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There’s more than pride at stake when you slide under a barbell. A weak showing at the gym may signal hidden health problems, say Canadian and US scientists. Young men who couldn’t bench 88% of their body weight and leg-press 176% of their body weight were more than 1½ times as likely as stronger guys to have a group of conditions that raise heart disease and diabetes risk. Stronger muscles may potentially protect you by secreting more metabolism-regulating hormones, says study author Professor Martin Sénéchal. According to researchers in Norway, you can boost your PR by doing three sets at your six-rep max twice a week for eight weeks.
Check out Why You Should Be Lifting Weights just like every other man.