Posted by: Mike | 2009-05-26

Longterm effects of heavy shoulder/military press?

Hi Doc

I gym very hard and give my shoulders a heavy workout. I am concerned about the longterm effects of lifting heavy weghts for shoulders. I don' t want to look great at the expense of problems later in life. I currently do shoulder press sets with 2x 40kg dumbells. Is that safe to do at 85kg bodyweight after stretching and warming up for 15 minutes? Thanks.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageShoulder Doc

Dear Mike,

i am not sure how old you are present but it has not been proven beyond doubt that weight training damages the shoulder. i must tell you that i have seen quite a few weightlifters with osteoarthritis of the shoulder. Bench press seems to grind the join quite a bit and behind neck press also puts a lot of strain on the joint. It is well known that the AC joint wears out in certain overhead activities and is sometimes referred to as "weightifter's shoulder" - have a look at my website ( and specifically at "Osteoarthritis of the Acromioclavicular Joint".

warming up will protect your tendons and ligaments but not the wear on the joint. Finally i can say that you may continue your weighlifting but know that your joint does take strain and just be sensible. Your statement that you don't want to look great at the expense of your health is most insightful and unusual in body buliders.

All the best,

DR Joe de Beer

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