Top 5 Tips On Overcoming Injuries
(disclaimer: I'm not a doctor or physical therapist. If you have an injury then take proper precautions and see a doctor, if necessary. This is just my experience and some ideas to overcome the mental and physical barriers that come with injuries)
It was the first day back after tweaking my shoulder.
This was the first time of many.
I figured I could do my normal workout minus the bench press. How wrong I was.
Squats hurt the shoulder. Pullups hurt. Even bicep curls were out.
I had been making quick progress. Now I had to change directions.
Back then there was very limited information on the internet and I was on my own at the gym.
I was frustrated. And I didn't know why it happened.
All I needed was a little time and I'd be back to where I was. So I thought.
That was the first of many dings and dents along my journey of strength and fitness. 18 years later I have some tips for you to overcome these annoying injuries.
1- Stay the Course
Don't let it take you away from your goal no matter how big the setback may seem.
Keep your mind focused on the task. Getting back to 100% is your new goal. Then you can get back on track.
Many people have suffered the same injury or worse and have come back from it to break records. Keep your mind set on what you really want to accomplish. It will just take longer but be convinced that you will get there.
2- What else CAN you do
Try variations that you can do pain-free. One of the challenges of training around an injury is finding replacement exercises that are similar to the movements you normally train.
It can be frustrating or invigorating. The fun part is doing some different lifts and breaking some new PR's right away.
Get stronger in other areas that may have been neglected- maybe you hurt your shoulder and you have neglected your back or legs.
Time to shift gears. You may run into trouble with certain exercises that aren't obviously related to the injury so you will have to play around with it.
Squats may bother your shoulder so need to shift to lunges or bulgarian split squats.
Don't let the injury stop you. It's a perfect time to improve a weak area.
Move as much as possible but don't over do it- find that balance between rest and active recovery. It can be tricky to know how much is enough.
Only you can determine this. Start slow with any 'active recovery' and make sure you don't push yourself too hard and risk a setback.
You don't want to just lay in bed all day either. Find that happy medium where you are getting in some exercise and some rest also.
4- The Power of Nutrition
What goes in your body is even more important when injured.
Eat good foods and stay away from junk. Yes, you read that right. Don't start whining about how you want your cake and ice cream.
It's time to man-up. Eat your protein, veggies, rice, oats, fish, nuts, seed, fruits.
Increase beneficial supplements like vitamin c, fish oil, turmeric.
Do a little research on the google. See what you can find about vitamins/minerals that help reduce inflammation.
Stay away from junk that bodybuilding magazines sell. You don't need that garbage. Seriously.
Only take anti-inflammatories if necessary. Try to stay away from them so you don't mask the pain and re-injure the area or do more damage when you feel pain-free.
When you think you're healed up don't stop doing those exercises that helped you recover. If part of the rehab included stability work then continue to do it.
5- Develop a Strong Mindset
Yes, it's some woo-woo shit but it works.
Why do you think every single successful person, from every walk of life talks about how important it is have a strong mental state?
Believe you can overcome. Find stories of others who have overcome the same injury or worse. If someone has done it, you can too.
Use the injury to learn something. Why did it happen? Was it bad technique, overuse, too much volume, not enough variation, lack of mobility or stability?
Find out what happened and use this info to become stronger and more resilient in the future.
Keep it to Yourself!
Last but not least, no one cares!
Stop telling everyone you have a bum shoulder or bum knee and you used to bench 500 or squat 600 back in the day.. really, just don't even mention it as hard as that may be.
It's not doing you any good. So stop.
And every time you say it to someone and they get that glazed look in their eyes, they're thinking "yeah, sure, uh huh, stop making excuses"...
So keep it to yourself. Focus on what you CAN do right now.