Somewhere along the way, we turned a helpful thing into something damaging to the body.
I’m obviously not against working out.
I love lifting weights.
I just think that never-ending progressive resistance can do more harm than good at times.
NIN and Bowie sum it up perfectly here:
“And you could have it all . My empire of dirt . I will let you down . I will make you hurt.” – Trent Reznor
The 95′ NIN & Bowie “Dissonance Tour” definitely makes my concert time machine list (I’m counting on Elon Musk to make that happen).
After belonging to a commercial gym for 30 years…
I’ve seen a predictable pattern (especially with guys).
They gain 15-20 pounds of muscle the first 12-16 months and gain strength at a consistent rate, before they hit a plateau.
They push hard to get past this sticking point…
…and get a nasty injury in the process.
I’m as guilty of this as the next person.
It’s HARD to hold back.
Exercise is suppose to make us feel good.
The endless pursuit of lifting heavier weight can do permanent damage.
I’m part of over a dozen fitness groups on Facebook.
Lots of injury discussions.
One recent discussion was about “Sumo vs Regular Deadlifts”.
How to increase a deadlift max without re-injuring your back.
The sheer amounts of comments from people with spinal injuries from lifting, was staggering.
These same people were also pushing their limits again by trying to hit personal bests with a compromised spine.
“Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Speaking of injuries.
One year ago, Ronnie Coleman put this video up on Instagram.
It was shortly after an 11 hour back surgery.
So you guy’s still wanna be like me, you still want to have the same work ethic is I had. Well as you can see I’m 8 X Mr Olympia and I can’t walk. I endured an 11 hour major back surgery last Tuesday. Do I have any regrets?, if I had a chance to do it all over again would I change anything? Yes if I had a chance to do it all over again I would change one thing. That is when I squatted that 800lbs I would do 4 reps instead of 2, that is my only regret in my career. Those 2 reps I did still haunts me today because I know I had 4 in me but the coward in me only did 2. That is my only regret.
This was his 7th surgery!
Ronnie Coleman was one of the strongest bodybuilders of all-time.
…but now can’t walk without pain.
You don’t have to lift anywhere near as heavy as Ronnie Coleman to become haunted by a life-long injury.
Weight is relative to your frame.
I’m a long-arm freak, so benching over 225 feels sketchy to me.
I had a workout partner who was able to bench press 225 pounds for reps, after his second month of working out.
He probably wouldn’t have a problem doing sets of 300+.
For me benching 275 is asking for a pec-tear or shoulder injury.
I can do it.
…but is just a matter of time for something to pop.
If I’m perfectly honest with myself I could probably get just as good of a chest workout with 185 pounds.
If I had never trained in a commercial gym I probably never would have gone never gone heavier than 185 (it feels heavy in my hands).
Why do we train on the edge of injury?
If 4o pound dumbbell curls give us great looking arms… why are we striving to use 55, 60, and 65 pound dumbbells?
I don’t have the answer.
I do think focus should be brought back on exercising as a way to improve the body, NOT damage it for life.
This is easier said than done.
Something inside of us… pushes us to lift risky amounts of weight.
It’s almost like a reflex.
A destructive reflex.
The Dark Side of Progressive Resistance.
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