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Joint-Friendly Muscle Building Methods?

Paul, I was wondering what you would consider to be the most joint friendly muscle building methods. I understand that you are a strong advocate of chasing rep records in the appropriate rep ranges, but chasing rep records can wear on you after awhile. What would you recommend for someone looking to take a training cycle or 2 away from chasing rep records, but still wanting to pursue hypertrophy?

Although I don’t speak for Paul, I think the best practices for joint-friendly lifting are exercise sequence and pre-exhaust and slowing the eccentric down and pausing at the bottom and-or top of exercises. I’m not genetically gifted but I made major improvements like this. You can check my personal thread in the BB section to see what these did for me.

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Thank you for your input. I was thinking of utilizing pre exhaust techniques as one possibility, and pauses as well. I was also curious about where rep range and speed would factor in. I have already planned on ditching the barbell lifts at least temporarily.

Reps of 6 or more, usually 8 to 12.

Controlled eccentric, pause, lift.

Barbells are overrated.

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Love me some paused in the fully stretched position dumbbell bench presses. Slight decline.

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Good answers in here -

Movement syntax is big. Starting with a movement that gets blood into the muscle and trains it in the shortened position before moving into the big stuff is a great idea.

Moving the reps up a bit CAN spare the joints, however the more reps performed, the more taxing the training session becomes on the nervous system. So it’s a trade off of, I’m going to spare my joints but I’m going to increase systemic taxation.

The other option is to simply change your cadence along with the other stuff. Using very slow and controlled eccentrics will cause a reduction in the loading as well, can keep the reps lower to avoid more systemic taxation, and creates more force production during the set. That’s a lot of winning.

But you’ll need to keep breaking rep PR’s.

The only way to grow is to mechanically load the muscle -
Which means progressive overload -
Which means chasing rep PR’s -

You can’t get away from that


How does the body part split factor into the equation of being easier on the joints? With weekly volume being equal is it going to be easier on the joints to group it into fewer sessions to allow for more recovery days during the week or would it be better to spread it across more days?

Honestly if you’re performing the movements with good muscle initiation and not passing the tension onto the passive structures then 4 days a week, 5 days a week should be fine.

You guys know how I feel about excess volume.

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