The blog has been quiet for some time now. I've generally only used it over the past ~6-8 months to highlight new papers I've had published and provide an overview of them. I've been too busy in that time to dedicate time to much more for the blog. This post serves the same purpose. Hopefully later this year with my PhD completely out of the way (I passed my viva but just have to make some amendments) and I am settled into my new role I'll have time to put out some of the blog posts I have planned on doing for some time.
Anyway for now I wanted to share a link to a recent paper that I, James Fisher, Matt Brzycki and Bill DeSimone have published (click title for link to full text).
James Fisher, James Steele, Matthew Brzycki, Bill DeSimone
AbstractObjectives: Recently attention has been brought to potentially unsafe training methods within the practice of resistance training. Thus purpose of this commentary is to highlight the importance of the moral injunction Primum non nocere, and of weighing risks to rewards of training methods, for those providing resistance training recommendations and practitioners of it as a training approach. Design & Methods: Narrative review Results: It appears that many popular resistance training methods that make use of either explosive movements or unstable platforms with heavy external loading may present an increased risk of injury. In addition they may not offer any greater improvements to measures of health and fitness above safer alternatives that utilise more controlled repetition durations and avoid use of unstable platforms. Indeed, as resistance type and load may not be as important for determining strength or hypertrophic adaptations as previously thought, nor does there appear to be much supporting evidence for the transfer of balance skills developed using unstable platforms to other movement skills, the necessity of such unsafe practices appears further questionable. Conclusions: It is recommended that persons wishing to engage in resistance training for the purposes of health and fitness whilst reducing risk of injury should utilise a controlled repetition duration that maintains muscular tension and avoid use of unstable platforms. Indeed, practices involving use of lower external loads, or even the absence of external loads such as bodyweight training or isometric co-contraction, may also be effective and may pose an even lower risk of injury.
If you subscribe to Chris Beardsley's and Bret Contreras' Strength and Conditioning Research new letters you will have recently seen a well balanced review of the paper.
If you don't subscribe already then make sure you do!
The take home message of the piece really regards proper consideration of the risk-reward ratio associated with differing resistance training techniques. Some evidence, both research and case studies, is emerging to suggest that certain methods might present a greater injury risk than other. Further, there is also lack of evidence suggesting the greater efficacy of some of these methods over and above more traditional safe approaches, or at the least that the greater improvements are marginal. When choosing resistance training methods and modes this should be considered, particularly so by those prescribing or recommending such techniques to clients.
Train hard, but train safe.