Narcissus' Echo

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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Body of a champion (and others)

Seven-time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong's body:

This is a body that has won, seven times over, the most prestigious and grueling bicycle race in the world; a race which ranges from 3500 kilometers (2187.5 miles) to 4000 kilometers (2500 miles), and lasts 21 days.

His body is so uniquely efficient, he is literally one in a million.

His heart can pump nine gallons of blood per minute, compared to five for the average person. In fact, Coyle estimates that the 5-foot-10 Armstrong had a heart proportional to the size of a 6'6 man.

Armstrong's lungs can absorb twice as much oxygen. His muscles produce half as much lactic acid and expel it faster, allowing him to ride harder up the Tour's notoriously brutal hills and then recover quickly.

An average person turns 20 per cent of the oxygen he breathes into muscle power. Armstrong gets 23 per cent -- close to the highest ever recorded in a human.

Armstrong's body is so unique, if he didn't train at all, he would still be in better physical condition than an average person in top condition.


And then, there is always power-to-weight ratio, as well as the length of one's legs (leverage).

On the flippant side, perhaps the following picture is the reason why Lance is so friendly to Ivan Basso--check out his younger sister, Elisa:

Another shot of Elisa Basso:


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