I reckon you’re guessing why the title of this blog post resembles a football score………….with football losing too.

Well, as I write this………..I have my left ankle jacked up on a stool with some cushions, with a large bag of frozen peas on top.  Yep, last night I snapped ankle ligaments…………..and I was playing football.

What has got me thinking though, is the fact that I have NEVER been injured from weight training (aside from a stupid bodypump class where I twisted quickly because a microphone wasn’t working properly).   Yes, I have been sore (haven’t we all), but never have I pulled muscles or strained cartilages or ligaments from a controlled weight lifting program.   

Notice I said Controlled.

I have had parents tell me that their children should not lift any weight at all, be it in a gym, a garage or at home.  They say it’s too dangerous and that they might get hurt.  What strikes me, is that it’s all very odd……this bias I mean.

Parents have no qualms about their little lad playing football, where there is over 1000 x greater risk of injury than in a controlled resistance program (see the stats below if you think I’m exagerating).  If you can imagine that a young lad of 12 might deadlift 10-15-20kg or so straight up and down, in a very controlled manner someone would claim “thats too much for his age….he’s only 12.”   Yet, no one will think twice about the same 12 year old involved in a football match with the possibility (or probability) of  another 40-50kg boy putting his weight on his knee / ankle / foot (insert other bodypart here). 

This is not simply ‘weight’ either………when that 40-50kg is put through a size 5 shoe, it will increase the overall pressure and therefore the overall damage.

This post is not against football, (or any sport for that matter), just a little thought provoking on my part about the risks involved of different activities. I will probably never give up my football!

In fact, check out these numbers on injury rates in different sports:

Sport Injuries (per 100 participation hours)

  • Schoolchild soccer 6.20
  • UK Rugby 1.92
  • South African Rugby 0.70
  • UK Basketball 1.03
  • USA Basketball 0.03
  • USA Athletics (Track) 0.57
  • UK Athletics 0.26
  • UK Cross-country 0.37
  • USA Cross-country 0.00
  • Fives 0.21
  • P.E. 0.18
  • Squash 0.10
  • USA Football 0.10
  • Badminton 0.05
  • USA Gymnastics 0.044
  • UK Tennis 0.07
  • USA Powerlifting 0.0027
  • USA Tennis 0.001
  • Rackets 0.03
  • USA Volleyball 0.0013
  • Weight Training 0.0035 (85,733 hrs)
  • Weightlifting 0.0017 (165,551 hrs)


So there you have it. Weightlifting is safe. If anyone who wants to tell you otherwise – send them to this page.

 Anyways, I’m back to change my frozen peas!

John