Cris LaBossiere

Cris LaBossiere
Strength training and mountain biking. My two favorites

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Weight training injuries increase by 50% between 1990- 2007

It's an interesting contrast. Although we're getting fatter and less active overall, sports and exercise injuries are increasing dramatically. 

I've been a coach for a couple decades and have witnessed an ironic decrease in the quality of preparedness in those who exercise despite an increase in the number of coaches and trainers being available to anyone wanting their service.

What I see more of every year is hype.  Hyping getting fit as fast as possible.  Outrageous claims that super high intensity intervals are the best way to exercise, and goofy claims regarding special "core stability" and overall stability exercises as being the best exercises rather than part of an overall exercise plan.

More emphasis on going for the burn, more emphasis on going harder, and less emphasis on the importance of proper evaluation of a persons current fitness, postural problems, muscle strength imbalances, and less promotion of long term gains starting with simple base conditioning exercises.

Of course being told that you ought to start easy and build gains over months and years doesn't sound as promising as the get fit quick scam that so many perpetrate, but then that is exactly what the "promise of hope" scam is meant to do: entice you into adopting a program that pushes you hard to get gains quick.. usually because you're so busy you don't have time to exercise.

Think about it.. more emphasis on going hard, less emphasis on an a long term graduated exercise program and an increase in injury rates.  This should not come as a surprise.

Instead of seeing the latest promise of super high intensity boot camps giving you the extra benefit "you deserve", see these claims as the true red flag they are.  Promises of quick gains from pushing hard is the number one warning sign you are about to get duped, and probably injured.

As I've said before the only way to achieve high performance is to train hard, but the way to raise your fitness level to the ability to tolerate and benefit from hard training is not to start with hard training.. it's to gradually increase intensity and complexity as you adapt, and rushing this is a bad idea.

In fact the whole idea of rushing into intensive exercise only serves to promote an unhealthy and imbalanced perspective on how exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. 

Exercise is not about pain, it's about preserving ones health, and no "pain" is not an indicator of quality exercise.. that is perhaps the most ignorant myth out there so don't fall for it.

Think about exercise as preventative medicine, a stress reducer, a bone density increaser, an energy provider, and a life extender.  Build physical performance on a healthy base.  Without a significant base, short term quick gains will be followed by injury and plateau. 

Here's an excerpt from a study done on weight training injury rates increasing:

"Patients’ mean age was 27.6 years (range, 6–100 years); 82.3% were male. The upper trunk (25.3%) and lower trunk (19.7%) were the most commonly injured body parts. The most common diagnosis was sprain/strain (46.1%). The most common mechanism of injury was weights dropping on the person (65.5%). A large number of injuries occurred with free weights (90.4%)"

Epidemiology of Weight Training-Related Injuries Presenting to United States Emergency Departments, 1990 to 2007

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