Doctors and Exercise Advice-Mark Rippetoe

Couldn’t agree more with Rippetoe on this one.

“Every day, I deal with the nonsense promulgated by doctors practicing outside their expertise. Usually this takes the form of bad advice about barbell exercise distributed as part of an orthopedic surgeon’s consultation with a potential surgery patient, or in the post-operative phase of the patient’s rehabilitation. Here is a short list:

  • Squats are bad for the knees.
  • Squats will “blow out” your knees.
  • Squats are bad for the back.
  • Deadlifts will destroy your back. “Blow it out.”
  • Squat with as vertical a back as possible – shear force will “blow out” your back.
  • Overhead presses will destroy your shoulders.
  • Lighter weights for higher reps build the same strength as heavy weights for lower reps – but they’re safer.
  • Lifting weights will stunt a kid’s growth.
  • Lifting weights and getting too strong makes you less “athletic.”
  • Lifting weights reduces your flexibility.
  • Lifting weights makes you slower.
  • Lifting weights will give you arthritis.
  • Lifting weights will make your arthritis worse.
  • Lifting weights will give you a heart attack/stroke/aneurysm.
  • All that muscle will turn to fat when you stop lifting weights.
  • You don’t need to hear good bass, man – you just feel good bass. (Wait… that was back in high school. Sorry, same type of bullshit.)

If these stupid things sound a lot like what people who don’t know what they’re talking about say, it’s because that’s exactly what they are. Except it’s not your bartender. It’s your doctor.

He should know better than to bullshit you. After all, he refers you to medical specialists when your case is outside his specialty. Urologists don’t practice neurology, and dermatologists don’t practice oncology – at least not for long. But they all feel perfectly qualified to bullshit about exercise.”


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