For bodybuilders, goal #1 is muscle growth. To achieve this, you have to lift heavy, hard and often. Unfortunately, the great amount of forces borne by your joints over time can have side effects such as joint and cartilage injuries. This damage can manifest as arthritis, knee pain and other symptoms.
But did you also know that adding muscle to your physique can place additional stress on your joints? It’s true.
Researchers at the University of Sydney had 111 high-body mass index (BMI) subjects take tests to assess their range of knee motion, quadriceps strength and alignment between thighs and shins. Subjects then underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) testing.
The scientists found that high-BMI subjects had higher rates of knee cartilage defects and that the degree of defects correlated to increasing BMI scores. That is, as BMI scores increased, so too did frequency and severity of reported and imaged cartilage problems.
So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: The science is clear that the higher your BMI, the more wear and tear your joints will bear. Over time, this will show up in chronic conditions such as arthritis. To combat this, take joint supplements and consume plenty of fish oil. This study further highlights the need for bodybuilders to stay lean, because if your joints are going to bear weight, it had better be muscle!
Source: Anandacoomarasamy A, Smith G, Leibman S, et al. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 Oct;48(10):1290-3. Epub 2009 Aug 18.