The Sims 3 Athletic Skill Guide: Make Your Sim an Athlete
This Sims 3 Guide was originally written for the PC and Mac versions of the game, but also will help owners of the console versions - PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Please remember some info or numbers may have changed.
In The Sims 3, with the Athletic skill, your Sims can enjoy longer, healthier lives. The longevity boost afforded by the skill is not necessarily useful if you are using aging, but for realism's sake, the fittest Sims will outlive the average Sims. Your characters can learn to train others, and help them to learn the Athletic skill faster. The skill is also used in the professional sports, military, and criminal career tracks. It certainly isn't the most useful skill in the Sims 3, but your Sims do have a chance to earn some money here and there by completing the opportunities that come their way.
Players with the World Adventures expansion will find that the athletic skill has new purpose for them. It's now helpful along with the Martial Arts skill to determine your Sim's likelihood of winning a fight with a mummy or another Sim. There is also a lot of open space where your Sim would normally have to walk, and may get there faster by taking a jog. Lastly, World Adventures' dungeons feature hidden doors which can only be opened by Sims with a high enough Athletic skill.
Ways to Raise The Sims 3 Athletic Skill
Golf Driving Range in Showtime
This new object, found under outdoor activities, gives Sims yet another way to raise their Athletic skill.
A bug affecting the gym since day 1 has been fixed as of June 2013. Working out at the athletic center and getting the gym buff now properly increases your skill gains in athletics, as opposed to actually decreasing them. So head on to the gym to get your Sims the best workout!
Take an Athletic Class
You can take Athletic Classes at the gym in town. This is the best way to gain the first level, as going from level 0 to 1 in any skill in the Sims 3 takes a bit longer. The Athletic class will get you that first level very quickly.
Swimming Free at the pools in your neighborhood, Swimming raises athletics. I love it in real life, but don't like it in the game because there is reportedly a slim chance of drowning.Aerobics with Televisions or Stereos: I tested both of the cheapest models of television and stereo. They both allow you to use workout. Unfortunately, they're grouped here because the workouts you do with each are the same. Sims will do jumping jacks, squats and stretch side to side. I don't recommend doing the cardio challenge this way, because it doesn't add to the marathon runner challenge's stat tracker like treadmills and jogging do.
Run on Treadmills: Buy them from the Study tab, indoor activities. There are also free treadmills at the gym. Treadmills add to both Marathon Runner and Fitness Nut challenge stats, I believe, so it is a great way to train unlike the television.
Workout Machines: These machines can be found in the gym, or under the indoor activities section of build mode. I never actually purchased one, as my Sim enjoyed the bonus to skill learning offered by visiting the Gym. Using these machines, Sims lift weights and work toward the Body Builder challenge.
Jogging around Town: Available once you've learned the first level of athletics skill, this will allow Sims to jog around the neighborhood. A great and sometimes visually pleasing way for your Sims to exercise. Works for both Marathon Runner and Fitness Nut challenges.
Abilities Gained Through AthleticsThe athletics skill can provide several perks. Here's a list of the abilities, not training styles, that the athletic skill in Sims 3 has to offer:
Jog: Again, your Sims get this upon learning the skill. This is a nice, free, way to get in a workout with your Sims without going to the gym. I actually enjoy it, because the graphics in the Sims 3 look good enough that I love watching the terrain and sky as my Sim left to jog just before dawn. This will give your Sims progress toward the fitness nut and marathon runner athletics challenges.
Pumped!: As a level 3 athlete, Sims can gain the pumped moodlet after exercising for a while. This will inhibit the sleepy, tired, and exhausted moodlets allowing your Sim to get just a little more done before crashing.
Run Faster: That training has paid off. At level 5, Sims will run faster.
Athletics Styles Sims Use While Exercising
Higher levels in athletics unlock new styles of training that your Sims can use while exercising. These actions can be used to train longer, harder, or faster. Certain actions are good for certain types of wishes once your Sim has developed an interest in Athletics. Here is a rundown of the athletics training styles in the game, by level. To exercise in a different way, select the drop down box with the exercise in your Sim's action queue.
Don't Break a Sweat: Gained once your Sim has learned the athletic skill. Used to prevent Sims from getting sweaty while exercising. Useful for getting in Sims' workouts, and progressing toward challenge goals without getting all messy before work.
Good Pace: If your Sims have a nice, long day to devote to a workout, use this to allow them to endure longer without getting fatigued. This should get the most out of a day's workout before fatigue sets in. The ability is gained at level 3.
Push Yourself: Gained at level 5. If you want to complete the work out for 10 hours wish that will eventually come up for your Sim, you'll want to use this style of exercise. It will let your Sim train for a much longer period of time, and even see a boost to the athletic skill's growth rate. The drawback? It does make the Sim more sore, but if you really want them to get a phenomenal workout, this is the style to use!
Quick Burst: Use this if you don't mind that your Sim will get very nasty and sweaty in a short period of time. Provides a very fast boost to the athletic skill, although at the cost of a shorter workout. Available at level 7 athletics.
Athletic Skill Challenges
After working out with weights for 60 hours, Athletic Sims will no longer grow fatigued from strength workouts. This does include Martial Arts' block breaking, so it's a great challenge to complete for owners of World Adventures who want their Sims to be able to collect gems all day.
Have your Sim do cardio workouts for 75 hours and they'll no longer be fatigued by these kinds of activities. It can be useful when on adventures, when your Sim is sometimes forced to walk.
Run a distance of 500 kilometers to allow your Sims a longer lifespan. This only works through the treadmill and jogging. Note that you can knock out this challenge along with fitness nut by doing either of these options, so it's usually the best option to complete the challenges quickly.