Strength training is like investment

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glorat
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Strength training is like investment

Post by glorat » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:48 am

Here's a random segue to test the bogleheads community!

I'm one of those outlier people who gets interested in the fields where the majority is usually wrong. Strength training and personal investment are two such fields. It's great to find that minority community (and yes Bogleheads are still a minority) where information is correct.

Personal training and personal investing have lot in common! Firstly, both are a minefield because
  • Most internet information out there is unhelpful or often wrong
  • Professionals make it out like it is complicated and needs you to pay to get the right custom plan
  • Professionals will make overly complicated plans for you
  • Professionals will charge you huge sums for their services just because you don't know better
  • Over the long term, you don't get the gains you could be getting due to the cost and complexity
  • What people think is important often is not what is actually important
But if you have the right information in getting started, you can do much better than most of the average punter
  • Investment and strength training are both very simple
  • 2-3 funds, or 4-5 compound lifts are all you need to get going
  • Set a plan and stay the course!
  • It is psychological - it is hard to believe that simple can be best
  • If all you do is the basics, you will be ahead of at least 80% if not 95% of the population
  • The time and effort in self learning the basics are well worth it compared to paying pros
  • All the advanced stuff doesn't make as much of a difference as one may think, even though it is fun to talk about
I'm in this forum looking for like minded people. Are there strength training proponents out here? Does the above look familiar? Anything to add or disagree? Are there other fields that have the majority usually being wrong. (E.g. I consider myself a Blockchain expert but can't stand 90% of what is being done and talked about out there)

For those not familiar with strength training, I'm happy to take Q&A on this. For those who want to know where I'm coming from, the canonical source is the book Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe (https://startingstrength.com/). Or for a more user friendly guide to the topic - https://stronglifts.com/ by Mehdi Hadim

tibbitts
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by tibbitts » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:57 am

glorat wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:48 am
Here's a random segue to test the bogleheads community!

I'm one of those outlier people who gets interested in the fields where the majority is usually wrong. Strength training and personal investment are two such fields. It's great to find that minority community (and yes Bogleheads are still a minority) where information is correct.

Personal training and personal investing have lot in common! Firstly, both are a minefield because
  • Most internet information out there is unhelpful or often wrong
  • Professionals make it out like it is complicated and needs you to pay to get the right custom plan
  • Professionals will make overly complicated plans for you
  • Professionals will charge you huge sums for their services just because you don't know better
  • Over the long term, you don't get the gains you could be getting due to the cost and complexity
  • What people think is important often is not what is actually important
But if you have the right information in getting started, you can do much better than most of the average punter
  • Investment and strength training are both very simple
  • 2-3 funds, or 4-5 compound lifts are all you need to get going
  • Set a plan and stay the course!
  • It is psychological - it is hard to believe that simple can be best
  • If all you do is the basics, you will be ahead of at least 80% if not 95% of the population
  • The time and effort in self learning the basics are well worth it compared to paying pros
  • All the advanced stuff doesn't make as much of a difference as one may think, even though it is fun to talk about
I'm in this forum looking for like minded people. Are there strength training proponents out here? Does the above look familiar? Anything to add or disagree? Are there other fields that have the majority usually being wrong. (E.g. I consider myself a Blockchain expert but can't stand 90% of what is being done and talked about out there)

For those not familiar with strength training, I'm happy to take Q&A on this. For those who want to know where I'm coming from, the canonical source is the book Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe (https://startingstrength.com/). Or for a more user friendly guide to the topic - https://stronglifts.com/ by Mehdi Hadim
I think there is not much of an analogy here. Everyone's investments operate on the same available markets, at least in the publicly accessible space. Strength training does not operate on the same available body, everyone is different, and everyone won't respond the same way to the same inputs.

takingcontrol
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by takingcontrol » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:59 am

Awesome. Gonna look into it.
I agree, my dad is 80 and has been lifting and running since he was 40. Never seen a doctor and not in a nursing home. Healthy as a horse.

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abuss368
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by abuss368 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:00 am

I was a DIY in both investing and training. Competed in powerlifting over the years. Would definitely agree. A lot of bad advice that many folks think is the gospel.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

Turbo29
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by Turbo29 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:07 am

Very similar in that both personal trainers and financial advisors are generally unnecessary.

anon_investor
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by anon_investor » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:08 am

I agree there are a lot if parallels. But just like asset allocation is very personal depending on goals; while the basic compound exercises may be the same the number of sets/reps, weight, training schedule is also very personal depending on goals.

jebmke
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by jebmke » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:10 am

Turbo29 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:07 am
Very similar in that both personal trainers and financial advisors are generally unnecessary.
How does the Lazy Portfolio fit into this entire theme? :P
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Topic Author
glorat
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by glorat » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:11 am

tibbitts wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:57 am
I think there is not much of an analogy here. Everyone's investments operate on the same available markets, at least in the publicly accessible space. Strength training does not operate on the same available body, everyone is different, and everyone won't respond the same way to the same inputs.
As long as the human body in question is healthy, strength training operates the same on pretty much all beginners. And the body will respond pretty much in the same positive ways to the same input program. I'm referring specifically to a Starting Strength based program here (like Stronglifts), so not the typical mainstream gym or PT program.

The response of a healthy beginner, male or female, young or not too old is similar - 3-6 months of gains that will make your stronger than the average gym goer, which obviously comes with muscle mass gain and a body fat conversion towards a healthy level. I used to have access to several hundred data points to back this up but I've lost it... Mehdi Hadim probably still has a good body of evidence though.

Topic Author
glorat
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by glorat » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:15 am

jebmke wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:10 am
Turbo29 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:07 am
Very similar in that both personal trainers and financial advisors are generally unnecessary.
How does the Lazy Portfolio fit into this entire theme? :P
I'm so glad you asked! An entire beginner's strength program can be built around 4-5 compound lifts
  • Barbell squat
  • Barbell bench press
  • Barbell overhead press
  • Barbell deadlift
  • Barbell row/power cleans (or other pulling motion)
As a novice, that's all you need. How much can a novice lift? Go check out https://exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/ ... hStandards and see... I think for those new at this you'll be shocked how heavy a novice can lift. And for those who go through a starting strength like program, you can be shocked as to how fast you can progress in 3-6 months and wonder why you bothered paying professionals to get you nowhere.

As for lazy... each gym session only involves 3 lifts of the 5. Doesn't get much lazier :)

Turbo29
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by Turbo29 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:22 am

You know what's going to happen here, a chorus of replies will tell you how dangerous it is to lift free weights. Of course it's not. (I just deadlifted 395lb and will be 64 in a few months. Going for 405 lb next time.)

Staying strong as one ages is extremely important. I do heavy squats now so that I will be able to get out of a chair or off the toilet by myself later.

petulant
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by petulant » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:31 am

I see the analogy. I dabbled in fitness for years before getting very serious about a year and a half ago. It turned out discipline with training and diet are the key--same as with investing. Garbage in, garbage out. Stay the course. Pick something simple but effective. Much less complex than the majority think.

A trainer can help once in a while, but they're often not the core of long-term fitness.

Well, I would write more, but I'm headed to the gym!
Last edited by petulant on Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
glorat
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by glorat » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:31 am

Turbo29 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:22 am
You know what's going to happen here, a chorus of replies will tell you how dangerous it is to lift free weights. Of course it's not. (I just deadlifted 395lb and will be 64 in a few months. Going for 405 lb next time.)

Staying strong as one ages is extremely important. I do heavy squats now so that I will be able to get out of a chair or off the toilet by myself later.
Congrats! I'm still an intermediate at this stuff... proud I can deadlift 130kg weighing 65kg.

Normally, I'd never come near to evangelise this stuff uninvited to a random forum but I'm hoping these forum goers are used to batting away all the stories about how dangerous it is to be investing in the stock market while it is at an all time high, when those CAPE or Shillers are telling you you're about to lose all your money so it is obviously the worst time to start being a Boglehead. We'll see if I trigger a flame war or if we stay boglehead constructive.

I'd love to be deadlifting when I'm 64. It means I still won't be hurting my back picking up my grandchildren. PIRE. Physically independent when I retire early :)

bondsr4me
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by bondsr4me » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:32 am

There are people who know absolutely nothing about investing and/or strength training.

It’s those people that do need help, at least to get pointed in the right direction.

Not all advisors (those who are fiduciaries) are out to pick people’s pockets (ie; Rick Ferri and others like him).

This forum is very helpful to many people too.

But for people who truly don’t understand what they are doing, they should seek responsible, honest, ethical help.

They should expect to pay for financial advice (just as they should expect to pay their doctor, lawyer, accountant).

As for strength training, I don’t go overboard with it.
I do about 130,140 pushups 5 days/week. I do 4 sets: first one is 25, 2nd is 30, 3rd is 35, 4th is 40,
Sometimes I may do 4 sets of 30 or 4 sets of 35 or any variation.
I also lift light weights: dumbbells of 15 or 20 lbs.
I also walk about 2.5 miles 5 days/wk; play racquetball 1 day; play 9 holes of golf 1 day/week.
Yoga 2 or 3 days/week.

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nativenewenglander
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by nativenewenglander » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:39 am

I've been doing my own investments since my teen years as my dad taught me how to invest, plus how to make money.
I've been an avid runner, cyclist and hiker since my teen years as well. I added weightlifting this year to my exercise as I need it for alpine skiing. It's made a big difference in my running especially hills. I do fairly light weights, no more than 70 lbs but lots of reps.

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by Cyclesafe » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:40 am

OP, I never put these two together. Thank you for posting!

I've kept my weight down and maintained my fitness/appearance/health simply by limiting carbs, limiting portions, daily 15 minute circuit training on a home weight machine, and daily one hour runs. I deviate from the "diet" when tempted and "rest" when life messes with my routine.

I have looked into having a personal trainer and like with the financial advisor I fired decades ago, I just can't see the value. OTOH, DW loves her Pilates instructor and wouldn't be happy only with a home reformer - even though she has been taking "lessons" for more than 10 years.
"Plans are useless; planning is indispensable.” - Dwight Eisenhower

tibbitts
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by tibbitts » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:44 am

glorat wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:11 am
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:57 am
I think there is not much of an analogy here. Everyone's investments operate on the same available markets, at least in the publicly accessible space. Strength training does not operate on the same available body, everyone is different, and everyone won't respond the same way to the same inputs.
As long as the human body in question is healthy, strength training operates the same on pretty much all beginners. And the body will respond pretty much in the same positive ways to the same input program. I'm referring specifically to a Starting Strength based program here (like Stronglifts), so not the typical mainstream gym or PT program.

The response of a healthy beginner, male or female, young or not too old is similar - 3-6 months of gains that will make your stronger than the average gym goer, which obviously comes with muscle mass gain and a body fat conversion towards a healthy level. I used to have access to several hundred data points to back this up but I've lost it... Mehdi Hadim probably still has a good body of evidence though.
My point is that a common theme of Bogleheads is that spending just a couple of minutes a week on investing - if that - is all anybody needs. You "set it and forget it." So if you're saying strength training works that way, count me in.

stoptothink
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by stoptothink » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:47 am

Strength training is a topic I know A LOT MORE about than investing. I keep it simple in both areas of my life.

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305pelusa
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by 305pelusa » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:47 am

glorat wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:48 am
Here's a random segue to test the bogleheads community!

I'm one of those outlier people who gets interested in the fields where the majority is usually wrong. Strength training and personal investment are two such fields. It's great to find that minority community (and yes Bogleheads are still a minority) where information is correct.

Personal training and personal investing have lot in common! Firstly, both are a minefield because
  • Most internet information out there is unhelpful or often wrong
  • Professionals make it out like it is complicated and needs you to pay to get the right custom plan
  • Professionals will make overly complicated plans for you
  • Professionals will charge you huge sums for their services just because you don't know better
  • Over the long term, you don't get the gains you could be getting due to the cost and complexity
  • What people think is important often is not what is actually important
But if you have the right information in getting started, you can do much better than most of the average punter
  • Investment and strength training are both very simple
  • 2-3 funds, or 4-5 compound lifts are all you need to get going
  • Set a plan and stay the course!
  • It is psychological - it is hard to believe that simple can be best
  • If all you do is the basics, you will be ahead of at least 80% if not 95% of the population
  • The time and effort in self learning the basics are well worth it compared to paying pros
  • All the advanced stuff doesn't make as much of a difference as one may think, even though it is fun to talk about
I'm in this forum looking for like minded people. Are there strength training proponents out here? Does the above look familiar? Anything to add or disagree? Are there other fields that have the majority usually being wrong. (E.g. I consider myself a Blockchain expert but can't stand 90% of what is being done and talked about out there)

For those not familiar with strength training, I'm happy to take Q&A on this. For those who want to know where I'm coming from, the canonical source is the book Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe (https://startingstrength.com/). Or for a more user friendly guide to the topic - https://stronglifts.com/ by Mehdi Hadim
I am fairly involved in the fitness field and read quite a few books on the subject. I train almost exclusively calisthenics but did dabble in SS a few years ago. I'd say there's some differences:

1) The novice can get away with a limited number of lifts a la SS. But you outgrow that fairly quickly. Intermediate programming (generally required after 2-3 years of consistent training) tends to be more complicated. It needs to be periodized (at least from a weekly perspective) and a slightly wider range of exercises are necessary.
I have personally gotten to Rippetoe's "advanced" stage (defined as not being able to improve via weekly periodization). So I have to plan cycles of 4-8 weeks to make consistent progress. Other techniques like Daily Undulating Periodization start to become much more useful.

So the 3-Fund portfolio works as-is for decades. In training? Complexity must continuously go up. You can read this in Rippetoe's own writing (Practical Programming).

2) Investing benefits from compounded returns. That's a convex exponential. In training, you have diminishing returns (a concave exponential). It gets harder and harder to make ever smaller increases in fitness adaptation.

I absolutely agree with the more general theme that web misinformation (and complexity) plague both investing and training. It plagues many fields actually. And that the simpler solutions tend to be far more effective than you'd think and work far better than 99% of the approaches out there.

Cheers OP

FI4LIFE
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by FI4LIFE » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:53 am

I somewhat agree but will tell you that compound lifts are not the harmless, fool proof, miracle exercises that Medhi and Mark Rippetoe make them out to be. After all, they are both marketing their routines for profit. Have you met an old powerlifter without nagging injuries from lifting? I haven't. Most I know rely on daily painkillers of one form or another.

Don't get me wrong, I love the compound lifts but my torn bicep tendon, sore hips and toe joints like them less. After several years I have learned to dial it back a bit. I'll turn 40 this year and now rarely squat or deadlift out of fear of further injury. I never made it past intermediate numbers and no longer care.

Turbo29
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by Turbo29 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:57 am

FI4LIFE wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:53 am
I somewhat agree but will tell you that compound lifts are not the harmless, fool proof, miracle exercises that Medhi and Mark Rippetoe make them out to be. After all, they are both marketing their routines for profit. Have you met an old powerlifter without nagging injuries from lifting? I haven't. Most I know rely on daily painkillers of one form or another.

Don't get me wrong, I love the compound lifts but my torn bicep tendon, sore hips and toe joints like them less. After several years I have learned to dial it back a bit. I'll turn 40 this year and now rarely squat or deadlift out of fear of further injury. I never made it past intermediate numbers and no longer care.
And I've met people who never lifted anything heavier than a 6-pack of beer and the TV remote who have had hips, knees, and shoulders replaced. Look at your TV ads, all those painkillers are not being marketed to only people who lift weights.

stuper1
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by stuper1 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:15 am

For personal investing, you want to be widely diversified in stocks and bonds, preferably using low-cost index funds.

For personal training, you also should be diversified. You need strength training, but you also need cardio, core, stretching, and maybe balance exercises.

I was a runner for a long time and just thought weights were only for lugheads. When I got into my 40s, I found I was losing a lot of muscle mass, and that's when I started doing strength training. I definitely feel much stronger now and feel better overall, with much less aches and pains when I get out of bed in the morning. So, I'm definitely all for strength training, but I still run and do core/stretching/balance exercises as well.

stoptothink
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by stoptothink » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:22 am

FI4LIFE wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:53 am
I somewhat agree but will tell you that compound lifts are not the harmless, fool proof, miracle exercises that Medhi and Mark Rippetoe make them out to be. After all, they are both marketing their routines for profit. Have you met an old powerlifter without nagging injuries from lifting? I haven't. Most I know rely on daily painkillers of one form or another.

Don't get me wrong, I love the compound lifts but my torn bicep tendon, sore hips and toe joints like them less. After several years I have learned to dial it back a bit. I'll turn 40 this year and now rarely squat or deadlift out of fear of further injury. I never made it past intermediate numbers and no longer care.
Former competitive powerlifter here. I'm 38 and have experienced the requisite torn biceps tendon, 2 knee surgeries, myriad of shoulder issues, lumbar issues, etc. I still pull pretty heavy (2.5x+ bodyweight) on a regular basis, but am unable to squat or press any serious weight without issues. A lot of my training time is now spent doing more strongman type stuff (sled pulling/pushing, various carries) because it places less direct stress on my spine and shoulders, and a lot of movement prep/prehab just so I can move well enough to continue hiking and biking with the wife and kids.

FWIW, I actually quit lifting for ~5yrs after tearing my biceps at 22 and became a triathlete. I actually experienced more injuries from running (ruptured achilles, plantar fasciitis, ITB syndrome, "runner's knee") 40+ miles a week than I did lifting. I played D1 football and had a grand total of 1 minor injury (torn meniscus) in 9yrs of football, but have a very healthy medical file due to training. I've actually written a few blogs about my addiction to athletic competition and how injuries have dictated the course of my athletic "career".

gold99xx
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by gold99xx » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:25 am

Diet.

You can not outlift/out compound movement / out work a bad diet.

Of course, diet is way harder than working out.

Diet!

Topic Author
glorat
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by glorat » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:42 am

305pelusa wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:47 am
I am fairly involved in the fitness field and read quite a few books on the subject. I train almost exclusively calisthenics but did dabble in SS a few years ago. I'd say there's some differences:

1) The novice can get away with a limited number of lifts a la SS. But you outgrow that fairly quickly. Intermediate programming (generally required after 2-3 years of consistent training) tends to be more complicated. It needs to be periodized (at least from a weekly perspective) and a slightly wider range of exercises are necessary.
I have personally gotten to Rippetoe's "advanced" stage (defined as not being able to improve via weekly periodization). So I have to plan cycles of 4-8 weeks to make consistent progress. Other techniques like Daily Undulating Periodization start to become much more useful.

So the 3-Fund portfolio works as-is for decades. In training? Complexity must continuously go up. You can read this in Rippetoe's own writing (Practical Programming).

2) Investing benefits from compounded returns. That's a convex exponential. In training, you have diminishing returns (a concave exponential). It gets harder and harder to make ever smaller increases in fitness adaptation.

I absolutely agree with the more general theme that web misinformation (and complexity) plague both investing and training. It plagues many fields actually. And that the simpler solutions tend to be far more effective than you'd think and work far better than 99% of the approaches out there.

Cheers OP
Thank you for an incredibly insightful post. I agree with everything you say and encourage anyone interested in the detail to pay attention to this post. Indeed, my analogy only stretches so far so of course I stay in beginner land generally and I'm hoping to raise awareness of a topic. For the competitive folk out there, I chose my words carefully to highlight it is only the "beginner gains" that is really super cool.

In an effort to stretch my analogy usefully...

If you are competitive in your field, you will suffer outsized losses, through injury to your finances or to your body. But if you do want to be competitive, an average 3-fund portfolio or basic SS isn't going to do it - it will only get you to be average for what a human will do ( which is still better than 80% of the population.)

So for the lazy portfolio people, the closest is to do what my wife did... she trained with me for 5 months. Got really strong for a woman in that time... then retired because she was strong enough and got bored. The thing about strength is that it isn't about muscles, which come and go, but the central nervous system training and knowing how to move one's body safely under load. This skill and capability lasts for life and helps her in our other physical hobbies. It's not quite compound interest for life but it is still a benefit.

In short, to stretch the analogy, FIRE takes decades but PIRE from a starting strength point of view only takes 6 months.

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glorat
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by glorat » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:49 am

FI4LIFE wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:53 am
I somewhat agree but will tell you that compound lifts are not the harmless, fool proof, miracle exercises that Medhi and Mark Rippetoe make them out to be. After all, they are both marketing their routines for profit. Have you met an old powerlifter without nagging injuries from lifting? I haven't. Most I know rely on daily painkillers of one form or another.
Like 3-fund investing, it is only harmless if executed correctly. And in fairness, it is harder to safely execute a deadlift than trading through your broker, and you may indeed want to pay for advice on execution.

I would say that the first 6 months of these programs are generally pretty miraculous due to "beginner gains". I think the average untrained person would find achieving novice level strength per https://exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/ ... hStandards pretty miraculous.

Personally, I don't have much interesting progressing into the advanced levels of strength as that is where the risks start to happen - trying to be in the top 90 something percentiles. Stretching the analogy, I'm happy to achieve average stock market gains as I know I'll be safely 80% ahead of the rest.

wm631
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by wm631 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:53 am

gold99xx wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:25 am
Diet.

You can not outlift/out compound movement / out work a bad diet.

Of course, diet is way harder than working out.

Diet!
Yes. But, not that's not enough - regardless of what the T.V. commercials trumpet. Unless you also want to eventually look like Granny Clampett. And, it also won't help almost unavoidable creakiness, osteoporosis.

It isn't necessary to train in old age as though you're preparing to go 15 rounds with Marvin Hagler (some of us do, though ....) EVERYBODY can - needs to - do some kind of self-regimented daily physical exercise. Kind of like saving methodically in a Vanguard account. No, it won't permit you to live forever. But, it will certainly help your chances of longevity, and improve your quality of life while you're here.

CFM300
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by CFM300 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:03 am

While I'm in favor of resistance training using compound barbell exercises...

Rippetoe's book should not be regarded as "canon" (your word). To the contrary, his versions of the lifts are all non-standard. His squat technique -- the centerpiece of his program -- is needlessly complicated, difficult to perform, and is associated with injuries that should be non-issues for that movement (e.g., chronic elbow tendonitis and adductor tears). He advocates a "high hips" starting position for the deadlift and power cleans, and initiating the overhead press with hip movement. Not indefensibly wrong, but definitely not canon.

As to cost, yes, the book is inexpensive. But his gyms are not. $315/month for 3x per week training.

I also think you're under-estimating the variability of responses to a stock novice linear progression.

Finally, there's a lot more to fitness and health than strength.

tibbitts
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by tibbitts » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:44 am

glorat wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:42 am
305pelusa wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:47 am
I am fairly involved in the fitness field and read quite a few books on the subject. I train almost exclusively calisthenics but did dabble in SS a few years ago. I'd say there's some differences:

1) The novice can get away with a limited number of lifts a la SS. But you outgrow that fairly quickly. Intermediate programming (generally required after 2-3 years of consistent training) tends to be more complicated. It needs to be periodized (at least from a weekly perspective) and a slightly wider range of exercises are necessary.
I have personally gotten to Rippetoe's "advanced" stage (defined as not being able to improve via weekly periodization). So I have to plan cycles of 4-8 weeks to make consistent progress. Other techniques like Daily Undulating Periodization start to become much more useful.

So the 3-Fund portfolio works as-is for decades. In training? Complexity must continuously go up. You can read this in Rippetoe's own writing (Practical Programming).

2) Investing benefits from compounded returns. That's a convex exponential. In training, you have diminishing returns (a concave exponential). It gets harder and harder to make ever smaller increases in fitness adaptation.

I absolutely agree with the more general theme that web misinformation (and complexity) plague both investing and training. It plagues many fields actually. And that the simpler solutions tend to be far more effective than you'd think and work far better than 99% of the approaches out there.

Cheers OP
Thank you for an incredibly insightful post. I agree with everything you say and encourage anyone interested in the detail to pay attention to this post. Indeed, my analogy only stretches so far so of course I stay in beginner land generally and I'm hoping to raise awareness of a topic. For the competitive folk out there, I chose my words carefully to highlight it is only the "beginner gains" that is really super cool.

In an effort to stretch my analogy usefully...

If you are competitive in your field, you will suffer outsized losses, through injury to your finances or to your body. But if you do want to be competitive, an average 3-fund portfolio or basic SS isn't going to do it - it will only get you to be average for what a human will do ( which is still better than 80% of the population.)

So for the lazy portfolio people, the closest is to do what my wife did... she trained with me for 5 months. Got really strong for a woman in that time... then retired because she was strong enough and got bored. The thing about strength is that it isn't about muscles, which come and go, but the central nervous system training and knowing how to move one's body safely under load. This skill and capability lasts for life and helps her in our other physical hobbies. It's not quite compound interest for life but it is still a benefit.

In short, to stretch the analogy, FIRE takes decades but PIRE from a starting strength point of view only takes 6 months.
You seem to be saying that if you train for 5 months and then don't do any training you will retain the benefits for life?

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by Turbo29 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:28 pm

wm631 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:53 am
gold99xx wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:25 am
Diet.

You can not outlift/out compound movement / out work a bad diet.

Of course, diet is way harder than working out.

Diet!
Yes. But, not that's not enough - regardless of what the T.V. commercials trumpet. Unless you also want to eventually look like Granny Clampett. And, it also won't help almost unavoidable creakiness, osteoporosis.

It isn't necessary to train in old age as though you're preparing to go 15 rounds with Marvin Hagler (some of us do, though ....) EVERYBODY can - needs to - do some kind of self-regimented daily physical exercise. Kind of like saving methodically in a Vanguard account. No, it won't permit you to live forever. But, it will certainly help your chances of longevity, and improve your quality of life while you're here.


Yep, it's like money in the bank. Just had a DEXA scan and my bone density is above that of the average 30yo. That comes from strength training, not diet.

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by DB2 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:49 pm

As someone who has been lifting very steadily for the last 30 years, I have always felt there is a lot of similarity in regards to general investing principals often discussed on this forum.

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by friar1610 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:10 pm

Thus is interesting. I've been very faithful about aerobic/cardio exercise over the past 45-50 years (I'm 74) but have never been very good at maintaining a strength training routine for any sustained period (say, 3 months or more). The periods when I've been most compliant with a weight routine have been those where I've kept it simple: 5-7 dumbbell exercises 2-3 times a week and accomplished in about a half hour after my cardio workouts. I see these big hulks who spend hours at the gym and who could break me in two but who may not be able to run/hike/cycle/row for as long as I can and wonder who is really in better overall physical condition. I'm sure the ideal is like a three fund portfolio: cardio/strength/flexibility in an age-appropriate mix based on need, willingness and ability.
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by Seasonal » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:40 pm

CFM300 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:03 am
While I'm in favor of resistance training using compound barbell exercises...

Rippetoe's book should not be regarded as "canon" (your word). To the contrary, his versions of the lifts are all non-standard. His squat technique -- the centerpiece of his program -- is needlessly complicated, difficult to perform, and is associated with injuries that should be non-issues for that movement (e.g., chronic elbow tendonitis and adductor tears). He advocates a "high hips" starting position for the deadlift and power cleans, and initiating the overhead press with hip movement. Not indefensibly wrong, but definitely not canon.

As to cost, yes, the book is inexpensive. But his gyms are not. $315/month for 3x per week training.

I also think you're under-estimating the variability of responses to a stock novice linear progression.

Finally, there's a lot more to fitness and health than strength.
Absolutely. Strength training is an important part of fitness and everyone who can do it should do it. However, Rippetoe should be avoided. His notions of programming are terrible and he's been recommending eating more as a cure for most training problems, even for people with weight and related health issues.

There are much better resources.

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by UpsetRaptor » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:13 pm

This is totally true, and I love the analogy OP. On spread.

The industry hucksters have brainwashed so many (including apparently some in this thread), but hitting the basic principles:
- Work out a few days per week, maybe an hour or so each
- Stick to compound movements
- Progress weights consistently over time
- Eat right, but that's also actually pretty simple
- There are no legitimate shortcuts, and anybody trying to sell you one is a red flag
- No need to overcomplicate things or pay for crazy routines/supplements/advice/etc

Will lead to 90% of results. Same for investing. The one place the analogy breaks down is in effort level. Smart investing is both simple and easy. For most people, once the path is set, doing nothing is often best. Strength training is simple but hard, especially once one is past the initial motivational period and beginner's gains. The motivation to keep at it for years, even as gains inevitably slow to a crawl as you reach grinding-out-reps-forever stage, is a real challenge. But effort level aside, in terms of basic principles, this is a really great analogy.

~ 7 yr lifter

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by UpsetRaptor » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:34 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:57 am
I think there is not much of an analogy here. Everyone's investments operate on the same available markets, at least in the publicly accessible space. Strength training does not operate on the same available body, everyone is different, and everyone won't respond the same way to the same inputs.
In investing, we all have different incomes, COL, pension, retirement goals, etc...But the basic principles, encapsulated here on BH, are the same.

In strength training, sure, everybody's body is different, but all of us do share the same body type of "human", and the basic principles the OP expounds - Lift progressively over time, consistency is key, there are no shortcuts, don't buy the hucksters who try to overcomplicate things - will lead to 90% of results for all of us. In a lot of those veins the basic principles are similar to the basic investment principles. If one thinks that having different proportions and femur length and max genetic potential squat mean that the basic principles are different and warrant specialized customized routines or diet or supplements, that individual has been brainwashed by the industry and needs to do some research.
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:44 am
My point is that a common theme of Bogleheads is that spending just a couple of minutes a week on investing - if that - is all anybody needs....So if you're saying strength training works that way, count me in.
If you replace the phrase "a couple of minutes" with "3 or 4 hours" in the first sentence, then not only is it absolutely true, it's basically an often-parroted quote that could be pulled from r/fitness or forum.bodybuilding.com multiple times a day. Unfortunately, that's still too much effort for most people.

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by tibbitts » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:05 pm

UpsetRaptor wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:34 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:57 am
I think there is not much of an analogy here. Everyone's investments operate on the same available markets, at least in the publicly accessible space. Strength training does not operate on the same available body, everyone is different, and everyone won't respond the same way to the same inputs.
In investing, we all have different incomes, COL, pension, retirement goals, etc...But the basic principles, encapsulated here on BH, are the same.

In strength training, sure, everybody's body is different, but all of us do share the same body type of "human", and the basic principles the OP expounds - Lift progressively over time, consistency is key, there are no shortcuts, don't buy the hucksters who try to overcomplicate things - will lead to 90% of results for all of us. In a lot of those veins the basic principles are similar to the basic investment principles. If one thinks that having different proportions and femur length and max genetic potential squat mean that the basic principles are different and warrant specialized customized routines or diet or supplements, that individual has been brainwashed by the industry and needs to do some research.
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:44 am
My point is that a common theme of Bogleheads is that spending just a couple of minutes a week on investing - if that - is all anybody needs....So if you're saying strength training works that way, count me in.
If you replace the phrase "a couple of minutes" with "3 or 4 hours" in the first sentence, then not only is it absolutely true, it's basically an often-parroted quote that could be pulled from r/fitness or forum.bodybuilding.com multiple times a day. Unfortunately, that's still too much effort for most people.
Exactly, there is a pretty huge difference in time commitment. Especially for someone who works full-time, maybe has kids, etc. there are only so many hobbies/interests they can pursue for "3 or 4 hours a week." So while strength training is certainly a valid hobby/interest, most people would have to give up something else to pursue it. When we reply to a novice considering investing d-i-y, I don't think we ever suggest they might have to spend 3-4 hours a week on an ongoing basis.

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by TxAg » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:32 pm

I like the analogy.

Often times, I use it as motivation to eat healthy and work out.

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by DanMahowny » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:37 pm

Good stuff OP. Love the thread.
Funding secured

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by Brianmcg321 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:40 pm

Befor I even clicked I thought this would be about Starting Strength.

I've trout the same thing for some time. Simplicity is always best.
Rules to investing: | 1. Don't lose money. | 2. Don't forget rule number 1.

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:47 pm

Please stay focused on the investing aspects (relation to strength training).

Workouts can be discussed in the Consumer Issues forum, such as:

- Older Women Lifting Weights
- Pull-ups and Push-ups (body weight)
- Any Boglehead powerlifters?

Brianmcg321, Welcome!
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by brianH » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:01 pm

FI4LIFE wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:53 am
Don't get me wrong, I love the compound lifts but my torn bicep tendon, sore hips and toe joints like them less. After several years I have learned to dial it back a bit. I'll turn 40 this year and now rarely squat or deadlift out of fear of further injury. I never made it past intermediate numbers and no longer care.
I'm about the same age, and have been weightlifting for 25+ years, and I've made some modifications to how I lift now. I don't do barbell benchpress anymore; I do a dumbell press. The barbell always irritated my shoulders (wide or narrow), and dumbell is safer if lifting alone anyway (even though I do have a rack.) I also use a trap/hex bar for deadlifting, which puts way less shear forces on your spine, due to the wight being centered underneath you.

I've also dropped most of the ego. I'm okay if my deadlift is generally stuck at a decent weight. I'm doing multiple reps anyway, instead of attempting to max out. I don't 'push trough' pain anymore; I know the difference between tired/sore and injury at this point.

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by takingcontrol » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:24 pm

Diet has been mentioned a couples times already and I think that should also be added to the list so that we have:
1) how to invest
2) how to exercise
3) how to eat

For the eating part it's pretty basic as well.

Google "Dr. Jason Fung" and low-carb diet and you'll get a ton of really good, free advice that is backed by medical research. His books are not expensive if you want to read them; but you can read most of the stuff in on his website for free.

The majority of Americans are now overweight/obese because they had been following wrong-headed guidance from the government and "experts" for decades. Type II diabetes is becoming a crisis in this country. People start with metformin and are soon on a plethora of other diabetes medications and just keep piling on the weight.
It turns out once again that the complicated advice given by the pros was... wrong.

Low-carb, healthy fats, and intermittent fasting. Miraculous for me personally as I had been overweight/obese for 2/3 of my life. Followed Fung's advice and dropped my BMI 8 points in one year, kept it off, and feel incredible with much improved health.
I can exercise like a boss, too, but could never figure out why after swimming 76 laps or having just run a half-marathon I didn't lose any weight. Turns out that the lion's share of weight loss/gain/maintenance has to do with diet and only about 6-8% (with the 8% for the people are working out just about all day) had to do with exercise.

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:31 pm

I don't really see much, if any, of a parallel between the two. And even if there was one, I don't see how acknowledging it would lead to better understanding of either.
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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by BrklynMike » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:48 pm

Glorat, thanks for posting this. I've been thinking about doing the same for a long time now but on the Starting Strength forum, rather than here. It's amazing to me how people react to both the three fund portfolio and the starting strength method. After twenty years of training and investing, I like to think I have evolved or enlightened into accepting both the three fund portfolio and the starting strength method of training. The simplicity and effectiveness of both methods is unparalleled, but some people react very strongly to both ideas.
"In a world of uncertainty, one should focus more on the consequences than the probabilities." - Benjamin Graham

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by TxAg » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:54 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:31 pm
I don't really see much, if any, of a parallel between the two. And even if there was one, I don't see how acknowledging it would lead to better understanding of either.
Buzz kill......

How about:
Keep it simple
Delayed gratification
Plan for tomorrow
Invest in your future
Take the bull by the horns
Blah blah blah

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by whodidntante » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:01 pm

I have competed in powerlifting meets, and I agree with some of the parallels to investing you identified. However, I am also aware of some strength coaches who are responsible, well informed, and candid. So working with them is similar to how working with Rick Ferri is nothing like a strip mall Edward Jones fleecing specialist, although I'm a client of neither.

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by Michread » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:04 pm

glorat wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:15 am
jebmke wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:10 am
Turbo29 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:07 am
Very similar in that both personal trainers and financial advisors are generally unnecessary.
How does the Lazy Portfolio fit into this entire theme? :P
I'm so glad you asked! An entire beginner's strength program can be built around 4-5 compound lifts
  • Barbell squat
  • Barbell bench press
  • Barbell overhead press
  • Barbell deadlift
  • Barbell row/power cleans (or other pulling motion)
As a novice, that's all you need. How much can a novice lift? Go check out https://exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/ ... hStandards and see... I think for those new at this you'll be shocked how heavy a novice can lift. And for those who go through a starting strength like program, you can be shocked as to how fast you can progress in 3-6 months and wonder why you bothered paying professionals to get you nowhere.

As for lazy... each gym session only involves 3 lifts of the 5. Doesn't get much lazier :)
The big 5 workout takes 12-15 minutes a week as per the book Body by Science. It’s only one set per 5 lifts. I highly recommend it.

Here is a summary/review of the program:
https://www.complete-strength-training. ... ience.html

Also Doug has videos of the workout on his website:
http://www.drmcguff.com/watch/

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Re: Strength training is like investment

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:11 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (derailed to discuss workout techniques).

Please continue the momentum and discuss strength training in the Personal Consumer Issues forum. Feel free to bump an existing thread or start a new one.
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