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Posted Nov 17 2008 9:10pm

I've never thought that the traditional format of repetitions and sets is very "natural".  For one, no other animal besides us lifts weights in such a structured fashion.  And this current version of weightlifting has really only gained popularity in the last fifty years, so it is a relatively recent phenomenon.

I'm not denying that modern resistance training works to build muscle and improve performance.  But I do doubt that hunter-gatherers performed anything close to this type of weightlifting.

I've been reading this paper that suggests that load-carrying was a determining factor in how the human body developed.  The paper mentions that hunting activity can be divided into three categories: capture, processing, and transport of game and tools.  The authors then go on to point out some anatomical features which suggest that carrying was a significant factor for human body development.

A modern equivalent of this type of load-carrying is the "farmer's walk", where a person simply walks while carrying a heavy weight.  I used to do these in the past but I have gotten anyway from them in recent years.  This research has made me think that this type of lifting may be more "natural" and beneficial than modern lifting programs.

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