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Weightlifitng strengthens your heart, bones, and lungs?

  1. Mar 12, 2015 #1
    Is it true that weightlifting strengthens your bones, your heart, and your lungs?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2015 #2

    Suraj M

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    To an extent ,i guess! You can't say a weight lifter will not get a heart attack, and about 15% of heart conditions are hereditary.
    There's also an increase in bone density due to weight lifting, It actually all depends on the person doing the lifting, if he is in bad shape, with a heart condition, or old it's not advisable,
    What do you mean by strengthen?
  4. Mar 12, 2015 #3
    Increased lung capacity.
  5. Mar 12, 2015 #4

    Suraj M

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    If you really want to increase your lung capacity, i don't think weight lifting is a very effective one, compared to methods.
  6. Mar 12, 2015 #5
    Weightlifting in the most extreme form will not do much for your cardiovascular system, but you will see an increase in bone density, tendon strength and a faster metabolism as you continue to train closer to your 1 rep max. However, you can train within the strength endurance regime (short rest periods, sets of 8-12, 60-75% 1RM), and get a cardiovascular benefit, with some increase in bone density and tendon strength. Generally, there are trade offs within weight lifting. If you are only concerned with getting up the most weight possible, then you will sacrifice all endurance training. If you want strength endurance, your 1 rep max wont be as high, but your muscles might be a bit bigger and youll see a cardiovascular benefit. I don't recommend training for a 1 rep max unless you are competing.

    I have been squatting regularly for 2 years now, the doctor took an x ray and commented on my really high bone density. Doctor said that weightlifting will do that.
  7. Mar 12, 2015 #6

    jim mcnamara

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    Modern geriatric cardiovascular rehab in the US includes resistance training. It reduces the likelihood of falls, and significantly reduces damage from falling. The concept is to ameliorate sarcopenia. Secondary to limited musculature hypertrophy and increased protein synthesis (Example your finger nails grow faster :) (personal experience) ) , positive changes include:
    increased bone density,
    increased flexibility of artery walls,
    left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) increases,
    peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak),
    peak workload,
    thigh muscle volume,
    knee extensor strength,
    endurance, and quality of life (QoL)

    So: no. Weightlifting and cardio are very much recommended for recovering heart patients.

    Links: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19561521
  8. Mar 12, 2015 #7

    Doug Huffman

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    Read Nassim Nicholas Taleb on his fittness, in 'Antifragile' or 'Black Swan' He argues for kettlebells and anaerobic exercise.
  9. Mar 12, 2015 #8
    I have done probably 10,000+ inverted situps in the past year and a half.

    About 5 days per week, I do an hour-long workout (sometimes longer) that involves at least 100 reps each of arm, leg, and abdominal workouts.

    My abdominal wall/muscles are extremely hard and rock solid (I can feel it) but these washboard abs are hidden thin layer of body fat that I can't seem to get rid of no matter what I do.
  10. Mar 12, 2015 #9
    You are training the muscular endurance regime. You probably have a layer of fat (assuming diet is ok) because you aren't strength training and raising your basal metabolic rate. You need to lift weights, plain and simple.

    If you cant afford a gym membership, buy some ironmind bags, fill them up between 50 and 300lbs, work your way up in 25lb increments. You can do two extremely basic workouts and get really damn strong:

    1) Take a smaller bag, pick it up from the floor to your chest (however you prefer), then press it overhead, then lower it slowly. Wash rinse repeat. This is basically a clean and press.

    2) Take a larger bag (I can hit 250lbs but I'm not new to lifting), deadlift the bag onto your thighs in the squatting position, while down grab the bag as hard as you can and squat upward, try to get it to collar bone height. This is similar to lifting an atlas stone.

    My favorite type of training is strongman. It is a fringe sport but really fun.
  11. Mar 12, 2015 #10
    I've been told that the only way to burn body fat is intensive cardio workouts combined with a very strict and efficient diet.

    Strength training only has a limited effect on body fat reduction.
  12. Mar 12, 2015 #11


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    If you want to lose the fat concentrate on intake.

    As a very rough rule of thumb to lose a pound you need to burn about 3500 calories. A guy like me burns roughly 1000 calories per hour running at a reasonably intense pace. You're already living in a state of equilibrium (calories in vs calories out) if you're not losing any weight, so this equates to exercise you have to do beyond what you are currently doing in order to lose weight.

    Adding an extra 3.5 hours of exercise per week is tough to fit in to most people's schedules - particularly if they are already exercising. Your mileage may vary of course but even if you have double my metabolisim, you're still adding close to 2 hours of exercise to your routine. On top of that, remember exercise makes you tired, and so all that other stuff you do in life that burns up your daily calorie intake will take a hit - you'll take the elevator instead of the stairs, sit on the couch for an extra half hour, lie on the floor in a pool of your own sweat... because hey, you've earned it.

    Cravings and temptations aside (I'm looking at you Doritos), you have a lot more control over your caloric intake. Restricting calorie intake is what melts the fat in my experience.

    As to weight training, I would point out that one of the single biggest predictors of quality of life for older adults is strength. Physical strength correlates with independence. If you're lucky enough to make it to ninety, it can mean the difference between using the toilet yourself and not. And as mentioned it can reduce the risk of falling and mitigate damage when falls happen. And of course there's a feedback effect. If you're not afraid of falling, you're more likely to go out for a walk, etc.
  13. Mar 14, 2015 #12

    jim mcnamara

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    Weight lifting alters protein synthesis. It increases. The consequences - all dietary factors being equal - are simple. You burn an extra (example) 100Kcal per day building proteins. Plus, a lot of the posts here are just that - opinion posts -i,e. no links to biological research.

    The actual research - when you bother to find it at nih.org - is clear. One example:11% increase in leg muscle mass during 3 months using resistance training. Resistance training example == 75%-80% (of the weight for which you can just barely complete one repetition) of the max weight in sets of 3 x 8 (24 complete motions with 1 minute of rest between each set of 8) with at least 1-2 (max 3) days of no resistance training. This increases protein synthesis for 24+ hours after weight training. Hence - This is the reason for allowing one day between resistance training sessions: rebuilding and 'overbuilding' existing muscle tissue. There also extensive changes in the motor neurons that associate with affected muscle groups as well.

    I'm not going to bother with a link. It appears nobody is looking at them. There are at least 25 of them at nih.org on the above subject. You should find and read them.

    Just please consider that information from Joe's muscle chop-shop and other places like gyms and supplement peddlers is actually geared toward selling you stuff. Not science.
  14. Mar 17, 2015 #13


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    Could members please take the time to post citations from peer reviewed papers to back up any claims, if the thread continues with anecdotes or links to non-acceptable sources it will be locked.
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