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What are some of your unpopular fitness related opinions?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 944 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass


    Menopause, multiple children are particular reasons that women have poorer bone health, although you will get other reason depending on the population.

    Inadequate levels of calcium, vitamin d3 and k2 in the diet( and indoor lifestyle) also will lead to poor bone health.

    Sorting diet and lifting heavy things will help.

    If anything it's more important for women to lift than it is for men.

    Trades like blocklaying, roofing, tree surgeons will have activity that allows people to stay strong; the difficulty is a lot of them end up wrecked from accidents, poor technique etc etc.

    Personally I do sporadic amounts of heavy forestry work, probably lifting nothing heavier than 50kgs, but often lots of lifting over the course of 4-8 hrs typically. It works well with seasonal gym work with a very simple compound lift program.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 41,827 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    i'm not explaining myself properly.

    if there's (say) a 5% benefit for men in terms of improved geriatric mobility, and a 35% benefit for women, and it's averaged out to 20%, the benefits are not the same for each sex.

    and if there are claims made that 'resistance training results in a 20% benefit' from a basic reading of the results, it shows the results are not being interpreted properly. and yes, that's a couple of ifs.



  • Registered Users Posts: 944 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass


    bone mineral density women resistance training

    Put that term or similar in Google scholar, you will find lots of female specific research



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 41,827 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    oh, i don't doubt that. what i'm asking is, whether the benefit for women is being stated as a general benefit for all.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,114 ✭✭✭ Cill94


    I don't know but I don't see how it matters. It's not like the difference is going to affect what people should be doing to treat the problem. But yes probably lots of research you can find with specific percentages.



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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,885 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    It does actually. When it comes to strength training, there are methods of training for women that yield far, far better results than if we train as if we are smaller men. To the point that the time in our cycle or whether we are pre/post-menopausal should be taken into account in how and when we train. Obviously any training is better than no training but it's best to train for our sex and we really have a hell of a lot less research available to us to know how to get the best results than men do.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 41,827 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    i'm struggling to understand why you don't think it matters. if - as in my hypothetical example - it saw a 5% benefit for men, and a 35% benefit for women, the benefit for women is seven times what it is for men, but a 20% benefit was claimed overall; are men being advised to pump weights based on a stat which doesn't actually apply to them?



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Black Sheep



    Whether you're male or female, inactivity and age causes (1) loss of muscle mass, (2) reduction of resting metabolic rate and (3) accumulation of fat.

    In simple terms, you need to do cardio respiratory activity to address (2) and (3) but (1) can only be addressed by resistance training (Actually there's evidence now that resistance training can be effective for the other two as well, but not the point...).

    The rate of muscle mass loss differs from male and female per decade, and between the individual, but I've heard differing figures of between 3 and 8%.

    Although some women might benefit more from resistance training I would warn that as the evidence shows there is a connection between muscle strengthening and a reduction in all cause mortality it's possibly unsafe to assume that women get more benefits out of it than men... Low bone density is just one element.

    If you are genuinely interested in all of this and you're not finding the answers here then I'd suggest either looking at pubmed or wherever yourself, or the Barbell Medicine website is another one that may be of interest to you.

    Post edited by Black Sheep on


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Black Sheep


    With regard to the research on differences between men and women I think the people who could argue that the data does not serve them well tend to be women moreso than men, unsurprisingly.

    I saw a really interesting study from 2020 about female athletes and concussions. It showed that they're more problematic for women than men, due to smaller neck sizes. Worse concussions, and longer term implications. Women were also less likely to be aware of the risks or to recognise they were concussed. This could have tangible implications for the risks / reward related to how female athletes might train compared to men. A male football team might arguably have a significantly higher threshold for allowable volume of header training compared to a female team, for example. Or there might be an argument for further reducing the duration of women's boxing rounds, to try and reduce overall volume of blows administered?



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 41,827 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    actually, one of the main reasons i picked up on it was that i recently finished reading 'invisible women' by caroline criado perez, which delves into the topic of disaggregated data.



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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Black Sheep


    Yes, I've heard that's a good book.

    Becoming trickier for researchers to navigate all of this these days, I imagine, in our new world where some women have testicles and so on....



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,114 ✭✭✭ Cill94


    It doesn't matter because we have enough research on RT in the elderly to know that the benefits are massive for both sexes. It's literally the difference between being strong enough to look after yourself or needing full time care. If you want exact percentages then read the research! And yes, there are papers on elderly women.

    https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/34/1/18.long

    https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/40/5/637/46876

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4205116/



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,114 ✭✭✭ Cill94


    Having a menstrual cycle doesn't change the principles of resistance training. Whether that even impacts training is dependant on the individual woman. Some need a deload week during that time, others can train just fine.

    Main difference between training for men and women is that women can handle more volume at a higher percentage of their 1RM.

    And there's actually not a lot of research on strength training for women, relative to the amount on men.



  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,885 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    Some other differences from what I've read advise women should focus on higher reps, less resting time between sets, slower lifting tempo and less explosive movements. And women generally need less rest days between sessions.

    And outside of resistance training, we can also possibly gain more from steady state cardio than men. Our ideal diet can also be different with women likely having a proportionally greater need for healthy fat. And when it comes to dietary adaptations like intermittent fasting, there has been very little study done on how it effects women despite there being potential evidence of it causing negative hormonal disruption.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Black Sheep


    There are arguments in favour of higher rep ranges, shorter rest times and slower tempo for lifters of any sex if their goal is mainly hypertrophy / body composition. I guess maybe women might to have more aesthetic goals compared to men for their lifting. Someone focusing solely on developing top end strength might be training with lower reps and take longer rest periods, and they might more commonly be men but there's no reason a woman shouldn't train that way if they want.

    As for women and explosive movements, not sure what to say there. There are female Olympic lifters and athletes, they need to train explosive movements. It's true that women's hip structures, among other things, mean it might be more difficult than for a male trainee but that's biology for you.

    Do women need less rest? I don't know, I suspect individual variance - age, schedule, stress, diet, family status - is more relevant than sex.



  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,885 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana



    It has to do with the composition of our muscle twitch fibres. Male and female internal muscle composition converts differently with training. With women's Type 1 fibres having better response and men's Type 2a. This may be why there are studies showing women to be more resistant to fatigue and having faster recovery times. It really isn't something there is enough of a field of study on but from what we do have, it's what appears to be.

    As for individual variance, one could argue that when you account for age, schedule, stress, diet, family status, some women are faster or stronger than some men. But overall, men are undeniably faster and stronger. Male and female bodies have quite a lot of differences and while there will always be individual variances, it's almost a certainty that there are methods of training that will work better for women and others that will work better for men. Women being able to compete with each other in a type of methodology in a sport doesn't mean it's in the best interest of women physiologically. We can all do things that aren't good for us. And in fact, when it comes to competitive sport, especially at such an elite level, many athletes do things that are actively bad for their future physical health in order to be as good as they can in a specific moment. So while it's always good to pay attention to how humans of both sexes can get to the absolute top level of their activity. It's not always best to emulate it if you are aiming to effectively prolong your life and health.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/apha.12234?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=true

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10606825/



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Black Sheep


    There are certain realities associated with biological sex but if you're asking are there programming principles which are inherently suited more to females than males... Yes and no. There is no sex-dictated optimal approach which once we recognise, that's that, because programming is goal-dependent irrespective of sex.

    There are some things to be aware of, like the capability of women to lift for reps a higher percentage of their 1RM than men, yes, but a woman who is training for top end strength is still going to need to follow broadly similar programming principles to a male, and the same goes for other goals, there may be differences but the way volume, intensity and frequency are used in programming are still more similar than not. A female lifter might will need to do (and tolerate) more high % volume, but she couldn't be said to be training optimally if the way she pursued top end strength was based on higher reps with shorter rest periods, for example. Actually, on the reps, rest periods etc. I still think it's likely you've confused a recommendation which was based on what most women's goals are thought to be versus what they should do based on sex.

    I don't know if you've ever coached female lifters but that would pretty much iron it out for you. A lot of the current female Irish olympic lifters who are doing well are pretty active and open on social media about their programming as well, you may be interested.

    Post edited by Black Sheep on


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,114 ✭✭✭ Cill94



    Higher reps is kind of meaningless without an intensity attached to it though. It's higher reps, at a higher percentage of 1RM then a man would do. So for example, a man would generally be able to do 3 reps at 90% of 1RM, whereas a woman might be able to do double that or more. The leading theory for why this is, is because women are not as efficient at recruiting high threshold motor units. Less resting time between sets is also something I've noticed women can typicall get away with better than men.

    Slower lifting tempo and avoiding explosive movements sounds like bro science to me. We'd have no female sprinters if that were the case!



  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,885 Mod ✭✭✭✭ iguana


    I figured the explosive movements meant specifically weighted explosive movements like, for example, certain exercises you might do with a medicine ball. Or possibly bodyweight movements like kipping pull-ups. I don't think it meant running or jumping, etc.

    I also didn't intend to suggest that women shouldn't do these things. Just that they aren't the most efficient way for women to build muscle and strength.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,114 ✭✭✭ Cill94


    Sure, I get that. I just don't see any evidence that it's the case. And in lieu of science, it's reasonable to assume we have more in common than not where training responses are concerned.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 277 ✭✭ GoogleBot


    consider getting manual handling training if planning to lift as heavy as 50kg doing forestry work. The least you want is to damage your back.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16,554 ✭✭✭✭ silverharp


    If longevity/long term health and bulletproof-ness is the goal , where is the bottom of the U curve across all fitness metrics? at the far end Im sure its safe to say that being a larger power lifter or an ultra marathon runner are creating problems for their old age

    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: 1,446 ✭✭✭ Patsy167


    I've always liked the idea of General Physical Preparedness – "A strong work capacity across broad time and modal domains."

    In other words, the ability to perform a wide range of physical tasks requiring varied movements, loads and durations.

    10 ‘General Physical Skills’ that collectively outline the constituent parts of physical fitness. The general physical skills and an explanation of each are listed below…

    General Physical Skills

    Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance – the ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.

    Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.

    Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.

    Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.

    Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.

    Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

    Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.

    Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.

    Balance – The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.

    Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

    The aim with general physical preparedness is to be a good physical all-rounder, not say, a strength specialist. A true all-rounder will posses a balance of all of the general physical skills.



  • Registered Users Posts: 37,147 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor


    my point was that there is a clear difference between men and women in the benefits gained from resistance training,

    is there?

    based on what?



  • Registered Users Posts: 37,147 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor


    Those 10 metrics are all valid. But they aren’t exactly distinct. Strength and power are different. But are pretty directly related. Speed is power and endurance. Endurance is based on cardio. Agility is power/balance/coordination.

    Accuracy, as described, is just coordination. I think in general, those 10 could boil down to 4 or so.



  • Registered Users Posts: 626 ✭✭✭ Brid Hegarty


    Is it supposed to decrease your chances of pulling a muscle?



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭ Patsy167


    "TAKE HOME MESSAGES

    Static stretching prior to exercises does not reduce your risk of injury. Therefore performing these stretches as part of your warm up is not recommended. Perform a dynamic warm up that adequately prepares your body for the task at hand.

    However, flexibility and mobility training is actually very good for you – if you have a restriction in flexibility. It can reduce post exercise soreness and reduce injury risk if you do not have the requisite flexibility to perform the required movements of our sport, or it is contributing to your symptoms. Perform targeted, specific flexibility training if you want to improve your flexibility.

    Tight feeling muscles may not need stretching. Short muscles may need to improve flexibility, but tight muscles may be overworked, fatigue or weak. This particularly goes for postural muscles."

    There's some good reading on it here if you are interested - https://www.parmeliaphysio.com.au/the-stretching-debate-what-does-the-evidence-say/



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 41,827 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    i don't think that's a particularly unpopular opinion though?



  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 18,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Brian?


    Lifting weights will make you better at everything else you do.


    Elite cyclists lift a shed load in the off season.


    To be healthy into your old age being “strong” is a good thing. Being strong is actually quite easy to achieve at an intermediate level. To ignore it will cost you way more than you’ll gain.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 18,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Brian?


    i have no idea if this is an unpopular opinion:


    Getting strong is simple. Lift 3 times a week and you’re grand. There’s an entire industry making that complicated

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




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