Resistance Training- The Injury Vaccine

A concern that I have heard from many people when it comes to lifting weights is that they will hurt themselves.  Some even fear that lifting weights will be bad for them.  Of course you can suffer injuries from resistance training, but if done appropriately (right technique, right weight) the odds are pretty low.  In fact, I’m here to argue that lifting weights actually prevent more injuries than they cause.  I believe this because of the effects that consistent resistance training has on the body.

When we lift weights, our body is being broken down by the stress of the workout.  This is a controlled breakdown, however, and it doesn’t take long for our body to recover.  What’s cool about humans is that our body doesn’t just recover from a stress like lifting weights, it actually is programmed to become better.  This is why we are able to lift more weight over time, or find ourselves with bigger muscles.  Our body does this in an attempt to avoid the same “disruption” that occurred from the workout the first time around.

By training with weights over time, we create a stronger (more resistant) body.  Because our “human machine” is constantly strengthening and building up, everyday hazards that we encounter aren’t so hazardous. For example, it will be tougher throw your back out lifting an awkward 80lb box if you routinely Deadlift hundreds of pounds each week.  

By constantly practicing good movement under load, we inoculate ourselves from possible injuries outside of the gym.  Just as a vaccine revs up our immune system by producing antibodies to fight germs, resistance training bolsters our muscles and brain to take on the trips, bumps, and slams we encounter when playing sports, chasing kids, etc. In other words, we shouldn't worry as much about sustaining injuries from lifting weights...but rather about the injuries that will occur if we don’t.