Saturday, October 19, 2019

Money in the Bank - By Burt Gam

I just now finished reading an article by a guy named Daniel Braun. Daniel it seems is a very accomplished guy. I have to begin by crediting him with the article originally featured in OP ED. Powerlifting. Dan holds a JD, LLM and is an adjunct professor. He is a Bronze Medal winning powerlifter and is a Certified Powerlifting Coach. Anyway I found the article quite interesting and feel his message was something worth sharing. The message is simple yet powerful, and to me is the heart and soul of why so many of us toil and sweat with the iron. It has to do with lasting functionality..... or loss of it as we age.

It might not have mattered in my 20s, 30s, or 40s. Not even 50. But I now realize I lift now for far different reasons than when I started. Daniel points out the stark reality that aging is regressive. Doctors measure aging not in a chronological way but rather "a loss of physical or mental reserves". He further states that this decline can come in the forms such as muscle atrophy or sacropaenia, bone mass loss, and neuro-degenerative disorders. Daniel believes that the most effective way to delay the onset of these types of markers is to perform Powerlifting exercises, Bench Presses, Squats and Deadlifts! Why is this so?

It would seem that these three basic exercises will give most people all of the functional strength necessary to perform any tasks likely to be part of one's daily life. Growth hormone and other beneficial hormones are released, muscle and bone mass is maintained, and exercise even seems to provide a degree of neuro-protection.

Additionally, powerlifting or weight training with moderate repetitions he feels is less stressful on the body and more safe than many sports, especially high impact. Furthermore, although strength training alone may not turn you into a marathon runner or even a sprinter, it is a fact that increased strength has a positive indirect effect on the cardio-respiratory system. The chosen example is if a person can squat or deadlift twice their weight they will have a much easier time climbing flights of stairs than if the can only lift their bodyweight. Additionally, although typically performed in slow controlled fashion, increasing strength will provide the potential for increased power and speed. Dan states that a 650 pound deadlifter has a better chance of power cleaning 300 pounds than someone who deadlifts 450 pounds. Sure sounds logical to me.

And this is where it gets a bit depressing, but sooner or later age catches up to all of us. The analogy Daniel uses is a comparison between building strength and muscle and saving money early in your life, as much as humanly possible. What happens is you build(save) as much as you can in the years you have the capability to do so.As you atrophy(spend) the reserves you have built up, you will last longer than someone who did not. Dan's example is a person with a million dollars can last longer than someone with only a hundred. A strong person will decline more gradually and last longer. Here is how I see it; When you are nearing the end of your journey and you are having trouble getting off of the toilet, you will not wish you had done more cardio but rather that you had squatted more! Down here in Miami I used to jog with a retired IRS agent. I dropped out a long time ago, but I still see this guy going at it. He must be over 80 and although he can run for miles, he is rail thin. I really admire this guy, but had a vision of his beating heart being the last thing left of him while the rest of him disintegrates. But he has the heart of a 30 year old!

Anyway, I thought Daniel wrote an effective and thought provoking article with a simple but powerful message. Like life itself, everything eventually fades. But we can still be strong and healthy well into old age. And at the end of the day, for me having the ability to carry in the groceries at 85 will matter more that what I did when I was 25. Good health and strength to all as we look forward to the new year!
Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com
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