Why don’t you lift weights?

huh, most people I know who’ve been injured lifting hurt their back.

What are your opinions on creatine along with strength training?

My bias has always been to be very skeptical of any supplement (and generally mock most protein powders as no better than eating some real food, say a turkey on rye sandwich) but I’m beginning to be convinced that creatine can indeed make strength training more effective including in the 60 plus group.

I do not think most people need protein powders. They have some benefit in younger, novice lifters who should eat prodigiously, those on diets or who struggle to eat enough calories. Some find them convenient, but most Westeners get plenty of protein. Are the demands of athletes so much higher? If one uses them, it makes sense to do so just before exercise. Many have few carbs and taste very good.

Creatine seems to be safe and have modest benefits in terms of recovery after exercise. It seems to be helpful in people with sarcopenia. There are modest increases in muscle mass, which some think is largely due to water retention. Given the wide variety of supplements many athletes take, it is probably among the safer and more helpful, but I don’t think all the studies show an increase in strength in experienced lifters. They should probably be used more in elderly people than they are, where the benefits seem more pronounced. These benefits may include better cognitive function as well, but more study is needed here.

Jumping back to the discussion of the benefits of really small amounts of exercise, i want to share the most cost-effective exercise I’ve ever done. I balance on one foot while putting my socks on. I started doing it because i noticed i was having new balance issues. And at first, i couldn’t do it, and i had to lean against my bureau while i put on my socks. But after a week or two, i could put on loose socks. And now i can balance firmly enough to put on even the tighter socks.

This literally takes no time out of my day, because i was going to spend time putting on my socks anyway, and now that i can do it, it really doesn’t take any more time than sitting down would. And my balance has improved substantially.

That’s a good idea. Balance is a skill, and important to lessen the risks of falls, especially in elderly populations.

Thanks, that is a great tip. I usually sit down when putting on my socks, so I have a long way to go!

These small opportunities to gain exercise benefits during standard activities of daily living really deserve this highlighting … and you illustrate how they can be progressive too, with just a small amount of thinking about it!

First lean for support, then loose socks, then tighter socks … maybe at same point you’ll try loose socks eyes closed leaning as needed! Then tighter ones eyes closed!

[Fiddler on the Roof: Tradition]Progression![/FotR:T]

Adding little things along the way of normal life - carrying the groceries to the car instead of using the cart when it is just one or two bags and not overly heavy - integrating small things into routines adds up to significant benefits.

Poor balance is strongly associated with mortality risk, from all causes, most not falls.

From the second article some interesting factoids and speculations…

Balance is definitely as much a fitness component as are strength and endurance.

I’m thinking of putting on my shoes on one leg. But i don’t actually lace up shoes every day, so i don’t know if i can do it consistently enough.

Yeah, you probably aren’t going to get strength gains while losing fat (unless you are a beginner in your prime with a lot of fat to spare), but strength training and adequate protein intake will prevent muscle loss. Of course you still want a calorie deficit. And diet is much more important, IMHO, for fat loss. At least I think it’s relatively “easier” to cut calories compared to burning them. Also, the minimum effective dose and optimal dose of lifting and protein are lower than what gym bros will typically claim.

Not to speak for @Spice_Weasel but I don’t think she’s getting that from lunkhead bros in the weight room.

But the impact is not as big as many gym bros think.

Cited already that it actually IS possible to gain muscle mass while losing fat mass. Some.

0.7 grams/pound is what I’ve seen pretty much universally recommended for people trying to gain muscle mass. For me, that is 143.5 grams of protein a day, and I should not really be eating more than 1800-2000 calories a day assuming daily vigorous exercise.

That’s 574 calories a day from protein.

Not as difficult if you’re eating chicken breasts and salmon, but when your main diet consists of beans and lentils, it’s really difficult.

That’s not getting into the fact that protein over a certain amount in a single meal doesn’t even get absorbed into the body. I think the cap is 30g. So even if I somehow managed to get 30g of protein into each meal, that would leave me with 53.5g to get in snacks or other small meals.

While somehow keeping my caloric intake low.

Yes it gets reported as that 0.7 g per pound body weight … but reality is that a better calculation would use fat free mass. It just makes sense that the protein required for a 205 pounder who is mostly muscle is going to be different than for someone whose 205 pounds has a bigger portion that is adipose.

Probably best to figure what you would weigh at your height with a BMI more like 25 to 30 and use that. Or by percent of calories with 30% as a max.

Then the bit about max protein at a time?

Might be true for a whey supplement all getting absorbed fairly quickly, but not true for real food eaten in a real meal.

PB = protein breakdown.

Thanks! This is incredibly useful and hopeful information. I will revise my plan accordingly.

Womp womp. Looks like I may have tendonitis in my elbow. I injured it a few months ago during a strength workout (I don’t know how), but didn’t think it was a big thing because it hardly hurt at all, just a little sore. Yet the pain has persisted for months. And ever since I shoveled yesterday, the pain increased noticeably. I know I need to stop using it for a while. I really don’t want to go to the doctor over such a mild pain. That means no more shoveling, and no more lifting anything heavy with that arm for the next month. I promised.

So that leaves me with… body weight squats and lunges? Is that really it?

Sorry about the painful elbow. Yeah that is a bump in the road, but brainstorming there are options I can come up with and I am sure others can add more. Mostly it’s taking advantage of the arm hiatus to spend the month focusing on core muscles.

@Dr_Paprika already referenced the pelvic tilt earlier.

I recommend the Turkish Get Up - doing it unweighted this month so you are ready to advance to just an empty coffee cup then a shoe balanced and then with a light dumb bell or kettle bell when you are healed.

Yoga poses can be strength building.

Splurge on both a balance ball (also called a yoga ball) and and a balance disc/board. I have one very similar to this and it works fine. There are squishy ones that combine the characteristics of the balls and discs that some prefer.

Some core exercises that can spare your arm use are listed here and some can be tough.

Just standing on the disc at first takes practice. Then alternately raising arms over your head. Or briefly closing your eyes. Unweighted squats on it bring that exercise to a completely different level.

Doubling back to my previous post … I looked at the actual article that the 0.7g protein/pound (1.6g/kg) figure originates with. It’s based on figure 5. Damn that number needs to be stated with some friggin’ big error bar around it.

Point is that in any case you are doing what gets the bulk of the positive health impacts with your in general overall healthy diet (as stated by Pollard well, real food, mostly plants, not too much) and exercise, and chasing the exact protein numbers and fretting over timing may be fretting over things that are more possibly statistically valid but of little real world significance to results, unless you are an elite athlete.

It’s already been discussed, but this is simply not true. Anecdotally, I’ve been able to lose belly fat strictly by building strength with weight training and eating a high quality diet. Meaning, as my strength and endurance have improved by clear metrics (I.e. I can use more weight, or I can do more reps), my belly has gotten leaner.

(This happened in a really noticeable way many years ago when I was in law school, and had yet again fallen off the workout wagon. I was also drinking too much and smoking pot. I distinctly remember sitting on a couch, and turning, and feeling my belly skin fold over itself. It was uncomfortable enough that I got back into a workout routine. About a month or two later, I was telling somebody this reason for exercising again, and when I turned to demonstrate the belly flab the fold over was gone. I had burned it off. I hadn’t done any cardio of any kind, but was instead eating and exercising to improve muscle).

I think it’s amusing that people deride the people who spend a lot of time in the gym as “bros”, and act like they operate solely on stereotypes about lifting weights.

In actuality, bodybuilders can be thought of as experimenters who are routinely adjusting variables to reach maximum muscle and minimum fat.

Now, they may take it to extreme levels that others find weird or gross, but it’s still the case that their general goal (more muscle with less fat) approximates what most people would like to achieve, and so their techniques undoubtedly have merit.

And after decades of “research”, done by literally millions of “scientists”, certain reliable truths have emerged.

One if those is that a high protein diet is conducive to building muscle without adding lots of fat.

Might I suggest that you replace snacks with “meals”. By meal, I mean a combination of protein, carbs (and fats to some extent) The best technique is to eat small meals frequently throughout the day - think of “grazing” - every few hours. This way, your blood sugar is consistent (which helps keep the body from storing fat), your energy levels are maintained, and you avoid the food cravings that lead to binging.

Of course, by meal, I don’t mean something big, but balanced. So, practically speaking, be sure to get a serving of protein with each carb - rather than snack on an apple, for example, combine it with nuts or peanut butter. If you have eggs, add toast. A piece of chicken - add whole fruit.

It’s also important to go for quality foods, which usually means whole and unprocessed. If a food looks like it did when it was growing, it’s better than if it’s been changed. But you don’t need to overthink it. If a carb has fiber, it’s going to be a good carb (this is why whole fruit is a good choice, but fruit juices aren’t). Protein should be lean. And fats are best if liquid at room temperature (I.e. the oils in nuts, or the fat found in fish, as opposed to solid marbling fat in beef).

Oh, and drink lots of water. Not only does it help with feelings of hunger, but water is to muscles like air is to tires - it makes them full (that’s really why creatine is useful - it enhances the water retention in your muscles).

Does it hurt when you push and pull? Pushing exercises work chest shoulders and triceps. Pulling exercises work back and biceps. If you can go in one direction without pain, you still have those options.

And if that’s totally dumb, and your elbow just hurts generally when you use it, then rest (plus ice and an anti inflammatory like advil) is what you need. In the meantime, I like the recommendation for lots of core (I.e ab and lower back) work along with lower body exercises.

Thanks. I will take all of that to heart.

I just did moderate cardio today using a workout video and even the gentle bending hurt my elbow, I had to modify many of the exercises to keep that arm from bending, so yeah, I need to lay off of it completely for a while.

I’ve had such great success using Elastic Habits for consistent exercise, but I’ve yet to find nutrition habits that work for that format. I’m reading Mini-Habits for Weight Loss right now (same author) in hopes of some inspiration.