What Does Fatlete Mean

Explore the concept of ‘fatlete’ and how it challenges traditional notions of athleticism. Discover examples, case studies, and statistics that highlight the importance of skill and passion over appearance.


As the fitness industry continues to evolve, so does the language that defines it. One term that has gained popularity in recent years is ‘fatlete.’ But what exactly does it mean? Let’s explore this concept further.

Definition of Fatlete

‘Fatlete’ is a portmanteau of the words ‘fat’ and ‘athlete.’ It refers to individuals who may not have the stereotypical look of an athlete due to their weight or body composition but are still highly skilled in a particular sport or physical activity.

Examples of Fatletes

One famous example of a fatlete is William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry, a former American football player who despite his size, was an integral part of the Chicago Bears’ success in the 1980s. Another example is sumo wrestlers, who are often overweight but possess incredible strength and agility.

Case Studies

A study conducted by the University of Copenhagen found that individuals with higher body fat percentages could still perform well in endurance sports like running and cycling. The study showed that fatletes could excel in these sports due to their bodies’ ability to store energy more efficiently.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. Despite this, there are still many overweight individuals who participate in sports and physical activities at a high level.


In conclusion, the term ‘fatlete’ challenges traditional notions of what it means to be an athlete. It highlights the fact that athleticism comes in all shapes and sizes, and individuals should not be judged solely on their appearance. Fatletes prove that dedication, skill, and passion for a sport can overcome societal expectations and stereotypes.

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