Is Heavy Lifting Bad For You?
by: Brandon Richey–Get Free Updates And Training Guides Here
Is Heavy Lifting Bad For You?
So I got a question from one of my readers the other day in my email inbox asking if heavy lifting is bad for one’s health? Well, believe it or not I did think about this one just a bit more than you may have guessed before just shooting back the quick and easy response.
Because my brain was stimulated into that next level of thinking prior to answering the question I figured that I would use that extra brain activity for the subject of this very post. I figured you might enjoy benefitting from all those brain waves so I thought I’d go ahead and do my best to give you a more detailed response about all that heavy lifting right here.
The Benefits Of Heavy Lifting…
So whenever looking at whether or not a particular strategy, approach, or product works I always like to weigh the pros and cons. When looking at heavy lifting for the purpose of addressing this question towards the general public I don’t want to necessarily look at it from an environment where I am the strength coach and have total control over who is lifting, the weight being lifted, and how it’s being lifted.
Instead I want to look at it from the standpoint of the general population who may or may not be informed about how to lift heavy weights and are just going out and lifting heavy for the sake of heavy lifting. Ok, I know that was a bit of a mouthful, but take a second to let it sink in.
For the moment let’s look at the benefits of what heavy lifting can potentially offer you:
2. Lean Muscle Mass
3. Increased Bone Density
4. Enhanced Motor Function
6. Increased ROM
7. Fat Loss
8. Overall Resiliency
Now having pointed out all the obvious good and cool stuff that heavy lifting can do for us you are probably thinking Brandon “you just answered the question!” Game over, right? Wrong my friend. The game isn’t over quite yet. I want to take a second to dive into the “real world” for just a moment so make sure you stay tuned for the rest of the story.
You see I have often had new students come to me to tell me that they have had trainers in the past, or have taken someone else’s strength class, or engaged in some other guy’s training system. Following this testimony the newcomer rolls in under my watch and is immediately surprised at how little he or she really does know when it comes to lifting, let alone heavy lifting for that matter. If you could be a “fly on the wall” whenever I engage most of these students you would see just what I’m talking about.
If you could observe this scenario you would often see that primarily all that I try to teach is how to effectively coach the student to put their body into the correct position before executing any major lift. With any total body lift I drive home the importance of mastering the hip hinge and being able to accomplish this single movement in multiple different movement patterns relating to squatting, deadlifting, jumping, and even kettlebell swinging.
All of these require hinging at the hips while maintaining a neutral spine, but FOR ME it also means that they should be able to effectively hinge within all of these various patterns as well!
I honestly don’t see how many of these students can take another weightlifting or strength related class which should require a great deal of hinging pattern and not actually know how to properly hinge while maintaining a neutral spine.
When a new person gets to me they usually realize that they didn’t know how to do it all along, or at least to the level that they were thinking during some of the bigger multi-joint movements. I mean I often wonder what are all of these other trainers and coaches teaching these people?
I mean maybe it is the student’s fault as well? Perhaps the trainee isn’t continuing the practice of maintaining the proper movements… which gets them out of practice and causes them to be sloppy with their technique? However, even if this is the case once one has mastered the pattern it’s a lot like riding a bicycle. The skill should still at least be there to some degree, right?
I know what you’re thinking. So Brandon what about the original question? I mean heavy lifting is good for us, right? The short answer is YES heavy lifting is good for us, however it’s only as good as we make it. Obviously if an individual fails to effectively perform a hinge at the hips to pick up something as simple as a pencil then a super heavy load is certainly NOT going to do him or her any favors when the time comes! To me it’s all about correctness.
The final answer to the question is that YES heavy lifting is great for us as long as the lifter understands how to effectively and safely handle the load being lifted. Otherwise we’ll rapidly see a rise in the negative health factors regarding the not so fun filled list of muscle strains, herniated discs, chronic joint pains, and an array of other problems that can arise from nothing more than an individual being a training liability to him or herself! So the lesson of the day is to NOT be a liability!
To avoid the negative effects of lifting and failing to program a results oriented workout make sure you get a copy of my Brandon Richey’s Better Than Steroids ebook right here:
Have you seen others put themselves at risk by observing some scary lifting attempts? If so please don’t be shy about posting up about it in the comments box below. Keep training smart my friend.
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Good response to the question. Heavy lifting is great as long as its done correctly!
Thanks Bro! Yes, I wanted to take the article in the direction of heavy lifting is great for you “as long as…!” Obviously I can control the environment that I’m coaching, but realistically there are people all over that I can’t see or help. Technique has to be a sure thing.