old Rulon over someone with vastly superior genetics as well. Why? Because I know he would out work the other guy and be more tenacious, no matter what the other guys genetic starting hand was.

 

Again, you are basing strength on genetics. I agree that Rulon was stronger than some Olympians, but I would argue that he was stronger based on his hard work and overall time spent strength training comparitively.

 

so is it ever possible for one wrestler to beat another wrestler who's trained more than him? i would think it is. so now how do we account for that?

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The problem is that we can't define genetic superiority with any certainty. Superior with regards to what? Nobody contains all good, or all bad, genes. We are a mix of thousands of genes. Good looks are influenced by genetics for the most part. So is susceptibility to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and other diseases. But many seemingly healty people die of cancer. They were dealt a bad hand, but to look at them you would have guessed good genetics. Likewise, what does it mean to be a good athlete and how would you define it genetically? Hard to say. There's no "wrestling gene" that you can test for. However, it's clear to anyone who has coached kids, that some kids just seem to pick things up faster than others. Some kids will always be stronger than others, even if they never lift weights, and some will be quicker and more powerful than others. And even with regards to technique, some kids will be able to pick up on technique and use it right away, others you spend years showing them basic things and they never pick up on it. Although you can't say what specific genes are invovled, or even if it's genetic differences that account for these observations, it's clear that not everyone can become a champion simply by training hard. There are other factors, many out of the individuals control, that are important as well.

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Of course, because Rulon trained more and worked harder. I would pick a 30 year old Rulon over someone with vastly superior genetics as well. Why? Because I know he would out work the other guy and be more tenacious, no matter what the other guys genetic starting hand was.

 

Again, you are basing strength on genetics. I agree that Rulon was stronger than some Olympians, but I would argue that he was stronger based on his hard work and overall time spent strength training comparitively.

 

so is it ever possible for one wrestler to beat another wrestler who's trained more than him? i would think it is. so now how do we account for that?

 

Strategy.

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