Medicine: The Perils of Muscle Beach

Just three months ago, the Journal of the A.M.A. had reassuring words for a reader who was concerned because his 22-year-old son with high blood pressure had taken up weight lifting. Two Journal consultants suggested that there was nothing to worry about if proper precautions were taken to avoid injuries to the muscles or joints. That reassurance may well have been ill considered. The Journal and Circulation, an American Heart Association publication, have now raised warning signals about both weight lifting and isometrics, exercises that increase the tone of muscles without changing their...

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