Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your body?

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Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your body?

Postby davebo » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:10 pm

Growing up, I played soccer and baseball thru HS. I never really got too much into lifting weights outside of sports. Now that I’ve made a commitment to get into better shape this year, I’ve been following a basic weight lifting and exercise program along with keeping a very close eye on my diet.

I’ve also been reading a little bit more on strength training programs and all that. Most people that are really into strength training recommend the big compound lifts like deadlifts, squats, clean and press, etc in order to see results. However, as you continue to read their sites, you realize that these guys have a laundry list of injuries. Torn rotator cuff, no cartilage in the knees, back problems, bulging disc, etc.

I guess you can chalk these things up to being a meathead in their youth, but their programs all show that they continue heavy lifting doing the same exercises. My only assumption is that the pain has become the “new normal” and maybe staying strong/lean helps them deal with it? Or maybe their inner meathead comes out and they can’t walk away from lifting heavy weights, or recommending it.

Ditto with hard physical sports like football or hockey or something like that. I work with a guy that played hockey and now his kid does. Another one played football and now his kid does. Both guys knees are totally shot, back problems, and have had multiple concussions due to the time in the sports.

Maybe I’m not as manly though….I liked my time playing sports growing up, but didn’t place too much importance on them in the grand scheme of things. If I was walking around with back/knee problems because of football, I think I’d be hesitant to push my kid into that. A lifetime of uncomfort in exchange for 4 years of glory in HS?

Same thing with weight-training programs. I guess what’s the benefit of putting yourself at risk doing deadlifts when, even when performed safely, the chances of injury might be much higher than other lifts. I guess results? But I’d rather have less muscle with no bulging discs.

What do you think?
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby SPG8 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:21 pm

davebo wrote:What do you think?


I think powerlifting as a hobby is not comparable to lifting weights as part of a healthy fitness program.

I think resistance training and high-intensity intervals are necessary to improve biomarkers like HDL and testosterone.

I think injury should be avoided at all costs.

I don't think squats hurt your knees. My knees sounded like the 4th of July just going up a flight of stairs. Now I parallel squat (with dumbbells, and moderate weight), like Mehdi, and my knees are problem free. Doubt I'll ever go to the Olympic bar, and will probably switch to body-weight only in 10-20 years.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby Blues » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:25 pm

I've been working out with weights (not for competition but for strength and health) for about 40 years.

I've had a few nagging little issues over the years but nothing serious.

One doesn't have to go overboard to get results and if done in moderation, minor injuries are very few and far between.

Since I lift without a spotter in my home gym I concentrate on what I consider safe compound lifts...weighted dips and chins, trap-bar deadlifts. None of these require a spotter nor put you in a position of being trapped under a bar.

I also employ dumbbell bench presses (at a weight I can handle for 8-10 reps), standing barbell presses, rows and trap-bar shrugs.

Done twice a week for about a half hour to 45 minutes per session keeps me fit and trim enough to feel good about myself and maintain my strength.

I get my cardio with a lot of hilly walking on our country roads and trails with my Weimaraner.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby tired » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:26 pm

Strength training is great for you. Unless your form is horrible or you decide to devote yourself to becoming a true meathead who can lift SUVs, I wouldn't worry too much about injury. I think the benefit is well worth any small risk. Maybe find a personal trainer to make sure you are lifting correctly?

Check out this guy. 93 years old and took up bodybuilding at 87!
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby K-Bogle » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:27 pm

I've struggled with injuries from free weight training for the past few years and I'm only 33 and certainly no bodybuilder. Mostly issues related to strained tendons and ligaments, etc. Had to give up on free weights for the most part because every time I approached a new max lift I'd end up with some chronic nagging injury and had to take a few weeks off. Kept resetting and never made any progress. Ironically it was all shoulder and arm issues. When I was squatting/deadlifting, my legs, knees and back never felt better.

As of late I've switched to full body workouts with resistance bands and don't feel nearly the same stress on my joints/tendons as I did with free weights, yet the workouts still kick my butt. There's some quality products out there. I've been using Spri bands but plan on upgrading to a higher resistance set from Bodylastics.

Not to say I'll never try free weights again, but clearly I need to get some issues worked out first.
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Postby reggiesimpson » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:33 pm

Contact sports for children (grades 1-12) is criminal negligence IMHO. Its the equivalent of putting your kids in a car wreck every week.........bizarre. Their injuries last a lifetime after they graduate. Its just entertainment folks, thats all. I put heavy weight lifting into the category of "ego gone wrong".
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby dad2000 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:34 pm

My body just can't take the heavy weights. My joints (not muscles) start hurting too much, and I have to back off to avoid injury.

I've adapted my goal to be healthy longevity, not brute strength. As such, I'm shooting for merely above average strength, but high endurance.

My doctor says that I'm now in perfect health, my lab tests are outstanding, and not to change a thing.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby kenyan » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:39 pm

Though I was never a true power-lifter, I have done a fair amount of what I would consider reasonably risky lifting. As I have aged (mid-30s now), I have come to realize the changes in my body's resilience have rendered some of those riskier lifts not worth it. Squats, cleans, heavy bench press with spotter, etc. will all get better results than what I am doing now (machine leg exercises, lighter chest exercises), but my results now are just fine as long as I lift consistently.

In my younger days, most lifting injuries were minor/nagging, but a couple of years ago I tore a pectoral. That was the event that finally got me to consider the risk/reward tradeoff of heavy lifting. I don't think there is much toll on my body now, and whatever toll exists is probably more than offset by the benefits lifting provides in muscle/bone/joint health.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby stoptothink » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:41 pm

SPG8 wrote:
davebo wrote:What do you think?


I think powerlifting as a hobby is not comparable to lifting weights as part of a healthy fitness program.

I think resistance training and high-intensity intervals are necessary to improve biomarkers like HDL and testosterone.

I think injury should be avoided at all costs.

I don't think squats hurt your knees. My knees sounded like the 4th of July just going up a flight of stairs. Now I parallel squat (with dumbbells, and moderate weight), like Mehdi, and my knees are problem free. Doubt I'll ever go to the Olympic bar, and will probably switch to body-weight only in 10-20 years.


+1 from a former competitive powerlifter and long time strength coach. If done correctly (initiating movement with the posterior chain) the injury risk from squatting is miniscule compared to running. Heavy lifting is also very safe, if done correctly; fact of the matter is, unless you push your physiological limits you will not progress. I do not suggest everybody get into powerlifting or olympic weightlifing (or worse CrossFit), but unless you simply want to maintain your level of conditioning it is absolutely necessary to progressively increase loads. I have powerlifted and done olympic lifting for ~15yrs, I competed in triathlons for about 6yrs (inspired by tearing a biceps tendon in a powerlifting meet) and had far more nagging injuries in that time period than when lifting.

Some form of weight-barring activity is crucial for health, especially as you get older.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby CFM300 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:48 pm

"Deadlifting" is just picking something heavy up off the ground. "Cleaning and pressing" is just picking something heavy up off the ground, getting it to your shoulders, and then putting it overhead. Years ago, especially on farms, these sorts of activities were called "chores", and every kid did them. In the gym, these movements are typically (but not always) done with a barbell. That's for convenience -- bales of hay are relatively less dense -- and because barbells are nearly infinitely scalable, which makes them useful for everyone.

If you don't learn how to safely deadlift, how will you move your couch? Or pick up a 10-pound bag of cat food when you're 70? If you don't learn how to clean and press safely, how will you get your suitcase in the overhead bin?

Learn proper mechanics from a qualified coach. Start with light weight, be vigilant about good form, gradually add weight. Be consistent, and you'll get strong, injury free. For about 8 months, I've been working with a 62-year-old woman who had never touched a barbell in her life. Not sure what she weighs, 135# maybe? She can now deadlift over 100 pounds, front squat 75, hang power clean and push press 55. She says that she feels better, stronger, and more confident than she has in years.

"If you think lifting weights is scary, try being weak. That's *really* scary." -Coach Tod Moore
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby SPG8 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:54 pm

CFM300 wrote:Years ago, especially on farms, these sorts of activities were called "chores", and every kid did them.


Nice.

Had a conversation where someone mentioned the fittest they ever were was after a season of tossing hay bales.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby NHRATA01 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:59 pm

Certainly years of a contact sport like Football/Hockey are hard on the body. But it's pretty rare for people out of High School to still be playing football with pads or hockey in a checking league.

Weightlifting if done properly with good form, even with moderately heavy weights is not going to harm you in a similar sense. I'm 33 and closing in on 20 years of lifting, and many of my max lifts are as high as they've ever been, but I don't have any joint issues. Body still feels great. In most cases strengthening the muscle helps the overall joint strength itself. I have an employee who works for me and at 66 has been lifting most of his life, and can still bench 315lbs, and has very good mobility for his age. Versus, say, my father who is a year older and has been rather sedentary for at least 12 years with 2 bad knees and a bad hip. My former HS football coach got into competitive power lifting/bench pressing in his 60s and had no notable issues. I would say weightlifting, short of trying to set world records, is about as hard on the body as routine distance jogging or bike riding is.

I think one of the points to keep in mind, is that some mild "abuse" or stressing of the body is far better for longevity then avoiding activity. Joints and muscles not used can and will fail at a higher rate and take longer to recover.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby asdf » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:03 pm

I think the problem with with heavy compound lifting for most people is that they never learn correct form, or push themselves too hard and break form and get injuries. If your goal is to be healthy, stay in shape, and look good, there's no need to try to lift massive amounts of weight. Just concentrate on doing exercises with weight that you can do good form on for 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps. For me, the cost of injuring myself by lifting heavier weights is not at all worth it (6-8 weeks of rest is the best case scenario, and that's a long time to be hurt and not be able to work out).

Contact sports are a similar story. I grew up playing hockey and lacrosse and had a great time, but I'm not in good enough shape any more to take that kind of punishment. I've played in no-check hockey leagues which is kind of the best of both worlds for me because you can still enjoy the sport with less risk of getting hurt.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby SPG8 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:09 pm

NHRATA01 wrote:In most cases strengthening the muscle helps the overall joint strength itself.


+1
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Postby swaption » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:47 pm

At the age of 48 I'm still playing lacrosse. I'll admit that I'm probably an idiot, but just really enjoy it. Have had the the occasional broken bone (put a plate in my wrist a few years ago), but generally bounce back like new. I figure the occasional body work is a whole lot better than engine work. I guess it's hard to explain to others.
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Postby MrMatt2532 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:08 pm

I recommend bodyweight exercises.

You can get in pretty great shape with pushups/pullups/squats/leg lifts/their variations/other advanced exercises. Risk of injury is much lower IMO.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby stoptothink » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:08 pm

CFM300 wrote:"Deadlifting" is just picking something heavy up off the ground. "Cleaning and pressing" is just picking something heavy up off the ground, getting it to your shoulders, and then putting it overhead. Years ago, especially on farms, these sorts of activities were called "chores", and every kid did them. In the gym, these movements are typically (but not always) done with a barbell. That's for convenience -- bales of hay are relatively less dense -- and because barbells are nearly infinitely scalable, which makes them useful for everyone.

If you don't learn how to safely deadlift, how will you move your couch? Or pick up a 10-pound bag of cat food when you're 70? If you don't learn how to clean and press safely, how will you get your suitcase in the overhead bin?

Learn proper mechanics from a qualified coach. Start with light weight, be vigilant about good form, gradually add weight. Be consistent, and you'll get strong, injury free. For about 8 months, I've been working with a 62-year-old woman who had never touched a barbell in her life. Not sure what she weighs, 135# maybe? She can now deadlift over 100 pounds, front squat 75, hang power clean and push press 55. She says that she feels better, stronger, and more confident than she has in years.

"If you think lifting weights is scary, try being weak. That's *really* scary." -Coach Tod Moore


This.
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Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:24 pm

IMO, most folks who hurt themselves while lifting weights either have poor form or are trying to impress someone by acting stupid (aka too much weight). It reminds me of a kid (not me) who decided to snatch up an olympic bar with two 45's and attempt to press it overhead with no benefit of a rack nearby - the results were predictable, he fell backwards with the bar pinned on his chest, he's lucky he didn't kill himself. :oops:
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby davebo » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:28 pm

CFM300 wrote:"Deadlifting" is just picking something heavy up off the ground. "Cleaning and pressing" is just picking something heavy up off the ground, getting it to your shoulders, and then putting it overhead. Years ago, especially on farms, these sorts of activities were called "chores", and every kid did them. In the gym, these movements are typically (but not always) done with a barbell. That's for convenience -- bales of hay are relatively less dense -- and because barbells are nearly infinitely scalable, which makes them useful for everyone.

If you don't learn how to safely deadlift, how will you move your couch? Or pick up a 10-pound bag of cat food when you're 70? If you don't learn how to clean and press safely, how will you get your suitcase in the overhead bin?

Learn proper mechanics from a qualified coach. Start with light weight, be vigilant about good form, gradually add weight. Be consistent, and you'll get strong, injury free. For about 8 months, I've been working with a 62-year-old woman who had never touched a barbell in her life. Not sure what she weighs, 135# maybe? She can now deadlift over 100 pounds, front squat 75, hang power clean and push press 55. She says that she feels better, stronger, and more confident than she has in years.

"If you think lifting weights is scary, try being weak. That's *really* scary." -Coach Tod Moore


Well just because farmers used to lift things off the ground doesn't mean they feel the wear/tear on their body over time, right?

I don't doubt that people will not get injured if they do it safely AND with proper weight. But that was what I was getting at when I pointed out the serious lifters/coaches that all have chronic injuries/pain. Saying "Deadlifts are ok as long as you use proper weight and correct form", however actually doing that consistently over time appears to be a problem even for the most seasoned lifters.

As far as being able to move a couch and put luggage in overhead, I can understand your point. However my dad is 65, just done moderate weight training, and can lift a couch and put luggage overhead. I don't think you need those exercises for everyday movements, but maybe ask me when I'm 70.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby stoptothink » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:33 pm

davebo wrote:
CFM300 wrote:"Deadlifting" is just picking something heavy up off the ground. "Cleaning and pressing" is just picking something heavy up off the ground, getting it to your shoulders, and then putting it overhead. Years ago, especially on farms, these sorts of activities were called "chores", and every kid did them. In the gym, these movements are typically (but not always) done with a barbell. That's for convenience -- bales of hay are relatively less dense -- and because barbells are nearly infinitely scalable, which makes them useful for everyone.

If you don't learn how to safely deadlift, how will you move your couch? Or pick up a 10-pound bag of cat food when you're 70? If you don't learn how to clean and press safely, how will you get your suitcase in the overhead bin?

Learn proper mechanics from a qualified coach. Start with light weight, be vigilant about good form, gradually add weight. Be consistent, and you'll get strong, injury free. For about 8 months, I've been working with a 62-year-old woman who had never touched a barbell in her life. Not sure what she weighs, 135# maybe? She can now deadlift over 100 pounds, front squat 75, hang power clean and push press 55. She says that she feels better, stronger, and more confident than she has in years.

"If you think lifting weights is scary, try being weak. That's *really* scary." -Coach Tod Moore


Well just because farmers used to lift things off the ground doesn't mean they feel the wear/tear on their body over time, right?

I don't doubt that people will not get injured if they do it safely AND with proper weight. But that was what I was getting at when I pointed out the serious lifters/coaches that all have chronic injuries/pain. Saying "Deadlifts are ok as long as you use proper weight and correct form", however actually doing that consistently over time appears to be a problem even for the most seasoned lifters.

As far as being able to move a couch and put luggage in overhead, I can understand your point. However my dad is 65, just done moderate weight training, and can lift a couch and put luggage overhead. I don't think you need those exercises for everyday movements, but maybe ask me when I'm 70.


Very simplistic way of looking at it. If you do anything remotely physical there is an inherent risk of injury and if you do it for long periods of time, some sort of residual (non-positive) effects are inevitable. The benefits of resistance training far exceed the risks, and compared to endurance activities chronic injury risk is actually less. If you want to remain injury free, lay in bed all day...absolutely do not run.
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Postby chaz » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:46 pm

Too many concussions from football = brain damage.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby davebo » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:57 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Very simplistic way of looking at it. If you do anything remotely physical there is an inherent risk of injury and if you do it for long periods of time, some sort of residual (non-positive) effects are inevitable. The benefits of resistance training far exceed the risks, and compared to endurance activities chronic injury risk is actually less. If you want to remain injury free, lay in bed all day...absolutely do not run.


I don't think it was any more simplistic than "Deadlifting" is just picking something heavy up off the ground.".

Besides, I never said that resistance training isn't worth the benefit. I questioned why trainers who advocate the big lifts continue to push them as the optimal way to train when they are nursing serious injuries (ditto with high impact youth sports).

I'm talking risk/reward.
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Postby SPG8 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:00 pm

davebo wrote:But that was what I was getting at when I pointed out the serious lifters/coaches that all have chronic injuries/pain.


Serious lifters/coaches are interested in moving serious weight, and they'll probably acknowledge that they're susceptible to both chronic and catastrophic injury. Olympic lifters are engaged in redefining human ability, and there is a screen at the ready to shield the public from the grander failures.

None of this trickles down to my basement. You have to be responsible with it, along with dozens of other things in life.

The carnage within the running community seems more pronounced. If you run down the list like that, how do you ever leave the house?
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Postby bottlecap » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:07 pm

davebo wrote:Maybe I’m not as manly though….I liked my time playing sports growing up, but didn’t place too much importance on them in the grand scheme of things. If I was walking around with back/knee problems because of football, I think I’d be hesitant to push my kid into that. A lifetime of uncomfort in exchange for 4 years of glory in HS?


I don't know about football and heavy weight lifting sure seems troublesome at a young age, but I played hockey growing up and play now in a non-checking, but contact league. I never got hurt playing hockey while young, but I admittedly I never played at a really high skill level. I have suffered some injuries as an adult, largely as a result of being older and trying to outplay my age.

I don't think there's anything dangerous about hockey at the high school and below levels. You have to protect yourself and buy decent equipment, largely because you can be moving at high rates of speed. In your youth, your body should be able to take that kind of contact, but you should always be careful about your head.

One guy I play with now did play at a high level when younger and he has some permanent injuries from excessive weight training (stuff they tell you not to do nowadays). Weight training exercises for a young person, other than maybe some basic low-impact stuff seems excessive to me. I'd be leery of it.

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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby stoptothink » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:24 pm

davebo wrote:
stoptothink wrote:
Very simplistic way of looking at it. If you do anything remotely physical there is an inherent risk of injury and if you do it for long periods of time, some sort of residual (non-positive) effects are inevitable. The benefits of resistance training far exceed the risks, and compared to endurance activities chronic injury risk is actually less. If you want to remain injury free, lay in bed all day...absolutely do not run.


I don't think it was any more simplistic than "Deadlifting" is just picking something heavy up off the ground.".

Besides, I never said that resistance training isn't worth the benefit. I questioned why trainers who advocate the big lifts continue to push them as the optimal way to train when they are nursing serious injuries (ditto with high impact youth sports).

I'm talking risk/reward.


This is what you said "Deadlifts are ok as long as you use proper weight and correct form", however actually doing that consistently over time appears to be a problem even for the most seasoned lifters".

Injuries from lifting heavy are almost always acute events. I have deadlifted heavy (not necessarily "powerlifted") for 15+ years and at one point was the AAU California record holder in my class, guess how many injuries I have incurred due to pulling? I had far more injuries in 6yrs of running and actually had more shoulder girdle issues from swimming than lifting as well; these are chronic ("nagging") from repetitive movement not acute injuries. And deadlifting is just picking something heavy up off the ground.

Unless you intend to stay at the same conditioning level infinitum you do have to push your limits by increasing load in some manner (increased weight, volume, intensity, etc), that is a physiological fact. This does not mean everybody should be "powerlifting," I haven't done so myself in about 7yrs, but if you intend to progress you have to push your thresholds in some way on a regular basis. Obviously, people who are injured shouldn't be lifting heavy, or be lifting at all.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby feh » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:38 pm

I think people should listen to their bodies. If they're often injured, they're either doing something wrong or doing too much.

I've done moderate weight lifting my entire adult life. At 46, I do more reps w/ less weight than I did in my 20s.

My primary cardio most of my life was running, but as I got older, my knees and ankles started to complain. I still run, but most of my cardio is now obtained through swimming and biking.
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Postby Curlyq » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:44 pm

CFM300 wrote:"Deadlifting" is just picking something heavy up off the ground. "Cleaning and pressing" is just picking something heavy up off the ground, getting it to your shoulders, and then putting it overhead. Years ago, especially on farms, these sorts of activities were called "chores", and every kid did them. In the gym, these movements are typically (but not always) done with a barbell. That's for convenience -- bales of hay are relatively less dense -- and because barbells are nearly infinitely scalable, which makes them useful for everyone.

If you don't learn how to safely deadlift, how will you move your couch? Or pick up a 10-pound bag of cat food when you're 70? If you don't learn how to clean and press safely, how will you get your suitcase in the overhead bin?

Learn proper mechanics from a qualified coach. Start with light weight, be vigilant about good form, gradually add weight. Be consistent, and you'll get strong, injury free. For about 8 months, I've been working with a 62-year-old woman who had never touched a barbell in her life. Not sure what she weighs, 135# maybe? She can now deadlift over 100 pounds, front squat 75, hang power clean and push press 55. She says that she feels better, stronger, and more confident than she has in years.

"If you think lifting weights is scary, try being weak. That's *really* scary." -Coach Tod Moore


I have a horse property and just moving manure, rocks, and dirt around with a wheelbarrow and stacking bales of hay or bags of feed gave me the strength to pursue competitive power lifting a few years ago. I worked with a certified weight coach before competing and became pretty strong for a 50s woman (dead lift 250+).

I'm currently injured from an equestrian accident (1100 pound horse rolled over on me twice when we fell off of a mountain trail), but am working with a body alignment specialist who will train me to lift again once I am able. I also bicycle for cardio and will say there is nothing like the feeling of being fit and strong to promote confidence in a woman.

I also recently read, "Younger Next Year, For Women," and this research-based book describes that the benefits of strength-training -- improving balance and preventing falls and osteoporosis -- is critical for women as they age. I believe that using free weights is best for the fine muscle control for balance and agility.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby G12 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:54 pm

I played football and baseball for a lot of years, baseball (primarily 3B or catcher which is not kind to the knees) until I was 43 and can't say beyond a few muscle pulls, bumps and bruises I never had an injury that was significant enough to warrant surgery. Much unlike a car wreck and slipping off a platform and landing on the small of my back on some stairs. I don't know what % of kids playing football at the JV or high school level actually experience severe injuries, my guess is it is not that great, but those that do the severity can be extreme. If I had a kid that wanted to play football, hockey or lacrosse I wouldn't say no, but tennis and golf are a lot safer. A lot of guys that play extended years of basketball, especially the pro's, don't move very well after they retire due to years of wear and tear. Young people that are obese now and carry that into their 20's and 30's have no idea what type of long term joint damage they are doing to themselves, it can pale in comparison to active kids playing impact or other sports.

I lifted weights consistently from 14 through 24 years of age and never had an injury related to lifting and that was when I was into heavy weights. After sporadically lifting over the years I quit after playing sports and started having knee, shoulder and back pain but I believe it was more from getting overweight and out of shape vs wear and tear over the years. Finally, about 18-months ago I got on a dumbbell program which incorporates slow, controlled lifting with moderate weight, ie 15-60 lb dumbbells, plus 4 days of cardio per week and feel great. I'm closing in on 50 and feel much better than I did at 46. Two keys are not to over exert yourself and keep your joints from hyperextending/locking out. Even doing slow deadlifts with 30-50 lbs has been beneficial for my hamstrings and lower back. Two 35 minute sessions per week of primarily continuous motion has been a huge positive change in well being.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby Alex Frakt » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:59 pm

Note to the OP,

Do you have specific question about your situation? For example, "Is __________ is an appropriate form of exercise for me, given ____________."

If not, I'm going to have to lock this thread as off topic for being both medical and non-personal.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby davebo » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:30 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:Note to the OP,

Do you have specific question about your situation? For example, "Is __________ is an appropriate form of exercise for me, given ____________."

If not, I'm going to have to lock this thread as off topic for being both medical and non-personal.


Yes, my question is for the experienced lifters. Does the benefit of those movements outweigh the potential risks?
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby EmergDoc » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:38 pm

Hockey is an extremely safe sport and I don't think should be lumped in with football, baseball, and basketball. In 3 decades of playing I can count two injuries, a sprained wrist and a broken finger. You wear so many pads and slide when you hit the "ground" so injuries tend to be relatively rare compared to other sports. It also helps that most people only play full-check hockey between about ages 13 and 23, then go back to non-check. There are tons of over 40 leagues out there. Bad knees from hockey? Never seen it. There's no impact and very little twisting and cutting in the sense that football or basketball players do so.

Which is worse, a few sports related injuries or diabetes, heart disease, obesity etc?
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby momar » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:00 pm

Everyone knows that people who get old and don't lift don't have any nagging injuries, bad joints, or anything else. Right?
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby leonard » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:03 pm

davebo wrote:Same thing with weight-training programs. I guess what’s the benefit of putting yourself at risk doing deadlifts when, even when performed safely, the chances of injury might be much higher than other lifts. I guess results? But I’d rather have less muscle with no bulging discs.


This is a bit of a straw man. The 2 choices are not "zero weightlifting or max effort power lifting". One can lift weights moderately, without constantly testing their max deadlift/squat/bench. Plus, there are other benefits to weightlifting - including bone density as one ages - which may be a benefit. As well as full range mobility of joints. So, consider moderate weight, higher reps as another middle road option with fewer of the risks of all out powerlifting.

As to whether lifting is "worth it" - it's a personal calculus. How highly do you value the benefits versus the injury risk? and, btw, have you really studied the injury risk or are you just assuming everyone that deadlifts gets "bulging disks"?
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby hq38sq43 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:26 pm

Over the years tennis has cost me at least seven surgeries (2 knee replacements, 1 hip replacement, 3 rotator cuff repairs, 1 ankle chip removed). Tennis keeps me sane (I think) and otherwise healthy. The benefits have always seemed to worth the cost.

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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby scubadiver » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:44 am

My father in-law who is in his mid-fifties does boxing, skydiving, scuba diving (caves included) and weight training. Ironically, badminton is responsible for the vast majority of his sports related injuries.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby gatorking » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:50 am

I recommend reading Body By Science.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby 6miths » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:30 am

EmergDoc wrote:Hockey is an extremely safe sport and I don't think should be lumped in with football, baseball, and basketball. In 3 decades of playing I can count two injuries, a sprained wrist and a broken finger. You wear so many pads and slide when you hit the "ground" so injuries tend to be relatively rare compared to other sports. It also helps that most people only play full-check hockey between about ages 13 and 23, then go back to non-check. There are tons of over 40 leagues out there. Bad knees from hockey? Never seen it. There's no impact and very little twisting and cutting in the sense that football or basketball players do so.

Which is worse, a few sports related injuries or diabetes, heart disease, obesity etc?


I tend to agree that the brand of hockey played by the 40+ year old crowd is very safe. As soon as one stops playing contact hockey, most of the injuries related to knees and concussions are out of the mix and you're left with more soft tissue injuries from sticks and pucks along with injuries from incidental contact and contact with the boards which are most commonly relatively minor hand and shoulder injuries. The main key is having everyone recognize that everyone has a day job and that there are no NHL scouts in the crowd (lol). For this, a pick up game of shinny among friends is best and the Adult Safe Hockey Leagues (ASHL) across the US and Canada are second best. The most serious danger in rec hockey is likely the very small likelihood that very intense 'sprint' like exercise will cause heart attacks. Most rinks (in Canada at least) now have automatic defibrillators in the building to try to decrease the risk of sudden death. Though there is a risk, it seems very small. Certainly, I agree that staying in motion is very important to reduce age and fitness related illness and perhaps as important for males is that the activity provides another group with which to socialize. (No not just beer drinking!)
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby momar » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:54 am

The rate of injury for weight lifting is amongst the lowest of any sport.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Safety.html
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby zzcooper123 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:43 pm

Heavy or repeated lifting throughout your life has little to do with osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease or "bulging discs." It one of the great myths of our time. While degenerative arthritis may result from a major trauma, say a hip fracture, genetics plays a much higher role in the development of osteoarthritis. Some evidence that heavy or repeated lifting is actually protective from DDD of the lumbar spine. Lack of conditioning is much more dangerous for the joint.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby EmergDoc » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:00 am

6miths wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:Hockey is an extremely safe sport and I don't think should be lumped in with football, baseball, and basketball. In 3 decades of playing I can count two injuries, a sprained wrist and a broken finger. You wear so many pads and slide when you hit the "ground" so injuries tend to be relatively rare compared to other sports. It also helps that most people only play full-check hockey between about ages 13 and 23, then go back to non-check. There are tons of over 40 leagues out there. Bad knees from hockey? Never seen it. There's no impact and very little twisting and cutting in the sense that football or basketball players do so.

Which is worse, a few sports related injuries or diabetes, heart disease, obesity etc?


I tend to agree that the brand of hockey played by the 40+ year old crowd is very safe. As soon as one stops playing contact hockey, most of the injuries related to knees and concussions are out of the mix and you're left with more soft tissue injuries from sticks and pucks along with injuries from incidental contact and contact with the boards which are most commonly relatively minor hand and shoulder injuries. The main key is having everyone recognize that everyone has a day job and that there are no NHL scouts in the crowd (lol). For this, a pick up game of shinny among friends is best and the Adult Safe Hockey Leagues (ASHL) across the US and Canada are second best. The most serious danger in rec hockey is likely the very small likelihood that very intense 'sprint' like exercise will cause heart attacks. Most rinks (in Canada at least) now have automatic defibrillators in the building to try to decrease the risk of sudden death. Though there is a risk, it seems very small. Certainly, I agree that staying in motion is very important to reduce age and fitness related illness and perhaps as important for males is that the activity provides another group with which to socialize. (No not just beer drinking!)


We had a healthy 45-50 year old guy drop dead on my rink a few months ago. Someone slapped the AED on him and he was awake and normal by the time the medics got him to me at work. Those AEDs work if people will just grab them and turn them on. The AED will tell you everything you have to do if you'll just push the big power button on the front.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby jridger2011 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:20 am

Based on experience and observations of older lifters, if done properly, weight lifting will not destroy one's body. When I think of body destroying sports, Football and Hockey played by young folks do come to mind. However, even the light stuff like running, tennis, and bowling can cause injury from stress on joints. The key is to not overdo it.
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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby Blues » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:28 am

In 40 years of lifting the sum total of my injuries has been a bit of epicondylitis (tennis/pitcher's elbow) and occasional aggravation of an old technical mountain climbing injury to my right shoulder (rotator cuff, primarily). None have resulted in extended absences from participation.

On the other hand, running has resulted in some painful and nagging injuries (in years past) and I was very happy to close that particular chapter and move on. 8-)

All this talk of playing hockey makes me long for the days when I used to play on ponds in the winter and roller hockey the rest of the year.

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Re: Football/Hockey/Weight Lifting worth the toll on your bo

Postby leonard » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:38 pm

Blues wrote:Since I lift without a spotter in my home gym I concentrate on what I consider safe compound lifts...weighted dips and chins, trap-bar deadlifts. None of these require a spotter nor put you in a position of being trapped under a bar.


Squat racks with safeties can allow safe, solo training without a spotter, using very heavy weights. Just make sure to set the safeties to the right height for each exercise and you are set.
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