I used to have knee pain, and I don't anymore. I used to get a sore back from coding all the time, and I don't any more. I seriously recommend trying strength training.
Beginners can often become overwhelmed by all the differing viewpoints and training methods presented to them when researching strength training but (besides avoiding injury by maintaining proper form and generally listening to your body to allow sufficient recovery time) the most important thing by far in anyone's fitness lifestyle is simply consistency in actually working out.
Yeah, I'm in this position. I've been using the machines at my gym (more for variety than any other reason) and when I started looking into strength training, I was swamped with competing methods, many of which instantly sent up red flags in my brain reading "SCAM".
It's difficult for someone from outside the fitness world (me) to judge whether a method is legitimate or if it's simply the fitness equivalent of a get rich quick scheme.
Lift heavy shit over your head. Put it down. Repeat.
To this end, barbell training is pretty much the gold standard in gaining strength. Machines are suboptimal in that they stress muscles in isolation from one-another, and remove the need for compound, coordinated muscle contractions that occur in literally every situation where you would want actual strength. Proper barbell training with compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, overhead press) trains whole groups of muscles at once, including the crucially-important stabilizers which are often neglected in machine-based training.
Starting Strength and Stronglifts are two extremely similar barbell training programs with a very large number of success stories. I've been doing the Stronglifts routine for three months, and am transitioning into Starting Strength as I make my way through the extremely thorough book (which goes into extremely helpful detail about performing the lifts with correct technique). In three months, my squat is now 195lb, deadlifts are 235lb, overhead press at 90lb, bench at 125lb, and barbell rows (which I'm phasing out in favor of power cleans) at 125lb. And I continue to add weight almost every single time I go out.
The numbers aren't super impressive by themselves, but for only three months from having starting at the weight of the empty bar (45lb), I'm seriously thrilled.
I recommend you read this archive of Bill Starr articles:
He taught Rippetoe much of what he knows back in the day.
I think Starr articles are way more readable and useful than most of Rippetoe's stuff to be honest.
In general, you should mix cardio work with lifting heavy things. The ratio will depend on your goals, as will the kinds of lifting you do. All things being equal, exercises that involve more muscle groups and larger ranges of motion will burn more calories than isolation lifting (which is what most machines are set up to do). If you have weak joints or other physical constraints, machines can be a good place to start, as they will provide you some degree of support and help with your form.
Part of the reason you hear about so many methods is that so many of them work. Most are greatly oversold, and in the long run you'll find out what works best for you and ignore the cookbook-style exercise plans, but anything that motivates you to create a fitness plan and stick to it in a disciplined fashion is a good place to start. In fitness, consistency creates more progress than efficiency, and premature optimization is still the root of all evils.
This is one of the main reasons I've stuck with the machines. I have a rotator cuff issue in my left arm that makes that arm very unstable. Lifting heavy things with that arm without any support makes me very nervous, even after doing PT exercises for 4 months.
The reason for this is because many machines have a set path and range of motion. Because not everyone's body is made the same, this can cause problems down the line since the movements are not natural. You are also recruiting less of the smaller muscles in your body that help with stability and balance, while only developing the larger/dominant muscles. I believe that to truly be strong you must train all your muscles to work effectively as one system.
Obviously limitations from injuries are extremely specific to the individual, so your issues may legitimately cause some barbell lifts (particularly bench presses) to be a bad idea. But I do also personally know of a lot of anecdotal evidence that points to freeweight exercise reducing the impact of people's injuries: e.g., knee pain from squats in a smith machine disappearing when performed in a power rack.
Be sure to read the FAQ there. The TL;DR version is to pick up one of the two programs mentioned above (5x5 or starting strength).
I've noticed men avoid these classes because tend to be a majority female attendance (at least at my gym). I do feel like the classes are also geared towards women, but that could just be me or my gym (they call is body-design). I'm not intimidated by that, but I feel like many guys are.
I do these with my girlfriend usually, which helped get into it initially, but I'm often the only guy. Doesn't matter, it's a killer workout. Even though I lift, I still do classes like this each week for general fitness.
What is safe to have at home? I want to avoid a resistance machine or similar, mostly because they look ghastly, and secondly seeing so many on CL leads to believe they are more hype than health.
You can do squats safely without a spotter by using a squat cage. Also, when you place a bench inside of the cage, you can use catch bars to safely bench press without a spotter (the safety bars will catch the bar at chest level when you can't lift it due to exhaustion)
Along with pull ups, bench press, squat, and deadlift are the best exercises for strength. An olympic bar will let you do both deadlift and squat with just a rack.
Just to add that 'safely' in this context means that if you fail at a rep, the cage will catch the bar. Obviously it can't do anything to point out bad form as a spotter, or even a mirror, could.
I use the squat cage at the gym I go to and I wish they had more mirrors. A pair of angled ones so I can see a side-on view would be really helpful.
A mirror only shows the front of you. If you stop looking into a mirror, you'll find that your ability to "feel" your form through proprioception becomes significantly stronger. And it will tell you things that you simply cannot view in a mirror. Try doing an entire session without using mirrors; if you find it difficult or impossible to maintain proper form, that should be an extremely compelling sign that the mirror has become a crutch, and not a very good one.
There's also the unfortunate fact that, by looking into a mirror, you're guaranteeing that your head is tilted farther back than it ought to be for exercises like squats. You never want to have your neck extended while carrying a significant load. It should be in a neutral position — for a squat position, this will equate to looking at the floor roughly five or six feet in front of you.
With just a weight set you can learn to power clean, do front squats with decent weight, zercher squats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq1maZuQTgI jefferson squats/deadlifts. Can also do floor press or put some planks and books under yourself to get full range of motion.
What kind of weight set, power rack, bench to buy you can discuss in equipment forums like http://forum.bodybuilding.com/forumdisplay.php?f=26
Spinlock bars suck though, low weight capacity and annoying to use.
I'm about halfway through the book and I would highly recommend it.
It really simplifies things in the weight room, points you in the right direction, and says "now go do this."
It's pretty much gimmick free, and very straightforward. Highly recommend it.
I'm currently looking for a correctly equipped gym near my apartment in Paris, France. Looks like free weights are not fashionable at all here ...
It's popular so it's bound to have critics.
There's no shortcut, all it takes is lots of barbell training and protein intake over time.
Edit: In response to those who claim squats are bad on the knees, let me clarify what a proper squat is: Depth. Believe it or not, if you only go to "shallow" depths in your squats, you put more stress on your knees than going "deep"(to a point where you're femur is slightly below parallel with the ground). This is simply physics at work. Stopping the squat at any point that is less than parallel is stressing the knees, rather than the much stronger hip flexors, which bear load in a deep squat.
I do deadlifts, and they usually go just fine except when I've messed up my knees with squats, in which case then my knees will die during deadlifts too. Every time I tell myself I can get back into squats gradually I come back demoralized, and it poisons my other workouts too.
Read this for some things to try to protect the knee:
If you can find an FMS certified strength trainer, there's a good chance they could help diagnose your situation. http://www.functionalmovement.com
At some point I read an article called "Everything you know about fitness is a lie" (which has been posted to HN several times), which has a section entitled, "You're only as strong as your weakest muscle". It talks about strengthening stabiliser muscles and exercises to rehabilitate weakened muscles.
The section also illustrates some of the better exercises you can do to alleviate injuries. In particular, there is an exercise for strengthening the knees - I can only describe as a straight leg lift while lying on one's side - which I tried for a couple of weeks, despite the flak I copped from my weightlifting compatriots.
I believe it works the quadriceps, and from my research, the exercise alleviates the difference in strength between the hamstring and the quadricep (don't quote me on this though), which seems to be the cause of my particular joint problem.
However, I've found I can't just go up to a certain point and stop the exercise. I need to continue with it as long as I'm doing squats. It's annoying, because none of my weightlifting crew have this problem, so I think it's got to do with the particulars of my genetics, but whatever works.
I would much recommend dry needling, it's not the same thing as acupuncture.
I'm pretty keen on dry needling of trigger points, given how many things it's fixing for me. But I'm wary of seeming like a new convert -- I think people should consider it as one possible cause of pain, often undiagnosed because it's not a commonly taught concept.
The amount of time I've spent trying to refine my form and then have it do nothing for me is demoralizing. I understand that's the only suggestion people can come up with, and I understand why. I mean, I'm just some random guy on the internet and from that perspective the likelihood that I'm just cluelessly doing it wrong is high. But there comes a point for me at which I can no longer be satisfied with that answer. I've got better form than hundreds of thousands of noobs who successfully do heavier squats than me every single week. I feel like I'm chasing a holy grail of form religiously, like if I could just find the right number of centimeters to separate my legs or the exact right angle of my knees or the exact right balance of weight on my heels then everything will work out.
To warm up for squats, try some or all of the following:
- using a rowing machine
- running for a little bit
- "high knee" jogging -- on the spot, lifting your knees up to your chest
- doing lots of bodyweight squats, then lots of squats with just the bar
- kettlebell swings (making sure to bend your knees and throw your butt back at the bottom of the swing)
- cycling (taking care with knee position if you get knee pain there -- I get knee pain cycling if I throw my knees out sideways; trying to lift them vertically works much better)
- If you're squatting high bar, switch to low bar because it puts less stress on the knees.
- Practice the "asian squat" stretch. Squat all the way down while keeping your weight on your heels and sit there for a while. Do you have a tendency to want to tip forward onto the balls of your feet when you do that? If so, that's a problem and you need to practice this position more.
- Get a foam roller and foam roll all sides of your legs (especially your IT band) and your glutes before squatting. I have chronic IT band tightness on one side that pulls on something in my knee and gives me pain around the patellar tendon, but it goes away when I foam roll the side of my leg.
- Do lots of warmup reps with bodyweight and/or just the bar.
- Don't stop at parallel. Squat below parallel, until you get a "bounce" from the stretch reflex of your hamstrings. If you stop at parallel, there is shearing force on the patellar tendon as that's where the tension is at the time when you change directions. But if you go all the way down, there is almost no load on your patellar tendon at the bottom when you change directions--the load is transferred to your glutes and hamstrings.
Based on what you've told me, I really think it's likely you aren't squatting down low enough, and that's irritating your patellar tendons.
Another possible thing to TRY (if it hurts don't do it) are Goblet Squats. Look up a youtube video and you will quickly see what it is. It is a very effective way of increasing hip mobility so that if/when you do try to do squats again your hip flexors will take the weight instead of your knees.
Also, (this is extremely important), google "low bar squat form." Anyone with knee issues should be doing low bar squats (in fact they are all I do, because they are as good as high bars but easier on the knees). If the bar isn't resting BEHIND the traps and on top of the delts, then you are doing a high bar squat which puts far more stress on the knees.
Look up videos by Rippetoe. He is controversial for advanced lifters, but for beginners he is a good resource. He is also a huge advocate of the low bar squat, and he has a video on Vimeo where he talks for several minutes in detail about positioning the bar for the low bar squat. Get the bar position correct, and the squat will take care of itself.
Squatting correctly is more nuanced that it would first appear. Starting Strength 3rd edition explains the mechanics of the squat in great detail and justifies why you should squat in a certain way.
Not everyone can squat but most people are just doing it wrong. It is such a useful exercise that you should be very sure that you actually can't before you give it up.
You can get good critique of your form by posting a video at the starting strength forums where you might also find useful information from a search for patellar tendonitis/tendinitis.
I know I could just look past that but it seems like that attitude might pervade the design of the workout. What if I just want to be healthy and symmetrical with good posture and strong without being "rock-hard" and "ripped" which would turn off my girlfriend anyway?
This is where I usually get some kind of injury with p90x. Actually, just yesterday I think I pulled my trap a bit. Now it hurts to hold my left arm out (as if reaching to shake someone's hand).
Anyway, I work out for surfing. I'm happy with the p90x results, but again, starting to feel 10 years older than I really am at this point and I don't like that. I should mention, I'm doing everything possible with supplements, nutrition, stretching, and rest to fix that.
How do you feel on the stronglifts program after some time? Are you frequently sore, tight, etc...? Is it more/less injury prone than other workouts? Thanks!
As for tightness and injury... I think a crucial and under-stated facet of strength training is that when you are strength training, the pre-eminent concern is good form. Until you are competing and meets, there's no reason to focus strictly on lifting the highest possible weight. In fact, there is no time pressure, you have plenty of time to set up and rest after sets, no one is watching you, nothing to cause you to sacrifice your form. I just set up slowly, made sure I was confident for every lift, and tried as hard as I could to make each lift go through the full range of motion. It was a surprisingly slow-and-contemplative process (and workouts for me were about an hour each). As a result, I didn't find myself any tighter/less flexible, and I haven't gotten injured. I see a few friends get injured, but they also tend to be the friends who sacrifice form for weight-on-bar most often. There's no need to do that if you just check your ego at the door.
Point is, all sports can lead to injury. But strength training is naturally suited to making that easy to avoid.
With Stronglifts, it's every other day for about 45 minutes including a bit of warm-up time. So far, this has proven to be a great pace for me as it allows me to still be quite busy with work, etc. while allowing sufficient time to recover in the off days.
Weight training actually helps prevent injuries. If you don't have that as a part of your routine, you should add it.
I'm a fan of body weight exercises; no equipment needed (beyond things like a door or a table). I started with Mark Lauren's book , which has a set of 10 week programs and lots of exercises to choose from. I could probably plan my own program now, but it was good to have a start to learn exercises beyond the basic push ups and sit ups (although you can get along way with those), particularly (for me) lower body ones like squats and lunges.
The page you link to looks a bit like typical internet marketing sales letter spam so I'm a bit skeptical of it, but I'll give the download a try.
I too feel better than I ever have physically.
If you get bored easily and have finished P90X, then move on to Cross Fit. You can easily substitute workout days that don't require equipment for days that do.
In HS we did a variant of Strong lifts, the core lifts are great if you want to bulk up, but if you just want to get strong and tone, I'd suggest finding something else. I don't like to do the Olympic lifts only. I know you get a lot of muscles from them but I think everyone needs other exercise too (running, pullups, swimming, biking, etc.)
I'm doing a bit of everything now. Olympic lifts, a couple isolations, P90x, HIIT, running, biking, pull/push ups, and yoga (which I think is very important to overall fitness). I want to add swimming into that and attempt a tri.
If you only do Stronglifts or Starting Strength, you'll only accomplish what those programs are for, seems like a no brainer, but some people fail to realize this. Also, some people don't realize how much diet impacts all of these things.
Come join us on /r/fitness (Reddit)!
It is good that they attempted to control for things like cardiovascular fitness but on there are also confounding factors like genetics and selection bias that are harder to look at (ie maybe the genetic variants that make it easier to build fast twitch muscles are what has the protective effect and increased strength training won't help someone without those genes).
That being said I highly endorse bouldering and rock climbing in general as a way to build strength and move towards a healthy life style for people who don't enjoy typical gym workouts.
Sadly, I, like so many other people, "fell off the wagon" and more or less quit lifting, gained a bunch of weight, and now, a few years later, I find out I'm diabetic and I wind up in the hospital with a life-threatening condition known as DKA.
Moral of this story: Get your ass in a gym and lift some weights! And step away from the buffet table. Don't be stupid like me. Especially for the younger folks here, and the people who are already in good shape, if you ever take one bit of advice from an "old guy" take this one: Take care of your body. When you're 20, even 30, it's real easy to assume that you don't have to worry about your diet, about exercise, etc... it all seems to come so easily, and it's SO easy to rationalize not going to the gym, eating that extra Snickers bar, drinking those couple of extra cans of Coke, etc. Don't do it. It will freaking catch up with you, sooner or later. Don't wait until you're 40 and lying in a hospital bed to think "Oh, maybe I should clean my diet up and get some exercise".
Why would that be something that should be forgiven? Marketing is awesome, and I - for one - am a huge Seth Godin fan.
Great article, too. That's a great point about "panic when there's still time to do something about it". You should probably submit that to HN as a standalone submission, actually.
pointing out that the study design here doesn't involve random assignment to strength training of any kind, but rather just observation of the study population over time. Sure, it's a good idea to be stronger rather than weaker. Moreover, it is plausible that exercises that tend to develop strength (as measured in the study) have health benefits above and beyond merely developing strength. There is certainly no reason not to exercise based on this finding. But there is also not a strong reason to predict a longer rather than shorter life from your personal strength measurement, even though the study did the usual kind of regression analysis to control for other independent variables. Simply put, this was not a treatment-control study design,
so no inference of causation is supported here. The authors were careful to write the word "association" (which is honest), and the authors were careful to investigate all-cause mortality in this study population (which is thoughtful), but we don't know yet how much you or I can improve individual lifespan by doing strength-building exercises.
AFTER EDIT: The comment by micro_cam, which deserves your upvote for getting me started on my comment, is especially astute because it mentions that this was not a genetically sensitive study design. To answer the question posed in one of the replies this comment received, that will eventually be an issue worth looking at, which sorts of "endophenotypes" gain the most benefit from what sort of exercise. But we are nowhere near that level of precision of investigation yet. The statement about limitations of the study at the end of the submitted article mentions more issues.
Picking up on something I learned from the late Richard Feynman's comments on the Challenger explosion investigation, I would like to see a scatterplot of these data displayed over the calculated regression line, to see how much uncertainty still surrounds their model. As it is, the confidence intervals around the death rates for different categories of strength overlap considerably, so there are some strong people with the same mortality risk as some of the weaker people.
And please don't After Edit me, I find it patronizing.
Nate Silver's book and xkcd have confused this issue but a bayesian does not generally make strong assumptions about a prior distribution.
A Bayesian can make strong assumptions about the hierarchical structure of probability distributions linking the paramaters/priors to the observations. Frequently she will then use uninformative prior distributions (like a really broad normall) on the paramaters of interest to avoid confirmation bias and combat overfitting when doing inference.
The debate between modern frequentists (like Larry Wassermann whose blog I linked) and bayesians (like Andrew Gelman) has more to do with weather analysis done with an assumed hierarchical model is a good idea. Everyone recognizes that bayes' theorem is valid and priors are a usable tool at this point.
If you provided me research that showed, weakly, that using racial epithets did not affect a politicians chances of re-election (in relevant countries and scenarios, etc.), I would not discard my existing prior that it does, and I would be right to do so. But I would keep it in mind for the next round of evidence in the event I could be wrong.
In this case, no professional statistican is going to perform a Bayesian analysis to tell you the probability that making yourself stronger will cause a decrease in your all-cause mortality. No one is going to aggregate that information and tell YOU what YOU need to do, in this case as in so many others. But there is enough information that you should nonetheless, and this study, like it or not, does add to that information, not detract from it.
P.S.: I disagree with using uninformative priors except when they are warranted. This is how alternative medicine masquerades as "Evidence-based Medicine."
You need to understand that a clinical trial on this matter is nearly impossible.
1) Imagine the cost of holding a clinical trial over 20 years.
2) Imagine the difficulty of trying to get people to adhere to a workout routine for 20 years!
3) Given what we already know, it's probably unethical to tell a control group not to exercise or build significant muscle strength.
4) Finally, even if you work out all the issues above, imagine trying to get funding for a hugely expensive study trying to answer the question of whether strength training lowers these risks when it's already widely regarded as healthy.
The researchers are very aware of the limitations, so they went to great lengths to exclude the most likely confounding variables.
> there are also confounding factors like genetics and selection bias
To be more accurate, these are potential confounding variables. It's very possible that the association would hold up if we could adjust for these variables, too.
Causation here is not proven, that's true, but taken together with everything else we know, it does strengthen the case. E.g. we can independently explain the mechanism whereby the heart is strengthened by resistance training. I'm not an expert in either cancer or heart disease, but I would love to hear whether we can explain the mechanism of action already.
As a scientist I dislike the trend of observational studies getting massive press (see associations between Wine, Coffee, Chocolate etc and health/lifespan) because, as you say, we are doing (and should be funding more) studies on some of the underlying mechanisms but it is difficult to summarize them in a punchy headline.
There are have also been some really elegantly designes observational studies that use comparisons between family members, twins or features of the population to reduce bias in an ethical way.
Arguing that something is true because it is too difficult to research the subject properly seems just wrong on so many levels.
I find research ideologies like this at its very core highly dishonest. Sure, people who are really into the subject and methodology understand a study's limitations. But all it does is leading on the media to hype one week the story "A makes you live longer" and another month later "A makes you die faster".
As Edward Tufte says, "Correlation is not causation but it sure is a hint." That increased strength improves life expectancy should be the null hypothesis. At least at the one end, extreme frailty is a common eye test for poor health. Since this isn't a scientific journal here, but a discussion, I think most of us would agree that stronger people often have more resources to ward off disease, cope with temporary reductions in nutrient bioavailability longer, can defend themselves from threats more easily, and can avoid more dangerous falls by maintaining their center of balance. And that's not a comprehensive list.
Personally, I'm satisfied that increased strength reduces all cause mortality and I believe the link is strong enough to be actionable now. I'm an evangelist for it among my older friends and relatives. One way strength reduces deaths is by preventing common injuries, e.g., falling and breaking a hip. A recent study showed that a simple graded test of sitting on the ground to standing could differentiate mortality risk sharply. While we can't measure how much strength and how many years it adds, not least because that's just a vague question, the link here was almost an order of magnitude from the lowest grade to the highest grade for one repetition of standing from the ground.
This produces a statistical association but, especially with genomic factors, factor y can just be something that randomly identifies the group.
Similarly in this data set you might find a group of people who have higher strength because of genomic factors that make it easier for them to build strength from the same workouts as "normall" people. These people might also come from a subpopulation (farm famlies, people of Slavic heritage who knows) that has lower rates of cancer for genomic or cultural reasons. Even a small number of such people can make the association look significant though it will disappear once you remove them.
It could also be something like a certain food or diet making it both easier to build strength and preventing cancer.
Some of these results are probably valid but if you want to scientifically extend your life you need to do so with statistical rigor.
I don't believe you make every, or even remotely close to most of your decisions in daily life by this standard. Human brains aren't designed to and don't have the energy to do so.
However, in my job, I analyze large medical datasets. You will understand if I get a bit pedantic about such things.
Doing some strength training is a probable plus on several fronts with few risks. However if I am advising doctors or the presidential physical fitness council to recommend strength training vs endurance training vs focusing on diet on an institutional level I need to look at the evidence for each with more rigor.
So endurance running, which I would guess you would categorise as marathon+ will decrease your life expectancy.
Edit: /s/will/could Depending on how much running you already do.
Exercise for higher quality of life and a better looking body, the longevity benefits are overrated.
Fundamentally, this is why we know get consistently conflicting advice about nutrition: we take cohort studies as law instead of using them to form hypotheses that are tested with well controlled experiments.
An active area of research for me is analyzing (multivariate non linear) regression models to characterize sub populations in which an observed effect is strong or weak for large genomic studies. Correlations, p-values and univariate linear models are frustratingly insufficient in many cases and effects seen across the entire population may lead to recommendations that are bad for a large numer of people.
(I'm not saying everyone shouldn't go step away from the keyboard and move some iron...just talking stats.)
All of these correlate well with mortality. Causation is harder to prove on these longer timescales. e.g. more likely to be strong and exercising because you are more robust, or more likely to be more robust because you are strong and exercising. Or if both, as is likely, to what degree and circumstance.
Is it being strong, or is it side effects of processes that are involved in building and maintaining muscle mass the old fashioned way - e.g. hormetic effects of regular exercise, that cause mild cellular stress and thus boost housekeeping processes to better maintain tissue?
Studies in shorter lived animals support causative roles for exercise and maintained muscle mass in long term health. For other data points, one could look at, for example, the fact that calorie restriction (not normally noted in conjunction with building strength) considerably reduces age-related loss of muscle mass and strength through a range of not fully understood mechanisms.
In their study, no over 70 years old who had a walking speed of over 1.36 m/s (about 5 km/hour) died. That makes them conclude that that must be the grim reaper's top speed.
This article actually answers both your questions:
One reason for that difference could be that the WNPRC monkeys were fed an unhealthy diet, which made the calorie-restricted monkeys seem healthier by comparison simply because they ate less of it. The WNPRC monkeys’ diets contained 28.5% sucrose, compared with 3.9% sucrose at the NIA. Meanwhile, the NIA meals included fish oil and antioxidants, whereas the WNPRC meals did not. Rick Weindruch, a gerontologist at the WNPRC who led the study, admits: “Overall, our diet was probably not as healthy.”
So, monkeys on a calorie restricted diet are not healthier than monkeys on a healthy, unrestricted diet, but are healthier than monkeys on a diet of monkey junk food.
There are no human longevity studies for the obvious reasons. The current consensus is that it won't add more than a few years to life. If it did reliably add to longevity to a significant degree, we'd already know about it for one, and secondly there are a range of evolutionary arguments for why CR produces larger effects on life span in shorter-lived species - since it evolved to adapt to famine (~= weather) conditions, which come and go on a fixed timescale depending on their cause, not one that is relative to species longevity.
Reconciling tremendous proven health benefits versus little extension of life span is one of those interesting sidebars that will fall out of the scientific process at some point.
You'll never get follow-up funding with a title like that.
"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit"
If you present your paper "Healthy men who engage in a well rounded exercise regimen live longer, healthier lives" everyone is just going to go "well duh."
You almost certainly use some kinds of technical jargon at your job, there is no need for this weird anger about research scientists using jargon in the same way.
"Well duh" does not count as evidence for a claim, and the claim wasn't about a well-rounded exercise regimen but was rather more specific.
Simple precision is good.
If one seriously believes the BMJ would let a questionable study be published, think again. I'm not saying everything that is published in high quality peer reviewed journals is absolutely true, but it is subject to so much scrutiny that is unlikely to have an evident flaw in the reasoning, or at least some that is not properly mentioned in the article or letters to the editor.
Which leads us back to why are so many here angry at the conclusion - because many answer seem emotionally charged.
Among the tools offered to you to try to increase your lifespan, and especially the "high quality" years, is physical effort.
There is even a very positive message there - you don't have to be in a perfect physical form, or do sports, to get the gains- muscle mass alone is enough.
If you have had health problem, say broken bones, reduce mobility, pain, whatever, you can still get some of the positive advantages of muscle mass with weight training - which can be done at home, in a gym, anywhere.
You may not get as much benefits as somebody fully healthy (ex: if you hip is not working, it will be a problem to train both legs, etc.) but it is still better than nothing!!!
Exercice, as in improving the muscle mass, is well known to have positive health effects. If one does not exercise, the blame is not to be put on the lack of time, but rather on the lack of proper prioritization.
Although if we just play with the thought and assume a causation between strength and mortality and if you are under 60 years of age or have a BMI over 25 and you want to minimize your mortality rate, your one-repetition maximum (1RM) strength goals in a lifting weight / body weight ratio would be x:
Bench press: 0.7 < x < 1.1
Leg press: 1.4 < x < 1.9
I thought it was crazy to try, but I swear it's added 50lbs to my deadlift with one sprint work out a week for 3 months.
Going from 475 to 525 is a pretty incredible increase in my deadlift considering I was adding about 5lbs a month before.
The results are drastic, and unlike with marathon running, you don't lose muscle, instead you gain it.
You lose fat FAST and gain strength in the process . Can't recommend it enough!
Note: I thought that EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) meant you burnt calories for the next 24 hours, but that's possibly not as significant as it appears :( 
This. I didn't know what HIIT was, but I figured out something like it for my daily exercise. Result was repeated shin-splits and painful knee injuries
Or just compare 100m competitors with marathon competitors for muscle mass
Long distance runners do use anabolic steroids amongst other PEDs. 
"For example, Lyubov Denisova tested positive for Prostanozol and Testosterone in 2007. She has won the Honolulu and Los Angeles marathons and has been 2nd place at New York."
Prostanozol is an anabolic steroid.
In fact, the regimen of muscle fatigue/recovery is different between endurance sports and 'strength' sports
A marathonist is not limited by his/her muscle mass. A strength athlete is.
Yes, some marathonists may use AEs, but it's much rarer than other PED (like EPO, HGH - which also helps with recovery, blood doping, etc)
Prostanozol is actually a "prodrug" (yes, it is an AE). "Prodrug" usually means more liver damage and less results than a proper AE cycle (as it's called) and there are better alternatives.
"These results highlight the importance of having at least moderate levels of both muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness to reduce risk of death from all causes and cancer in this population of men."
Thanks for sharing your sprinting knowledge.
My workout usually includes a 5 minute warm up period, followed by about 15 minutes of running as fast as I can that day. From there I usually hit the bike for a cool down and to burn extra calories.
I never did this on purpose. I did it because I love the feeling of having your heart in your throat. Apparently I am not the only one.
From it: "skeletal muscle tissue is resistant to cancer, and furthermore, not only to cancer, but of metastases going to skeletal muscle" (not entirely true, you have rhabdomiosarcomas, though they are rare and may originate in connective tissues, but she's definetely on to something).
I'm only peripherally aware of the scene, but I know there's at least 3 massive, established online social fitness communities, for links and otherwise:
Why would the added "stress" on heart and other organs all of a sudden become harmful?
You aren't supporting that whatsoever.
I have been doing strength training for a couple of years now and I can ensure you that it changed my life: better health, better quality of life, better code (I'm more focused).
It would have happened simply by walking around as a fat guy.
I get synvisc injections every 6 months and I've returned to training. Trigger point therapy seems to do the rest.
edit: my point being that from the PT's POV, the more intense the strength training, the more likely a serious injury will occur during training.
Stop right there. Please don't conflate the scamish, lets forget form and get our clients hurt XFitters with actual strength training (which I've never seen an XFitter do). XFit is great that it excites some people who would not normally work out, but its execution leaves a lot to be desired.
TLDR - get of whey protein, you'll get stronger live longer.
Oh, so I don't fall into the same trap, here are scientific studies in favor of Whey protein:
TLDR - http://s3.roosterteeth.com/images/Ataxx50e4c5160c877.jpg
> my 2 cents
means my two cents, you take it as you will. Hearing negative stuff is always hard but its the truth. So go looking around the internet for studies that are pro whey, and believe them and justify your habits and don't worry about my friend.
I think you need to figure out how to internet man, oh and s/of/off/ it is driving me nuts how ridiculous "get of whey" sounds.
You were starting to touch on a really important point, and what ultimately is good advice: don't workout to get big, train to reach a goal. Take up a sport, and then workout to get better at that sport. This will give you the motivation to keep pushing yourself and helps stave off the inevitable boredom that doing the same thing day after day will bring.
Doing excessive amounts of sports stops being healthy at some point but overall its still alot better than todo nothing of course.
There was a guy on HN a c ouple of weeks ago that had a sudden cardiac arrest in the gym while running on the treadmill and he is 22 years old. He just survived because he was incredibly lucky.
Those cases are extremely rare of course, just saying that working out is not without risks, especially in pro athletes. Its never a bad idea to go see a cardiologist if you work out alot.
Some other training ideas: your finger extensors are extremely important and making them stronger will improve your contact strength (somewhat paradoxically). There are many exercises to improve them.
Also, work your entire hand, not just contact strength. I strongly (haha) recommend Captains of Crush grippers. They don't directly translate to climbing, but they will make you stronger and balance everything out.
As for a specific fingerboarding plan: google "Eva Lopez".