18 Jan How Common Are Injuries In Strength Training?

(#235) How common are strength training related injuries?

Specifically, how common are injuries in strength sports such as powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and bodybuilding as compared to other sports?

We’ll take a look at the surprising body of scientific research and the rate of injury in strength training.

We’ll discuss the bottom line of the research findings and discuss ways to further minimize the risk for injury.

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Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS is a strength coach, athlete, and former “physio” who’s mission is to bridge the gaps in strength, performance and injury prevention. Here at Rdella Training, you’ll consistently learn how to train at a high level of strength and performance while minimizing (or negating) risk for injury to achieve an unsurpassed level of results.
  • Guy Jr Pilon
    Posted at 16:07h, 13 February Reply

    Hi Scott,

    being a strength coach myself I like hearing those numbers. But with this said I think they are wrong.

    Sport related injuries could be due to the nature of the sport itself: ankle sprain, twisted knee, muscle tear, etc. Therefore some of the sports related numbers should be adjusted (unless they were adjusted in the studies).

    As far as weight lifting injuries go, the numbers come from point blank injuries: ie, I’m lifting weights and I literally feel the injury when it happens.

    What I’d like to point out is how many injuries occur while doing a sport that are due to bad weight lifting? Reinforcing a bad pattern in the gym only increases the risks of injuries on the field. But at that point, the injury will be tagged as a sports related injury and not as a lifting one.

    So weather it’s a bad squat pattern (knee buckling, pelvis tilt, torso angle, etc), rounded back while deadlifting, repeated sit-ups, lack of scapulae retraction while pulling, etc all these factors increases the risks of injuries while doing the sport one is training for but will not necessarily occur during the training session itself.

    Much like someone may blame the box they just lifted of the floor for their back injury when it’s actually the fact that they have been lifting poorly for the last few years (or more).

    So as much as I like to say that sports are more “dangerous” than weight lifting, I thing we can have the numbers say what we want.

    But as you pointed out, training well is important!

    Have a great day and thank you for your podcast, it’s great.

    • Scott
      Posted at 01:50h, 20 February Reply

      Thanks for your comments. There were a few different studies I was looking at.
      Certainly, the data is not perfect. I think what was interesting in one of the studies was that Weightlifters typically have lower rates of injury (per X number of hours) and this is attributed to WL getting more technical instruction. This makes sense. I think you make good points and I think we can poke holes in the research, for sure. I think the main point was that WL or weight training, is extremely safe when done correctly – and we can’t underemphasize that point. There do seem to be much higher rates of injuries in other sports by comparison, but they are due the nature of the sport (ex. contact sports naturally are going to have higher rates).
      Like most studies, there is good and bad. Was just looking at what appeared to be consistent findings across a few studies.
      Maybe I could break this down further on a future episode.
      Thanks Guy for your insights and feedback.

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