There is a really popular myth in the fitness industry that says compound lifts like the squat, bench, and deadlift need to be avoided. Some professionals believe that the risk to reward ratio for these lifts isn’t worth it. It is “too easy” to get injured doing these movements, so instead people should focus on bodyweight and HIIT style training. Well, today you’ll learn why that statement is completely wrong.

Why Professionals Think It’s Bad

Some medical and fitness-based professionals would have you believe that compound lifts should be avoided so as not to get injured. Claiming that the aforementioned exercises will adversely affect the health of joints including knees and low back.

If these claims held true it would mean that there would be a high risk for injury in the short term.  In addition, there would appear to be increased risks pertaining to the longevity of the person wanting to exercise. As in, the individual would shorten their workout career solely by performing these movements.

Most of the longterm thinking that supported this claim is based in myth. It presumes that heavy and deep barbell loaded squats damage the meniscus, a cartilage tissue that serves as a shock absorbent. Thankfully there are no long-term studies that fully support this claim. So if you’re a person who has been avoiding compound lifts because you were told to do so by an industry professional, know that here is more credible evidence explaining why you need to do them vs why you shouldn’t.

Why People Should Be Lifting 

Barbell loaded exercises are an important part of seeing results, they should be used if you’re trying to gain muscle or if you’re trying to lose weight. Your first question is probably, “How can one tool apply for both scenarios?”

Well first of all, barbell loaded exercises, often referred to as compound movements, will recruit greater numbers of muscle groups to complete the exercise. Meaning you’ll be able to gain more muscle because you’re using more muscle during your workouts

Secondly, recruiting bigger muscles and more muscles during an exercise leads to a higher amount of calorie burn from your workouts. Bigger calorie burn makes it easier to stay in a caloric deficit, which is what is needed to capitalize on weight loss.

If you want to learn more about weightlifting, or just fitness in general, I suggest joining my free Facebook group. We talk about the benefits and drawbacks of all things health and fitness. https://www.facebook.com/groups/nerdswholiftweights

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