The Muscle Doc Jordan Shallow goes into detail about the most common gym injuries, how to avoid them, and how this affects training to failure.
While a gym and gym equipment is designed to be safe tools and a safe environment for building muscle and strength – injuries certainly can occur. This is the unfortunate truth behind lifting heavy weight no matter the precautions. That being said, there are many injuries that could be avoided. That’s why we’ve turned to The Muscle Doc for advice on how to avoid potential life-altering injuries in the gym. In our latest GI Exclusive, Jordan Shallow details the most common gym injuries, how to avoid them, and the biggest mistakes while training to failure that often lead to injury.
An injury gained during training should be no joke. While it’s somewhat common to get general aches and pains over time. A serious injury can alter the rest of your life. For athletes in professional or competitive sports – it can also drastically alter their career forever. This certainly holds true for pro bodybuilders. An injury keeps a bodybuilder out of the gym. This affects their physique and timing – which could drop them out of a vital show. Even more seriously, an injury such as a muscle tear can lead to a permanent end to a bodybuilder’s career.
That’s why during our conversation with The Muscle Doc Jordan Shallow – we dove deep into the cause of the most common gym injuries and how to avoid them. While speaking to Shallow, he explained that the most common injuries he’s delt with in his years of his career are shoulder and knee injuries. Elbows and hip injuries are quite common as well. This makes sense of course – these are joint areas that, even beyond gym training, get damaged over time with age for most individuals.
While it’s impossible to completely avoid all injury when lifting heavy weight and pushing the body to new levels, there are two key factors to consider to help avoid these kinds of injuries. Jordan Shallow explains that load management and technique are the biggest elements in avoiding injury.
This might seem obvious, poor form and ego lifting lead to injury. But it’s something that can’t be stressed enough. Jordan Shallow also points out that improper volume is not just too much weight. This can also mean too much intensity, too much frequency, or too much density. There is a delicate balance between pushing yourself to growth and pushing yourself to injury. That’s why it is always important to start off slow – especially for beginner lifters – so that you can understand your body’s limits.
In bodybuilding and many high-level strength sports, training to failure is an important aspect towards strength and muscle growth. So how does one train to failure, without pushing too far and injuring themselves? Jordan Shallow explains that training to failure is, of course, important for serious growth. But the problem is the definition of failure in this context. Here’s what Shallow had to say about training to failure in practical terms:
“I think there’s a bigger conversation when ti comes to training to failure which is defining failure. Because failure, depending on the exercise, can be different depending on what the exercise is… Failure is a relative term. And I think the conversation gets so oversimplified…”
He goes on to explain that there can be failure on a technical level vs failure on a physical muscular level. The decision on which version of failure to reach depends greatly on what exercise you are doing and your experience level. The problem with “training to failure” when discussed in general terms – is that this nuance can get lost. Then people are pushing for the wrong things and get hurt.
Jordan Shallow provides very specific examples to further explain his case in this regard. You can watch our GI Exclusive above to get that exact detail as well as his other comments on the most common gym injuries you should be avoiding.