Powerlifting : The Right Decision
In the most literal explanation, exercise is the engagement in physical activity to sustain or improve health and fitness. At the end of the day, it’s crucial to examine the opportunity costs of varying types of exercise. Why? Irresponsible engagement in high-risk activities with less benefits in contrast to other viable options result in injury and setback, which will do anything but sustain or improve your health and fitness. It should be glaringly obvious that no sport is completely safe, as there is always a risk of injury involved in an activity that requires physical exertion. It goes without saying, though, that some sports carry a larger rate of injury than others. It is most certainly due to the nature of some sports being higher-contact and more aggressive than others that lead to a higher injury rate. When put into comparison with its non-contact alternative, high-contact sports are undoubtedly more popular around the world, especially in adolescents. Many studies on popular sports and their injuries have been conducted, only to find that sports such as powerlifting, swimming, and dancing have far less rates of injury than other sports that include very high contact with other players, such as rugby and soccer. This is undoubtedly due to the main variable responsible for injuries in those high-contact sports being the actions of another player or a collision of two or more players. Conversely, the injuries that occur in sports such as powerlifting, dancing, and swimming are mainly due to the actions of the athlete themselves, which can include anything from overtraining to form breakdown. The inclusion of numerous athletes in a sport that requires aggressive contact with one another is a recipe for an injury, as it is almost always just a matter of time. The lack of popularity and widespread knowledge of powerlifting is very disappointing and unfortunate, as the injury rate for example for numerous athletes could be vastly reduced. Powerlifting is not only a safer method of exercise compared to other popular sports, but also has such a larger array of benefits. Sustainability and longevity are crucial to maintaining exceptional health and fitness, and powerlifting is the sport that excels in those attributes. It is with absolute certainty that powerlifting is one of the most intelligent choices of exercise available for everybody, especially for adolescents and children.
When analyzing different forms of exercise, specifically sports, it is important to scrutinize the potential and common benefits of them. It is important because if an athlete is going to dedicate their time and effort towards an activity, it would be wise for them to consider the opportunity costs of the options available to them, as the ratio of risked longevity to expected benefits should always be the first priority. This is because most benefits are rendered ineffective when completely injured, as almost every perk of fitness is only secure with consistent participation and eventual progression. The safety of an athlete is no less important than the benefits derived from the activity. A high-contact sport could improve the health and athleticism of an athlete in ways they would have never anticipated, yet one unfortunately common injury due to a bad tackle could end their athletic career then and there. It is crucial for an athlete to examine and carefully calculate the opportunity risks of each form of exercise made available to them so they may progress in their desired categories in a sustainable manner. Powerlifting has a multitude of benefits with scientific studies providing evidence for each and every one of them. Some of the benefits from powerlifting include but are not limited to improved motor skills, better body composition in terms an increase in muscle tissue and a decrease in body fat, and improved bone health. What is striking is how studies show how bone health is drastically improved if the athlete began strength training as a pubescent. Effective strength training programs, which are the basis of powerlifting, have a very long list of benefits associated with active participation. These benefits include but are not limited to increased strength within the trained lifts and the athlete as a whole, having one of the lowest rates of sports-related injuries, increases the bone strength index of the athletes, and just an overall enhanced self-esteem and fitness-level. Research also shows how resistance training, which is the core of powerlifting and its training makeup, has numerous benefits connected to the musculoskeletal system and the maintenance of functional abilities. It additionally prevents many disabilities, such as osteoporosis, lower-back pain, and sarcopenia. Lastly, research proves that this type of training has the potential to improve risk factors such as insulin resistance, blood pressure, gastrointestinal transit time, resting metabolic rate, body fat, and glucose metabolism. These benefits are extremely important as they are all linked to growingly common conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. One major advantage of the sport of powerlifting is how almost every variable can be controlled and manipulated, unlike the heavy contact team sports where the weather, other players, coaches, and other variables cannot be completely controlled. For example, in powerlifting, an athlete can choose whatever coach that is willing to provide them with guidance, whereas this luxury is not available to athletes that participate in team sports.
Powerlifting is one of the sports that requires no contact with other athletes whatsoever, including competition and training. Powerlifting is a sport in which the athlete training and competing in it are solely responsible for their own performance. This means no other athlete’s performance or training can negatively impact the safety or performance of another’s. The European Physical Society conduced numerous studies to support the safety of this sport and declare the leading cause of injuries whenever they do present themselves in athletes. It is crucial to note the large difference in injury rates between powerlifting, a non-contact sport, and aggressive high-contact sports such as football or soccer. Football and soccer, which are notorious for being some of the most popular sports in the country, have four times the injury rate as powerlifting. It is without a doubt because of the aggressive nature of those sports, as it puts the athletes in a dangerous situation multiple times a game. It is also important to note how, in weight training, the majority of injuries in adolescents occur due to poor lifting technique, which is the athlete’s sole responsibility and fault. On the other hand, injuries in the sports that present consistent aggressive contact with multiple athletes are almost always due to a collision of multiple players or the actions of one player negatively affecting another. Lastly, research has shown that powerlifting, a sport that is perceived as dangerous due to the objectives of competing in it, is equally as safe as dancing. Dancing is also an example of a sport in which, most of the time, other athletes do not affect the performance of another. There is clearly a trend amongst the examples introduced thus far, clearly presenting the linear relationship between aggressive high-contact sports and high injury rates.
To dive more into depth upon the high injury rates amongst high-contact sports with an aggressive nature, it would be inappropriate to leave out rugby. Rugby is by far one of the most high-contact sports, as it is also more dangerous than football due to the difference in protective gear worn by the players. A study of 185 players from 10 different rugby teams was conducted, and the results showed how clear the difference was between this sport and the non-aggressive sports with little to no contact between players introduced previously. 151 injuries were shown in 98 of the 185 athletes in a single season, including leg, head, and neck injuries. What came as no surprise was how foul play accounted for over 30 percent of those injuries. It is absolutely clear that a strict eradication of intentional dangerous play would significantly reduce the rate of injury in this sport. In other words, it is clearly due to the high-contact aspect of this sport that so many injuries present themselves amongst the players.
There was a study conducted of one hundred and eighty-five rugby players, in which injuries were recorded throughout the season. In a single season, ninety-eight of the one hundred and eighty-five players were recorded to have had an injury. Out of the ninety-eight players, one hundred and fifty-one injuries were recorded. It was concluded that a complete eradication of deliberate dangerous play would drastically reduce the injuries in rugby. When considering the benefits of such a popular sport, understand that it is not uncommon for over half of the players of the season to receive injuries, and some of them receive multiple. As stated above, football and soccer have literally four times the injury rate as powerlifting. One of the main reasons that this is the case is due to the high nature of aggression of these sports. Sports such as rugby, soccer, and football have very high contact between players and most of the injuries experienced are due to the actions of other players around them, such as a tackle or collision. The majority of all injuries recorded in the sport of rugby affect the musculoskeletal system of the injured athlete, with the exception of concussions. Spinal cord injuries are fairly uncommon, but definitely present themselves occasionally. The issue with these types of injuries, specifically in spinal cord, is that they are catastrophic to the athlete experiencing them. The other common injuries in rugby include but are not limited to shoulder, knee, and ankle joint injuries.
Soccer is the sport that is notorious for having not only the most spectators around the world, but players as well. There are well over one hundred and twenty million players worldwide, while over sixteen million of those players reside in the United States. Soccer is most definitely a high contact sport, with an aggressive nature when it comes to defense. Slide tackling is involved, along with a player allowed to use their body against other players in some situations. During exhibition matches, studies have shown up to twenty injuries per one thousand hours of playtime, depending on the age group. The most unfortunate part of that analysis is how 60 percent to 90 percent of all of those injuries are classified as traumatic and mostly happen during actual games rather than practice. Additionally, fractures were discovered to be more prominent in players under 15 years old. Aside from the injuries that present themselves due to the high contact nature of the sport, concussions and a permanent diminution in cognitive function abilities are quite the possibility in soccer. These injuries are most common in players aged nineteen years old and older, as they make up 85% of all recorded players. Now take swimming, a non-contact sport with no aggression towards other players at any point, for example. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, more commonly known as the NCAA, discovered that elite swimmers displayed an injury rate of 4 injuries per 1000 hours of participation. This statistic shows that soccer, a sport that has high-contact between players, shows up to five times the injury rate as swimming, a sport that again has no contact between participants.
It is not uncommon for the average individual to fall victim to the rumors and blatant incorrect connotations tied to certain activities. Some sports are notorious for their aggression, some for their athleticism, and some for their benefits and lack thereof. It is very important for people to do their own research when they hear the rumors tied to certain sports, because many of them are not true. Powerlifting is one of the sports that is not looked at as highly as it should be, and that is due to many people misunderstanding the sport and what it brings to its athletes. One big misconception tied to the sport of powerlifting is how it is a very dangerous sport to participate in, especially as a child. People believe that just because the sport is tied to an athlete pushing their bodies to lift heavy weights that it has to be detrimental to their overall health. This concept is plainly incorrect and ignorant, as it shows the ones who believe that have not done their thorough research into the sport. The European Journal of Physics is one reliable source that made the safety of powerlifting crystal clear. Powerlifting might be a sport in which the objective is to lift as much weight as possible at the least bodyweight, but it is still statistically safer than some of the most popular sports in the world, such as football and soccer. It’s also not just a little bit safer – it’s 4 times as safe to participate in than them!
It would be beneficial to the greater knowledge of everybody for people to do their own research before contributing to the ongoing rumors and incorrect beliefs, as it would put an end to many of them. Powerlifting is not praised because of the common misconception of the sport in general – how it is believed to be extremely dangerous to lift heavy weights, especially as a child. It is more than fair to conclude that sports that have an aggressive nature along with have objectives that require high-contact between players carry a larger injury rate than sports that do not have those traits. In other words, it is because of the heavy-contact and aggressive nature of some sports that results in the higher injury rate.
When people, specifically children and adolescents, are choosing a sport as their form of exercise in school, it is quite rare for powerlifting to be their first choice. Along with it not being nearly as popular as some of the top picked sports in schools, it’s not very common for powerlifting to be an available extracurricular to even pick in the first place. It doesn’t make that much sense for powerlifting to not be a popular choice when you really put your mind to it, especially when considering the benefits and considerably miniscule injury rate. Many other sports that are popular choices for children and adolescents are far more dangerous. The authors of Resistance Training for Children and Adolescents don’t hold back with proof of that statement. A study was done that showed an injury rate of 0.29 per 100 participant hours in adolescent powerlifters. To be more specific, these powerlifters were individuals lifting larger loads than the average gym-goer in the disciplines of back squat, bench press, and the deadlift. This study also included a contrast to an extremely popular heavy contact sport in schools: rugby. Rugby displayed an injury rate of 0.8 per 100 participant hours. When put into comparison, this study showed how the sport of rugby has almost three times the injury rate of powerlifting. It is also important to note how much more popular and available of a sport rugby is than powerlifting in schools. As explained previously, it seems like a far more intelligent choice to engage in powerlifting, which is evidently a safer and far more beneficial form of exercise than most of these popular high contact sports such as rugby.
Lifting in general for children and adolescents are notoriously looked down upon for false pretenses, whether intentionally or not. Exercise is a very broad subject and is an umbrella term for many varying methods that burn calories, build muscle tissue, and builds skills and attributes for the athlete. The author of Should Kids Lift Weights? debunked many widespread myths about lifting weights as a child. One well known myth surrounding weight training as an exercise method is how it apparently stunts the growth of children and injures their growth plates. Many popular competitive sports are up to four hundred times as likely to lead to a growth plate fracture than weightlifting! When deciding what form of exercise is most sustainable for increasing the health and fitness of an individual, it seems self-explanatory that the one that is far less likely to fracture their growth plates is a more intelligent decision.
The competition itself in powerlifting is also not what causes injuries to powerlifters, meaning that the activity of lifting heavy weights isn’t necessarily dangerous to the lifters. Specifically in young lifters, which are the age group that are known to be looked down upon for lifting so early in their lives, most injuries present themselves when a lift with a heavy load is executed or attempted with poor technique. Technique is essential when prioritizing safety in any sport, such as executing a tackle in football or soccer.
All in all, every activity that requires physical exertion undoubtedly has a risk of injury of some sort. To reiterate, sports such as powerlifting, swimming, and dancing have far less rates of injury than other sports that include very high contact with other players, such as rugby. soccer, and football. It is more than fair to conclude that sports that have an aggressive nature along with have objectives that require high contact between players carry a larger injury rate than sports that do not have those traits. In other words, it is because of the heavy-contact and aggressive nature of some sports that results in the higher injury rate.
The fact remains that exercise is not only recommended, but also essential for a human being to live in a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. However an individual chooses to engage in exercise in their choice entirely, and most people are in a position to choose from a vast array of methods to complete their exercise. At the end of the day, some forms of exercise, such as different sports, have more benefits and are safer than others while some are riskier and have less benefits. It all comes down to analyzing and comparing the opportunity risks when engaging in a form of exercise. Powerlifting is not only one of the safest forms of exercise available to most people, but has such an impressive resume of benefits that are proven to present themselves in all people, especially children and adolescents.
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