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Tuesday, February 20. 2018
The useful article related to aging is here.
also, re weights:
I disagree with the powerlifts to failure. I do tend to agree with that "repetitions x sets x load" equation for most men and women over 45 or 50. Still, we aren't talking about light weights. We're talking about 25-30% of your one-rep max. Younger folks, or experienced exercisers, can ramp up the load. Generally speaking, at any age, the max number of reps for powerlift sets should be 10-12. For smaller muscle groups (eg arms, calves) it's fine and safe to burn it out with 20 reps.
Use it (stress it) or lose it.
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This guy goes to failure
Ah, but how can one lose the Buddha Belly? It just appears magically one day!
The minimum threshold for hypertrophy is about 60% of 1RM. If the weight is not heavy enough, you don't get muscular growth. That's why walking doesn't make you jacked (it's too low a % of your legs' 1RM). Using 25% - 30% of 1RM will be a waste of time. That IS light weight.
Most people can work in the 10-15 rep range with 60% - 75% of 1RM.
Read Mike Isreatel. He's both a professor of exercise science and a bodybuilder. He also seems to be right wing.
I watch NatGeo on TV a have watched the various shows were indigent and ancient cultures and tribes live natural hunter gatherer lives. The one constant is the incredible condition of these people. They can work 12 hours day after day, they can travel incredible distances by foot, they can climb trees to harvest food. They look like they are in good shape and are tough and sinewy. The have never lifted weights in their life! Most of their daily exercise is little more than walking. Hmmmm!
I think what most people in 1st world countries think of when they think of exercise for health are really thinking about "looking good". they worry about their percentage of fat, their waistline, their biceps.
What, exactly, is healthy conditioning? Is it pumping iron search for mr goodbar Arnold Schwarzenegger muscles? Is that the be all end all?
I think it is trying to concentrate a day of physicial activity into an hour.
That is actually a reasonable conclusion. Because hunter gatherer cultures spend so much time hustling for their food and necessities they put in long physical days which results in good/great conditioning. But to the point, it does imply that weights are not essential for conditioning and walking and other aerobic exercise do improve physical condition. Weight training is probably a reasonable and suitable way to condition yourself when time and lack of other exercise is not available.
Yes! That is the reason most people don't find that their workouts are effective and why they quit lifting. They lift too light and not to failure.
The trainer Dan John has lots of great information on weight/strength training for middle aged people. Start here - but all his stuff is great. I lost my desk-job belly and put on muscle using his complexes and other simple routines.
Start here for examples of his common-sense approach to strength training - one theme that repeats is the idea of 5-6 basic movements that engage the whole body as it is meant to work, rather than "bodybuilding" exercises for each muscle:
Here's his famous 40-day workout, with a great analysis of what most of us really need in a fitness program... I used this program to shed my 20-year desk job belly in 1 year:
One of the problems I find with "trainers" and other professionals who offer advice on exercise is that they are not qualified in a very important area of this field. Most trainers are between early 20's to mid 40's. In life they are like middle school students in their life experience. They have yet to suffer the pain and suffering in old age from over doing exercise when they were young. Is weight lifting to failure the smart thing to do? Maybe yes if you have short term goals; kind of like being a boxer or a professional football player in that for short term gain you sacrifice health. Have you ever seen an interview with Cassius Clay?
For those of you under 50 something I understand why you are right now disagreeing. You lack the experience you need to understand what hyper-exercise is doing to you. I am not 100% disagreeing with it. If you really, really want to play football and be a millionaire and are aware of the risks I say go for it. If you really want to flash muscles and think it will either make your 20 something years great or bring back those years now that you are 40 something I say go for it. BUT be aware that when you are 60 something you will pay the piper.
I am not arguing against exercise. I am arguing in favor of modest and beneficial exercise over the hyper-weight ignore the pain approach.
If you want to live like a hunter-gatherer, I say go for it! I wonder how your physique and health would be thought starting that lifestyle in middle-age (or elder age) as opposed to doing it your whole life.
Or, you could go to the gym a few days a week, look better, and be healthier. Another commenter was ragging on extreme training, sports, etc. But that's a false dichotomy (nothing vs full bore). You don't have to become a professional bodybuilder to reap benefits from strength training. As the original post noted, sarcopenia is a big problem with aging people. Learning how to combat it, from people who know what they're talking about, is a good thing.
You failed to grasp the point of the discussion. Several "experts" have claimed that you must lift weights and do so to muscle failure and all else is simply not exercise. Or they may have essentially said those things in different ways. The point is that clearly and demonstrably walking and common everyday work is good exercise and creates a conditioned body. Yes! I concede that super workouts with super weights will in fact build super muscles which of course will be followed by regular visits to doctors and physical therapy as you age. Why do that? If your goal is to win Mr America or to be a line backer in the NFL or a star in the WWE than I get it and good luck to you. But if your goal is to improve your physical health and maybe your physical appearance too maybe just maybe working out with very heavy weights until you are "jacked" may be a mistake. And further, my point is that a young man fresh out of community college with an associate in exercise has no clue, yet, that this can cause you problems when you get older. I would feel much better if a 74 year old MD who was also a weight lifter was on the pulpit telling me how great it is to exercise until you are "jacked". But, somehow, I don't think that is what he would say. I think instead he would look back and say I wish I knew then what I know now I would have been much nicer to my body.
P.S. I am a 75 year old man who has exercised all my life, heavy weights, marathons, every team sport and still enjoys physical activity. I would advise against regular sustained heavy weight workouts and suggest instead high reps with lower weights and lots of aerobic exercise as well. Just my opinion. Get back to me when you are 75 and tell me how it all worked out for you.