---- This is not a post on specific injuries-- always talk to a medical professional if you are injured
Getting injured sucks. Plain and simple. The last thing you want to do is work out when you are in pain.
This post is about my battle with injuries and how i got strong and fit during this time AND how you can get strong/fit even if you are dealing with aches and pains.
18 years in the gym and I've worked through injuries to my achilles heel, elbow, ankle, shoulders, lower back, neck, knee. Some were from being dumb in the gym (super heavy bench press maxes)
I found a way to train around them and stay active. It was not easy. But I don't possess some gene that you do not have. I just decided I would not quit.
There was no injury that would stop me. They may force me to change my plan and adjust the program but there was no way in hell I would ever stop.
Each injury felt worse than the last. Some, like the lower back can make almost everything you do a challenge. The pain can be unbearable and constant.
With the shoulder pain, I couldn't sleep on that side for many months.
The achilles injury prevented me from walking without severe pain and limping.
If you do not have any aches and pains right now, CONGRATS! Enjoy it while it lasts. Chances are that you will hurt somewhere, at some point in the future. Unless you are some crazy lucky sob that never gets hurt and can make wine out of water..
I bet that's not you..
Here's what to do if you are injured and don't want to get out of shape/lose your strength.
First you gotta realize you can't do what you normally can. Accept it. Have you accepted it? Ok, now we can move on.
You will have to find out what you CAN do. Forget what you can't do.
80% of people will experience an episode of lower-back pain. This is the most common pain, and from my experience, the toughest to deal with.
When your lower-back hurts you don't want to move at all. You want to find a position where there is no pain, and stay in that spot. Whether that's sitting in a recliner, laying on your stomach or on your back with feet propped up on a bench. Anything to get rid of the pain.
It's a challenge to get in the gym and do something. Anything. There's no one-size-fits-all exercise prescription for lower-back pain. Some find walking hurts. For others, riding a bike is painful.
When I hurt my lower-back I read everything I could find on the topic. The expert on back and spine health is Dr. Stuart Mcgill. He wrote the book “Low Back Disorders: Evidence based prevention and rehabilitation”. His website is here
If you have back pain he's the guy to start with.
I'm not going to go into the specifics of every injury I had and how I dealt with each one specifically here.
What I want to do is help you through the struggle of an injury.
The Mental Game
When you're hurting, the last thing you want to do is move. You just want the pain to stop. But often movement will help with the pain. When I hurt my achilles, I couldn't walk or stand for long but I could ride the stationary bike. That was all I could do for my lower body for months.
It was boring. I hated it. All I could think of was doing anything for my legs BUT riding that dumb bike, going nowhere fast.
But I did it. I made myself go and ride the bike. Then hobbled around to the free weights to do some upper body strength training.
You do what you gotta do. That's all I could do.
I iced it. Stretched it. The bike seemed to help most.
If you hurt your shoulder or upper body, then it's time to attack your lower body training and maybe some extra conditioning work.
As cliché as it sounds, you can never give up. Do not quit working out. There is something you can do. Just find what you CAN do and move around as much as you can.
One mental trick that worked for me is to view the injury as an experiment. I was going to find out what I could do and how I could help my body heal naturally. How I did this is reading a ton of articles and books and experimenting.
You learn and empower yourself. This is powerful. No one can take that from you. This was a good motivator for me. To find an answer on my own.
I believe our bodies can heal naturally if we give them what they need. (nutrition, rest, proper movement)
Don't let an injury stop you from the strong and fit life. You have more power than you know. We all do.
As much as I hated every injury I've had, the pain and the aggravation. I also found something positive because they taught me something. Not only how to train around the injury or get rid of the pain, but how to struggle and persist and never quit.
You have this ability also. The will to persevere.
Don't ever forget that.
And if you need help getting through some aches and pains and KNOW you need to get stronger but do it the RIGHT WAY, contact me here