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Is too much weightlifting bad for us?

August 07, 2019 - 4:00 am
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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. ​

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Could too much weightlifting be bad for us? According to a new study, it isn't necessarily bad, but something called BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) can be impacted by lifting heavy weights over long periods of time. 

It just so happens that BDNF has a job in the body — it converts endurance muscles into strength muscles. Another way of saying this is that when people lift weights to excess — more like a body builder or a pro football player — it makes the muscles more powerful. But as a result of the impact of BDNF, it reduces endurance. 

For the average person, there is a simple conclusion. Weightlifting can be very good for you if you do multiple repetitions of lighter weights. 

The goal should is simple for the vast majority of us: to build strength for daily functioning.