Why HEALTH is one of your training goals (even if you don’t know it)

Let’s imagine that you come to me and say, “I want big, strong shoulders.”

Instead of flogging you some killer, rad, mass-gain protocol, I will do the opposite.

Nope, you’re NOT lifting any heavy shit any time soon, mate.

Why? What do I do instead?

I assess the HEALTH of your shoulders FIRST.

If you’re like most people - given that shoulder impingement (meaning shitty functioning shoulders) is NORMAL these days [1] - we should work on RESTORING HEALTH before even thinking about increasing the load.

Proper mechanics.


Full range of motion.

Sliding surfaces.

Healthy neuromuscular function.

Have you built the FOUNDATIONS of strength?

Only then can we talk about increasing load.

Anyone, or anything, telling you otherwise is suggesting that you take shortcuts.

They are telling you what you want to hear (what you THINK you need).

“First, do no harm…” hasn’t entered into their thinking yet.

This effectively puts YOU at risk of injury.

This hinders your ability to achieve your goals (of building big, strong shoulders).

Don’t just hope and pray that nothing snaps (a losing bet - it will eventually).

Find yourself another coach, or program, or routine.

Something that focuses on the basics. 

If it seems boring, it’s probably well designed.

I realise it’s not a sexy word.

That you wouldn’t usually spend your money on it.

But if you want results, and to save money on physiotherapists, or surgeries…

HEALTH needs to be a priority.

(It’s one of your main goals, even if you don’t know it).


Cressey, E. The Truth About Shoulder Impingement: Part 1.