Saturday, December 9, 2023

Welcome to my boring life...

Today was a recovery day.

I looked at the calendar yesterday and saw that I had not done any dead-lifts for six days. Ooops!

This is the second week at 180 pounds. I will do another 40 reps tomorrow and then add another ten pounds. Since I weigh 193 pounds I am getting pretty close to my body weight. Being a fan of round-numbers, I hope to get to 200 pounds and then maintain that level.

I changed out a couple of wall-switches for overhead lights. It was a double switch and one of the lights activated when the door next to it was shut. I eliminated the power-outlet that shared the box and went with two, separate flip-switches.

Mrs ERJ and I went for a walk. I was reminded why I don't like walking on public roads when it was windy. I cannot hear traffic sneaking up behind me. I become paranoid and keep looking around.

The "Buzz" in Mrs ERJ's circle of friends is osteoporosis. Talk about rabbit holes!

Obesity seems to be a strong protective factor although in terms of overall mortality it is a poor choice. Osteoporosis is rarely fatal by itself but it does impact quality-of-life.

Some research suggests that the bones of men decrease in mineral content at the same rate as women's but our bones are much more massive to start with.

101 L-3 (third Lumbar) vertebrate removed from cadavers. Open circles are women. Solid circles are men. Age along the bottom. Force to crush the vertebrate along the vertical axis.   Source

Looking at actual force required to crush a vertebrate one sees an amazing range. Looking at the data at 40, the peak man's L-3 sustained 13kN (2900 pounds-force) and the lowest man's L-3 sustained 5kN. The range for women was not quite as striking. The peak woman's L-3 was 10kN while the lowest was half-that at 5kN.

In the cohort between 60-and-100, there are multiple data-points in the range of 2kN or 20% of the average at age 20 although there is still a factor-of-two difference between the highest and lowest.

Genetics? Nutrition? Weight-bearing exercise? Were they physically larger? What are the differences that led to the differences between the red-circled data-points and the yellow-highlighted ones?

Unfortunately, the anecdotal data regarding levels of physical activity are close to worthless. Just look at how I "lost" six days in my dead-lift program because I was not looking at my calendar. People have very little awareness of how much work they do or do-not-do. It would be interesting to see how urban mail-carriers score for bone-density vs the general population, especially the ones over 50. I cannot think of any other large groups of people who are very active physically (and carrying weight) and it is documented rather than anecdotal.


  1. Boring is good at our age. That means nothing is on fire!

    1. Boring is extremely under rated (in my opinion). Sort of a reverse of the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times".

      Phil B

  2. It's not the perfect solution, but there are several different mirror systems on Jeffy's China Mart that either clip onto a ball cap brim or self-stick to the side of a bicycle helmet.

    My pet peeve is business establishments in which the customer must face the counter to interact with the employees which puts the door at the customer's back and there's no large mirror on the wall behind the counter.

    The ballcap-bicycle mirrors are uselsss in that scenario.

  3. For women one of the deciding factors is protein consumption. By the least rigorous standards, women throughout most of their life under consume protein, which leads to weaker bones. After all, though we tend to think of bones in terms of calcium, over forty percent of bone is protein. Men tend to consume higher levels of protein and are less likely to suffer from weaker bones later in life.

    1. Women also have a much wider spread in numbers between women in rural areas living traditional lifestyles or doing reasonably heavy labor and urban modernists eating a vegan diet and doing literally no physically demanding work of any sort. Skeletal frames are formed in your youth through work and genetics, and work is being discouraged for both sexes


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