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What Type of Exercise Gives the Best Return on Investment?

This was the main article that I come across on the advantages of being jacked:
The Power Dynamics of Being Jacked (+ 3 Tips to Get Jacked Fast)

And I was inspired to write this from the recent thread
Physical self-defense power dynamics & strategies

I think in terms of return on investment, it depends on your objectives:

  • Looking powerful & attractive - weights training according to the above article
  • Cardiovascular health - running, swimming, cycling, etc (martial arts also? I'm not a practitioner so unsure.)
  • Keeping muscle & bone strength, especially to counteract ageing - strength/weight training, posture exercises
  • Self-defence - martial arts since it is about fighting
  • Losing weight - weight training & high-intensity workouts
  • Sleep - from experience, cardio exercises hands-down helps me to sleep
  • Long-term productivity - overall health is the most important to productivity so I would say any activity that has elements of cardiovascular exercise and strength training.
  • Short-term productivity boost to focus - personally, I find a good weights training session or run to be solid.
  • De-stressing - Weights and running
  • Flexibility - Yoga, Gymnastics, Martial Arts
Kavalier has reacted to this post.
Kavalier

In terms of what exercise gives the best return on investment, I would say that depends on your goals.

Moving beyond calisthenics, lifting is good for when you've achieved as much as you can (in terms of your own personal goals) with your bodyweight.

Even so, there are a dozen ways to do each lift with a variety of different outcomes: general fitness, injury rehab, sports performance, maximal strength without any regard for size (as is popular with powerlifters), or gaining size without any concern for strength (as is popular with bodybuilders).

Based on that thread, if you're looking for more of an intimidation factor, your goal might be size without strength. And, if you're looking for more physical power behind your martial arts training, you may be looking for more strength without necessarily massive size.

Yet, if I'm going to invest a lot of time into a solid gym routine, I want my return on investment to involve both size and strength which is what I'm currently learning more about.

I might write a post here when I have more value to share on this topic, thanks for starting this thread, Matthew!

Kavalier has reacted to this post.
Kavalier

Hi all

Matthew, assuming that your goal is not sport specific and you don't have the intention of becoming an elite athlete, you can't go wrong with the basic recommendations for overall health and nothing more (unless you like that more, wich is also cool :D)

I recommend this article from Barbell Medicine: https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/where-should-my-priorities-be-to-improve-my-health/

As they put it, citing from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (which as a Brazilian I found out also works for non-Americans :D), for the best possible results health-related

ALL individuals (both youth and adults) should meet and/or exceed the following:

 

    1. 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, OR;
    2. 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, AND;
  • Resistance training of moderate or greater intensity involving all major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week.

For the purpose of "looking powerful and attractive", definetly include resistance training in your regime but as you are not a powerlifter nor a bodybuilder don't worry too much about rep schemes and so. Just do enough volume to maximize muscle gains (or lose fat while keeping muscle) and you are good to go.

I'll slightly disagree with Ali here: I don't believe it's possible to gain size without also gaining strength and you can't gain strength without also gaining size. This argument is put forth by some (well respected and deservingly so) strength coaches like Mark Rippetoe, but I think it's biased to their own style of training/background sports. It assumes that strong in low rep ranges is real strong and strong in moderate/higher ranges is fake strong, but I believe that reality is more nuanced: someone who trains mostly doing five reps is better adapted to doing five reps. Someone who trains mostly doing ten reps is and better adapted to doing ten reps. Both are strong (albeit differently). And even competitive powerlifters train on higher reps for some months in their annual cycle.

If you are into martial arts, definitely do them! I myself have being doing for quite some time and enjoy them. But only if, after meeting the above guidelines, you still have time to invest in it OR if your martial arts classes already include some form of strengh training/conditioning that meet those guidelines (most don't). Contrarily to what most folks think, you can't really beat someone who is too much stronger than you with skills only and most traditional martial arts techniques (like fancy strikes, throws, locks) for self defense are a bad idea.

In short: train for the minimum requirements of health but do include resistance training in some form. You will be flexible, productive, de-stressed, look strong, be actual strong, be able to hold yourself against a weaker opponent (Most people in the world will be weaker. And you'll beat the crap out of them even if they're good at martial arts), be able to run to the hills if you have to. And for people who are stronger, just have a weapon. It doesn't have to take you more than an hour/an hour and a half each day, so it's also low investment/high returns.

Cheers

 

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on March 1, 2021, 6:21 pm
  • Looking powerful & attractive - weights training according to the above article

I wouldn't jump the gun on this.

For sure bulked up guys say that muscles are attractive, but that might be self-selection.
To pick from a previous thread, I might as well tell you that bald guys are attractive if I were to base it on personal experience alone.

Muscle is one of those things that, above a certain threshold, might not add much.
Such as: some definition is great, but bulked up muscles might do more to impress other men than women.

There for sure are women who love huge muscles, but I wouldn't say it's something that applies across the board.
I remember from some studies that the favorite among several pictures of edited men from scrawny to huge was not the most muscular guy, but the one above average.

Of course, this comment is related to "attractiveness" alone, and it's not to say "don't bulk up" if that's what one wants to do.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

This sparks an idea for me.
Not sure if it's worth the time though.

I could A/B test by keeping my hair and shaving my head bald.
Maybe use a dating app to measure the number of matches since dating apps focus more on looks.
Do the same for the physique.

We would have to A/B test across many people to determine this accurately though.

Is Having Bigger Muscles Important in Business or Politics?

I think that it's not really important.
We have lots of powerful people of smaller physical statures.

As analysed from your video, Mike Tyson lacked the awareness of power dynamics when he was young even though he was at the pinnacle of physical power.

Probably, if you are starting a business on modelling, show business or fitness, then physique would probably play a part in your branding and marketing.

I think for most guys lifting plus a team sport like football and some yoga classes is a nice mix of physical and social foundation.

I ve done martial arts for 20 years.  If you were bullied or are short and worried about other guys go for it.  For karate I d suggest goju. MMA is good but forget the ground moves on the street.  Pure self defense to me is Kali/escrima/Arnis or silat because they cover knife defence which is what s most likely to kill you.  And if in a lawless country get a hand gun and a knife forget the martial arts and learn concealed carry and draw

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Yeah, I'm wit Transitioned here.

If we're talking about self-defense in situations where it really matters, knife (defense) and guns (concealed carry) are the priority.

Plus, of course, what we've already said: you're a cool guy if you're reading here, so if you live in a place where life-threatening violence is a real high risk, what the f*ck are you doing there, you deserve better.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on March 3, 2021, 4:28 am

If we're talking about self-defense in situations where it really matters, knife (defense) and guns (concealed carry) are the priority.

Plus, of course, what we've already said: you're a cool guy if you're reading here, so if you live in a place where life-threatening violence is a real high risk, what the f*ck are you doing there, you deserve better.

I may be going to a developing country for at least a period of time where self-defence is more important.
Maybe time to look at getting a knife or gun.

Thanks for the advice from Transitioned and Lucio.

Quote from Kavalier on March 1, 2021, 9:06 pm

Matthew, assuming that your goal is not sport specific and you don't have the intention of becoming an elite athlete, you can't go wrong with the basic recommendations for overall health and nothing more (unless you like that more, wich is also cool :D)

I recommend this article from Barbell Medicine: https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/where-should-my-priorities-be-to-improve-my-health/

Thanks for this article.
It looks solid man.
I have been following the basics and foundations but was wondering if I am missing out on anything.

Quote from Kavalier on March 1, 2021, 9:06 pm

In short: train for the minimum requirements of health but do include resistance training in some form. You will be flexible, productive, de-stressed, look strong, be actual strong, be able to hold yourself against a weaker opponent (Most people in the world will be weaker. And you'll beat the crap out of them even if they're good at martial arts), be able to run to the hills if you have to.

I was into weightlifting till last year when I dislocated my shoulder due to an accident from shoulder press.
I really enjoyed weightlifting.
As you said, it kept me de-stressed and productive.

Now I'm going slowly back with lighter weights and looking for a better physiotherapist.

 

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