Long term effects of weight lifting.
There's a thread in Mark's Q&A section called "Rips shoulder" which has turned into a discussion of the long term effects of weight lifting. I decided to move the discussion here since I think Rip has said all he wants to on the topic and my further questions won't be directed at him.
I am curious about people's educated guesses (or if you have evidence that would be sweet) about the following info:
-What % of competitive power lifters have significantly below average mobility or strength after 50 years old and how does this compare to that of the normal population? Does it matter if they only lifted competitively for 2/5/10/15 years?
-What about people who squat about 2x their weight and deadlift 3x their weight several times a week over a period of Y years, recreationally?
-What about people who lift at an 'intermediate' level for 2/5/10/20 years?
Apparently scientific studies haven't been done to precisely answer those questions, but I would expect people for whom weightlifting is a significant part of their lives to have some sort of educated guess about this stuff. For instance maybe you know about 30 former competitive lifters and 50% of them are hobbling around like Phil Jackson and could now easily be beaten in a fight by an average computer programmer.
Over in Rip's Q&A thread, it almost seems like everyone there thinks getting as strong as possible should be my life's ultimate goal regardless of the long term effects. If all some of you care about is being as strong as possible in the short term, why not do steriods too?
Last edited by Symmetry; 06-15-2011 at 11:45 PM.
You failed on 145 so shut the fuck up you weak bitch
I'm curious, Symmetry. Are you just trying to find excuses not to do the program? Or what?
For what it's worth, I'm 49 in a couple of months and I compete regularly in powerlifting. I started training at 41, having never touched a barbell. Before I trained I had chronic but not intense knee pains, neck pains, lower back pains and headaches. All have nearly disappeared. For a couple of years before I lifted, I swam. This caused shoulder impingement which eventually caused me to stop swimming. Weight training cured that too.
I have had numerous small injuries, pulled muscles and the like, which have necessitated temporary changes in training, but no major ones. 6 months ago I broke my leg (outside the gym) and am building back up to my previous numbers again.
I know many, many competitive lifters around 50 years old who have trained longer than I have. All are in significantly better shape than the general population.
People in glass houses should not throw stones...
This is a good question and one to which i certainly don't know the answer.
Some things to consider:
1) it has been shown somewhat convincingly that low calorie diets (1200 cal equiv) prolong life. The mechanisms are not clear, but it happens. Thus, a lifetime of eating an 3k cal a day in order to support that extra 20 , 30 , 50 lbs of muscle prob. isn't good.
2) All that good anabolic stuff that we like, like insulin and IGF-1 and HGH (and i mean the stuff that your body produces naturally , not injected stuff) also causes bad things to grow... like cancer. see e.g. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/ma...pagewanted=all On the other hand people who work out tend to have good insulin sensitivity so overall they may have less insulin running around their blood than people who don't work out. What's the net impact ? no idea.
3) top body builders are reputed to die young... (prof. wrestlers don't do great either) but they are all so juiced up it probably doesn't mean much to someone who doesn't.
4) retired football players have all SORTS of problems ... some of them attributed to being hit in the head and otherwise beaten up, but some of them attributed to just being large and fat even even IF they had massive amounts of muscle. But many of them also start working out when they stop playing.
5) Being heavy is hard on your knees. I don't see why this would vary based on muscle vs fat.
how many of these items are truly independent and how many have common causes... no idea.
On the other hand, my non-lifting but physically active friends in their mid 30s all have already collected things like torn ACLs and other knee damage, dislocated shoulders, a torn Achilles', back pain from various known and unknown causes, etc. (myself i have a somewhat tweaked knee w/ a replaced ACL from a skiing accident, a slightly tweaked back from a low speed car accident and some loose and occasionally hurting ankles that i sprained (badly) multiple times in middle school and hs)
Overall though i'm hoping to work my way to something approaching 2x bw squat and 2.5 x bw DL and hope for the best. i've never stuck w/ lifting for more than 6 months at a time so i'm not sure i'll ever have to deal w/ the consequences. Still SS (and TM etc ) are much more goal oriented than stuff i've done previously so maybe i'll stay motivated longer.
(Not really making a point here, i don't think. just laying out some late night thinking)
I don't think anybody has the data you are looking for.
Originally Posted by Symmetry
The idea is very simple. There's a study that shows that strong people are harder to kill (less likely to die from any cause) than weak people (see MOMG for a description of the study by Dr. Kilgore). Now I still believe that weightlifting is beneficial in the short and long term, but what Rip is trying to say is that there's an important difference between people competing and those that do it in the free time as a hobby. When you compete there's a higher chance of getting injured b/c you're pushing yourself more than the guy who does it as a hobby.
Anyway, there's nobody who can say tell you the exact kind of weights you need to lift to be safe. There's nothing safe in this world. You can get injured by doing a 405 deadlift, or by picking up the TV from the floor, and I don't think you can eliminate the possiblility of picking up heavy objects in your everyday life, but you can be sure that if you deadlift 405 you're not gonna get hurt by picking up a 80 lbs box. My mother suffers from a lot of things, and one of them is knee pain, yet she never squatted. My dad suffered from diabetes, even though he never ate 4000 cals a day like most of us in here. So really getting old sucks, but probably it's better to be strong than weak at 60 years old. Even if I decided to not to continue weightlifting I 'd still do SS though.
In the end it all comes up to you. It's your life and your body, do what you want to do with it. Nobody on this board is making you do this so it's your decision.
Last edited by Rezart Erindi; 06-16-2011 at 05:01 AM.
Obviously there's a tax to be paid somewhere. For everything.
If you lift heavy weights, your body will reflect having lifted heavy weights in both positive and negative ways. That really shouldn't be a surprise.
The same is true for spending your life sitting still.
It's up to you to find a balance.
Among the long-term effects of lifting:
2. Strength, aka strempf
5. Athletic aptitude
6. Getting laid more often
8. Better mental focus
9. Being awesome
10. Satisfaction in doing a hard thing the hard, right way
11. Being a better person, more awesome, ruling more, and getting laid more than people who are weak
Steroids will get you bigger muscles, but at the expense of satisfaction, long-term health, and likely your genitalia.
My coach is almost 60 weights about 260, presses 115 kilos over head strictly, competes in weightlifting and does a powerlifting meet once a year "just because". He has to warm up a bit more than he did when he was younger and there are days "he feels old". He also played semi pro football when he was in his 20's.
Another coach is just over 60 and can deadlift 405 cold with no belt.
Chasing athletic performance as your sole goal will always lead to injuries where you are talking about endurance, strength or team sports.