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Injuries Suck, So Lifting Weights is Dangerous?

Editor’s note:

I woke up this morning absolutely ecstatic to go train. Despite knowing I wasn’t going to lift as heavy or move as fast as I had before I was still beyond excited. Because, at the end of the day this is nothing but fun for me. Fun and trying to look like a demi-god, but mainly fun. On top of that in the week where I’ve been really crippled, which I know isn’t really long in the grand scheme of things and I’m more than happy with how speedy my recovery has been so far, I’ve been reflecting on the things I preach about and thought about some of the people I’ve met through lifting. I’ve met guys battling cancer who still train, I’ve met guys with cerebral palsy, who still train. I’ve met guys who are deaf, blind or both, who still train. I’ve met guys with broken or missing limbs, who still train. I’ve met guys with debilitating illnesses like ME or chronic fatigue syndrome, who still fucking train. So, if I was to roll over and succumb to a little fucking back pain, I’d be doing those guys, my clients and myself an injustice. There’s a difference between accepting your circumstances and letting those same circumstances dictate your life and defeat you.

You’re injured not dead, suck it up!

The absolute shittest thing that can happen to you during training is getting injured. Injuries suck, there’s no doubt about it, and if you’ve been lifting long enough you’ve most likely been injured.

Now, you could’ve injured yourself either by lifting like an asshole, going balls to the wall every damn session, paying no attention to your body and letting your ego guide you or it could’ve simply just happened. Because funnily enough sometimes shit just happens. You can practice all the good form you want but sadly you’ll never be able to eliminate the risk of injury.

But shit, injuries are the price we pay for not having sat around on our asses becoming weak slobs. Also, just in case anyone is itching to start talking shit about lifting weights being dangerous; yep, you’re right. Lifting weights like a moron is dangerous. Lifting weights with good technique, however, will make you a lot more resilient against injuries but it’s far from risk free. Having said that, doing everyday activities carries some magnitude of risk and just because I’ve never been run over by a car before doesn’t mean I don’t still look both ways before crossing the road, ya feel me? You’re more likely to get injured doing basics tasks as a non-lifter however, than lifting.

Now, onto the matter at hand;

One of the dumbest things I ever did when I got injured was stop training. As you’re probably aware I fucking love training. I love everything about developing and pushing yourself physically and mentally, especially nowadays, but even going back years ago I loved lifting weights and using training as an outlet. So, after I’d hurt my back and not being able to squat, deadlift, press etc I grew miserable. Oh! And fat! I grew a set of saggy titties too.

Now, after seeing numerous doctors, physiotherapists and orthopaedic surgeons and growing fatter and more miserable by the damn week I decided to take matters into my own hands. This is usually the sort of thing I’d advise against but hey ho, call me a hypocrite. Long story short, eventually I rehabbed it, hit bigger and better numbers and everything’s been golden.

But that isn’t even the point of this article. The point is back then I was dumb! I should’ve stopped moping around and focused on what I could do, not what I couldn’t!

Listen, you’re injured not dead! Do something! Work around it! There’s always an alternative.

If your upper body is injured then it’s likely you can train your lower body. We even have tools for these situations like Safety Squat Bars, Deadlift Straps, Belt Squats or hell even the damn Leg Press! Similarly, if your lower body is injured you can probably still train your upper body. Yes, you might have to vary your lifts and change how you train for a while during your recovery, but you can still do something!

Furthermore, once you are recovered you should look into how and why you got injured. Were you lifting like an asshole? Do you have some sort of muscle imbalance? Any tightness or stiffness that needs working on? Was it just bad luck? Either way your concern should now be to try and ensure it doesn’t happen again. This also means not aggravating the injury during the recovery process or immediately afterwards. Take your time but remember, you can and should be doing something! Do not stop training if you can help it!

Don’t get wrapped up in what you can’t do. Focus on what you can do and go do something fucking awesome!

Training around injuries – Lifting weights is dangerous?

How many fucking times have you heard this nonsense? I know I’ve heard it hundreds and hundreds of times. Usually by some weak slob who hasn’t done anything physical or productive in their life. These are also the kind of people who’d say squatting is bad for your knees, deadlifting’s bad for your back, pressing’s bad for your shoulders and benching will cause a pec tear. Yawn!

But shit, what do I know?

Do you know what is truly dangerous, though? Being brutally weak, that shit’s dangerous as hell. Being chronically stiff and tight and immobile is dangerous. Being so weak you can’t even support your own bodyweight is dangerous. Being sedentary and eating nothing but crap while spouting shit about lifting weights being dangerous, is dangerous. Or perhaps the way you lift weights is dangerous? Moronic strength is dangerous, smart strength is protective.

If you’re a grown man who can’t hit a 60kg overhead press, a 100kg bench press, 140kg squat and a 180kg deadlift and you’ve been training for 1-2 years then what the hell have you been doing? These are numbers that I would consider a late novice to early intermediate to hit. Any self-respecting man should be able to hit these numbers alongside being able to lift their own body mass (aka do a pull up and a dip or at least a set of press ups) and run 5k without dying. If you’ve been training 2+ years and can’t hit those numbers, then you need to prioritise and get stronger. Come on, make yourself a better person. Endure some hardship.

Lifting weights is not inherently dangerous. Sure, it can be, if you train like a muppet and of course as I’ve mentioned before we can never fully immunise ourselves to injury. But I believe lifting weights genuinely makes you a better person, both physically and mentally. I’ve spoken about enduring voluntary hardship before and how that can shape you into being a better version of yourself. This is one of the reasons I’m always keen to throw certain “challenges” into my client’s programs, because they test you both physically and mentally. And trust me, if you’re the type of person who quickly gives up when things start getting tough or when things start to “burn” that’ll reflect on you outside the gym. If you’re going to go through some voluntary hardship, at least try and push yourself to get through it. Think about the kinda person you wanna be.

So where does this idea that weight training causes injury come from? Well for the most part it’s simply hearsay by the lazy. It’s much easier to come up with excuses for not enduring hardship or putting yourself through physical and mental discomfort than it is to actually step up and do those things. It’s a lot easier to sit on your ass eating pizza and drinking beer (which sounds excellent by the way) than it is to push a prowler, run up hills, lift heavy weights or do some form of difficult yet rewarding activity.

Sitting on your phone or computer searching for “lifting fail” videos while convincing yourself that exercising and lifting weights is bad for your health, which of course is just laughable, is an easy way of making yourself feel superior for being inferior.

We should all know that lifting weights (properly) will make you less susceptible to injury and far more resilient to various diseases or ailments. Being strong sets you apart from the weak, and I don’t mean that like some “alpha male” fallacy bullshit. For example, lifters are generally a lot less likely to develop diabetes or certain cancers. I’m not saying lifters are immune to these diseases, but they certainly have a greater chance of not developing and furthermore overcoming them if they do. Lifting weights literally makes you harder to kill. And while I know the idea of sitting around all safe and sound sounds good, but you’ll be in for a rude awakening in the long term.

The funniest people who spout this crap about weight training being dangerous are old out of shape men. And I’m sure every man reading this has probably heard a similar story;

Take an old bloke who for the vast majority of his life hasn’t done anything physically active. A man who has never taken his diet into account and has led a sedentary life. This man now faces a myriad of health concerns ranging from diseases such as diabetes to physical ailments like chronic back pain. Now, this man approaches a young lad trying to become fitter, stronger and healthier by lifting weights, eating well and being generally active and explains how lifting weights dangerous and the famous one liner is; “you won’t be doing that when you get to my age”.

See the problem? Fuck that, lift forever!

And for those poor fools still unconvinced let me just say I’d rather suffer the odd injury than live my life as an out of shape ticking time bomb, never seeing what my body is capable of.

#apathyisdeath #liftstrongandconquer #thetimeisnow #logicallifting



author: Louis Whenlock

Hi I’m Louis, a passionate freelance Personal Trainer on a mission to cut through the BS and gimmicks of the fitness world and deliver honest, hard earned results to my clients.