Thursday

The Newtonian neatness of weightlifting

Weightlifting... why

8 comments:

Rob Bowker said...

Loved that, Rino. I never used a gym but I have counted. 1mile hard, 1 mile at 70% on a bike. Counting down miles on the river, 100 paddle strokes at a time. Sometimes it just helps to focus, reduces the pain of effort and stops what's meant to be exercise becoming a sightseeing trip. Not that there's anything wrong with sightseeing. w/v 314 icantsci, too right I can't.

Scott Kernaghan said...

Great perspective on it. And it is a very topical point in our contemporary community, where we have a generation growing up with a far greater drive to be fit and health but has become very driven to have 'observable' fitness. Guys with over-pumped arms, and women with Michelle-bridges physiques jammed into fashionable Lorna-Jane gear.

I often feel that the point has been missed. Not that I'm a picture of fitness. I too have tried the 'gym' route, and found it too filled with self-motivated and energetic people that... well.. made a life of being self motivated and energetic to the point of banality.

rino breebaart said...

cheers guys. Of course, I can see the appeal of bulking up and the buzz of effort etc. But it's the ego and the perving and vanity of gyms that I find bizarre. It's like a cult that claims to be all about fitness and health, but seems to be missing a few gears - like a claim I've heard a few times, mentioned in the context of the ancient greeks, who believed that if you're healthy in body, you're healthy in mind. And some of those lead addicts have a very strange sense of (mental) health...

The bigger question, what is "health" or normal and good function and strength? Of course the DSM-5 isn't going to define mental health & norms for you, but I think a more holistic approach to bulking up could pop a lot of the bubbles floating about the gym. And their armies of trainers & fitness coaches and their Cert-4 level of anatomy and physiology.

Steve Snow said...

My weedy frame is testament to the amount of bulking up I do, so I can't really talk, but I reckon there is a certain zen to lifting weights. Good music in the background is a must and it's a means of getting less weak while letting the mind wander.

Agreed tho Rino, there certainly does seem to be a huge gap between being being (1) healthy and strong enough and (2) swilling protein shakes, eating beef for every meal and lifting progressively heavier weights while grunting in front of a mirror....

clacketyclink said...

I've always struggled with the monotony of working out.

Unfortunately, the human body is a poor generator of household electricity. I'd love to have more self-powered items, but when it comes to generating power, other methods are just far more efficient.

universally said...

As both a certified gym junkie and seasoned academic, I feel the need to at least partially defend my former brethren.

Firstly we move about iron not lead. Elements are important.

I do enjoy the stereotypical picture you paint, which should you visit your local Fitness First you'll find the myth wouldn't be dispelled. Men (and women) do watch themselves in the mirror and if I had a cracking six pack with bulging guns I would to. However, you'll find it's more often than not to check technique. Can do a fair bit of damage if you push, lift or pull heavy weights incorrectly.

Assuming your question was not hypothetical, I think weightlifters who were mathematically inclined would be good at statistics. The mere fact that we can count sequentially from 1 to 15 would not indicate the ability to decipher complex algorithms. Nor does that mean that mean chiseled abs do not equate to a higher level of intelligence.

What do we think about? What do you think about when undertaking various activities that you enjoy? The task at hand? What to cook for dinner? The complexity of the Inception plot? Quantum computing? One does not switch off one's brain because the task appears repetitive. It tends not to be an all day job either, protein powders are expensive, so unfortunately we have to work a 9-5 to fund the white rice, egg white and steamed chicken diet.

I completely agree with your proposed alternative to energy generation. While we're at it, why not connect the grid to schools and childcare centres and hook those kiddies up to hamster like wheels and see what we can produce?

Discounting all the evidence indicating the health benefits of resistance training, of which there are many, I draw attention to Mr Scott's comment's on 'observable fitness', how is a fit, healthy and lean appearance a less desirable role model than the overwhelming majority of Australians who are overweight and/or obese? And despite the ridiculousness of the over-priced garments Lorna Jane produce, it wouldn't kill us to applaud a positive stereotype for women which encourages a healthy body image and not the rake thin anorexic one the media continues to exploit.

Mr Rino, I can assure you that the state of my mental health has not been ill-affected by lifting a few heavy objects against the force of gravity. So on behalf of all the beef cakes out there, we still read books, actively engage in intellectual debate, attend institutions of higher education and if we happen to look good while doing it surely that can't hurt?

rino breebaart said...

Ms Universally, thanks for commenting! I think you raise much critical weight. Thanks for correcting me on the ferrous mass component too. You idea of getting the kids on board the fitness wheel could actually be a great way to get the ball rolling. Ouch, crappy mixed metaphor.

But in terms of brain activity and occupation, I'm glad it's not the grim chore for you that it is for me. It's the only process I know that makes me feel uncomfortable in my own mind, as it were. Makes it hard to think about anything else.

Maybe, in line with the reader's mentality (and reader's physique, mine, alas), we should take a leaf out of the Cuban cigar factory's book readers/lectors, who read out classics and tomes during the working day (see for eg http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8406641.stm) - we can have smart types prosetylising in the gyms, rather than pipe in insanely pumped techno. We can have novels, essays, works of political awareness etc. I can see it now, someone reading with the rhythm of the reps "the... Means... of... Production!" while the iron goes up and down. That might be satisfying... :-)
rino

universally said...

One should never apologise for a pun disguised as a metaphor, regardless of it's crappiness.

I was thinking about your post while thinking about what I was thinking about while leg pressing last night. Truth be told I was concentrating on not crushing my body under the excessive load, so I guess you are correct in your wildly thrown about assumption that the intellectual bar probably isn't as highly raised as I so righteously exclaimed (crappy metaphor completely intentional).

And while you noted earlier the Ancient Greeks and their pre-instagrammed meme health mantra, it should not be forgotten that a pillar of their democracy was built in part upon the golden mean and all it's aesthetic glory. Ego and vanity are not a plague of the common era and in a predominantly visual society I don't think it should be treated with the level of contempt it oft is.

Ha! I do think I would enjoy being read tales and news and other texts of substance, would take the edge off some of the pain during drop sets and would most certainly trump the top 40 tracks which repeat more frequently than grunts and moans from the squat rack. An idea which could also be spread into certain under performing sectors, Toyota take note.

Sal