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Monday, October 17, 2011

Barbell Training: The Cure for Obesity!

I am going to start a revolution here!  OK, maybe not a revolution, but I think it's a pretty good theory...  If everybody in the United States trained with barbells it would greatly reduce the United States' obesity problem.

"Wow Mike; now you've lost your marbles!  You're telling me training with barbells would cure obesity?  No @%#&# way!"

Yes @%#&# way!  Here's why...

It is hard to learn the movements.  Some barbell exercises are relatively simple to learn.  You can throw pretty much anybody on a bench and teach them to bench press in about 5 minutes.  To bench press very heavy weight takes a bit more time and practice.  But to perform the basic movement... that's pretty easy.

Most other barbell exercises take a lot of time and dedication to learn and perfect.  After the movement is perfected, then we add weight.  With the added resistance you almost have to re-learn the movement.  A 45 pound deadlift is much different than a 400 pound deadlift!

To perform a back squat, front squat, overhead squat, overhead press, push-press, push-jerk, deadlift, clean & jerk, snatch... requires strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.  The Clean & Jerk and the Snatch are the two most technically challenging exercises in existence.  It takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication to learn barbell movements.

It is hard to lift the heavy weight.  We know picking up heavy things is hard physically, but lets forget about the physical and think about the mental aspects of lifting heavy weight.

It is not easy to look at a weight you have never lifted before, build up the courage to get under the bar, or grab the bar, and make a lift you have never made before.  There is no better feeling than when you complete this feat; you have just accomplished something you have never accomplished before.  Building up this mental fortitude takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication.

It is hard to recover from the workouts.  When you train with heavy barbells, you are not working out just your muscles.  You are putting your bones, nervous system, endocrine system, and every other system in your body under a lot of stress.  Every one of these systems has to recover from the stress you just placed upon it.  Proper recovery from these workouts takes proper nutrition and active recovery (which can include things like foam rolling, massage, mobility exercises...).  Learning these strategies takes a lot of time, effort and dedication.

"That's all great Mike, but what the heck does all this have to do with obesity?"

Glad you asked!  Here's my reasoning...

If you haven't noticed already, each aspect of barbell training requires three very important disciplines.  Time, Effort, and Dedication.  Changing your dietary habits requires those same three disciplines.  It takes time to learn what kinds of foods, and how much of those foods you should be eating.  It takes a lot of effort to change your current dietary habits.  It takes a lot of dedication to stick with your new dietary habits for the rest of your life.  Learning these disciplines through barbell training will help you apply them in every other aspect of your life; including your dietary habits.

Perhaps the most important common characteristic between barbell training and changing your eating habits is they are both hard!  Don't let anybody fool you; it is not easy to change your habits.  Nothing worth doing ever came easy.


I think you could say that if everyone did any type of exercise it would cure obesity. Obesity only exists because people are lazy and undisciplined and dont exercise.

People are obese because they eat processed foods AND/OR don't exercise

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