FDF #009: Fundamental 6 - Lift SmartFeb 13, 2024
Welcome to the 6th issue in the Fit Daddy Fundamentals mini-series! In this issue we are going to talk about Fundamental number six, Lift Smart.
Lifting weights can be about being the biggest, strongest, most jacked, most ripped guy on the surface of the Earth.
It can be about that.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
That's awesome if that's your goal.
But it doesn't have to be about that.
It's not just about being massive, looking jacked, and lifting more than anyone else in the gym.
It's about sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia is age related muscle loss. It's a natural part of aging.
After about age 30 or so, you'd be able to lose as much as 3% to 5% of your muscle mass per decade.
Most of us men will lose about 30% of our muscle mass during our lifetimes. Great... so what?
Well, the weaker muscle that is attached to your bones (via tendons) and holds your joints together isn't able to function with the same effect.
You increase the likelihood that you're not going to have the right tension on your tendons and ligaments, and that your bones are not moving past each other the way they have been designed to, the way they did when you were young.
This decreases your mobility and increases likelihood of injury.
And... we're back to falls...
If you are stiff.
If your joints aren't working properly.
If you're feeling pain in everyday movements (maybe that's in your back, maybe that's in your knees, maybe it's in your ankles), you're increasing the likelihood that you are going to fall when you get old.
We already talked about the statistics around this. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans.
So if your joints aren't working right and you don't have strength, you're increasing the likelihood that you will be one of these statistics.
Benefits of Strength Training
So what are the benefits of strength training?
There's a really long list...
✅ Increases bone density and metabolism
✅ Improves posture, balance, and mobility
✅ Relieves arthritis pain
✅ Improves glucose control
✅ Decreases risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures
✅ Releases endorphins
✅ Creates injury resistance
✅ Improves blood pressure
✅ Reduces hypertension
✅ Lowers risk of heart disease
The benefits of strength training are staggering!
To limit weightlifting to a single superficial aesthetic purpose is a major disservice to the sport; it's super important for your everyday life.
According to Dr. Robert Schreiber, and instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School:
Just doing aerobic exercise is not adequate… Unless you are doing strength training, you will become weaker and less functional.
And it's no wonder why: look at all the benefits of strength training!
But how should you do it?
Introducing "Light, Slow, No Ego"
We've all either been the guy, or seen the guy who is trying to prove to the entire gym that they are indeed the biggest, baddest guy in town.
More often than not, all this is going to do is get you hurt.
And when you get hurt, you're not going to be getting the results you want.
So that's why I practice and preach: "Light, Slow, No Ego" (TM)
Light: this means we're using light weights to protect our joints and avoid strains, sprains, and tears. Injury is the enemy. And if you are using way too much weight, the likelihood that you are going to get hurt goes way up.
Slow: this means you are minimizing the assistance of momentum, and maximizing the use of your entire muscle. So with very light weights, when you go slow, you will be amazed at how much harder it is when you completely eliminate momentum and increase time under tension. Count 5 seconds down, and count 5 seconds up, just like you learned for the Daily Kickstarter.
No Ego: It's not about lifting more than anyone else in the gym. It's not about being the strongest man on earth. It's not about impressing the people around you. It's about maximizing the benefit to the muscles in your body and minimizing that risk of injury.
This approach exploits two effects that are known to accelerate muscle growth.
The first is time under attention. This increases the metabolic stress and microscopic damage to your muscles. And then your body repairs those muscles to increase their size and their strength. So time under attention is a really important variable for growing your muscles.
The second is eccentric movement. Imagine you're doing curls. Concentric is when you're coming up with the weights. Eccentric is when you're on your way down, extending your arms to the bottom of the movement. Eccentric motion provides more fatigue to the muscles than the concentric movement. And that leads to more micro damage. More fatigue to your muscles, they're going to respond by growing more.
The "Light, Slow, No Ego" method avoids all the downsides of using way too much weight, using poor form, and/or overusing momentum in your workout. And it leverages the upsides to get you great results.
For this week I want you to integrate this method into your existing workouts, or feel free to email me and I'll send you one of mine. We've got a full body workout that you can do 1-2 times per week, and we have a super simple five day split workout.
It doesn't have to be super complicated. There's a lot of really great science and super optimization out there.
But none of that matters if you're not just doing the basics of lifting weights regularly.
So I want you to focus on, keeping things super simple, and super consistent.
And that's how you're going to see results.
Remember, lifting weights is about more than being jacked and huge. It's about your longevity.
It's about your quality of life.
It's about how you feel on a day to day basis...
All right, get out there, and Lift Smart!
P.S. Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:
Delivering one high-impact health and fitness tip every Saturday morning.
Join 500+ subscribers to the Fit Daddy Fundamentals. Every Saturday morning, you'll get 1 actionable tip to get lean, strong, and happy.
I will never sell your information, for any reason.