Most demanding and most athletic sport

I had a debate recently regarding which sport was the most demanding (which athletes are best conditioned) and which sport requires the most athleticism.

I made the argument the most demanding is wrestling - the wrestling mentality is second to none. I know igor can probably ask his georgian neighbors how they feel about this.

I said the sport that requires the most atheticism is basketball.

What does everyone else think?


I have done wrestling,boxing,sambo,muay thai.Recently I have started crossfit.

I would also agree that wrestling is truly a demanding sport.I have also tried kyokushin karate which is hell,much worse than kick boxing in terms of pain tolerance.I dont think its popular in the states

Best conditioning: Boxing

Most athleticism: Decathalon

Surprisingly, F1 driver is high on the list. Withstanding 4g – 5g turns and decelerations lap after lap is incredibly demanding physically.

Boxing used to top the list. I’d suspect that MMA, in one form or another, tops the list now.

Basketball’s way down the list. It’s not remotely as strenuous as, say, soccer.

The most strenuous sports are (probably by definition), endurance sports like marathon running or cycling. These sports rely on the athlete slowly approaching their true physical limit over a long period of time. Boxing might also qualify, when the match involves the guy punching you many times slowly until you lose conciousness.

I was thinking Decathlon, though I would think MMA would require a fair amount.

I also think Ironman triathlons are pretty demanding, though it’s less about strength and more about endurance (though obviously you need strength too).

Its surprising no one mentions crossfit.

Believe me kyokushin is far worse than boxing(I have competed in both )

Has to be football. I can’t think of another sport where very athletic guys can play at a high level, despite taking the game up at a late age, such as HS, without extensive training since age 5, the way it is for tennis or soccer or gymnastics. No other sport prizes raw athleticism, maybe track?

Just to be on the same page, there are two categories:

  1. Most demanding

  2. Most athetlic

The person i was debating with said boxing and football, respectfully. Having done both boxing and wrestling, it is no question wrestling takes more out of you. Anyone who has done both will have to agree (never tried Kyokushin before). In fact, MT should be ranked above boxing. What makes mma so demanind is the wrestling - at least there were my arguments

As for athleticism, basketball players have the best combo of hand eye coordination, spurts of speed, agility, and conditioning. I would say basketball players would more easily convert over to football vs football players converting over to basketball.

Boxing is brutal. There is nothing in the world more exhausting per second. On top of that, youre getting punched in the face. You can swim, run, jump, anything for a longer of a period of time than boxing.

boxing is the only sport where the athletes actually have to stop play to rest from exhaustion

Man this is bs. If you are going to make the argument for striking, at least pick a sport that involves more. I would entertain MT since if involves punches, kicks, clinch (which is brutal). Furthermore, getting hit in the face with 12oz gloves is far more appealing than shin to face, shin to body, or even shin to shin action. Boxing shouldnt even be in the top 5

The capital invested in each athlete will result in better conditioning not the sport itself.I had a thai friend who went to cambodia and tried their form of kickboxing called pradal serey,keep in mind my thai friend was a very good muay thai fighter.The shit he told me about local Pradal Serey fights (fighters gettin conccusions very very often and the fact that some fights lasts more than 1 hour )scared the shit out of my very very tough friend.He said sometimes fighters fight 6 times a week and get about 20 USD per fight.So that is ver demanding but put one of these fighters in front of an MMA fighter and they get their ass kicked due to poor diet and high injuries.

These days money is what makes athletes not the sport itself.

Can we just throw boxing, wrestling, and MMA in the same category for the sake of this debate?

And, Gabe, no one cares about Crossfit except bored housewives. Next you’re probably going to talk about how you’re glutton free too.

As a fat guy in his mid 30’s, D league men’s softball gets my vote. Let’s see a decathlete try cruising internet forums from his cubicle for 38 hours a week and then bust off an 8 for 8 during a Wednesday night doubleheader.

@STL-I didnt know about crossfit.

However boxing is very very different in comparison with wrestling in terms of conditioning and the types of muscle training you will need.MMA is somewhere in between depending on your style.

I agree football is demanding since I used to play rugby at high school and can predict football as being the bigger tougher brother of rugby.

There are ultra runners who run 135 miles non-stop in 120F heat. Boxers are obviosly very well conditioned and trained, as are wrestlers. World class marathoners are also beasts and I get the impression Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps are in good shape. I imagine cornerbacks in the NFL have some great athleticism and that linemen are extremely conditioned in their own way. Pro rock climbers are also insanely well conditioned and discliplined and I imagine summiting K2 is pretty demanding.

My point is, I’ve done quite a few sports on a casual level and found through what I experienced and talking to people who were actually good at those sports; that at the highest levels most of them are equally demanding and difficult, although often in less obvious or immediately apparent ways. Somewhere there’s always a group of fools taking the sport to some obsessed level that defies common sense.

No overeating for Gabe?

(Sorry: I couldn’t resist.)

Black Swan-What sport does your avatar character take part in smiley?

@S2K-I am guilty of gluttony and lust to say the least