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What Does It Take To Be Injury-Free?

What does it take to be truly injury-free?

I almost wanted to post this question in the Bigger Stronger Leaner section but I think the question is a bit more, how should I say this, BROAD. I’m talking long term thinking and a philosophy behind it.

Is having good form enough?

Is periodization necessary?

How often can we go balls-to-the-wall?

I do a squat-everyday program. NOT the one advertised on YouTube, but a creation of my own. Maybe they’re similar, I don’t know. I have my idea on a good training program and I follow it. I just began it. I am hoping I don’t get injured because of it because squatting heavy everyday is not exactly ‘easy’ on the joints and muscles. All I really got going for it as far as safety is concerned is that I have lots of experience lifting and my squat form is stellar. And if it helps, I should also mention that I don’t even lift at full capacity yet. I still have two weeks worth of super light lifting, only focusing on mastering proper form.

I wanna stay injury-free, dammit!

Guaranteed way would be live in a bubble until you died. Things like safety and injuries are never guaranteed IMHO. You can minimize risk, but some risk is always there.


Playing it as safe as possible.

I feel like there’s an equal amount of yes’s and no’s to be had with that one.

There’s an argument around here somewhere about that also being a yes and no type of thing

I’d say that’s dependent on the individual as well.

As mentioned:

A different hobby altogether. Because for those who lift in the manner necessary to create progression (ie, to get bigger and/or stronger), injury is inevitable–a when, not an if. By my (very rough and subjective) estimation, the ‘Dose50’ (= the duration of consistent lifting at which 50% of lifters will qualify as injured*) is 5 years, and the Dose90 is 10 years. I would contend that after 20 years of consistent, hard training, 100% of lifters are injured.

*I’m defining injured as ‘the musculoskeletal state in which pain restricts one’s weightlifting options.’


All it takes is a little Forethought.

Just take a minute and think about what is likely to happen next. If it seems like something bad is about to happen, Adjust!

That could be a long term periodized scheme, planing ahead to prevent problems. Often people get overuse type injuries when they do the same things over and over forever.

Or in the short term that could be Not taking that last set when something feels off. 90% of the time (possible exaggerated number) dudes talk about getting injured they mention that they could feel it coming. There’s some tightness or pain on the lead up sets, but they ignore it and explode their shit.

Opinion Ahead:
If you already have excellent technique, there is no reason to squat everyday. The main benefit of squating every day is improving an inconsistent squat. If you’re already good at the move, there’s not much to gain.

If you’re trying to stay injury free it’s like the worst thing you can do.


A time machine. :wink:



Without trolling and being general I reckon in terms of your squat every day program most important thing would be to train within your recovery means/capacity. On the flip side you can max your recovery capacity e.g. sleeping and eating well. There’s no guarantees but in this way u can have the best chance at staying healthy.

Perfect technique is nice because it distributes load across structures evenly, not unduly stressing structures of your body that aren’t meant to be smashed e.g. the supporting structures of your back.

Even with perfect technique you will likely injure yourself if you overdo total to volume, relatively heavy weights and close to failure often.

Squat everyday can certainly work and work well if you are smart about it.

As per above perfect technique is helpful but no guarantee.

Periodization can be used to better manage fatigue/stress/load on the body and is technically present always even if your periodisation style is none lol.

How often can we go balls to the wall? Depends. If you’re are a weak novice than relatively often, possibly every session. As you get bigger and stronger balls-to-the-walls or going relatively hard smashes u harder as well.

It’s all relative so if you squat three cookies for a few reps and then can’t go very hard the next day probs too much. Someone who has a lot going for them could work with five plates every day same deal. Personally I’m more conservative and aim to feel relatively well recovered overall and have few sessions where I go in already absolutely destroyed from previous work (unless that’s part of the plan).


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Op when you say heavy everyday what intensity range are you implying and actually loads?

Don’t compete. And don’t get old. That covers at least 90% of it. Don’t be stupid covers the rest.


Yeah…that covers it

I disagree with many here. I think you can train and remain injury-free (injuries should only occur in competing or testing, not training). If you are training and you get injured, you did something wrong.

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I’ve lifted weights for about 20 years and have never had a long-term injury because of lifting weights. Most of the injuries I’ve had (back pain, knee pain and occasional tendinitis) I would argue are more a byproducts of poor mobility and many of the bio-mechanical issues which tend to flow from that as a consequence.

If you avoid maxing out more than once every few months or so, if you avoid over-use injuries which can come from doing too much of one exercise too soon without sensibly building up to it I think you can mostly avoid most major injuries with a lil luck. The rest just comes downs to common sense (like not trying to do a ton of deadlifts as cardio or doing 57 sets of pretty much anything as a beginner etc).

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It depends on what you class as an injury IMO.

I haven’t been injured from training for about five years.

I’ve been sore just about every week.

I like to stay positive

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I don’t think you can remain injury-free whether or not you train.

The human body is built for ~30 years.

That’s not a license to be stupid and ruin yourself, as with all things - mitigate your risk, but I think we should understand it’s not “if I don’t get hurt squatting nothing bad ever happens”


Definitely never full effort everyday if that’s what you’re asking. I created my own program right now but I did something similar a few years ago. On PR days which were once a week, I max out. On the casual days, 90% of 1RM for two reps. With my new program, it is divided into phases, starting with relatively light weights and then getting super heavy. At its heaviest, I lift 12 sets of ONE rep each with the heaviest weight I can do. On the casual days, same sets and reps but lighter, as light as 88% to as heavy as 92% of my PR weight. Over time, after I reach the phase of doing twelve sets of one, I will also add some lighter, hypertrophy-style sets. Like five sets of eight, stuff like that. All squats.

I think this is the key. While you can get hurt lifting just as you can get hurt doing anything, there’s no reason that you should get injured training. As you get older it requires a bit extra work to keep your mobility up, and as you get stronger it requires a bit more planning sets/reps.

My belief is that if you are training correctly, you should be injury-proofing yourself rather than setting yourself up for a lifetime of inevitable injuries.

Whilst I agree with this in principle, in reality sometimes stuff just happens. IMO There are so many other factors from outside of the gym that effect us when we are training it is almost impossible to train with progression and purpose and never pick up an injury.

The injury I have seen far above anything else is people dropping plates on their feet. Therefore, only ever use pinloaded machines.

The second most common injury I have seen is people getting appendages jammed in machines. Therefore, never use machines.


You’re practically guaranteed to blow/bulge a disk, tear a labrum or tear your meniscus. None of that means you’ll actually have to experience pain or reduced function