Friday, November 02, 2007

Louie Simmons on Longevity

The full interview is on RIF'S blog, but these statement made an impression for people who say they can't workout because of injury. Listen to Louie!
"I broke my fourth lumbar vertabrae in 1973> I completely tore off my right bicep in 1979. I tore two holes in my stomach and a partial tear of the tendon that connects to the pubic bone in 1980.refractured my fifth lumbar vertabrae in 1983. Complete rupture of the left patella tendon in 1991.I had my second knee operation in 1991.Right meniscus operation in 1998. Shoulder socket replacement in 2004.Left shoulder scoped in 2004. Left bicep reattached in 2004."

" I am not sure but at least 60 years old. I am stronger in the deadlift and squat now and will be 60 in October.Not geting injured is the key as well as having training partners.If you run with the lame you will develop a limp; so choose your training partners wisely."


Sifter said...

...but powerlifting doesn't injure the body, right? Har har...They all got bad knees and shoulders, half of 'em just don't know it yet. Reminds me of the Cosgrove/Tate article on how Dave Tate couldn't run after his toddler or scratch his ass, but damm if he couldn't bench press a bundle. Whoooopie....

Now I understand why the elite units scoff at the weightlifters, good for bouncing at a nightclub, but they fade out fast when strength over time is called for.

And for all those who disagree with me, write to me when you're 45 and then tell me if your joints are fine or not.

Tom Furman said...

Hmmm. Look at the 68 year old in the photo above at the World Kettlebell Championships. He's been lifting for over 40 years. I saw him do it. He would smoke a High School Football team in his art. Must be the training system ;-)

Mark Reifkind said...

please. with the exception of GS( although the 68 year old did mention his shoulder injury in the interview you posted on him)what competitive sports DO NOT have athletes with serious injuries?
Football, basketball, wrestling,gymnastics,swimming,track and field,etc.etc.
If you test your limits, in any activity, you will find them.

Sifter said...

How many years have Americans been doing GS? 2 years?5 years? I don't think the time horizon is yet long enough to judge whether or not joint damage, etc is being done.

Tom, the 68 yr old in the photo is to be congratulated. But I would venture that those 40 years of lifting were not all spent Powerlifting. I think 40 years of pure powerlifting would ravage most bodies with some serious damage. If experienced guys like Dave Tate and Joe DeFranco have a multi-page list of injuries, what chance does a regular guy have?

To say that all competitive athletes incur injuries, imo, misses the point. Of course they do, IN THE DEMONSTRATION OR PLAYING OF THEIR SPORT,(football, etc) but I believe that is way different from getting injured TRAINING for their sport. And most people who powerlift use it as a strength base for either their sport or general fitness.

I think the Walter Paytons who did mostly hill sprints and pullups for conditioning, and the rare individuals who excel running Egoscue-style obstacle courses are the ones who were/will be the most injury-free. They train, as your oft-quoted Mike Boyle says, in all three planes of movement.

I am NOT against powerlifting per se, and of course you have to lift heavy weights to get really strong. I just think that a steady dose of unrelenting powerlifting is damaging to the body moreso than alternate methods.

Mark Reifkind said...

I do agree that most powerlifters usually end up with some serious injuries if they try to keep pushing for limits over the years.
For many of us powerlifting IS the sport.Lots use the powerlifts to get stronger but powerlifting is a serious sport in itself.
Having competed and coached now for 36 years and having dealt with the rehab of many athletes( no just myself) in more than a few sports my point is that extreme injuries are part and parcel of pushing the envelope in ALL sports.
When the competitive fires are burning and winning is the total focus the body's early warning systems tend to be ignored and bad things occur.
Since you used Payton as an example you do know the average life expectancey of an NFL player is something like 56 years and MANY are fully crippled ( barry sanders) way before that.Glory has a huge price and our national ethos pushes many in that direction.
Right now there is an EPIDEMIC of ACL tears amoung teenage female atheltes in basketball,volleyball and soccer.In the quest for college scholarships they are pushed way too hard too early and for too long. Not to mention trained improperly with little in the way of pre/rehab.
ANd lets not even talk about the female gymnasts and their injury rate.
The key is staying in balance which is a lot easeir to say than to do. Most of the time you don't know you are over the edge til you have stepped off.

Tom Furman said...

We've lost the concept of play. You know,.. stop when you get hurt and play another day. Starting kids too soon in GPP instead of letting them have fun. As rough and tumble as the Dogbrothers are,.. they consider the concept of "To walk as a warrior all your days." Take of your body in case you have to use it as you get older. Longevity so you can have fun training with less restrictions in your old age.

Sifter said...

"Right now there is an EPIDEMIC of ACL tears amoung teenage female atheltes in basketball,volleyball and soccer."

I just wonder if that is connected to pushing powerlifts like deads and back squats on these female athletes. I'm NOT a coach and maybe I'm speaking over my head, but it seems that while weightlifting increases strength, it may be detrimental to these athletes in the long term compared to the 'old' way of doing things, i.e. calisthenics and running, etc.

Mark Reifkind said...


I would posit that it's a lack of proper strength training, most notably squat training that is causing these injuries. Most of the female athletes in those sports I have mentioned do not know how to use their hips when they jump,or to use them to absorb shock when they land. they are "quad" jumpers and overwork this fairly fragile area.
most HS athletes do almost or NO strength training and I have a lot of experience in this. They would benefit the most from even a small bit of proper squat/dl training.

Mark Reifkind said...

I agree with you tom and I think US coaches tend to look at eastern europe and soviet approaches and miss the years of technique work they did prior to the heavy loading.I know this is the case with gymnasts and swimmers.
but with just a 'longevity' approach not much in the way of athletic greatness would be accomplished imo.its a tough balance to master.Look at VF and how early he started training very long hours per day.unfortunately it seems that's what it takes to 'get to the top'. Most dont need it or will benefit from it.

ashe said...

a good deal of the increased injury in teenage atheletes comes as much from poor posture and the resultant decrease in mobility.

sticking kids behind a desk for longer and longer each day, and increased time sitting at home (internet, tv, etc.) is bound to have an effect.