The 90+ Study

When I discovered the steel bending strongman community, one of the things that caught my attention was just how strong some of them were that had, shall we say “more life experience.”

To put in perspective, think about the average 90-year-old. Just living to that age is pretty good. Being able to stand up from a chair is great! But then compare them to the late great Mike Greenstein.

I’m both happy and proud to say I knew him when he was alive

That to me highlights the importance of strength training.

Anyway, a study came across my radar called the 90+ study. And there were 2 bullet points from the study that really caught my attention.

  • People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.
  • People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.

So for the first bullet point. There is something called “cognitive bias” which basically means you seek out things that support your beliefs, or that which you wish to believe while rejecting things that challenge those beliefs.

That’s one reason that I stay away from debating politics and religion because nobody ever really wins those things.

So when I find something that tells me I can drink both coffee and wine, beer and whiskey and they will help me live longer, I pay attention. If by doing so not only can it add more years to my life…it can add more life to my years. I like hearing those things because I’m not free from cognitive bias. Nobody really is.

Now the other bullet point also challenged my cognitive bias, it was the bit about overweight people living longer. This one really didn’t sit well because I work as a personal trainer and have my studio in Boonton right across from the library. Helping people to lose weight for general health is what I do. And it was and is my belief that obesity kills.

So does this study prove me wrong? I mean, I could be wrong. I frequently am…I’m married after all. But then again, I’m never wrong. Just ask my first wife.

Claims like that 2nd bullet point have to be taken into context. You see when you think overweight you probably think of this.

Image result for overweight people

Does being like that make you live longer? I doubt it and here is why.

The term “overweight” has to be taken into context. I haven’t seen anything regarding how they define overweight but usually things like this use Body Mass Index ie BMI.

The BMI is loaded with flaws. As an example, I just checked my BMI and though I’m considered within healthy ranges, I’m dancing on the edge of being overweight. The pic below is how I look right now….being almost “overweight”.

I took this pic while writing this, and after having drunk enough water to put me into the overweight zone…just sayin

Does that look or seem close to overweight to you? Here’s the thing about BMI. It measures your height compared to your weight. That’s it.

It doesn’t take into account things like bone structure (some people are short and stout even when strong, lean and healthy), bone density and/or muscle mass.

For the general population, this is somewhat accurate because the majority of people don’t train and hence have negligble muscle and bone density. They should train but they don’t.

And having more muscle mass and more dense bones are something that is important to maintain especially as you age. That’s one reason I love the Turkish Getup for the aging population. It gets you moving better and the time under tension signals your body that you need both the muscle mass, and having denser bones and thicker tendons.

Btw, if you are in the area, I’ll be doing a presentation on the Turkish Getup at the Boonton Holmes Library on February 28th.


Eric Moss is a world-record-holding professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.

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