Long Term Effects Of Doing Weight Training

Discussion in 'Strength Training' started by Kevin, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    I read an article by Georges St-Pierre yesterday in Fighters Only (page 44 of UK Issue 93). In it he talks about how his current injury was caused by him over training and not taking enough time off to rest. One thing that surprised me was that he said he isn't going to train weights anymore.


    We are all aware of the benefits of strength training. From 15 until I was about 31 I usually did weight training of some kind around 3-4 times a week. Like most teenagers, I started off just trying to get big muscles etc but when I started Taekwondo at 20 I adapted my training as I found out the importance of flexibility and found that the way I previously trained made me strong but also made me slow. My punches got stronger as I got slimmer and faster (and improved technique).

    I've not been able to do weight training for 2 years as I pinched a nerve in my neck. I did weight training last year for about a month or so and felt great but it aggravated my neck injury and I had to stop. I haven't did any weights since and it's doubtful I ever will.

    I know I'm missing out by not doing weight training. It helps improve your strength and increases your metabolic rate so you burn calories quicker. Which is why I found St-Pierre's comment about never doing weight training again interesting - is he going to miss out by not doing weight training?

    This is an issue that I can relate to as i want to continue doing martial arts the rest of my life but I will not be able to complement my martial arts training with strength training - even though I know it helps.

    Here is an excerpt from the article:

    I don't recall any elite MMA fighter ever making such a statement. As you can see from the picture below, St-Pierre isn't exactly weak. He's one of the best conditioned athletes in the UFC.


    I don't know much about the long terms effects of doing weight training. I am aware that activities like running can cause problems for people later on in life due to the impact of running on the knees, ankles etc - so I imagine the same kind of problems can arise from weight training.

    It will be interesting to see how this affects his MMA career. Will he move down a weight division or will his gymnastic training be enough for strength training? Will his career be longer as a result of this decision?

    Has anyone here given up weight training through choice? I gave weight training up due to an injury but if I hadn't, I have no doubt that I would still be going to the gym and lifting weights to improve my strength.

    One thing I have noticed from the last days of rolling (BJJ) is the energy you use whilst grappling. I've woken up sore the next day feeling as if I've done a big gym workout. The explosiveness that is needed for pushing someone off you or transitioning to a better position in BJJ surely helps with strength.

    What's your view on this subject?

  3. MadoreGojuRyu

    MadoreGojuRyu Master

    What's your view on this subject?

    I will never stop strength training. This is just like anything else, common sense goes a long way.

    And like everything else in life, the best of things are bad for you when abused. He's a pretty good fighter that just didnt think things through when training. There is a big difference between pushing yourself to your limits and simply being stupid.
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  4. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    That's a really odd statement, as weight training was an integral part of his PT...
    There's an old saying about "work smarter, not harder". That can be applied to weight training as well. I was as bad as anyone when it came to training thru' an injury, rather than training around it. You need to listen to your body and give proper consideration for general recovery & repair as well as allowing your injuries to heal. Continuing to drive forward in spite of physical fatigue is admirable. But if not done intelligently it will be a matter of when, not if, you are going to get hurt.

    Looking at tree care services as an example, my primary source of income. We're three times more likely to die on the job than a police officer. I did almost ten years of power line clearance for the utility, which is the most dangerous aspect of an already inherently dangerous type of work. Part of that is the addition of electricity, and the other is the "Go, go, go!" mentality of management since the companies are paid for mileage of line cleared. The worst accidents I ever saw were typically "veteran" guys who were injured late in the day when physical and mental fatigue were at their worst. Another factor I believe is that these veteran guys had become a complacent and too comfortable on the job.

    This all parallels over training: Driving thru' mental and physical fatigue to train because you "Have to" and taking it for granted that you won't get injured because "Hey, I've been lifting forever. I'm strong and conditioned, I'll be fine." The worst injuries I saw in the weight room were "veteran" guys who tore a bicep, tore a pec, or blew out a knee or their back, etc. Anyone with an ounce of wisdom will learn from that and set up an intelligent work-out plan and listen to their bodies when it's time to back off and rest.
  5. Connor Caple

    Connor Caple Initiate

    Modern research is showing that the problems in later life for runners do not apply to those who ran barefoot, or used old-style 'pumps'.

    The modern running shoe has encouraged runners to land on their heels which causes the knee and shin problems which are now so common. Personally, as a Nak Muay, I always run either barefoot in the gym or in a pair of FeiYue pumps from China which have a rounded sole and minimal support. I spend hours in the gym every week, mainly training and sparring barefoot, so my ankles and supporting muscles are very good.

    People who have always run in Nike's bricks would need time to adapt to a more natural gait where you land on your mid/forefoot rather than your heel.

    My 'weight training' started in the army over 30 years ago and I do not seem to be suffering any ill effects, but I never did it to build muscle - just functional strength for fighting, climbing, assault courses, etc.
    Regent St-Onge likes this.
  6. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    Look at my avatar photo. That tells you what I think of GSP's ideas on weight training.
  7. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    Great point. I've always been more about form follows function when it comes to weight lifting. I had really started weight lifting as powerlifting in my late teens. Before that, I was mostly a calisthenics and plyometrics beast. I got away from pursuing powerlifting unto itself as I could comparably squat and deadlift what the big guys were doing (without knee wraps or squat suit). But the guys who were my weight had 100+ lbs better bench presses (they were also typically a foot or more shorter than me and had about half as far to push the weight, lol). I continue to utilize powerlifting, Olympic, and strongman lifting as the heart of my weight training.
    Enkidu, what's your opinion on the heavy knee wraps, squat and bench suits? I refused to use them, but having tried them I know they add quite a bit to your totals. I always called BS on the guys who would say they didn't "They only add support, blah, blah." Perhaps I was a partly incorrect, but it seemed that the elastic gives a bit of "bounce" to the lift.
  8. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    I was never a fan of the suits and wraps, which is why a started gravitating more and more towards Oly-lifting. I have used them before, and couldn't stand them, and I never even went even close to extreme with the equipment (I only used single ply poly equipment, and usually stuff that was designed for people a couple weight classes above me -- when I benched 300 at 165, I did so with a bench shirt made for someone in the 198 lb. weight class). That isn't to knock the strength of guys who use them regularly, even extreme use of them (like denim bench shirts rolled down, etc.) Those guys are brutally strong AND they are getting a lot out of the equipment. The only lift that the equipment doesn't help is the standard (non-Sumo) deadlift. If I were ever to go back to competing in PL'ing, I would only do so in no-equipment organizations.
    RJ Clark likes this.
  9. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    That story makes me think of this famous picture of New York :)


    I agree. I bought some free running style adidas running trainers at the beginning of this year. They have very little cushioning. They're not as slim as the vibrams but they are much better than regular trainers with the high heels.
  10. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    I'm not afraid of heights, it's not uncommon for me to be 100+ feet up piecing apart or pruning a tree, but that pic gives me the shivers! lol!
    Kevin likes this.
  11. MilkManX

    MilkManX Initiate

    That is interesting. I am not saying he is wrong but muscle strength adds to more mobility and stronger joints. Maybe his strength routine was too much on top of his sparring and conditioning.
    Enkidu likes this.
  12. darksoul

    darksoul Grasshoppa

    I don't weight train, never have, never will. I have a slim, but strong body. Being strong isn't everything. I tend to do lots of cardio, drills, conditioning, and bag.

    Plus I hate heavy lifting :p
  13. DMCShine

    DMCShine Initiate

    He more than likely just means he'll focus primarily on body weight type exercises instead of dead lifting, squatting etc.
  14. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    It depends what kind of training you're referring to. Power-lifters and professional bodybuilders will probably have a lot of problems after a lifetime of training -

    1) It has been shown somewhat convincingly that low calorie diets (1200 cal equiv) prolong life. The mechanisms are not clear, but it happens. Thus, a lifetime of eating a 3k cal/day diet in order to support that extra 20 , 30 , or 50 lbs of muscle probably isn't good.

    2) All that good anabolic stuff that they like, like insulin and IGF-1 and HGH (and I mean the stuff that your body produces naturally , not injected stuff) also causes bad things to grow... like cancer. As an example - Is Sugar Toxic?

    On the other hand people who work out tend to have good insulin sensitivity so overall they may have less insulin running around their blood than people who don't work out. What's the net impact ? No idea.

    3) Top body builders are reputed to die young... (professional wrestlers don't do great either) but they are all so juiced up it probably doesn't mean much to someone who doesn't.

    4) Retired football players have all SORTS of problems ... some of them attributed to being hit in the head and otherwise beaten up, but some of them attributed to just being large and fat even IF they had massive amounts of muscle. But many of them also stop working out when they stop playing.

    5) Being heavy is hard on your knees. I don't see why this would vary based on muscle vs fat.

    So in summation, there aren't many long-term studies that I can find on the subject; I can't speak from experience as I don't lift; and I would think it depends upon the level of intensity (and smartness) you're training.
    Kevin likes this.
  15. B J Jenkins

    B J Jenkins Initiate

    I would like to ad something from my own personal experience which hopefully will help anyone interested or involved in any form of strength training. I have been involved in Martial Arts and bodybuilding for over 40 years now, I am currently 56 and battling to make it to 57. A simple thing that no one told me about and I have never read about anywhere is to be careful on the amount of muscle tissue you build up in your neck. The bigger and stronger your neck is it pushes inwards as much as it does outward crushing your airway. The airway at the back of your throat may be 1 1/2 inches across mine is now only 1/2 inch. Not much to breathe through. The collapsing affect spreads right down into the lungs themselves. The cartlidge around the airways is not a complete circle but only a U shape. Easily detected by looking in a mirror with a tongue depressor and comparing your internal size of your airway to that of a non exercising person. Worst part is it took 5 years for a specialist doctor to find such a simple easy to see problem. It is just not expected to be looked for by your average doctor. Fitness and strength are great but it just may be that the human body has limitations on what we are supposed to do and at this point in time there is not enough genuine knowledge out there to make it safe. Remember that this condition happens slowly over time and you may not notice it till it is too late.
    Kevin likes this.
  16. so.....which of those guys is you kevin?:D
    Kevin likes this.
  17. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    I used to train in weights a lot, and I was a personal trainer for a time. Nowdays, I tend to not do a lot of weightlifting, other than body weight. I think weight training is a good idea for a few years to put on some decent mass, and get the body used to a bit of stress, but then after that, not so much.

    I do a routine with those bands they give you in physical therapy, and since I have started doing it, my joint injuries have dropped to zero. I used to tweek my neck often, sometimes my shoulders, and don't get me started on ankles.

    Finally, get a base mass is good for becoming athletic, but lifting weights won't make you much better at martial arts, you train the wrong muscles in the wrong planes. It helps more in grappling than it does striking, but if you want to be a better and stronger grappler, grapple.

    Anyways, that is my experience, I think weightlifting affects people in different ways.
  18. Judah

    Judah fights in tights

    I gave up lifting to drop weight for the world champs this year. I'm still not yet back to weights as I wanna drop weight further, I was 109kg @ 10% bf now 102kg @ 12% bf...

    Interesting point, Joe Calzaghe never lifted weights, he was always a lot less muscular than his opponents yet he always won... Many by KO.
    Eric Dufurrena likes this.
  19. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    Hhhhmmm, look at Anderson Silva, he doesn't look like he does much in the weight department, either. Can't argue with his knock-out ability.
  20. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    I think it is silly to remove weight training... let me be more specific: resistance training, as it is the same thing. If you pick someone up, or use resistance bands, or jugs of water, or weights... or practice punching underwater, or what ever strange method you use... cross training methods of fitness are effective. Sure I think you can train effectively w/o a weight bench and dumbbells... but my point is: how is that really different than a medicine ball, throwing your partner to the mat, or doing push-ups wearing a weight vest. It is all the same.
    There are some differences as to how well you can target certain red fiber and white fiber training by limiting methods.
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  21. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    Here is a quick chart on Wikipedia... if you even read this, you have to ask yourself, how do I train all these types; answer: don't limit yourself.
    Type I fibers (red)Type II a fibers (red)Type II x fibersType II b fibers (white)
    Contraction time Slow Moderately Fast Fast Very fast
    Size of motor neuron Small Medium Large Very large
    Resistance to fatigue High Fairly high Intermediate Low
    Activity Used for Aerobic Long-term anaerobic Short-term anaerobic Short-term anaerobic
    Maximum duration of use Hours <30 minutes <5 minutes <1 minute
    Power produced Low Medium High Very high
    Mitochondrial density Very High High Medium Low
    Capillary density High Intermediate Low Low
    Oxidative capacity High High Intermediate Low
    Glycolytic capacity Low High High High
    Major storage fuel Triglycerides Creatine phosphate, glycogen ATP, Creatine phosphate, glycogen (little) ATP, Creatine phosphate
    Note Consume lactic acid Produce lactic acid and Creatine phosphate Consume Creatine phosphate Consume Creatine phosphate
    Myosin heavy chain,
    human genes MYH7 MYH2 MYH1 MYH4
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