We haven’t done a gym episode in quite some time, and it’s fall, bitches, so we’re celebrating ALL the good things AND spooky szn. This week, we’re talking risk vs reward. So let’s get nerdy about lifting heavy shit.


Let’s start this episode on the low, and build it up to a high note, shall we?

  1. When looking into this topic, it was fairly difficult finding a ton of articles or resources discussing the disadvantages or risks of lifting weights. HOWEVER, when sifting through the few and far between, we were able to find a couple of things, mainly having to do with overtraining. 
    • When trying to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, one might gain weight according to the scale. Remember, that increase in the number on the scale may actually be due to gaining muscle.
  2. Starting a workout program with too much intensity or lifting weight with improper form may lead to injury. Form trumps everything else, and if you’re having trouble with your form, you probably shouldn’t be going up in weight. 
    • Lifting too much weight or moving in an unusual manner in an effort to build muscles could result in a muscle tear as well as damage to ligaments and tendons as well as the surrounding soft tissue.
  3. One thing I don’t think we’ve touched on is muscle dysmorphia
    • This disorder is based on social pressure for males  to be muscular and large. A possible lack of muscularity could be perceived as a malformation. Considering that this particular phenotype seems not to share the psychopathological core of eating disorders, Leone et al 51 suggested that muscle dysmorphia should be eventually categorized as a subtype of body dysmorphic disorder.
    • Body dysmorphia can affect anyone and we see it talked about quite a bit in the fitness and nutrition space. Some of the symptoms of BDD are as follows
      • Being extremely preoccupied with a perceived flaw in appearance that to others can’t be seen or appears minor
      • Strong belief that you have a defect in your appearance that makes you ugly or deformed
      • Belief that others take special notice of your appearance in a negative way or mock you
      • Engaging in behaviors aimed at fixing or hiding the perceived flaw that are difficult to resist or control, such as frequently checking the mirror, grooming or skin picking
      • Attempting to hide perceived flaws with styling, makeup or clothes
      • Constantly comparing your appearance with others
      • Frequently seeking reassurance about your appearance from others
      • Having perfectionist tendencies
      • Seeking cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction
      • Avoiding social situations
  1. While body dysmorphia can be on the extreme end of the risk scale, these were pretty much the only things that we could find on the risks of lifting heavy shit.


  1. Resistance training stimulates increased muscle protein turnover and actually has a dual impact on resting metabolic rate. In a study that we’ve linked below, they found that lifting weights boosts your resting metabolic rate.
    • Resistance training results in greater muscle mass that requires more energy at rest for ongoing tissue maintenance.
    • Resistance training causes tissue microtrauma that requires relatively large amounts of energy for muscle remodeling processes that may persist for 72 h after the training session
    • More recent studies have found a similar boost in resting energy expenditure (5% to 9%) for 3 days following a SINGLE session of resistance training
    • From that same peer review, they found that lifting shit helps with physical function
    • Aging usually comes with a gradual decrease in physical function that negatively impacts the ability to perform activities of daily living. Research has revealed that lifting weights can reverse some of the debilitating effects associated with inactive aging, even in the elderly. In one study, nursing home residents whose average age was 89,  performed one set of six resistance machine exercises, twice a week, for 14 wk. At the end of the training period, the participants increased their overall strength by 60%, and improved their functional independence measure by 14%. Other studies support resistance training by older adults for enhancing movement control, functional abilities, physical performance, and walking speed.
  2. Lift weights for your bones!
    • According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 10 million American adults (8 million women) have osteoporosis, and almost 35 million others have insufficient bone mass or osteopenia
    • There are several studies linking muscle loss with bone density loss and it has been shown that adults who do not perform resistance training may experience 1% to 3% reduction in bone mineral density every year of life.
    • So of course, it can be assumed that exercise like lifting weights and other forms of resistance training could  increase bone density, and the majority of studies support this. Several studies have shown significant increases in bone density  after just  4 months of resistance training.


  1. “The mental health benefits of resistance training for adults include reduction of symptoms in people with fatigue, anxiety, and depression; pain alleviation in people with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and low back issues; improvements in cognitive abilities in older adults; and improvements in self-esteem.”
    • Strength training can help us maintain hormonal health, that’s important, because your hormones drive everything. 
    • Studies are starting to link strength training and anxiety relief too, we’ve touched on it before, if you lift weights you can reduce your anxiety by up to 20%. A fifth less anxiety? Yes please.
      • The research says this works because the repetition of training has likely led to a sense of mastery which can help with your confidence and coping skills.
      • Research also says that biological changes to the brain and muscles that come from lifting, work together to fight anxiety symptoms. This is a topic that is still being researched, so we are sure to learn more in the future.

2. Did you know that strength training can help improve your memory and fight cognitive decline? Because it can. 70-150 minutes of weekly movement like lifting weights, has lead to improved cognitive skills in older people.

  • You’ve heard us say “fitness keeps you young,” and this is another feather to put in that cap. If you want the receipts for these studies, check out the show notes… links to articles with studies are always tagged at the bottom.

3. Lifting heavy shit can help you improve your relationship with your body. Some people view exercise as a punishment… we wish for that to stop. Exercise should be a celebration of the fact that you’re still fuckin’ kickin’. You woke up today, some people didn’t. You are fortunate enough to be able to get out there and attack the fucking day, do it.

  • One of the beautiful things about seeing people on social media, is seeing how fitness has changed their mental game. There are so many studies that we can site to tell you the positive connection that happens between your brain and your body after an extended period of physical training…
    • So here’s another one: “Women who worked out were able to improve their body image significantly, compared with those who did not exercise. The researchers also found that the effect on body image was almost immediate and lasted a minimum of 20 minutes after exercise.”
      1. Need any more reason to hit the fucking gym? 
  • We talk about fitness being a positive force for adults, it can also do the same thing for the kiddos. 
    • “A study of teens found that physical activity can help them achieve a positive self-concept and promote psychological well-being. In fact, researchers found that physical activity also had direct effects on body dissatisfaction.”
      • I dunno if you remember, but being a teenager is hard, and for a lot of kids self-esteem is something that doesn’t exist. Start helping them build their mental toolbox, introduce them to fitness. BUT DO IT CORRECTLY. Your kids shouldn’t be training the same way you are. It’s completely safe for them to lift weights, but you need to be seeing someone who specializes or has extensive knowledge in training young bodies.








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