One of the big pushes in the fitness industry these days is the minimal repetition maximal heavy lifting with rests between each set. Many training organisations are focusing all their energies on this type of weight training and getting some good results with it. Good results initially but there can be a cost to this type of training.
It is fascinating to see how people can get so caught up in the wave of fad type training. If we look back at the last 20-30 years we have had many fads, freestyle aerobics was smashing in its heyday in the 80’s and 90’s but was soon overtaken by Les Mills body training systems and pre choreographed workouts in the 21st century were the classes everyone attended. More recently we have seen a shift from indoor to outdoor training with many people working out in the park using minimal equipment making use of the beautiful country we live in. Inside the weights room we used to have a male dominated arena which also has undergone a shift recently as women have discovered the benefits of weight training for overall health and the improved physical appearance muscle tone can bring.
The push now has seen this type of weight training move main stream with workouts incorporating resistance exercise in most training sessions. Personal training has never been so big and a friend of mine who trains people to become trainers has often commented the phenomenal amount of people who are doing this training to themselves become personal trainers.
As with most things it’s important to look long term at things. The big question I ask those people who lift heavy is, “How are your joints feeling today?” Lifting big heavy weights long term puts massive amounts of stress on your joints in particular your knees, shoulders and elbows. Having been involved in the fitness industry for over 20 years I know this from experience having spent many years doing this. Training is about looking long term and long term this type of training can be very detrimental to your joints. Speaking to many friends who currently do this training I am hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t suffered some kind of joint problem. Unfortunately you can’t put an old head on young shoulders and the only way some people will learn is by experience.
If you, like me are keen to avoid shoulder or knee surgery, take a good look at the type of weight training you are doing now and what it is doing to your joints. I know my focus now is mainly functional training, or as I like to call it training with a purpose. With everything you do ask yourself,”does this exercise have a purpose?” and if so “What is it?”. Using bodyweight as assistance or resistance to perform exercises that will move your body the way it was meant to be moved should be the core of your training methods.