My point was not to draw some arbitrary line in the sand and say that everyone should be under it because different body types work for different athletes but in general I think that most people highly overestimate the weights of pro sprinters and jumpers. Gay is certainly quite thin. As is Spearmon. Mo is / was at or under 180 for most of his career. Most reports have him at 175. There's no way in hell that Lewis was 93kg (~205 lbs) unless we're talking about Carol Lewis. Anything I've ever seen has him at 180 or less….although he was substantially bigger in 96. Even with Asafa and Linford, those guys are by no means thick. Very cut. Yes. Very muscled. Yes. Thick. No. They're just big guys with a good amount of muscle and extremely low bodyfats. If they were as short as Mo, Mitchell, Marsh, etc they would probably be under 180.
There's a minimum level of absolute strength / power necessary for the acceleration phase of short sprints and that explains the higher body masses of people excelling in the 60m but not the 100m and the 100m but not the 200m. We see that trend all the way up to the 10k. Lighter is generally better, especially as distance progresses.
Jumpers….they are generally even lighter. Look at the build of anyone who's jumped over 8.80m or 8' in the HJ……they're all relatively skinny. This is because now they not only have to get their body moving fast, they also have to have extreme relative-to-bw power outputs so they can suddenly change the direction of their movement and turn themselves in to a projectile.
I agree. They aren't Thick or HYOOGE by any means, but many are very muscled and usually very lean, making them appear bigger.
One thing that would be interesting to see, and may even help people who have similar body structures is to examine the strength levels of athletes with different build structures. Athletes coached by the same coach and running similar times would be even better.
I can think of 2 that would be perfect, coached by Dan Pfaff. One a more muscular power-type build, the other more of a Carl Lewis type build.
Donovan Bailey – 9.84 Bench Squat Oly Lift 30m shot throw SLJ
225 505 ???
Bruny Surin – 9.84 Bench Squat Oly Lift 30m shot throw SLJ
??? ??? ???
I got Donovan's from an article about him (also Glenroy Gilbert).
I have no idea what kind of numbers Bruny had.