Does weightlifting make you smarter?

tl;dr - yes

Last night the topics of conversation got really nerdy. We went from big data statistics to DNA repair pathways in about 15 minutes.

That kicked of a discussion of how was it possible that all of us found each other? How is it possible that all the nerds workout together at the same place?

And of course that set off another discussion about the cognitive benefits of weightlifting. My Twitter feed has been full of this discussion lately too. I’m sure it’s selection bias but I follow a lot of folks who are mathematicians, programmers, and weightlifters, so the discussions get nerdy quick.

So am I a brilliant marketer that found a way to get all of the smart people in Boulder to workout here? Or is there something else going on? Well we all know my marketing skills…

It does seem that there is a connection between weightlifting and improved cognition. I know, for me that I figure out tons of complicated work problems between sets. In fact, that’s really the only time I’m creative. When I’m at work, I’m just implementing the stuff I thought of while lifting.

Since it’s bad form to reference Twitter threads to prove my point, I went digging in the literature and found these two recent articles (one, two). Granted, they are about improving cognition (or reversing cognitive decline) in older folks. But what helps older folks keep their marbles may also help the younger folks make other connections and improve creativity.

So I don’t know why we all found each other, but I do know that if we have a special population of very thoughtful folks and that we aren’t a typical meathead gym full of broscience. And I’m really proud of that.

Michael Deskevich