Since I have arrived at college, I have built up a desire to go the gym a few times a week to lift weights. I have never been a huge weight lifter, but it serves as a nice way to reduce stress and fill up free time I have at night. I do have concerns about lifting weights though. Multiple older people have told me to not lift heavy weight because it will wear you down physically in the long run and I will regret it. The best example is my grandfather who exercised a ton his entire life up until 10 years ago when his body began to breakdown. Now, he can barely leave the house and ride in the car because he is physically broken down. I wanted to investigate into this issue to see if lifting weights will actually have a negative impact on my physical capabilities in the long run.
I will begin with the cons of heavy lifting. One problem is that the lifting weights can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure as it is, weight lifting can be very dangerous. Another problem is that people who attempt to lift too much weight and/or use improper form are likely to suffer from joint damage. This sounds like the cause for the effects my grandfather is currently having with his physical capabilities. To conclude, people often battle through pain and continue to lift weights which is a horrible idea. Pain implies there is something wrong with your body, and you should lay off the weights until the pain goes away. If you are not smart about weightlifting, which many people are guilty of, you will suffer the consequences in your joints.
There are rebuttals to the points stated above. Apparently, weightlifting causing joint pain is a common misconception. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that 43% percent of people found a reduction in knee joint pain after performing weight bearing exercises. This is because the muscle around the joints increase in strength and provide more support in these areas. In addition, weightlifting has actually been found to decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, you only need to lift weights 2-3 times a week to start to see positive results. Furthermore, weightlifting has the lowest injury rates of any other sport. Another common myth is that weightlifting stunts growth. In reality, the only possible way weightlifting can stunt your growth is if you let the bar fall on you and it damages your growth plates. Overall, it seems that all potential problems with lifting weights can be avoided if you respect the weight room.
My research shows that lifting weights is healthy for you as long as you use proper form and don’t let your ego get in the way. My concern is that it seems many people do not know how to properly lift weights. I believe gyms should start putting greater emphasis on proper weightlifting so that the unhealthy aspects in the long run are limited.