T Nation

to much strength training?

I’m into powerlifting, i dont know if lifting 90% or more of your One Rep Max all the time would be bad on your joints? or if it would be bad on Anything??? any help would be appreciated, thanks

How often are you talking about? No, it’s probably not bad on the joints, but you should alternate heavy sessions with light explosive sessions for maximal power. Read Chad Waterbury’s article “More Can Be Better” which can be found with the T-mag search engine.

From what I’ve read, heavy loads are good for your joints provided a) you are using good form and b)you aren’t using steroids such that your muscles get much stronger much faster than your joints.

In addition to what the others said. I would add that you should make sure that your program is balanced in regard to pushing/pulling, in both the horizontal and vertical planes. One good thing about powerlifting is that your legs are taken care of in regard to balance since you are squating and deadlifting. It’s the upper body you need to think more about.

Coming up to a meet, you will obviously focus more on horizontal pushing. So in the off-season spend some time focusing on incline and overhead presses, as well as the reciprocal puling motions. Although the deadlift will take care of some of that for you.

I had a brief powerlifting career, that left my shoulders aching constantly. Since then, I’ve balanced out my program and added rotator cuff exercises and my joints are much happier. And, I’m stronger.

look into some westside barbell club methods. anything from dave tate louie simmons for starter will give you methods to lift maximaly every week. some movements may seem weird at first but they truely work. they work well even if your not juicing or taking many supplements.

Doing anything “all the time” is probably not good? Remember, too much of a good thing is bad.

Good question. My best strength gains were with heavy loads 3-4x per week, low volume, nowhere near failure. Everything has its window.

I used to train heavy once a week like that with those loads had no problem with it, Like others said it’ll actually strengthen your joints, CS Sloan’s new program Has a protocol like this , I love it soo far a very well written program.


BTW depending on your recovery ability I wouldn’t go over 2 evenly spaced heavy days a week, thats only IF you are able to handle that load and be fully recovered by the next workout.


Listen to the experienced powerlifters. The man that trains us in strongman, Tod Becraft, has suffered shoulder and pec injuries from NOT periodizing his training for years in powerlifting. He now preaches about the benefits of periodization, even with strongman training.

As has been said, you must have balance in your training. And cycle your max loading days with days where you train with lighter weights.
You’ll last longer and suffer less injuries.

when i first started powerlifting a year ago, i developed cysts on my AC joint-shoulder- and bulged a disc in my back within weeks.