Article: "Exercise Form Doesn't Matter... At All", Thoughts?

Most interesting. My understanding was that more recent studies indicated that injury was a result of load mismanagement as it related to recovery ability. Does this mean there is a certain form that, irrespective of how you manage your loading protocols, you will always be injury free if you utilize it?

I don’t believe it to be quite as linear as this. i mean, if you load the bar 200lbs over your max but do it with good form, you’re probably still fucked. But if you load the bar 200lbs under your max (assuming you and not YOU, you lift heavy) and perform reps with shit form, you’re still running a good risk of getting hurt.

(good form + proper loading protocols) x recovery = relative safety


I am of the same belief. To say we know the cause of injury, in and of itself, is interesting. Hell, to know anything is tricky. At best, many of us just have an understanding.

Although when I discuss loading, I don’t mean within an individual workout, but in regards to the course of a training cycle.


I just go Ronnie Coleman YEP YEP LIGHTWEIGHT BABAAAAAYY… PEANUT! and hope for the best (sarcasm)

I’m sure load ties into it just as much since load is part of the equation also. Think of a fishing line, it breaks based on load, and actual force (including rate of force change which can spike force )
Or how a person can tear a tendon throwing a light baseball, etc.

Perhaps it was the case that said baseball, though light, was too heavy for that particular movement at that time after years of load mismanagement ? :slight_smile:

So another example of a Discussion hijacked to have way less to do with Darden than topics that have been moved to other forums. So where ya at mr moderator? @Chris_Colucci guess you’ll say this is totally pertinent here.

It is all pertinent IMO, comments have been in line with OP topic and article. The moderators here do a pretty solid job soo…

Did you report the post? That’s how you’re supposed to get moderator attention.


Jesus. If you don’t like it here jog on.


Interesting development in this thread with lots of thoughtful comments.

A thought that has grown upon me is whether an individuals personality/temperament is a predictor of form being used? A reactive person should lift more aggressively (more likely in bad form) - or?

Something tells me that a trainee with terrible form, couldn’t care less (and vice versa). I bet no one participating here uses truly bad form…

Where do you draw the line when form is bad or not? Lots of room for misunderstanding here. A too slow deadlift is a shortcut to herniated discs. Can a deadlift be too fast?

Injuries happen for a variety of reasons, doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. You can be lifting with great technique and consistent form and still get hurt if you are using too much load for too many reps with insufficient recovery. Or you can have a form break and get hurt because you put yourself in an awkward position.

Several years ago, I injured my back warming up for a dead lift. I had been lifting double overhand, and then on the next set decided to try a mixed grip (instead of switching to straps). Unaccustomed to this grip, the bar windmilled on me, and got away from my legs on one side. This increased the lever arm for the weight, and did it in an asymmetrical way. My back rebelled at this. The cause of the injury was obvious: because I deviated from the correct bar path, I overloaded the muscles. But it wasn’t a load management issue, it was a form issue. I did not intend for the bar to windmill, but it happened anyway. On other occasions, I have hurt my back dead lifting just from doing too many heavy days too close together. That would be more of a load management issue.

I think the issue is that many people see “form” on a sliding, one dimensional scale from “bad” to “good”. In reality it’s more complicated than that. If we’re going to graph it, there has to be at least 2 axis, effectiveness and relative safety, and that’s before we start asking questions like “effective for what?”, “what’s the goal of the exercise?”.

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We are in total agreement here

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If you manage to lift with 200lbs over what your max is using good form, then you just established a new max, no?

Seeing as occupational therapist is a thing that exists, injury can occur even absent heavy loads as they deal with the aftermath of people repeating a motion too many times. Thereby, simply bending at a joint often enough is adequate in and of itself to cause wear and tear on said joint.

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On the EliteFTS table talk podcast, JM Blakely and Dave talk a lot about the idea that a lot of their training now revolves around getting the most out of every “joint bend”, and various different ways in which they do that. It’s an interesting thought for those of us who intend to do this for a long time.

I’ve recently heard that episode as well and I wouldn’t be surprised if they mentioned occupational therapists. I listen to a lot of podcasts though.

I’m not sure Daves or JMs training can be extrapolated to myself and my training. I’m so far away from elite level lifts, and that’s fine. But what’s an easy weight for them is probably beyond my max.

It would be interesting to discover if there are any athletic populations that do not get beat up and solely see a performance decrease from age.

I was listening to a podcast today discussing injury prevention protocols (IPP) for climbing as the sport is quite new and they were referencing studies from soccer where even the most popular IPP reduces injury risk by 53% which, as they say, is better than nothing but is it “good”?

There were a lot of interesting takeaways that pertained to climbing specifically but I don’t know if anyone cares enough that I should write those tidbits out.

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Last injury I had was a small bicep rupture and it wasn’t from training. I was walking out of my shop and saw I left a roll of paper towels on the floor . As I walked by I bent down, picked them up and tossed them behind me onto a work bench , in the same motion as if doing a tricep kick back.

Felt like someone stabbed me in the upper bicep with a pencil. I looked at it and it looked like someone had scooped out about a teaspoon of muscle right near the deltoid. I froze, thinking any other motion might tear the rest of the way but it didn’t. I could bend the arm without pain and spent the rest of the night with a bag of peas on it.

Next day , no discoloration, pain or swelling and went to a lady friends pool to move it around in water most of the day. Obviously I cancelled any planned workouts that week and started up again the following week , being cautious of any pulling motions and nothing seemed to bother it.

The indentation is hardly noticeable now and the only way it ever bothers me at all is driving a screw in by hand or opening a can of tuna with a hand can opener.

39 years of training hard and tossing a roll of paper towels got me :confounded:

I saw a similar idea in a NYTimes article with the title: How to Save Your Knees Without Giving Up Your Workout"

The article cites research showing that load bearing activities like walking and running help preserve the quality of cartilage by continuously flushing fluids with nutrients into and out of the cartilage. But the key is that there is a limit to how rapidly cartilage can adapt.

They quote a physiologist by the name of Keith Baar, who suggested that cartilage and other connective tissues respond positively to exercise for about 10 minutes. Anything after that, you are mostly accumulating stress with little additional adaptation. Not sure of the kind of training stresses they were looking at, so it is hard to translate that into practical advice. But the message seems clear: start with small doses, build up slowly. More frequent small doses might be better than marathon sessions. More is not always better. (Sound familiar?).


This thread, which was originally posted as an actual hijack within an entirely unrelated thread in the Darden forum, has not been hijacked. The article is about exercise form… and people are discussing the effects and applications of exercise form.

Go back and re-read what I’ve previously explained you to regarding powerlifting, benching, and triceps training to double-check why this isn’t remotely close to “hijacking”. If you think the thread should’ve been locked as soon as Dr. Darden posted his reply, I don’t know what to say other than: Wrong.

I was taking my first real vacation in a little over a year. Had a great and relaxing time, thanks for asking. While I was away, the other Mods did a spot-on job, as they always do.

Yup, totally full of pertinentification.

And to bring the focus back to the actual topic at hand…

I kinda feel like few people actually saw what the article is suggesting.

So, if you typically do laterals with 25 pounds, you’d grab 30s and use some body english. You’re not grabbing 50s. If you preacher curl 85, you might use 95 or 100 and cut the ROM a little shorter than usual. Is that an approach that nobody should “buy into”? Would the effort, intensity, and stimulus significantly outweigh the risks there?