The diversity of physiques among Olympic athletes: what does a fit body look like?

I love the Summer Olympics! Runners, cyclists, swimmers, divers, gymnasts and rowers, oh my!

Unlike their Winter Olympics counterparts, summer Olympians wear very little clothing, allowing viewers to see and appreciate fit bodies in all their various forms. (I particularly like Ryan Lochte’s…)

The long, lean physiques of the triathletes. The short, muscular statures of the gymnasts. The broad shoulders and narrow waists of the swimmers. The tight and toned glutes of the sprinters.

Makes you realize that the question ‘what does a fit body look like’ can have many different answers.

Check out my Day 10 VEDA (Video Every Day in August) video below for more musings about diversity in athletic physiques.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s VEDA video; subscribe to my YouTube channel now!

What does a fit body look like to you?

What’s your favourite summer Olympics event?







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Looking for an inexpensive way to jump-start your journey to fitness and health? Join my online Bootcamp today! Get more info by clicking the image below.


  1. Mind meld across borders as I have been thinking the same thing! How about those track and field six packs?
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted…5 Phrases to Think and Train Like an OlympianMy Profile

    • Love ’em! Hubby and I have been thinking about a scientific paper linking up physiques, country of origin (there’s the genetic part…) and sport.

  2. I’m sorry, did you say something? I got distracted by that picture of Ryan. I love – always have and always will – the physique of swimmers and water polo players. Maybe that’s just from growing up in CA during my teen years 🙂 But now, I also love lean surfer bodies.

    Great thoughts and it’s true – fit bodies look different on different people.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Back in the pool with swim intervalsMy Profile

  3. Love this post! So true and so difficult to convince clients that their body should look like their body, only as fit and trim as they can make it.

    I’m loving so much of the Olympics it’s hard to pick one sport. Swimming, all the track & field, gymnastics, you name it, I love it.
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted…Wednesday Workout: DelayedMy Profile

    • Every now and then Oxygen magazine has a cover that EVERYBODY brings to me as an example of how they’d like their body to look. I get very tired of trying to balance being realistic with supporting goals…

  4. I used to dance during my high school days and despite all of the training I would do for my sport, I definitely did not have a “dancer’s body.” I have always been big chested and was never the leanest girl on the team. Of course, dancing didn’t end up being my long term activity as it slowly dwindled from my life when I went to college so perhaps I didn’t have the body predisposition for it! Great VEGA post Tamara.
    Talia @ Bite Size Wellness recently posted…10 Daily Reminders for a Healthy LifeMy Profile

    • While it’s great to enjoy a variety of activities, it doesn’t help to fixate on a body type that you’ll never have, even if you train for it…

  5. I love (am addicted to) the Olympics. I have been thinking about what amazing body images it gives – strong, powerful and athletic instead of the stick skinny we see so often. I am loving swimming, track (of course), and beach volleyball. All three sports are on the edge of your seat exciting and having amazing bodies.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Empowerment & SupportMy Profile

    • This is the first year I’ve really watched beach volleyball. And the only reason I tuned in (at the beginning) was because my chiropractor’s brother was on the Canadian men’s team. Turns out that I LOVE the sport!

  6. I really like cycling, running and the gymnastics. I actually like it all lol
    Kierston recently posted…11 Weeks Out: Becoming a Crunching Tiger!My Profile

  7. To me, a fit body looks unique. I try not to picture an image of any one body type as “fit”. I see it as “strong” and “able”. I love that you outlined the physiques of all the Olympians, because it’s so incredible true!! They’re all so different.

    What they all have in common to me? Beauty. Confidence. Dedication.

  8. I met your fav physique!!! I am just so amazed by all the different body types & there is something to love in all of them! I hated some announcers putting down women swimmers for being “fat”. Let’s see them do what these Olympians do!
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted…Do You Take Rest DaysMy Profile

  9. I forgot to say that I loved your video & it is so true about body types & women especially thinking they can look like some of those bodies out there when as you said, you may not have a body type that can ever look that way. I am short & build muscle easy & I will never be a tiny little thing nor a ballet dancer! 🙂 We can always improve on what we were born with but we may not have the predisposition for looking a certain way as you said in your vlog… does not mean we have to give up, we just make the most of what we have! 🙂
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted…Do You Take Rest DaysMy Profile

  10. Laurie Mackeson says:

    Interesting topic! More interesting and relevent to me is the topic: How so many athletes, even the highly skills and knowledgeable people can’t maintain a healthy body/mind AFTER ceasing their high levels of competition. Once they “retire” they seem to be quickly pushed into the background so we can be bombarded with more fit body images.

  11. My wife and I were just discussing this tonight. We have to put a vote in for the sprinters.. clearly sprinting burns fat and adds muscle in a way few things can. The physiques on those athletes just leaves us gawking at their abs during half their performance!
    Jeff recently posted…Obesity in America Statistics 2012My Profile

    • Agreed. Sprinting seems to favour lean muscle more so than endurance running. Compare the upper bodies (arms and shoulders!) of the sprinters with their marathon counterparts. I would LOVE to have the physique of a sprinter!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  12. I love seeing the sprinter vs. the long-distance runners. The muscles on the sprinters are so huge to give them that quick burst, and the endurance runners look so lean. It’s kind of cool to me; all runners at heart, but with ver different needs.
    TriGirl recently posted…I Can Bring a Friend to Yoga, But I’ll Never be a YogiMy Profile

    • Sprinter vs. long distance runner really is an amazing difference. Same activity, but totally different type and effect of training. I’ll never look like either! (but then again, I don’t train like they do…)


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