Is Weightlifting Bad for you in the Long Run?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


12 thoughts on “Is Weightlifting Bad for you in the Long Run?

  1. Zachary Michael Barone Post author

    Liam, I never realized the negative effects running could have. No one ever talks much about any form of cardio being damaging to your body. I never would have guessed that running damage is easier to achieve than weightlifting. I appreciate your comment and it has definitely made me more aware of a balanced cardio and weightlifting workout.

  2. Hannah Rose Papa

    This topic was very interesting in which I am seeing many guys as they get older tend to begin to start heavy lifting. I like how you state that although there is some negatives to weight lifting, if you do it properly you can help your body. My dad attends the gym everyday to lift and doctors say that it actually saved his life because he had such a strong heart. Although weight lifting has its negatives, workingout is one of the healthiest stress relievers that people can turn to.

  3. Claire E Going

    Hi Zachary,
    I liked this post because I see so many people incorrectly lifting in the gym and I know that later on in life they will have major joint problems and spinal problems. The number one area I see incorrect form in the gym is squatting. When people don’t squat with correct form, it can compress your spine over time, and cause a lot of damage to your knees. My father had to get two knee replacements in his 50’s because of improper form over time in the gym. Squatting can be extremely beneficial and a healthy workout if you do it right. I liked your article, but I think you could have gone further and found a study that was conducted involving people who lift vs. people who didn’t lift and see the difference in their physical health as they age, but you also had a good use of an anecdote that was convincing. Here is an article on weightlifting injuries and how to prevent them. Great article!

  4. Holly Rubin

    I don’t know a lot about weight lifting so I found this blog very interesting. I am still a little confused with how lifting weights would stunt your growth, but it makes so much sense that it has such an effect on blood pressure. You mentioned that lifting weights usually helps you cope with stress, but with a rise in blood pressure wouldn’t stress increase? When I think of an increase in blood pressure I usually think about people getting angry and stressed. I took the time to look it up, and the Mayo Clinic states that their is a correlation between stress and blood pressure, but it’s usually stress affecting blood pressure and not blood pressure affecting stress.

  5. Dongyuan Li

    Hi, my Dad love weightlifting so much that he nearly practice everyday. After I went to college he started to coach me because he think it is benefitfor body health and figure build. He told me that never try the weight that you can not handle. Once he troed to showing off his musle in the gym, indeed he showing off successfully and he sprained his sholder at the same time. Although he got recovered he still emember that. And I gradually found it is indeed benefit a lot if you choose the right weight and right pace of movement. Yes, besides weight the pace of movement is important, too. Here is the link to prove that.

  6. The Doctor

    There’s another potential pitfall to think about: Steroids. Juicing will build you up quick, but once you’ve got that massive hulking body things start going wrong. Weight lifting with proper form is definitely important. But doing it only to a healthy extent, and not messing up your hormonal balance is also important. The body just can’t handle that kind of abuse over the long term.

    Also, Lunan makes a valid point – women SHOULD do strength training. It’s just as important as cardio. Lifting and other strength training acts as a catalyst for burning energy more efficiently. Here’s a bit more detail on the topic: why women should do strength training

    Bottom line is, if you’re trying to lose weight or get in shape, you need a balanced combination of cardio and strength training, along with a balanced diet. It’s that simple. Honest.

  7. Philip Littleton

    There are also some other underlying hazards of weightlifting that many seem to neglect. According to this article, improper form and too much weight as are highlighted as potential dangers of weight training; however, additional dangers include insufficient resting periods which leads to extreme fatigue, failure to follow the correct nutrition plan, and above all, forgetting to stretch and loosening up muscles before beginning to lift. On the contrary, I agree with your comment about ego. I would say nowadays people lift weights in order to obtain a “hot bod” instead of trying to be strong.

  8. Lunan Qiu

    Here may be the right address :

  9. Lunan Qiu

    I am really interested in your research because I always think weightlifting will make me healthier. And your blog remind me the importance of proper and correct gesture. But I also found you did not mention whether the situation will be different between women and men. As it known to us, men are easier to build larger muscle than women. Maybe weightlifting also have different effect on women. I found a website teachhow women should be training different from men

  10. Liam Arun Datwani

    Interesting post. You used some common misconceptions at the beginning only to prove them wrong with actual science. Also, I have never been a person who lifts weights, more of a runner and running is actually more damaging then lifting weights. According to a online science journal running can be healthy and helpful but in the end running too much or too often can be the most damaging, just like with weight lifting. However, running damage is easier to achieve.

  11. Colby Kranz

    Very interesting post! I found this extremely eye-catching as I have always wondered about the damage that can result from lifting weights. I also like how you incorporated your own input in the concluding paragraph and pointed out confounding variables such as form and “ego”. The evidence you provided also flowed really nicely in your piece and supported your claims, good job.

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