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Barbell Logic

Dec 5, 2023

Learn about managing morbidity - staying active, vigorous, and capable to have as much of a human life as possible for as long as you can. You need to dance with your granddaughter, care for your chickens, and farm your fields.

Managing Morbidity: Memento Mori

We all die, and as lifters this means we all complete our last PRs. There is a day, and you may have reached it or may reach it soon (you will reach it at some point) when you won't hit any more PRs.

This is okay. This is part of the deal.

At some point, the strength curves bends and then comes down.

For Karl, he still thought he might be able to hit some PRs. He moved to a more rural location, felt the heaviness of his 258 pounds, but he still thought maybe if he hit a good stretch of training he could hit another PR.

Then he had a stroke.

He had a transient ischemic attack (TIA). The word transient is key - he hasn't experience long-term, permanent effects from the stroke. The stroke occurred due a congenital issue - patent foramen ovale (PFO) - an open oval hole in the wall of the heart. Migraines are common for people with this issue.

He confronted the reality that he will never hit another PR again.

Managing Morbidity: Staying Active & Vigorous

We don't strength train, though, to just stave off death or sickness or even compress morbidity into the smallest possible portion of our lives. We train FOR something (or multiple things).

We train for health. We train to dance with out granddaughter. We train to take care of our chickens. Some train for glory, others to take their medicine, others to compete.

It's really a remarkable thing, to walk into a gym multiple times a week, year-after-year-, and fight against iron and gravity.

While Karl, now walking around 50 pounds lighter, misses looking like he lifts when he walks around. But everyday activities are easier. Certain things open up to him - such as getting clothes that fit easily or may even - gasp - going for a run.

Managing Morbidity: Training as an Athlete of Aging

Okay, PRs are behind you. What do you do now?

Sully and Noah had a great podcast series discussing this in greater detail.

Right now, Karl is completing LP and seeing where that ends. He might spend some time pursuing hypertrophy. He might go for a run. He'll definitely attend to his field to grow food and tend his chickens.

You need to accumulate hard sets. That's what strength training boils down to. It's not that the reps, sets, technique, or exercise selection don't matter. It's just that, at the end of the day, you need to accumulate hard sets consistently over time.

Check out the Barbell Logic podcast landing page.

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