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Thread: Long term physiological effects of weight lifting

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Long term physiological effects of weight lifting

    Has anyone read any scientific research regarding the long-term physiological effects of heavy weight lifting on, body builders, power lifters? I am interested what happens to these people when they hit the age of 50. Do these people not live as long due to the years of stress on their bodies? Do they have many more health problems?

    To me the answer would seem, yeah probably...but I dont know for sure. How about the long-term effects of eating tons of food on your internal organs, digestive system etc? I have read life history studies of animals that were fed a ton of food during their growing years....yes they get big and grow really fast....but it also decreases their lifespan by about 20% when compared to other individuals fed more "normal" amounts.

    I'm not trying to say one thing or another about what we do....but I was just curious if anyone has any insight or information about these sorts of things.

    p.s. I saw Hulk Hogan at Mardi-Gras this year....he is still pretty big for a guy who is 54 lol.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Klotz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    This is a correspondence from Keith Wassung, a champion weightlifter and powerlifter, professional chiropractor, author of some very helpful and inspirational articles that you can find with google.


    Your father is correct, heavy squats and deadlifts ( especially the squats) do compress the vertebral column which can lead to compression of the intervertebral disc........but.......this compression also occurs from a host of activities, such as prolonged sitting, standing on ones feet for extended periods of time, and being overweight........and.......the squats and deadlifts do strengthen the muscles to such a degree that they protect even a thin disc--i have seen many, many older lifelong lifter types who come into the clinic at age 55 with some mild chronic back pain,,we do diagnostics and discover that they have a herniated disc that has been there for years,,but there back was so strong that it barely noticeable--and trust me a true herniated disc ( which is a generic and overused diagnosis) for an average man, would result in the average man screaming and writhing on the floor in absolute agony--I have seen it--not a pretty site. So its a trade-off, you strengthen the muscles, but can potentially weaken the can do a TON of simple things to keep the discs from being compressed--any type of decompression moves such as hanging from a chinning bar for 30-40 seconds following a lifting session ( been doing that for 30 years) do some athletic moves--high rep deadlifts ( with moderate weight) and best of all -hyperextensions and reverse hyper-extensions to lubricate and "milk" the disc--just getting movement in those joints will keep the disc healthy and fluid.....and there are other things which can weak the disc such as smoking and not enough water--both "dry" out the IVD and can put it into a vulnerable state.

    One last thought,,,if a person has some pre-existing spinal problems, ie mild scolosis, and they squat and dead,,,those things can exacerbate the curve and cause compression issues down the road, much in the same way that a nail, which has very slight bend, becomes more bent as it is struck repeatedly by a hammer.

    I hope that answers your question

    have a great day

  3. #3
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    If your not an idiot when it comes to lifting than you should be fine. There are always risks.

    Even if you dont live longer (which already is debatable), your quality of life will be that much better. Who wants to hit 60 and have trouble walking up stairs? I want to be strong until the day I die.
    Last edited by BFGUITAR; 02-14-2008 at 07:02 PM.

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