Why I Recommend Weight Training for Resilience, Memory, and Strength
If you want to be smarter, lift weights
“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.”
> —Mark Rippetoe
Here’s how your life improves when you start lifting weights:
Knees, hips, back, and fingers stop hurting
You look better in every way: body, shape, smile, skin
You can perform daily tasks more easily and without pain
Your mood regulates: less anxiety, fear, and anger
You have more energy to do things—getting out of the chair is no longer annoying
You become more resilient to injuries, viruses, and bacteria
You get smarter with a better memory
You retain information better
You walk upstairs and hills with less effort
People notice you look “different” in a good way
Your bones get stronger, denser, and resilient to breaks
You become more limber without boring stretching (which makes you weaker)
You are less likely to develop chronic conditions
You age more slowly
You reverse some chronic illnesses
Your body destroys old, deranged cells faster
Your body replaces those old cells with new ones from stem cells
Your body produces human growth hormone in abundance
Your brain and heart get stronger and healthier
Your appetite regulates (reduced cravings)
You increase testosterone levels (good for men and women alike)
You become better able to defend yourself from attackers
Your confidence increases
Your life improves
You are better able to handle problems and tragedies
And it only takes 45 minutes, three times a week.
If you prefer being weak, sickly, and vulnerable, you can stop reading now.
How Weight Lifting Has Changed Me
I decided I wanted a regular car instead of an SUV about seven years ago. So I bought a Nissan Maxima. Hot car. Low to the ground. Very low. How low?
The Maxima was so low to the ground that my left knee hurt whenever I tried to climb out. My left knee has always been touchy since a football injury in high school. But this was annoying, painful, and embarrassing. I had to ease out of the car to prevent a sharp electrical shock from shooting through my leg and losing all strength. If you saw me getting out of that Maxima, you’d describe my movements as “gingerly.”
I don’t like being gingerly.
About that time, I read about a weight lifting program called Starting Strength. I learned that one of the benefits of barbell training was the relief of knee pain and weakness. So I started the program.
Two weeks later, I was hopping out of my Maxima like an 18-year-old. Seven years later, though I’ve returned to the Jeep (for additional resilience should things go sideways), my knees are still more robust than ever. I’ve also gone from 215 lbs. and 28 percent body fat to 175 lbs. and about 18 percent body fat. When I’m at the top of my cycles (about which more later), I am in the top 10 to 15 percent for weightlifters in their 50s and less than 180 pounds.
In other words, my metabolic age is younger than it was seven years ago and nine years younger than my chronological age. That means a doctor looking at my blood, and biometric scores would put me at 49 instead of 58.
Two major factors contribute to this change: the Keto diet and barbell training. This article is about barbell training.
I want to share what I’ve learned. Maybe it will help you become younger, happier, and stronger.
Lift Weights for Life
The most efficient form of exercise is weight lifting. Since my readers seem interested in their health and vitality, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned and experienced with weight lifting, primarily through late middle age. As usual, I will begin by dispelling the nonsense most doctors dispense to their unwitting customers.
Don’t Ask Your Doctor for Fitness Advice
When you talk to a doctor about fitness, they will tell you what the government says about fitness (with one exception.) And the government is not in the business of keeping Americans healthy, strong, and vital. Instead, the government is in the business of creating customers for the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
The exception is walking. Almost every doctor will advise you to walk more, and walking is the only form of exercise proven to increase your life span. While other forms of exercise might contribute to a longer life, the data are too scattered to bet your life on them. But I’m not interested in extending my life, per se; I’m interested in remaining healthy, strong, and vital until I die. I don’t want to linger as an invalid due to my own actions. I don’t want to be a burden to others.
Another disclaimer: there are doctors who study and practice this kind of medicine. They’re just few and far between. When I told my longtime doctor what I did to improve my biometrics and blood work, he said I was doing exactly the right stuff: keto diet, intermittent and prolonged fasting, and heavy weight lifting with barbells.
He also asked me not to tell anyone what he told me. “I’ll lose my license.”
Some doctors you can trust with this kind of medicine are Annette Bosworth, the MDs and DOs on DietDoctor.com, Joseph Mercola, America’s Frontline Doctors, and the like.1 In short, you can trust the renegades—doctors who have resisted the official Covid propaganda—with advice on fitness, diet, and exercise.
One such doctor estimates that only about 1,000 out of the 1 million US physicians can be trusted to dispense valid medical science instead of reciting the government’s propaganda designed to create and keep chronic disease customers on behalf of the medical and pharmaceutical industries. I’ve been writing about this for a long time:
A final example: Dr. Jason Fung has reversed Type II diabetes in thousands of patients. Reveresed, not “managed.” (If your doctor tells you he’s going to help “manage” any condition, you probably need a new doctor.) His advice for people who follow his diabetes protocol? “Don’t tell your doctor.” (If you have Type II diabetes, stop reading this post now and spend the afternoon with Dr. Fung online. He will cure you, not “manage” your condition. Read the articles. Watch the video. Follow the protocol. And don’t tell your doctor.)
Weight Lifting vs. Resistance Training
The popular phrase in fitness magazines and medical journals today is “resistance training.” Weight lifting is a form of resistance training, but resistance training covers a far broader field of exercise programs.
When I talked about weight lifting, I’m referring exclusively to free weights and usually barbells (not dumbells). I recommend weight lifting over all other forms of resistance training (if you are otherwise capable) for several reasons:
Weight training improves everyday activities; machines do not.
Weight training improves balance and stability; machines do not.
Weight training works multiple muscle groups; machines do not.
Weight training strengthens all bones and joints required to perform common everyday tasks; machines do not.
Weight training provides constant resistance; rubber bands do not.
Weight training allows never-ending increases in strength; nothing else does.