History: Once a brutal and deadly game played in Africa, where they used rocks as opposed to balls.
Muscles Worked:Deltoids // Pectorals // Triceps - Boasts a high cardio factor.
Athlete of note:Ben Stiller was a competitive and self-confessed 'angry' dodgeball player during his youth and channeled that energy for his starring role in the 2004 film ‘Dodgeball’.
Kill Factor: VERY LOW. However, injuries are rife such as broken necks, dislocated fingers, broken noses and torn rotator cuffs.
Survival Tip: Avoid repeated shots to the cranium.
Where do I sign up?:DODGEBALLAUSTRALIA
Action Sport: Paintball
History: The first recorded game was held (officially) in 1981, with a few friends competing against one another in the woods. One of the players was a Sports Illustrated writer, who published an article about it, and the rest is history.
Muscles Worked: Overall body workout - very high cardio factor.
Athlete of note: Scott Kemp
Kill Factor:MODERATE. A few recorded deaths and countless injuries including lesions, blinding, and falls on a paintball field. Survival Tip: Keep your mask on.
Where do I sign up?:MINISTRYOFPAINTBALL
Action Sport: Obstacle Course Racing
History:Obstacle course began in modern times with its application to various military training and testing protocols. However OCR blasted onto the world stage with Tough Mudder in 2010, garnering nearly 5000 participants for the first race, and now as a company is worth over $70 million dollars.
Muscles Worked:Extreme endurance workout and general upper body strength.
Athlete of note: Andrew Pap
Kill Factor:MODERATE. Tough Mudder has one recorded death however other similar obstacle course have multiple deaths recorded; drownings being the main cause. However injuries are common including hypothermia, heart attacks and ankle injuries. Survival Tip: Train long and hard in preparation for an obstacle race.
Action Sport:Rock Climbing
History: Graduating from mountainous necessity in the late 19th century to sporting endeavour. With numerous offshoots such as indoor rock climbing, bouldering and free climbing to name but a few.
Muscles Worked: Forearms // Abdominals // Back // Biceps // Quadriceps - Extreme cardio vascular workout, as well as being great for developing grip strength.
Athlete of note:Chris Sharma
Kill Factor: VERY HIGH. Dozens of deaths per year. Survival Tip: Stay indoors and don't watch Cliffhanger before a climb.
Where do I sign up?: Find a rock to climb, or head here.
Action Sport: MMA
History:Pankration, the ancient combat sport, was a mix of grappling and striking skills. More recently, MMA (mixed martial arts) competition can be traced throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim, as early as the 1900's. 1980 saw the first regulated MMA league in the USA.
Muscles Worked: Abdominals // Biceps // Triceps // Back - Extreme overall cardio and conditioning workout.
Athlete of note:Conor McGregor
Kill Factor:EXTREME. A low amount of sanctioned event recorded deaths, but due to the young age of the sport little statistical inference can be drawn. A 2006 study compares the risk to that of professional boxing, but injuries in the shoulders and legs are higher due to the grappling aspect of the sport.
Survival Tip: Don't fight over enthusiastic newcomers... and don't be one.
Where do I sign up?:AFCMMA
Action Sport: Motorsport
History: The first pre-arranged race took place in 1867 in sunny old England. 1887 saw the first organised racing competition, but it wasn't until the 1930's that racers went from driving from expensive road cars to purpose built racing machines.
Muscles Worked: Trapezius // Biceps // Triceps // Deltoids. The most extreme fitness is required, with drivers in F1 for example, peaking heart rates at over 200bpm during a race.
Athlete of note: Carl Edwards
Kill Factor: INSANE. You don't even need to be a driver to be killed or injured, with crew members, officials and spectators all having paid the ultimate price.
Survival Tip: Don't do a Cole Trickle. Don't hit the pace car.
Where do I sign up?:KARTINGAUSTRALIA
History:The Native Americans invented the full contact and high intensity sport of Lacrosse as early as 1100AD. Was once called 'stickball'.
Muscles Worked: Quadriceps // Hamstrings // Calves // Pectorals // Triceps // Biceps. Everything, really.
Athlete of note:Paul Rabil
Kill Factor: HIGH. Dozens of deaths recorded with the main culprit being ball strikes to the chest. Survival Tip: Invest in the best protective gear and suit up!
Where do I sign up?:LACROSSEAUSTRALIA
Action Sport:Downhill Mountain Biking
History:Developing from recreation to competitive sport in the mid 70's, downhill biking has grown in popularity massively, particularly for the adrenaline skiing junkies who bike down ski slopes that have dried up in the summer.
Muscles Worked:Abdominals // Leg Muscles // Biceps // Forearms
Athlete of note: Jared Graves
Kill Factor: LOW. Take basic safety precautions and you will live. Be prepared for some bones breaking when you tumble though. Survival Tip: Avoid cliffs.
Where do I sign up?: MOUNTAINBIKEAUSTRALIA
Action Sport: Parkour
History: Tracing its roots back to the WW1 era and its use on military obstacle courses, Parkour didn't come to popular culture until Frenchman David Belle began training by traversing the streets of Lisses, via running, climbing, vaulting and rolling.
Muscles Worked: Back // Biceps // Quadriceps // Forearms
Athlete of note:David Belle
Kill Factor:MODERATE. A few deaths recorded from high falls. However, joint injuries are rife in the sport. Survival Tip: Respect gravity.
Where do I sign up?:PARKOURAUSTRALIA
Action Sport: Mountaineering
History: Ever since Frodo and Sam trekked through mountain ranges on their way to Mount Doom, men have been hiking mountains and traversing rough terrain, evolving into a sport in the 1850's.
Muscles Worked: Whatever muscles you possess, prepare for all of them to be in substantial pain.
Athlete of note:Bear Grylls
Kill Factor: EXTREME. More deaths than a Rambo film.
Survival Tip: Play Russian roulette instead. It's safer.
Where do I sign up?: AUSTRALIANSCHOOLOFMOUNTAINEERING
First Published on GQ.com.au // October 15, 2015