You’ve got your protein shake, you’ve smashed chest day and tomorrow it’s all about the bicep pump.
But wait, there’s more. Researchers from the University of Michigan have just discovered that attaining a certain strength level could extend your lifespan.
More specifically, Dr. Kate Duchowny who led the research thinks that people who have lower levels of muscle strength are 50 percent more likely to die when compared to those with stronger muscles and a higher baseline measurement of grip strength.
“Maintaining muscle strength throughout life – and especially in later life – is extremely important for longevity and ageing independently,” Dr. Duchowny explained to Michigan News.
The type of strength that Duchowny identifies as the one to work on is grip strength, as this is the type of strength that can be used to predict a person’s general health and longevity – even more so than other familiar health measurements like muscle mass.
Slightly more surprising is the ease at which grip strength can be tested in a human. Subjects simply squeeze a dynamometer tool which outputs their strength level in kilograms.
From there Dr. Duchowny’s team took the data which comprised of 8,326 men and women aged 65 and over. The figures were then applied to muscle weakness “cut points” which stipulates a hand grip strength of less than 39kg for males and 22kg for females as no good (a nicer way of saying you’ll die sooner).
The researchers here believe that the strength test can help doctors recognise obesity and health risks in people before its actual onset, thus helping them live longer than what Joe Black had originally intended.
Duchowny calls this “increased longevity and independence for individuals”.
So is pumping iron and doing countless pull-ups playing God? We’ll let you decide. We do know that it’s proven though from the retired action men of our era.
Exhibit A: Sylvester Stallone at 72
Exhibit B: Dolph Lundgren at 60
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Exhibit C: Arnie at 71
Grip Strength Exercises
- Hand grippers
- Barbell holds
- Farmer’s carries
- Towel rope pull-ups
- Plate pinches
- Band hand extensions
- Rock climbing