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Strength Injuries Part 1 – Where We Go Wrong

By May 11, 2023September 8th, 2023Physiotherapy, Sports Physiotherapy

It is a misconception that weight training or strength-based programs increase your risk of injury. In actual fact, the injury rates are less than that of running and when performed well have substantial physiological and mental benefits. Here are a few generalised mistakes people can make which may predispose them or increase their risk or injuring themselves through training. [1]

It’s too heavy!

Starting at suitable weights (may seem obvious) but is vital in order to reduce the risk or injury or overload when commencing a new program. Lifting your 1RM (1 rep max) weight may be seen as a great achievement and measure of brute strength but in gaining perspective its good to think is the risk of injury from fatigue worth the reward? If you are training for 1RM then programming it effectively and appropriately ifs vital.
This includes:

  • Not frequently. Testing 1RM on a weekly, monthly, or even 3 monthly basis is too much. These should be goals that are trained towards with progressive overload. Keep in mind the structured program for Powerlifters is that they compete 3-4X a year, progressively loading to their 1RM weights.
  • Not because your friend is doing it – training for 1RM goals should not be determined by others training time-frame. Lifting RM loads should not be competitive with friends or pals at the gym. Pick another skill for friendly competition.

Too much volume too soon

This may include:

  • Rushing back into the gym after vacation or time out the gym, injury, illness or changing into the sport.
  • Copying the programs from the internet: for beginners – basing your training on the program of a professional lifter is inappropriate. If you are looking for a program or place to start, pay for an EP or Personal Trainer – skilled in the area to assess your ability and experience to develop with you a program that is suitable and will help you reach your goals (injury free)

Your goals should dictate your strength program. Are you training for a competition? Are you training because your golf partner is? Make your training functional and relevant to what you’re aiming to achieve, fun and enjoyable and set achievable goals.

Speak to your Physio if you are considering changing your exercise routine or implementing weights and strength principles before starting the “Arnold Schwarzenegger Program of Champs”.


[1] Hodges, P.W. (2011). Pain and motor control: From the laboratory to rehabilitation. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 21(2), 220-228.

Bend + Mend

Bend + Mend has been providing Sydney’s CBD with Physiotherapy and Pilates services since 2003. We have 4 great locations in Martin Place, Barangaroo, Darling Park and Circular Quay, all with private rooms and specialised one-on-one care. We also have Sydney CBD’s best-loved Physios who have helped over 10,000 people recover from pain and injury.

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