Old school football managers are often heard to confess they're "as sick as a parrot" because despite the lads "giving it 110 percent", their team has just taken a severe pasting.
The problem is, 110 per cent just isn't enough of an overcrank for the modern world we live in. The proof comes in the form of environmental scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia.
If Joye were a Spinal Tap Marshall amp's volume knob, she'd go up to 18, as the eco-boffin explains in this piece on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill: "I am somebody who if I believe in something, I give it 180 per cent."
That's an impressive 70 per cent improvement on the best efforts of professional footballers, and a total humiliation for those of us who struggle on a Monday morning to give it a pathetic 30 per cent.
In case you're thinking that Joye's claim to superhuman effort is exceptional, American sportsmen have been pushing the envelope for years. Indeed, way back in 1993, Cleveland Indians outfielder Glenallen Hill insisted he and a teammate were "giving 190 per cent effort".
Not to be outdone, basketball star Karl Malone upped the ante in 2005 when he declared: "I look at basketball as 100 per cent physically and 100 per cent mentally. And if I can't bring you 200 per cent, from me, I can't bring you anything."
Interestingly, 200 per cent appears to be the absolute upper limit of human performance, in which case it's reasonable to suggest the scale is divided by 50 per cent and capped at a peak of 100 per cent. ®
Thanks to Paul Landon for his 210 per cent effort in bringing us this news.