Not sure what to make of this...

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Level 6 Valued Member
I came across this article yesterday, I am not sure what I think about something like this, but my mental alarms are going crazy over this, and thought I would share it with you:
Scientists are working on an “exercise pill” so you never have to work out again
My gut reaction is, if this could at some point in time be true, such a thing should not be created. Or at the least be under strict control and only administered to people who cannot move themselves in any way. Which of course won't happen. In certain jobs and in schools, drugs developed to combat ADD and such are being used as performance enhancers.
I have not researched Quartz, Cell Metabolism or the study itself, so I don't know how reliable this whole thing is. But the question intrigues me: if you could take a pill that would have the same effect as strength training, would you take it? Assuming of course that it's perfectly legal. So in the morning you would take your mental/cognitive enhancement pill with your coffee and your strength pill. Like in the movie The Bourne Legacy, until the effects of such enhancers can be bound permanently. I probably would if it was almost mandatory. The case is pretty clear in the cognitive sense, if I had to choose taking a pill to not be dumber than my peers, I probably would. And don't see any difference between the brain and muscle case. And another part of me thinks that such changes to society is really sad.
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Level 6 Valued Member
There's something magical about "earning" your strength though. I would pass on the pill. That might not be smart in my case. Strength without struggle is like life without death.


Level 4 Valued Member
It all sounds like B.S to me.

The typical B.S. you see when scientists are trying to make a pill to cash in on. On face value it seems like it is a reasonable idea, but the premise starts to fall apart under scrutiny.

Anyone that has worked out for more than a few years would understand that chemical changes in the muscles are only small part of a bigger picture. What about the ligaments and tendons that hold everything together, or the cartilage between the joints ?

If the muscles are developed before the supporting structures (mentioned above) are conditioned to take the load then all sorts of problems can occur.

We see the effects of focusing on muscle development over ligament and tendon conditioning all the time with modern footballers. They pump the steroids into them in the off season to get them get them big and strong and they go out and tear hamstrings and biceps etc or pop ACL's when they get into a situation where the ligaments and tendons are shock loaded.

I believe you have to earn your stripes where strength training is concerned, if you don't condition the connective tissue along with the muscles, sooner or later you will run into trouble.

& if it does work to build strength how does that translate to a skeletal system that has a weak tissue matrix because the tissue has never been loaded to force adaptive changes. Bones that have never been stressed are weak bones, unless they can come up with a pill for that too.


Level 7 Valued Member
Didn't read the thing, but if we learned one thing about all those supplements (vitamins, fish oil, antioxidants etc.) it's that getting it from natural sources (unprocessed food) is so much better and comes without sideeffects.
It'll be the same with the "exercise pill" although like Tarzan i call BS on such a thing ever existing.
However nanobots that stimulate growth and adaptation in the body (muscles, tendons etc.) from the inside may actually be a thing somewhere in the far future.
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Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks for all your input. Been rummaging over it today at work, and the conclusion I come to is this: Why would such a "pill" have me refrain from training? Regardless of whatever scientific or sickcare merit such research may have, it would basically have no effect on me personally, and I am also doubting it's effect on the population as a whole. Cause even if smart&strong pills became mandatory it would just raise the bar. I.e. I would for example be using heavier bells as a baseline, but it wouldn't in any way negate the skill gained from actual training. I do still have some societal concerns whenever new bio-tech is made available, and how this may push civilisation in new directions.
I agree with the two general opinions in this thread: 1) scepticism wether it actually can replace physical education/habitus for the general population and athletes 2) that there is more to training than what can be quantified.


Level 5 Valued Member
I dont think the idea is completely daft - you could argue that metformin (glucophage) may already replicate the effects of exercise to a degree. It is hard to imagine you could get the true benefits of exercise (physical, metabolic,mental) but maybe you could access a subset (probably metabolic) of these pharmacologically.

What it would never replicate is the benefits of practice and discipline.


Level 1 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I heard about this yesterday listening to morning radio show. It's all based on wrong presumptions that "exercise = struggle" as opposed to "movement = pleasure". No pill can replace that ;]

Will Moore

Level 3 Valued Member
I agree with all of the above. That said, I can see some potential in patient populations, where the most effective treatment, currently, tends to ravage the body.

This comes to mind because of the many folks I see while living in the shadow of one of the worlds top cancer hospitals.

So, for me, it is a never say never and seldom say always situation.

Live well!

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
I like Somanaut's answer.

Assuming it actually works, and there are no negative side effects, and it's not a controlled substance, and you can afford it; Maybe it doesn't have to be one or the other. Maybe you can take the pill and enjoy the increased performance during your workouts and activities.
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