This Is Why Heavy Weightlifting Is A Necessity In Your Life
April 16th 2020
You may have considered starting to go to the gym but are held back by a strong belief that lifting weights is bad for your joints.
You may have had a friend who told you this from their own personal experience working out.
Regardless of whatever you hear on the internet, most doctors will agree that lifting weights is actually good for you, as long as you are doing it properly.
In fact, being sedentary will lead to more long-term health consequences than lifting weights will.
Regardless, it all depends on how you are lifting weights.
It depends on what program you are following, what weights you are using, how good or bad your form is, what your diet is like, how many days you are going to the gym, how your sleep is, there are a plethora of factors that may affect whether or not weightlifting is bad for you.
In this article, we will discuss what effects weight lifting has on the body, and tips that you can implement in order to decrease the chance of any injuries.
Is lifting weights bad for your joints?
Lifting heavy weights can help increase muscular strength, bone density, help you lose weight and help increase your tolerance against injuries.
At the same time, athletes need to exercise precaution when handling heavy loads because, without proper form or programming, you are dramatically increasing your risk of injury.
What are the effects does weightlifting have on the body?
Exercise has been shown time and time again to be very beneficial for the body.
In fact, most doctors suggest exercising despite the small risk of joint damage that is associated with weightlifting.
This is because lifting weights has a significant effect on long-term health benefits.
Going to the gym and lifting weights has a multitude of beneficial effects on the body including increasing your strength, decreasing pain and bone loss, and increasing mobility.
Increased strength and decreased pain
Weightlifting is beneficial in reducing pain in joints through strengthening the surrounding musculature.
By strengthening the muscles surrounding the joints, they can function at their fullest capacity meaning most of the force while lifting weights is transferred through the muscle rather than through the joint itself.
By doing so, it will also reduce any friction within the joint, decreasing the pain you might feel.
Weightlifting also burns calories which helps you to maintain a healthy and normal body weight.
Being overweight places a lot of stress and pressure on your joints.
If lifting weight helps you to maintain a normal bodyweight, then doing so will be beneficial for your joints in the long run.
Decreased bone loss
This is more important for those who are getting older and are at risk for osteoporosis.
Lifting weights can actually decrease the amount of bone you lose as you get older.
This decreases your risk for fractures and other diseases.
It’s important to build healthy and strong bones in order to reduce your risk of fractures, especially if you are older.
Lifting weights can help increase your mobility because you are utilizing your body in a variety of ranges.
This is opposed to if you were to sit around all day playing video games or watching tv, you wouldn’t get nearly the same amount of motion as someone who has been lifting weights properly.
Increased mobility will help keep your joints, ligaments, and tendons healthy and functioning properly.
Now that we covered some of the benefits weight lifting has on the body, what are some of the ways you can avoid injuries while lifting weights.
How to avoid injuries while lifting weights
Here are some of the things you can implement while lifting weights in order to decrease the chance that you experience a joint injury.
Some of these are obvious, some not so obvious.
Take some time to reflect on your program to see if you are implementing all of the proper steps in order to decrease your chance of injury while working out.
Before any physical activity, especially before lifting weights, it is important that you spend some time to warm your body up.
Warm up for at least 5-10 minutes before your exercise session. Your warmup can consist of walking on the treadmill, stair master, doing some dynamic stretches, and banded exercises.
The purpose of the warmup is to get the blood flowing to your muscles, tendons, and joints which is very important to prevent injury while lifting heavy weights, especially after a long day of just sitting at the office.
Warming up also helps get the heart pumping so that you will be able to lift more weights because your body is already primed to exercise.
It is essential that you learn how to perform the exercises with proper form if you wish to decrease your chance of injury.
You can learn how to perform exercises properly through the other articles on our website, and through youtube.
With improper form, you may be putting additional stress on the joints, or ligaments instead of the muscle which is what you want to primarily work.
It can’t be stated enough how important it is to have proper form while performing any type of exercise in the gym.
Using the appropriate amount of weight
In addition to using proper form, you also need to be using the right amount of weight.
If you are lifting a weight that is much heavier than you can handle, you are greatly putting yourself at risk for injury.
How to know if you are using the appropriate amount of weight, you should be following a tried and true program that has a basic progression system.
If you are a beginner, you want to look into something that gets only a bit more difficult overtime, known as linear progression.
Follow a tried and true lifting program
Following a lifting program set for beginners is one way to ensure that you will not be overtraining and that you are using the appropriate amount of weight.
By following a program made by a professional with years of experience training, and coaching, you will be set up for a greater chance of success than if you were to try and make up a program yourself or if you were to follow a friend’s program that is catered to them.
If you need some suggestions on some lifting programs to follow, one of the most tried and true program is the Starting Strength program by Mark Rippetoe.
Starting Strength incorporates compound movements in order to build a solid foundation for the body.
Just like with warming up before you start exercising, after working out, you want to spend some time cooling down.
Cooling down helps bring your heart rate back down, and because your muscles are already warm due to exercising, you can work on static stretching, and work on increasing your flexibility and mobility.
Developing your flexibility and mobility is important to ensure that your body doesn’t get too tight after you exercise.
If some areas of your body are too type after exercising, it might make you more prone to injury as your body starts to compensate for the tightness.
As a result, you want to make sure you are following a stretching, and mobility routine after exercising.
You could also incorporate foam rolling during your cooldown in order to get rid of any tight knots that you may have developed over time.
Stop when there is pain
This one might be obvious but if you experience any pain while exercising you should stop and take some time off to rest and recover before getting back into the gym.
Exercising through the injury is the worst thing that you can do that can greatly increase your chance of injury due to working out.
Rather than follow the motto “no pain no gain”, understand that when you are experiencing pain, your body is telling you that something is wrong.
Continuing when there is pain is a recipe for disaster.
If resting doesn’t help and the pain continues for more than a week, then you should consult with a doctor or physical therapist about your injury.
Finishing It Up
We all know the strengths and drawbacks of lifting weights.
But if you ask me, the pros far outweigh the cons and you will never regret getting into lifting weights.
Whether you are creating an aesthetic body, building enormous strength or a combination of the two goals, lifting weights in the gym will help you get to these goals a whole lot quicker.
So, what is really holding you back?