Strength training is great. No other activity has such a profound impact on bone health and body composition. You can run for hours on the treadmill every week and go to every Zumba class at your local gym, it’s not going to give you a strong, muscular body. You need to lift something as well, push heavy objects, or otherwise apply some resistance to your muscles. If you don’t, the glutes, biceps, hamstrings, and all of the other muscles that make up your physical self have no reason to expand and grow stronger, but may instead atrophy. Also, your bones may gradually deteriorate, becoming prone to fractures. When you hit the sweet spot in terms of intensity and volume and train with good technique, strength training is highly beneficial; however, if you fail to hit this sweet spot and end up doing too much, too often, your health may suffer.
Is excessive strength training as bad as excessive cardiovascular exercise?
If you’ve been reading about fitness and exercise on one or more of the many ancestral health blogs that are out there, you’ve undoubtedly come across the term chronic cardio. This term is used to describe prolonged, high-intensity cardiovascular exercise; a type of training that may adversely affect health and longevity.
What you probably haven’t read about though is the adverse effects associated with excessive strength training. Very few bloggers, health practitioners, or scientists talk about this issue. If you do a google search on strength training, most of the articles that pop up focus on the numerous beneficial health effects associated with regular resistance exercise.
You have to look long and hard to find a blog post or scientific paper that covers the possible dangers of strength training. This is unfortunate, because the fact is that when taken to the extreme, strength training can have a range of detrimental health effects. I should know, as I did heavy bodybuilding-type training for many years. Instead of making my body healthier it contributed to tearing down my immune system and making me ill.