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mccoy

New section on physical exercise for longevity

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I'm just throwing in this idea of opening a new forum section on physical exercise, specifically tailored for the longevity buffs. Apparently, that's an important part of any longevity strategy and even of a strict, literal regime of CR. I've been searching around but, although there is a lot of material about exercise, it is scattered and the purpose is more general fitness or bodyweight loss or increase of strenght (the latter overlaps with longevity strategies in part).

There are many angles to the issue, from the proper regimen (cardio or resistance or both?) to the proper exercises, to the cautions to undertake against injuries, to the more appropriate strategies in the various age ranges, to the specific trainings against sarcopenia and osteopenia-osteoporosis, to acquiring strength to avoid injuries, to acquiring muscle mass to improve metabolism and so on.

Because of the width of the topic maybe a new section would be appropriate. We can link what appears to be relevant and credible advise. We can discuss the apparent contradiction of downregulating the anabolic pathways and building up mass and strength and propose suitable strategies to overcoem the contradiction.

If a new section is not possible I'm going to expand this thread.

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I think this is a fantastic idea as I believe exercise and healthy muscle is compatible with longevity and in particular maximizing health span.  However, it is tangential at best to the concept of caloric restriction.  Dean promotes high volume low intensity calorie burning aerobic exercise as a factor of a net CR regime, ie calories in minus calories out,  I believe there is a role for that sort of exercise but find it neutral to catabolic - ie, it's good for general fitness but it does little to build strength and muscle mass.  Having a muscle wasting disease I've become very focused on building muscle which is in contradiction to the goal/practice of CR. 

 

Without CR it seems most of us (and lab animals too) tend to a perpetual overfed state.  Anything which reduces this could be healthier, whether it is chronic CR, intermittent fasting/TRF, extended fasting, Longo's FMD or any combination of approaches to avoid perpetual over feeding.  For myself, i'm shifting to a cyclic diet alternating periods of CR and overfeeding, ie periods of catabolism and anabolism with a goal of changing body composition to minimize fat and maximize muscle.  I look at people like Jack Lalanne and see it is possible to achieve healthspan and longevity when pursuing a more heavily muscled body composition.  The big question is how do cyclic/periodic CR approaches compare in effectiveness to chronic CR?  From what I've seen the research is inconclusive, perhaps chronic CR is more effective for some or even most but I don't believe anything as simple minded as promoting maximal CR all of the time for everyone is best.

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Actually, I too am wondering about the CR versus muscle-mass issue. It may even be a non-issue from the standpoint of mere CR, in the sense that rats with CR live longer, so we couldn't care less if they have lesser muscle mass.

On the other side, humans may be different than rats and muscle mass seems to be an efficient glucose sink, a metabolic regulator and guarantee against easy injury (providing that muscle mass is positively correlated to bone density and strength). Besides, of course, being useful for functional reasons (the everyday chores). I observed that many CR practitioners in this forum are extremely thin, with such a low BMI that it implies reduced muscle mass. But muscle tissue even if not very developed may sure be exercised and it is probably going to enhance bone density to a viable level.

 

After the above reasonings, I find that the safety issue is fundamental. More strength means more physical resilience and aptitude to resist injuries without serious damage. Also, strength may avoid injury in some instances. Injury means having to stop even light exercise and possible onset of sarcopenia + osteopenia.

 

Alas, after 25 years of forced lack of weight lifting, when I tried to start back a year ago it was disastrous. The strength I had at 30 has all but gone. Muscles are not responsive and joints and tendons tend to ache pretty soon and with small weights. Ego must be thrown in the junk bin and strategies must be adopted to use light weights, slow or superslow training, lenghten the recovery time, forget the past glorious days of brutal workouts with massive loads.

 

Now I'm in the process to revise my conceptual framework of bodybuilding and adopt suitable methods and strategies.

 

For those 50+ who are interested in practicing resistance training for longevity purposes I'm going to post some material I found.

 

This is an interesting recount of the difficulties we may come across when training at middle age.

 

This is the website of Stuart McRoberts, a natural, non genetically-gifted bodybuilder who makes a good point against the suggestions given by the top bodybuilders, 'genetic freaks packed with steroids', how he calls them. Genetically endowed people who use heavy hormonal aids can hardly constitute a reference for health oriented genetically average guys.

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Muscle Mass Index as a Predictor of Longevity in Older-Adults

 

doi:  10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.02.007

 

Abstract

Purpose

 

Obesity (as defined by body mass index) hasn’t been consistently associated with higher mortality in older adults. However, total body mass includes fat and muscle which have different metabolic effects. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that greater muscle mass in older adults will be associated with lower all-cause mortality.

 

Methods

 

All-cause mortality was analyzed by the year 2004 in 3,659 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, who were 55 years (65 years if women) or older at the time of the survey (1988–94). I ndividuals who were underweight or died in the first 2 years of follow-up, were excluded so as to remove frail elders from the sample. Skeletal muscle mass was measured using bioelectrical impedance and muscle mass index was defined as muscle mass divided by height squared. Modified Poisson regression and proportional hazards regression were used to examine the relationship of muscle mass index with all-cause mortality risk and rate respectively, adjusted for central obesity (waist hip ratio)and other significant covariates.

 

Results

 

In adjusted analyses, total mortality was significantly lower in the fourth quartile of muscle mass index compared to the first: adjusted risk ratio 0.81 (95% confidence interval 0.71 – 0.91) and adjusted hazard ratio 0.80 (95% confidence interval 0.66 – 0.97).

 

Conclusions

 

This study demonstrates the survival predication ability of relative muscle mass and highlights the need to look beyond total body mass in assessing the health of older adults.

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Thanks Todd, I'm going to read that article in detail. Another field where there have been similar observations as far as I know is space medicine. Astronauts in space stations tend to loose a lot of muscle mass because of zero gravity and such a  phenomenon is told to shorten their lifespan. I read no explanations for the life shortening effect but that appears to be a consolidated assumption in that field. 

 

So, there seems to be a distinct metabolic advantage of larger muscle mass. Of course, the hazard curve here might be  bathtub or J-shaped, since exceptional muscle mass (bodybuilders, weight lifters...) implies the maintenance of an anabolic state with all the metabolic paths and axes upregulated, with a net life-shortening effect.

Edited by mccoy

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I just finished reading Abel Scott's book on resistance training for not so young people. Physique after 50.

It's about 1 US$ kindle edition. Many routines. The positive aspect of this book is that it is, surprisingly, the only source I read so far which does not neglect the issues of injuries, back pain, sore joints when training. In my case, that's a basic factor. There is the usual statement on the best exercises for strength and muscular gain: squat, deadlift, bench press. Abel Scott eliminates these exercises from the routine and proposes others, mainly with machines, which are less stressful on joints. Deadlift is the best exercise for pure strength but it may kill your back. Ditto squat, back & knees. Bench press may stress your shoulder joints, so he proposes dumbell bench presses, and so on. No chinups, no dips. It is the only book I read so far specifically tailored to over 50 guys and gals who want to start or keep up with weight training.

Also, he clearly states it is totally useless to worry about pre training and post training meal plans when competition or real strenuos workout is not involved.

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I read the Srikanthan and Karlamagna, 2014 study, linked by Todd.

 

First thing, I'm surprised that BMI-obesity are not a predictor of mortality, since obesity often indicates metabolic dysfunction and the presence of other risk factors.

 

The data on more muscle mass= lesser mortality risk  are consistent although the cause is not clear, the authors suggest that muscle mass may be a proxy for CVD (causing lesser blood flow to muscles) or CV fitness (which muscle mass is a consequence of). Very lean individuals, with BMI<18.5 have not been included in the study, which hence may not apply to many guys here who practice strict CR.

 

Clinical significance: • Muscle mass, independent of fat mass and cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, is inversely associated with mortality risk in older adults • These findings suggest that anabolic processes , that promote muscle bulk, may be associated with longer survival. • Changes in body composition, rather than adiposity alone, should be considered when counseling older adults on preventative health behaviours.

 

 

 

The Kaplan Meier survival curves are interesting in that the increase in mortality in the 1st and 2nd quartiles are clear, whereas the 4th quartile exhibits less survival than the 3rd, not with a large difference though (within error variability maybe). By analysis of the data, we may infer that sarcopenia-small value of muscle mass is sure a predictor of higher mortality, whereas very large values of muscle mass are not necessarily a predictor of longevity compared to large, but not very large values. After 150 months the data suggest a survival probability higher by about 25% in the 3rd and 4th quartiles with respect to the 1st quartile.

 

post-7347-0-68257800-1482677542_thumb.png

Edited by mccoy

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Mccoy, I'm currently reading a book you might find interesting.

https://www.amazon.com/Body-Science-Research-Strength-Training/dp/0071597174

 

The core idea is that infrequent brief intense workouts at slow cadence of the major muscles to exhaustion is effective stimulation of hypertrophy and yields substantial metabolic and cardio type benefits.  They reference numerous studies which support this idea.

 

My view of the book so far is that it is intended to encourage non-athletic people who aren't working out to do so as one can achieve a lot of benefit with a minimal commitment of time and minimal stress/injury risk.  And perhaps it may be of value to those who exercise a lot without gaining strength to up their intensity or improve their recovery and get better results.  I've found the theoretical discussion portion of the book interesting but the suggested workout program focuses on using Nautilus type gym equipment and I am not interested in maintaining a gym membership and spending more time traveling than I do exercising.  I don't generate a lot of force when exercising intensely to exhaustion and am most interested in finding ways to exercise more effectively at home with minimal equipment

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Of course, the hazard curve here might be  bathtub or J-shaped, since exceptional muscle mass (bodybuilders, weight lifters...) implies the maintenance of an anabolic state with all the metabolic paths and axes upregulated, with a net life-shortening effect.

 

Low muscle mass appears to be a risk factor for increased morbidity.   It appears to me the longevity benefits of increasing muscle mass plateau at some level but I don't see much evidence for the idea that one can readily over do it and have a significant impact on longevity by attaining too much muscle.  If so, then looking at a sample of some of the most extreme body buiders, say the Mr. Universe champions, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe_Championships one ought to see some of them dieing significantly younger than average from things such as stroke or heart disease.  But in my cursory look I'm finding plenty of examples of these guys who pushed limits getting big, working out hard, eating lots of meat, etc. beating average life expectancies with great vigor in their senior years.

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Mccoy, I'm currently reading a book you might find interesting.

https://www.amazon.com/Body-Science-Research-Strength-Training/dp/0071597174

 

The core idea is that infrequent brief intense workouts at slow cadence of the major muscles to exhaustion is effective stimulation of hypertrophy and yields substantial metabolic and cardio type benefits.  They reference numerous studies which support this idea.

 

My view of the book so far is that it is intended to encourage non-athletic people who aren't working out to do so as one can achieve a lot of benefit with a minimal commitment of time and minimal stress/injury risk.  And perhaps it may be of value to those who exercise a lot without gaining strength to up their intensity or improve their recovery and get better results.  I've found the theoretical discussion portion of the book interesting but the suggested workout program focuses on using Nautilus type gym equipment and I am not interested in maintaining a gym membership and spending more time traveling than I do exercising.  I don't generate a lot of force when exercising intensely to exhaustion and am most interested in finding ways to exercise more effectively at home with minimal equipment

 

Todd, I didn't read that book although I read something about the method. It's interesting but I never tried that, there are some drawbacks to an 80% max load program like that, specifically that, even if one week is enough to recuperate from muscle soreness, it may not be enough to recuperate from small injuries and inflammations of tendons, ribs, joints, single muscles, caused by 80% 1-rep. That's what I'm suffering now, although the single set suggested by the authors may not be enough to cause such drawbacks. Besides, the TUL (time under load) seems to govern over loading.

Re: gym membership, once a week involves not much travel, although they should agree to a single-fee-per-training scheme.

The exercises with machine may be replicated at home but pulldown and seated row would require a pulley machine, and a leg press should be substituted by squats, which is not easy at home. I believe there is a John Little free weight version but it is not back friendly. Bent-over barbell row and deadlift with 80% 1 rep sounds risky if the back is weak or injured or pains. Squat and overhead pressing, ditto. Bench press is the only back friendly exercise, but it is not shoulder joint friendly.

 

Right now I'm using the very reduced gear I have at home, training when I have no pains, from one to 3 times a week. Bench press implies minimal equipment. Squat or leg press may be substituted by front squat with barbell and small weights, overhead press can be done with small dumbbells and pulldowns may be substituted by chinups or its negative movement (I'm trying that from a chair now, not being able to do that after very long inactivity). Seated rows would require a pulley machine or elastic bands. 

 

The scheme I'm following presently is very slow reps with moderate weights to prevent injuries and inflammations. I've a long way to go and may try John Little's method later on. If I can find an unexpensive gym membership I might enroll, I would hate to pay on a monthly basis and then being able to go only twice. I might buy some kind of pulley machine though.

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Of course, the hazard curve here might be  bathtub or J-shaped, since exceptional muscle mass (bodybuilders, weight lifters...) implies the maintenance of an anabolic state with all the metabolic paths and axes upregulated, with a net life-shortening effect.

 

Low muscle mass appears to be a risk factor for increased morbidity.   It appears to me the longevity benefits of increasing muscle mass plateau at some level but I don't see much evidence for the idea that one can readily over do it and have a significant impact on longevity by attaining too much muscle.  If so, then looking at a sample of some of the most extreme body buiders, say the Mr. Universe champions, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe_Championships one ought to see some of them dieing significantly younger than average from things such as stroke or heart disease.  But in my cursory look I'm finding plenty of examples of these guys who pushed limits getting big, working out hard, eating lots of meat, etc. beating average life expectancies with great vigor in their senior years.

 

 

Todd, from what I know many of the top guys had heart issues and surgery (Arnold schwarzenegger is one of'em). Also, back  and hip surgery, torn tendons. If they do not die soon probably often it's because they are genetically extremely strong, which helps them to withstand dietary abuse, indulgence in steroids and other drugs, besides abusing he body with all means. I've been working out in a gym in the past and know many of those things. The gym owner went once to compete in a bodybuilding contest. He was hospitalized before the contest because of excess of diuretics. Competitive bodybuilding implies a number of excesses which no doubt tend to increase mortality.

 

There are extensive lists with names in this link

 

Of course, muscle acquired in an healthy way is different, but it is only seen in 'natural bodybuilders' contests, where the athletes are checked for drug use. And the muscle is far, far less.

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Mccoy, yes it's clear the recent trend for heavy anabolic drug use among body builders has a huge detrimental impact on longevity.  But many seem to believe pursuing a muscular body through more natural means of diet and strenuous exercise is also detrimental.  I went through the wikipedia pages for the Mr. Universe and the earlier Mr. America body building champions and here is a list of the early winners for which there were links to info on age/death.  While it is a small data set, it at a minimum indicates that pursuing extreme muscle is not incompatible with longevity.  These body building competitions focused on lean physique as opposed to maximum strength and I expect the emphasis on keeping body fat low might be a factor in the relatively good longevity.

 

1940 Mr. America, John Grimek, died at 88, still performing 400+ lb squats in his late 60s
1945 Mr. America, Clarence Ross, died at 84
1947 Mr. America, Steve Reeves, died at 74 from post surgery blood clot
1948 Mr. America, George Eiferman, died at 76
1949 Mr. America, Jack Delinger, died at 66 from heart attack
1951 Mr. America, Roy Hilligen, died at 85 from surgery due to fall induced brain blood clot
1953 Mr. America, Bill Pearl, 86 still living
 
1951 Mr. Universe, Reg Park died at 79 from skin cancer
1952 Mr. Universe, Juan Ferrero died at 40 in car accident
1955 Mr. Universe, Mickey Hargitay, died at 80 from multiple myeloma
1957 Mr. Universe, John Lees, 86 still living
 
and Jack Lalanne, pioneering bodybuilder/gym owner/inspirational figure to early body building champs, died at 96 from pneumonia

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Todd, yes, the older bodybuilders are natural, there were no steroids back then, the numbers you posted probably show an higher than average longevity compared to that timespan.

What I can say is that sometimes the bodybuilders adopted what in this forum (and elsewhere) is considered an unhealthy diet, with lots of red meat, up to 6 pounds and more per day. This was the muscle-building diet of Serge Nubret, an exceptional French bodybuilder, who died at 73 and we may add to your list.

The pro strongman Robert Oberst, 6'8'' and 400 pounds of beef, eats up to 20K kcalories per day, with copious amounts of protein.

strongman.jpg

Probably, with their physical strength and resilience, without dietary abuse such guys might have lived much longer or have a very long life expectancy.

 

I noticed that dietary abuse is an inevitable part of strength sports. They eat and eat and eat again even though they are not hungry. and it has been showed that vegan strong men are far weaker than their omnivore counterpart. The eating, especially many animal based proteins, has no doubt the function to activate mTOR and put the whole system in an anabolic state enhancing MPS. We know that mTOR when upregulated favours proliferation and growth to the expense of maintenance and repair. Hence, strength athletes on the average would suffer the drawbacks related to an upregulated mTOR. They are prone to degenerative and CV diseases plus cancer, if research on cellular metabolism is right.

 

This may be balanced by the benefits of added muscular mass. I'm afraid that the total balance is in the red though, longevity wise.

Edited by mccoy

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Robert Oberst is 400 lbs not 200 lbs.  I doubt he will be setting any longevity records.  

 

My speculation is steroid free body builders, very lean, appear to have decent longevity despite suicidal diets by CR standards, while strength athletes without a focus on leanness appear not to do so well.  Maybe when targeting a lean phsyique one achieves balance between anabolism and catabolism to keep fat in check resulting in good longevity?  I'd be surprised if it is genetics.  If there was a linkage between genes for extreme muscular growth and longevity I'd think it would have been noticed/investigated by now.  Some body builders tell of taking up body building in response to sickly childhoods.

 

Dean, a former forum member, has suggested one might achieve the benefits of CR with a favorable net calorie balance such that one can consume a higher total calorie amount so long as there is high calorie expenditure and BMI stays low.  But perhaps a low body fat percentage is more crucial than a low BMI?

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You can (not advised) eat stupid amounts of plant foods and load up on plant based protein supplements just like you can load up on meat/dairy based protein supplements, and get the same IGF-1 boosting effects.  There are vegan NFL players, vegan body builders, and the only power-lifter the US Olympic team sent to Rio this year was a vegan.  Not sure why you want to focus on this though, high IGF-1 is not very likely to lead to longevity.  From the list of old school (no roids) bodybuilding winners, I think Jack LaLanne was the most impressive, he was also a Pesco-Vegetarian for most of his life.  His workout schedule was insane, hours and hours every single day, even in his elder years, when his joints became shot he did swimming for hours a day.  Sadly, all this exercise probably did nothing for his longevity, despite the fact that he lived to age 96.  He had a brother that didn't do any of that crazy exercise non-sense, who lived to age 98.

 

There are very few "exercise buffs" in the centenarian and super-centenarian literature, the most common exercise for those that live longest seems to be walking and gardening. 

 

If you took two HEALTHY people (not overweight, healthy diet), lets say, identical twins, and had one do lots of exercise, and the other do little, which one lives longer? We didn't know, UNTIL this study was published:

 

Observational studies report a strong inverse relationship between leisure-time physical activity and all-cause mortality. Despite suggestive evidence from population-based associations, scientists have not been able to show a…
NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV
 

TomB's paraphrased comments about this study:

First in rats they found that exercise actually shortens lifespans! The design of the study is very strong. First, because it is voluntary exercise. That's significant, because one could imagine that perhaps being forced to exercise might have some kind of - maybe stress-related - deleterious effects. There are shades of this reasoning in the general finding that involuntary exercise - such as at work for human beings where they perform physical labor rather than office work, they find that this exercise does not translate into better health, rather the opposite (of course there are other confounders). But in the rats, this was eliminated as a confounder - this was completely voluntary exercise. Second, they already sorted the genetic strains, into high-fit runners and low-fit runners, and the effect of exercise was deleterious on both. That's significant, because you can't say "oh, here we are dealing with subjects that are genetically predisposed to have poor (or good) exercise fitness". Instead, it looks like even if you take the extremes of both natural fitness profiles, you still get the effect of exerecise dramatically shortening lifespans. Of course, this is in rats, but it really makes me think about all those findings in humans where the higher frequency/intensity exercisers showed shorter lifespans compared to moderate and low-level exercisers.

 

Regarding the monozygotic twins and exercise results - exercise is just not looking very critical for longevity. The weakness in all exercise/lifespan studies is genetic heterogeneity and lack of double-blind randomized control studies, which are obviously hard to do in humans (how do you placebo exercise?). But this twin study is very clever - because not only are you taking genes and a lot of the environment confounders out, but you would think, if there are further confounders for the non-exercising twin, it would be to the disadvantage of the non-exercising twin, as it's possible that the twin is not exercising due to some weakness/illness - yet, despite that, there is no advantage to the exercised twin...

 

Diet comes first and foremost, if you don't have diet right, exercise is irrelevant.

If you want to get on the right track, I recommend reading:

how-not-to-die.jpg

 

My own exercise theory and practice is to do very short duration (5-10 minutes a day) intense exercise to maintain muscle mass and "clean out" the cardiovascular system with some brief high heart rate activity (kind of like brushing your teeth to prevent plaque from building up, or blasting water through a hose to clean it out and prevent junk from accumulating).  For maintaining muscle mass and bone health, body-weight exercises are adequate, and free, no need to join a gym.  The more convenient you make this, the better (for example I built a pullup bar right next to my bed, so I have no excuses not to use it).

 

Long duration exercise is a recipe for wearing out joints and damaging your body.   Joggers for example often end up with 'runner's knee' and impact damage over time from repetitive impact exercises. Running can even destroy red blood cells as they get crushed in your feet. Endurance training can lead to what has been termed 'sports anemia' -- under normal conditions, red blood cells (RBCs) have a lifespan of about 120 days, the rate of aging can increase during intensive training. 

 

-Gordo

Edited by Gordo

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While not specifically focused on longevity, here is another interesting study on twins with divergent exercise: Physical activity, fitness, glucose homeostasis, and brain morphology in twins.

 

Here is the New York Times report on this research: One Twin Exercises, the Other Doesn’t

 

They only looked at 10 twins and seem to have screwed up the science as far as I'm concerned.  "The sedentary twins had higher body fat percentages, and signs of insulin resistance, signaling the onset of metabolic problems".  It'd be much more interesting if they looked only at healthy twins with the same body fat percentages and similar content of diet, yet different exercise profiles (i.e. try to change only one variable)...  Can we learn something from a fat, diabetic (or pre-diabetic) twin that doesn't exercise?  I don't know, but even if we can, how much would apply to the typical reader in this forum?

 

Here's another look at diet vs. exercise:

https://youtu.be/J4TbTmMF5SE

 "Couch potato plant eaters vs. skinny marathon runners who eat standard american diet"

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While not specifically focused on longevity, here is another interesting study on twins with divergent exercise: Physical activity, fitness, glucose homeostasis, and brain morphology in twins.

 

Here is the New York Times report on this research: One Twin Exercises, the Other Doesn’t

 

Unimpressive. Tiny sample (10 pairs), very short time (3 years), using biomarkers rather than outcomes, and meaningless criteria. The brain thing: for exercisers brain area devoted to movement is bigger... duh! So what? How does that make the health or longevity better? If you take a group of people and have them push balls with their noses, I bet you'd have the brain area controlling the nose also bigger - and also "so what". And biomarkers are an uncertain measure of health and longevity - the insulin resistance is a good example. In one of the monkey CR studies, the oldest surviving monkey was a non-CR'd female that was diabetic. So much for biomarkers and longevity. When people bring up Jack Lalanne I, like Gordo, also like to bring up his brother Norman (correction Gordo: Norman lived to 97, not 98) - despite the vast diet and exercise difference between the two, Norman lived just as long (or even a tiny bit longer). It really is down to the genes. I keep asking - where are the avid exercisers amongst the supercentenarians? Just by statistics, if exercise was all that, you'd expect them to be over-represented, instead they are not represented at all. 

 

That said, I am not convinced that exercise at moderate levels is deleterious to health/life span. Perhaps it is even salutary at moderate doses. But that needs to be proven, and so far while we have a lot of studies, we have no ironclad proof. Given what's at stake you'd think there would be clarity on this point, but as so often in medicine, we don't know the simplest and most fundamental things (like what is the exact function of sleep - and activity we devote almost 1/3 of our life to, together with most animals) - for that matter we're still discovering major anatomical features we were not aware even existed in the human body. And that doesn't even touch upon the mess that the science of human diet is.

 

Bottom line: we know remarkably little about exercise.

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You can (not advised) eat stupid amounts of plant foods and load up on plant based protein supplements just like you can load up on meat/dairy based protein supplements, and get the same IGF-1 boosting effects.  There are vegan NFL players, vegan body builders, and the only power-lifter the US Olympic team sent to Rio this year was a vegan.  Not sure why you want to focus on this though, high IGF-1 is not very likely to lead to longevity.  From the list of old school (no roids) bodybuilding winners, I think Jack LaLanne was the most impressive, he was also a Pesco-Vegetarian for most of his life.  His workout schedule was insane, hours and hours every single day, even in his elder years, when his joints became shot he did swimming for hours a day.  Sadly, all this exercise probably did nothing for his longevity, despite the fact that he lived to age 96.  He had a brother that didn't do any of that crazy exercise non-sense, who lived to age 98.

 

...

My own exercise theory and practice is to do very short duration (5-10 minutes a day) intense exercise to maintain muscle mass and "clean out" the cardiovascular system with some brief high heart rate activity (kind of like brushing your teeth to prevent plaque from building up, or blasting water through a hose to clean it out and prevent junk from accumulating).  For maintaining muscle mass and bone health, body-weight exercises are adequate, and free, no need to join a gym.  The more convenient you make this, the better (for example I built a pullup bar right next to my bed, so I have no excuses not to use it).

 

Long duration exercise is a recipe for wearing out joints and damaging your body.   Joggers for example often end up with 'runner's knee' and impact damage over time from repetitive impact exercises. Running can even destroy red blood cells as they get crushed in your feet. Endurance training can lead to what has been termed 'sports anemia' -- under normal conditions, red blood cells (RBCs) have a lifespan of about 120 days, the rate of aging can increase during intensive training. 

-Gordo

 

Gordo, I believe there are not enough data about vegan strongmen, Ferris (the US athlete you memtion) and Baboumian being a couple of the notable exceptions. The omnivores might retort though that Kendrick Ferris ended up 11th in his weight class at Rio, and that the medalists and all the others who did better were meat-eaters. Baboumian holds a couple of world records in log lifting and yoke walk but his power lifts (bench press, squat and deadlift) are unimpressive compared to the other strongmen.

I read the ideas of a couple of strength coaches and they are pretty convinced (providing also some evidence) that the strongest athletes are all meat-eaters and heavy eaters. Strenght apparently also needs lots of food to be expressed. I don't know why it shouldn't be that plant proteins in large amounts do not give rise to equal strength than animal proteins. I believe there are some serious confounding factors like the very few vegan strength athletes, which makes it less likely the occurrence of individuals of extreme strength  in that subset, by purely frequentistic reasoning. Also, do vegans steer clear of PED (performance enhancing drugs)? If so, they will inevitably loose to the omnivores who make use of growth hormone, steroids and all the array of strength enhancing drugs. Olympic athletes are forbidden to take hormones but we all know they often take it and use schemes to avoid detection. So it really remains an open issue. Bottom line, CR practitioners are doing their best to decreas IFG-1, whereas strength athletes are doing just the opposite, taking growth hormone and eating like madmen. Again, by the standards of recent research, it appears that they chose not live a long life .

 

The pullups you do is very good but pretty strenuos free-body exercise, which puts significant strain on the shoulder joints. Older people like me are advised to use laterals pulldowns at a pulley machine to reduce strain. when at college I didn't go to the gym but I regularly did pullups, dips and pushups and that was a pretty good freebody upper body routine.

Right now though, after 25 years of forced inactivity, I find that I'm not able to do pullups and dips so a gym machine would come in handy. I'm thinking to set up a small home gym.

 

I confirm that running tends to kill your knees. Especially running on the tarmac. I had to quit recently just for this reason.

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Robert Oberst is 400 lbs not 200 lbs.  I doubt he will be setting any longevity records.  

My speculation is steroid free body builders, very lean, appear to have decent longevity despite suicidal diets by CR standards, while strength athletes without a focus on leanness appear not to do so well.  Maybe when targeting a lean phsyique one achieves balance between anabolism and catabolism to keep fat in check resulting in good longevity?  I'd be surprised if it is genetics.  If there was a linkage between genes for extreme muscular growth and longevity I'd think it would have been noticed/investigated by now.  Some body builders tell of taking up body building in response to sickly childhoods.

Dean, a former forum member, has suggested one might achieve the benefits of CR with a favorable net calorie balance such that one can consume a higher total calorie amount so long as there is high calorie expenditure and BMI stays low.  But perhaps a low body fat percentage is more crucial than a low BMI?

 

Thanks for the correction Todd, evidently I was thinking in terms of kilograms and 400 pounds is almost 200 kg (180 to be precise).

As an afterthought, the due proportions being done, if Oberst eats one pound of dietary proteins per day he's eating 2.5 grams protein per kg of bodyweight and that's not an insane amount for strength athletes. Considering the inhuman muscular exertions he applies during his daily training, such an amount might even sound like a restriction!

 

I read Dean's thesis and Michael's retorts. Sure, with such a low BMI and bodyfat Dean exhibits the signs of a dowregulated mTOR pathway.

 

The issue which I'm interested into and which has been expressed by Dr Attia during his interview with Rhonda Patrick is if it is possible to increase muscle mass and keep mTOR downregulated. It sure sounds like an oxymoron, but he thinks in therms of targeted upregulation, that is, upregulating mTOR in the muscle tissue and downregulating it in the organs.

 

Since circulating leucine and BCAAs are probably sequestered by the muscle tissue before they can hit the organs, it might be possible theoretically to hack the body into growing muscles and keeping the other organs in the repair and maintenance mode. By which biomarker to make sure of that I don't know though.

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Mccoy, what point are you trying to make about strength and diet? If the average plant based dieter is less strong than the average meat eater (I'm not even sure if this is true) its probably due to the fact that that plant eater doesn't care about being ripped, and I'm not sure why anyone in this forum would either? I'd focus on optimal health and longevity instead. Body builder types (NFL players, etc) tend to do very poorly after about age 60 and die before their peers.

 

Studies:

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1710093

 

http://m.ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/526S.short

 

Fun tangent: Study Says If You Don’t Like Exercising, You Might Have Higher Intelligence

Edited by Gordo

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Mccoy, what point are you trying to make about strength and diet? If the average plant based dieter is less strong than the average meat eater (I'm not even sure if this is true) its probably due to the fact that that plant eater doesn't care about being ripped, and I'm not sure why anyone in this forum would either? I'd focus on optimal health and longevity instead. Body builder types (NFL players, etc) tend to do very poorly after about age 60 and die before their peers.

 

Gordo, actually I'm not in the position to make any points, just ruminating on the subject. Pls note, 'ripped' in the bodybuilding jargon means 'displaying very low bodyfat  in such a way that all the muscle sheats are well visible'. It is very different from strength. Bodybuilding is not about strength, although some degree of strength is automatically acquired when exercising with weights. Probably the plant eater would have no difficulties in being as ripped as the omnivore bodybuilder. Whereas we were discussing if the plant eater has any inherent disadvantage over the omnivore strength athlete. Strength athlete means powerlifter (bench press+squat+deadlift) or the olympic lifter (snatch+clean & jerk) or the pro-strongmen who engage in  competitions with standardized, herculean tasks. But, as I hinted previously, this field is so messed up by all kind of abuses, dietary, physical and related to performance enhancing drugs, that any conclusion is probably biased by such an overwhelming host of confounding factors. The obvious bottom line, as you say, is that abuse = greater probability of premature death.

 

On the other side the suggestions coming from the longevity experts are, as far as I've seen: keep your muscle mass and avoid sarcopenia.

 

This thread is about the best ways to keep and even to increase one's muscle mass, avoid sarcopenia, avoid osteopenia/osteoporosis, avoid musculoskeletal weakness which increases the likelyhood of injuries. The (arguably) best way has been outlined, and I've seen that you agree, as resistance training. This may mean exercises with weights, free-body exercises (which are exercises with weights, the loading being one's own body or part of it), exercises with suitable machines or elastic bands. 

Everyone should optimize his or her own routine according to age, previous or existing injuries, weak and strong points and so on.

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I found that some experts in sport nutritional medicine support the concept of a post workout anabolic window of opportunity, suggesting to ingest BAAs just before resistance training and a serving of whey proteins isolate just after. The window is told to be pretty narrow (about 45 minutes after training).

 

Such practice would allow to upregulate mTORC1 in the muscle tissues, creating a specific anabolic environment for MPS (muscle protein synthesis). Ostensibly, if practicing CR or protein optimization, mTORC1 would stay downregulated in the other tissues, allowing a targeted anabolism without extending the anabolic state to the whole system.

 

In a few words, it would be possible to increase significantly (according to loading) muscle mass in an harmless way, while avoiding the problems of a systemically upregulated mTOR.

 

What do you guys think about that?

 

I'm just starting to do specific research but literature data appear not to be unanimous.

 

Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window?

Edited by mccoy

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I've been mixing 1 part BCAAs into 5 parts grass fed undenatured whey protein as straight BCAAs I don't find very palatable.  I put 16 g of the powder mix into 500 g of water in a mason jar along with a little salt and stevia extract and shake it to dissolve which I find more effective than stirring.  And I can carry the jar without spills.  I drink it during or immediately after working out.  And on days that I've worked out vigorously enough to be going to bed with a little soreness I'll drink a jar just before going to sleep.

 

Prior to doing this my gains in strength and muscle had tapered off and now I'm making decent gains again.  I don't know to what degree the protein drink is helping but subjectively feel my recovery is better/quicker.

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Any possible or foreseeable collateral effects of eating reasoned amounts of BCAAs and whey proteins in relation to resistance workouts? I'm slowly starting to contemplate the advantages of such a scheme and maybe planning to adopt it. One distinct advantge would be that there would be little mental pressure to eat more proteins during meals because of the need to boost MPS. I mean, psycologically, if I knew that I took fully advantage of the anabolic window, I'd just keep eating the regular amount of proteins, minimizing the risks of overindulgence.

 

Aragon et Schoenfield in the previously posted 2013 article seem to agree that when working out in the fasted state and possibly for elder people the concept of anabolic window is a realistic one.

 

Valter Longo suggests to take 20 extra grams of proteins after resistance workouts

 

Filippo Ongaro, an Italian antiaging doctor who was in charge of astronauts at the ESA (European Space Agency), suggests to take BCAAs just before resistance workouts and whey proteins isolate just after, together with carbs. A major problem with astronauts in long term missions is that in lack of gravity the body seems to triggers an immediate loss of muscle tissue. The ESA physicians had to supervise post-mission recovery of astronauts, especially recontitution of muscle mass. Ongaro's suggestions are tailored to such experiences and may indeed possess a practical value

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