The Perfection Point: Sport Science Predicts the Fastest Man, the Highest Jump, and the Limits of Athletic Performance.
In 1954 athlete Roger Bannister did the absolute impossible: he was able to complete a mile in less than four minutes. The whole world was stunned by this seemingly superhuman achievement. Two months later, fellow runner John Landy broke the barrier as well. Currently, the record is three minutes and 43 seconds.
Over the past decades, athletes have become faster, stronger and overall better at sports. Will they keep breaking records over and over again? Not according to author John Brenkus, who draws on recent anatomical research to predict the ultimate limits for a variety of athletic feats. What will be the new four-minute mile? The 3:18:87 mile, Brenkus calculates.
Other all-time bests, Brenkus predicts will be the 543-yard drive off a golf tee (taking into account things such as muscle power, leverage, flexibility); and the 921-pound bench press (the current record is 715 pounds). Still, athletic performance is not just a matter of cold science; Brenkus believes basic human drive needs to be taken into account to. “Science is only going to take you so far,” he says in an interview in Time Magazine. “There will always be something that we don’t know. We don’t go to space, we go to the moon. If you’re so close to breaking a barrier, it’s reasonable to say we’d do it.
The Perfection Point is available in the UA Library