Advice for Handling the Wear and Tear of Bodybuilding

You hear all the time that moderation is key. Moderates live forever, but they don’t make waves or leave dents. They are safe and boring, and if they dare to lift weights, they lift moderately.

Not me. I blast it. When I lay in bed at night unable to sleep due to pulsating elbows and swollen wrists, I still tell myself moderation isn’t an option, because, like you, I am a Bomber through and through. Injuries are inevitable—I should know.

Having crash-landed on numerous occasions over the years, enduring various injuries, I’m no longer stunned and stymied by unexpected daily blasts of pain. Instead, I deal with them and make the best of them.

In fact, injuries, tendonitis, and pain are amazing instructors. Allow the pain to guide your movements and show you the way.

Thorough warmups, lighter weights, swapping out a barbell for dumbbells or an altered tracking path and range of motion often resolves the problem, or, at least, limits its scope or intensity and the threat of increased pain.


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Muscle-building is not dependent upon how much you lift, but how much muscle you exert throughout the lift. Seek maximum muscle contraction. Due to pain, often tendonitis, I can press a fraction of the weight I pressed years ago, but the healthy muscle contraction and exertion I undergo exceeds what I experienced years ago. The lad next to me may be using 45s on his bar while I use 10s, but I’m expending greater intensity in muscle activity than he is. I overcome a lighter resistance with more muscle exertion—frustrating if your ego is counting, but rewarding when you appreciate the overload. After all, overload determines growth. The sky is yours. Bombs away. – FLEX

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