"The Number One All Time Worst Defense of a Movement


by David Maurice



"Iíve done Lift W for X amount of time and it has never bothered me."

This is equivalent to the following:

"Iíve smoked for X amount of time and I havenít come down with cancer, or emphysema, or any of the other terrible things that are attributed to smoking."

"Iíve drunk a 12 pack of beer every night for X amount of time, and my liver hasnít caused me any problems."

Certainly if a movement hurts you, you shouldnít do it. But absence of pain does not indicate an absence of damage. The movements typically identified as dangerous donít usually cause a sudden pain. Rather, they cause deleterious changes to take place in the cartilage, bursae, or other structures in joints which are lacking in nerves to signal pain. When a person feels pain, it isnít in their cartilage; it is in those structures that the cartilage was intended to protect.

Get a grip on this: many injuries are not acute (sudden) but are cumulative in nature. That means that over time, over repetitions of deleterious lifting practice, some tissue or structure undergoes degenerative changes.

Get a grip on this: when you start to feel the pain, the damage has been done, and it is often not reversible. Cartilage, for example, does not remodel quickly, and degenerates with age even without extra abuse.

Get a grip on this: just like smoking and heavy drinking, bad lifting does manifest itself as bad damage in all individuals. That doesnít mean it is safe.

Get a grip on this: performing a bad lift slowly, no matter how slowly, or with "perfect" form, can only reduce the risk. There is nothing you can do that will compensate for putting your bodyís structures in loading situations for which they are not suited.

Get a grip on this: for every bad lift that can be identified, there are safer alternatives which can offer equivalent growth.

When you hear or read that a lifting movement is dangerous, there is probably a reason why. You should take the time to learn what that reason is, and to understand it. It may be a bad reason given against a perfectly good safe lift, but you wonít know that unless you take the time to understand the reason and how your body works. Information is too readily available for anyone to justify harboring an uninformed opinion. An explanation for why any particular movement is damaging can be found with moderate effort. If you have the time to devote to reading about lifting and discussing lifting, you certainly have the time to devote to learning about how your body works.

If you find yourself using the argument at the top of this article, The Number One All Time Worst Defense of a Movement, then check yourself. Drop the argument, step back, and investigate.

If you find somebody else using The Number One All Time Worst Defense of a Movement then ask them to read this article.

Learn from everyone's mistakes, and share that knowledge."