Atanu Das is one of the world’s leading archers.
With help from fellow Olympian, Lolo Jones, we’re going to push him to the limit in our series of tests to find out what makes him so suited to archery. Surprised you could do that! Hi, I’m Lolo Jones, and welcome to Anatomy of an Archer. Joining me at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas is Indian star, Atanu Das Are you ready for this? Yes, let’s do this. In Olympic Archery, you need strength, stamina, and unnerving accuracy. Competitors pull back on the bow with 30 kilograms of force and in a match, they can fire over 150 arrows at the target which is 70 meters away. At the Olympic Games Rio 2016, Atanu Das made it to the last 16 and since then he’s won silver at the World Championships. For an archer, they have to be very strong and stable as well as we have to be very relaxed and calm here and here so that we can shoot the bullseye again and again. We’ve brought Atanu Das to a world-leading sports science facility to see how he fares under the microscope. Atanu Das has perfect vision, but what else is it about the anatomy that gives him the edge in competition. Time to find out. First up, we’re going to look at Atanu’s body composition with the DEXA scan. So this is going to measure your body composition. We’re going to understand how much muscle mass you’ve got, how much fat mass is in your body. It’s a gold standard assessment of where you’re at physically. Nearly there. Okay, Atanu Das let’s have a look at the data. So, when we look at your total body fat percentage, it’s right around 34 percent. So a little bit higher than some of those other high metabolic sports, the sprinters like Lolo, these lean athletes, strength power type sports. One of the really unique things that we found about the data today is we found a pound more lean muscle in his right arm versus his left arm and it certainly shows that the strength work that he has to do with that 30 kilos of pressure every time he pulls back the bowstring has really influenced what we call muscle hypertrophy or the growth of the muscle in his right arm versus his left arm. So a really good insight into how sports can create specific changes in athletes based on the needs of their sport. In this next test, we’ll assess leg strength with the countermovement jump. In archery, leg strength is a key factor in success. The lower body provides the stable base from which to shoot and if it’s not strong and sturdy, then you won’t be accurate. We’re going to use these force plates in the ground. We’re going to be measuring how high you can jump and how much force you produce, so it’s going to be a good one to see how physical you can be. Sure you don’t want to take that gold ring off? It might weigh you down. Ok, yeah. There’s a matching one right over here around your neck. I’m not about to do a jump test. Look, gold is heavy. OK, step on to the platform, nice and still. Here we go. As high as you can in three, two, one, go. Up! Nice. He performed really well, actually. He jumped 43 centimeters which are really competitive as a physical expression of athleticism when we compare him to something like a skateboarder or a diver or some of these other sports that might present more explosive power in the lower body. So he did a really good job today, I was really impressed with his results. In archery, upper body strength is really important, so let’s see how he performs in this test. Archery utilizes all the muscles in the upper body and the prone row test is designed to see how well these areas of Atanu Das anatomy are functioning. We’re going to see how many repetitions of this bench pull you can perform. So it’s an interesting test as an archer. Your bow is about 30 kilos of force and you do that up to 400 times a day which is amazing, so let’s see if we can get that same physicality in this test. Okay, Atanu das whenever you’re ready, off you go. So the prone row is an assessment of strength endurance. What we do is we lay Atanu Das down on the bench and we take 50 percent of his own personal bodyweight and then he has to perform repetitions for endurance for as long as he can. -Good job Atanu Das. Keep going. -Killing it! Killing it! Way to push! Thirteen, we’ll give you that one. -One more, let’s go. -Come on, everything you’ve got. Fourteen! Good, alright. Good job. Well done, my friend. You want to give me a high 5, or are your arms too sore? I’m surprised you can do that. I thought before doing it maybe I will do five or six reps, but when I started doing then I see, yes, I can do one more, then one more, then one more. Okay, Atanu Das good job. A pretty challenging test at the end there, so, listen, you hit 14 repetitions which are a real solid number, okay. If we look at some of these other Olympic sports like sprint kayakers who are pulling for 2000 meters they can potentially do that for up to 30, 40 times. So a big difference between what an archer does. Atanu Das let’s take a break from testing. So tell us growing up did you watch the Olympics on TV and if you did what was your favorite memory from watching the Olympics? Watching the Olympics, my favorite view was Usain Bolt, an all-time favorite, and… All-time favorite? I was in the same games as him. Not me? I’m sorry, but Bolt… Oh, so you only like people who win medals? Not like that! And I’m trying to win the medals too. Oh cool. -You ready for more testing? -Yes, sure. This final test will examine the fitness and stamina levels of Atanu Das. Will we be surprised? Let’s find out. For athletes, the ability to take in the maximum amount of oxygen through the lungs and then have it delivered by the heart to where it is needed most is vital to peak performance. What we’re going to do is measure your aerobic capacity. So we’re going use this treadmill test and we’re progressively going to get faster and faster, see how long you can go and we’re going to be measuring the gas that you breathe in and out and that’s going to give us a real understanding of your cardiovascular fitness. Obviously, being an archer, the competition is quite long, it lasts all day, correct? So your ability to work for sustained periods of time is going to be really interesting to find out. -Sure, let’s do this. -Alright. -That feels okay? -Yes. Good. Ten seconds, going a little bit faster again. There we go Atanu das. Let’s try and stick this out for a minute. Good job. Good work, keep it going. Alright, -nice and steady. -Good job. Yeah, you did a great job. Some really exciting and interesting information that shows us what the physiology of an archer looks like. So the key number that we always ask for this test is what is your maximum aerobic capability and your score for today was 41 millimeters per kilogram of muscle mass per minute. Now if we look at Olympic marathon runners, they tend to be up in the 60s, 70s. If you were a weightlifter that might be down in the 30s. They do something one time and then they have to sit down for a period of time. You’re back and forth to the target so you know that’s a good score, it can be improved but again I think it’s a reflection of where your sport requires your physiology to be. Really good score. -Go, go. -Alright! He really impressed me today with some of his athleticism which you might not necessarily associate with an archer. The fact that he had such ability to jump and jump with some of the best athletes was pretty incredible because his job is all about stabilization, keeping still, eyes on the target and so it was really cool to see how his sport helped him with that. He had good levels of power and expression of power in his lower body. He could transfer that strength into some of the upper bodywork that we demonstrated which is super impressive.
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