Is Modern Man a Wimp?

A new book says today's world-record holding men don't stack up to their ancient ancestors in the slightest

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Feeling out of shape? If you aren't already, a new book by anthropologist Peter McAllister will certainly make you reconsider. As Reuters reports, "Manthropology: The Science of the Inadequate Modern Male" details how much faster, stronger, and more physically-fit our ancient ancestors were than even our greatest male athletes today. According to the author, the chief culprit is the Industrial Revolution, which freed man up from his traditional hunting activities and other backbreaking labor to pursue other, softer, less physically demanding pursuits. (Like blogging, for instance.) Reuters quotes McAllister:

"We are simply not exposed to the same loads or challenges that people were in the ancient past and even in the recent past so our bodies haven't developed. Even the level of training that we do, our elite athletes, doesn't come close to replicating that."
"We wouldn't want to go back to the brutality of those days but there are some things we would do well to profit from."

What do you think? Is modern man really a wimp? Should we even be concerned either way?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.