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What are some of your unpopular fitness related opinions?



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,439 ✭✭✭✭silverharp

    I know they all be a bit click baity , but anyhoo tried the incline variation and it seemed a stronger position for the shoulders so I will stick with the incline version

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,572 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring


    Farming is still kinda tough these days.

    But even 20 years ago hay and straw were all square bales. And some places took thousands and thousands. I worked on a stud farm. We used bring in 20,000.

    You'd know pretty quick if a guy was fit after a coupe hours throwing hay bales into the top of a shed.

    Lot of boys go missing or find another essential job after a few loads.

    I needed no gym all summer!!

    In my dad's youth grain came out of a combine and into 100kg bags. 100kg!! At the docks there were guys who loaded boats with these things!!

    The gym be someway useful towards this stuff. But these boys were just fit and very strong.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,482 ✭✭✭JayRoc

    So they lifted weights. And if I get your definition of Fitness right, it's basically to be able to lift a lot of weight over a long time. Fair enough!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,572 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring

    Ah the gym is an hour of very hard going.

    Working all day at hard manual labour makes tough hardy fit fuckers.

    Btw I'm in the weight lifting camp myself. Heaviest thing I lift at work is a pen

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,978 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i've never lifted a single weight in a gym and have no intention to. as per Shao Khan, i don't understand the conflation of the idea of being fit (or healthy) and being strong.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,541 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    I gots weights at home, got a bike at home so never or rarely utilize either at the gym... treadmill, cross trainer, leg curl machine, and occasionally lat pull down (I think it’s called) machine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,954 ✭✭✭FintanMcluskey

    Proper stretching along with calisthenics is more useful and sustainable long term than weight training.

    Lots of heavy lifters can't execute a few wide angle pull up's

    As Shao Khan said above, weight training has became an indicator of fitness and health without necessarily being either

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭Cill94

    I don’t understand why this always has to be pitched as an either/or scenario. You can train to be strong and have good endurance. Both are great for your health.

    I think strength and muscle gain has become synonymous with ‘fitness’ because it gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Strength is the only physical ability that can positively affect everything else (endurance, aesthetics, health, power, flexibility).

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,788 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep

    Really, you've never heard / read anything about the relationship of resistance training to health and fitness?

    There's been so much in the news in the past 20 years or so about what we understand to be the advantages of resistance training for people of all ages that I'm a little surprised.

    The advice remains that people need a certain amount of moderate or moderately vigorous aerobic activity per week (Duration and intensity depends), but resistance training of all major muscle groups a couple of days a week is recommended in addition to this.

    There's evidence that resistance training reduces all causes mortality by 23%, but where it's probably of most obvious relevance is when we look at ageing populations. We start losing muscle mass at 40 onwards, and when it comes to preventing the onset of the 'sick ageing phenotype', the bent-over, weak, immobile and chronically ill older person that we are all familiar with, resistance training is essential.

    We're actually drowning in data to this effect at this stage, just google it.

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  • Posts: 0 Van Faint Trash

    You'd be wasting your time trying to reason with that particular poster.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,788 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep

    It's really odd to frame hypertrophy that comes about as a result of effective resistance training as the 'bad guy'.

    If someone has hypertrophied their muscles because they've trained them effectively in a gym ... Or working in a field ... Or wrestling on a mat ... Then they've gained lean muscle mass. That's a good thing, by almost any consideration.

    Yes, there will be differences between the performance of a powerlifter compared to someone who has trained for more of a GPP approach. The powerlifter is going to have greater top end strength. The person who has foced on GPP will have the ability to do work for a longer sustained period.

    Ultimately, both are potentially 'fit', because fitness is no one thing, it's several characteristics but probably most commonly these will be distilled down to cardio/respiratory endurance ... Strength / power ... And I think agility, flexibility and coordination should be mentioned.

    These days everyone trains in such a hybrid fashion that even powerlifters can be lean and in reasonable condition, it's not like it used to be.

    When we talk about how hardy old-school farm workers were... I don't disagree. But to be honest if you took any bunch of teenagers and young men and put them in any demanding environment they'll thrive once they've acclimatised. If the takeaway from that type of lifestyle is that you think people should do more metabolic conditioning and long 'chipper' style workouts, then there's this whole craze that may be of interest to you, I think it's called.... CrossFit...?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,805 ✭✭✭joe40

    With all the money available in professional sports and the fitness Industry why are there still "opinions" about fitness and training.

    Surely there should be enough academic research at this stage that the science is fairly definite (at least as definite as science can get)

    Personally I'm 52 try to do an exercise class 3 times a week which incorporates strength work, deadlift back squat etc and then a metcon of some sort. Not CrossFit though. No Olympic lifts.

    This suits me I enjoy the class enjoy the banter with the group. Maybe not optimal training but for me at my age I think something that I can sustain long term is the most important thing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,842 ✭✭✭Deeec

    Fully agree with this. Fitness is important but for many its becoming an addiction which is overtaking their lives. Every evening is taken up with some level of training - weekends taken up with going to events with no time for personal relationships. I know marriages that have broken up for this reason because one parent is left to do all the parenting and housework while the other uses all their spare time for fitness. I think we are going to see a huge problem with this over the next few years - it will be seen as an an unhealthy addiction that needs professional help.

    Dont get me wrong fitness is an important part of staying healthy but dont over do it or you could end up ruining you life and with nobody around you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭Cill94

    Sport science is what's referred to as a 'soft science'. It's not as easy to make definitive statements as you could if working in a hard science where a simple formula can prove a theory instantaneously.

    The human body is a highly complex biological system, and it's very hard to control for that, along with human behaviour and all the other factors in a human's life, when you're running a study. All we can take are averages, and so you need lots and lots of good quality research on many thousands of people before you can even begin to think about drawing a 'cause and effect' conclusion about training, health, nutrition, etc. Even then those results won't necessarily apply in all scenarios.

    That being said, there is an amazing lack of scientific knowledge still present even in the upper echelons of sport, and there are a few fairly conclusive truths that haven't fully penetrated the fitness industry. It's still an area that's in its infancy where science is concerned.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,978 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    just to expand, and kinda reflecting some of the other comments above. i guess what i'm referring to/reacting to is a lot of the talk i have heard (from some people i know who do weights) is that you simply have to do them to maintain decent fitness and health as you age. of course if you work in an office job and your hobbies are not active ones, it's not going to be good for you long term. but i have come across people who think only of 'training' as activity done specifically as 'training'.

    i spent a couple of hours digging in the garden yesterday, but i know people who would insist that i need to do weights, they don't see the digging as training in any sense. including a fitness instructor.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,788 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep

    Well, I wouldn’t be into telling people what they have to do, but to be honest unless it was heavier work than I’m imagining, I would probably put a bit of gardening in the category of being light cardio. It’s not really going to yield any of the benefits that resistance training potentially would, no.

    Gardening, cycling, brisk walking, golf, whatever… All brilliant. But none of them are that effective in addressing loss of muscle mass and the related problems related to weakness and immobility a good chunk of the population will experience as they get older. Particularly for older women who have osteoporosis / osteoarthritis issues.

    But to be honest I’m making the whole life health argument here but no one should leave starting to lift to their old age, when their doctor tells them they have incredibly low bone density, or they are struggling to pick up their grandchild.

    Getting even somewhat jacked when you’re younger is much easier and will save a lot of heartache later.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭Cill94

    Plenty of the older generation would have done lots of manual labour like gardening their whole lives, and yet many are incapable of sitting up out of a chair in their old age.

    Think it's unlikely that the intensity of home chores would be enough to stave off sarcopenia and bone density loss. Anything that allows you to do hundreds of reps is not likely to be enough mechanical stress on the body to force those kind of adaptations.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,439 ✭✭✭✭silverharp

    if you were a farmer in the 1950's you would have a point, if you think of all the difficult manual work back then, footing turf, manually cutting and collecting hay and the rest they would have a modern day crossfitter crying,but unless gardening is your profession you arent gardening 20 hours a week for 50 weeks a year so your volume of work is going to be tiny

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,978 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    re the research about resistance training and effect on lifespan, it'd be interested to see it disaggregated so you can see the effect on women vs. men, rather than the population as a whole; my mother and several of her friends (all early to mid 70s) have osteopenia (sp?) or osteoporosis - and i've heard one recently complain that despite following her doctor's advice to walk everywhere, her muscle mass is dropping and it's not helping the osteoporosis much.

    none of their husbands have any such issues (and yes, i know, plural of anecdote, etc.)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 38,233 ✭✭✭✭Mellor

    Digging with a hand trowel in a flower bed it not going to be much in terms of training.

    Digging a grave, or a foundation, obviously is much more intense. But how many hours of that are you going to do in a year. Similarly chopping wood is reasonable physical. But unless you're doing it all the time, its not going to provide a long term benefit.

    Without looking into it specifically. I'd be certain that there are studies that show the positive association between resistance training and both muscle mass and bone density.

    The fact you mother and her friends have bone density, low muscle mass issue, is precisely resistance training is so important.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,673 ✭✭✭brainboru1104

    This is a really strange discussion where false dichotomies are being thrown around.

    I must be the only person on earth who lifts weights and does cardio!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,270 ✭✭✭caviardreams

    Osteoporosis is more common and a bigger problem in women due to hormonal changes during the menopause too so it's not just a case of men vs women and the difference being caused by differences in resistance training levels. It's all the more important for women to use resistance training to try and reduce the negative effects of those hormonal changes though.

  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,909 Mod ✭✭✭✭iguana

    I have this conversation a lot with my mother who was diagnosed with osteopenia in her late 50s and osteoporosis at 60. (Both of which are extremely common in women of European and Asian heritage post menopause. More than 50% develop osteopenia with 40% of those going on to osteoporosis.) While I am very careful not to recommend particular types of exercise so as not to accidentally exacerbate her condition, I have talked to her about adding some weight-lifting and targeted weight-bearing exercise to her routine as many of the classes and physio sessions that were meant to be part of the plan to reverse the bone density loss were cancelled due to Covid. But she will counter that doing housework and gardening counts. Which it very obviously doesn't, as if it did, she wouldn't have the problems in the first place, so they certainly aren't going to help fix a health issue they couldn't prevent. In fact, I'd argue that gardening, farm-work, etc is going to cause certain problems, as you will be doing an awful lot of work with your dominant side, favouring your dominant direction, etc.

    The main reason women are more prone to bone density loss is hormonal. It happens after menopause. However, I have my own suspicion that it's exacerbated significantly by the cultural stigma against muscularity in women. I became noticeably quite muscular with very little effort. I don't lift heavy weights. For upper body strength training I do a mix of body-weight and use 6 and 8kg dumbbells. So I really can't help but feel that if with two half hour upper body sessions like this, I am visibly muscular, I am meant to be visibly muscular. I suspect women have evolved to have much more muscle tone than most of us do and by actively avoiding muscle development, we are leaving our bodies more prone to bone weakness in the latter decades of our lives.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,978 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    The fact you mother and her friends have bone density, low muscle mass issue, is precisely resistance training is so important.

    for them, yes. my point was that there is a clear difference between men and women in the benefits gained from resistance training, and i was asking was there disaggregated research on this?

    i.e. if the studies just say 'in general, across a population, resitance training has proved to be of benefit' this doesn't in and of itself tell me how much benefit it is for men specifically. and it's kinda eye-opening how much research there is across all sorts of topics, which doesn't disaggregate the differences between men and women, so i was curious as to whether the same issue exists here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭Cill94

    The benefits are essentially the same. Women may be more prone to muscle and bone density decrease but I'm not 100% on that. In practical sense it doesn't really matter, people need to be resistance training if they want to maintain their independence into old age, regardless if they're men or women.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,270 ✭✭✭caviardreams

    To be honest, for a variety of reasons, a lot of research has just been done on men, or mixed genders and then the results applied across both genders as if there are no differences in a health context (see here: and etc.)

    The lack of research on resistance training, sports science etc. for women vs men is striking.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,978 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    yeah, that's also part of what i was referring to - no disaggregated data but for a couple of reasons.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,978 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    that's a difficult claim for me to accept - that the benefits are the same - if the costs of not doing it are markedly different?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭Cill94

    The benefits are the same in that it increases strength, bone density, etc. in both sexes. I don’t know to what extent the costs of not doing it differ between sexes. Again, doesn’t really matter as the intervention is the same: do resistance training.