How can one maintain momentum and drive to continue training throughout injury?
Despite good form and smart training, if you lift heavy and train your ass off, over time you may sustain some type of injury. For me, it happened out of the gym. It affected my ability to squat efficiently. One of the biggest mistakes I made was completely going off squats once I knew my injury would prevent me from lifting heavy. The injury had inflated my ego. At first it was to the point where just because I couldn’t use heavy weight I steered clear of squats entirely, thinking somehow this was logical; it wasn’t.
You must work with what you have. I’ll just continue using the example of the squat as this came from personal experience, but of course, this post is meant to apply to other injuries.
Just as a disclaimer have your injury checked by a doctor and make sure it’s okay to continue some sort of exercise, I’m a strength and conditioning coach, not a medical professional.
The point I’m trying to make is that If you KNOW you are capable of doing something and can work around your injury, then do it
Mobility Guardian has a great guide on how to prevent injury, it’s better to take the right measures to prevent these setbacks from even occurring.
Now what I want you to think about is that if your injury is caused at the gym, you may have been overworking a certain muscle. For example let’s take the most common injury in the gym, rotator cuff impingement. This is mostly caused by overwork on pushing movements such as the bench press. What you must understand is that this injury is the result of your body naturally telling you that you should have had a more balanced routine. What I’d like you to consider is that when injured, in the shoulder, for example, you can now take the time to work on your legs.
Even though getting injured has a negative connotation attached to it, I would like to you try and see it through a different lens. This goes for all adversity in life too. See this ‘adversity’ as an opportunity to experience something new. In time you will recover from the injury. For now, you can take the time to relish in other areas you neglected or haven’t explored yet. Your ‘setback’ will manifest into something positive. With time you will heal from said injury and acquire new experiences and skills you would not have gained otherwise, do you see what I’m getting at?
This state of mind seems better than being pessimistic and feeling sorry for yourself when obviously this achieves nothing worthwhile.
If you are struggling on finding motivation, read this.
People are always trying to rush. They want things done fast, done now, not tomorrow; we call this short-term gratification. Especially for us dudes this attitudes is present in the face of injury. If the injury is bad enough, you must understand that it takes the time to heal. You must accept that you are in fact injured and escape your denial on how severe your injury is, as this will cause recurring problems.
So on one side of the spectrum don’t completely neglect your strength in an injured area. On the other hand remember not to be over confident with your injury as it’s always best to take your time and let your body do what it’s meant to do. Personally, painkillers are something I don’t recommend. From my understanding, they mask pain rather than resolve it. This masking may give you an illusion of how well your injury is doing and thus may lead to chronic injury. It’s important to have a firm and grounded understanding of which stage of recovery you’re in.
There are some injuries which are more common than others, Amy Levin-Epstein has written a great article over at Men’s Fitness on the Five Most Common Gym Injuries. She really goes into detail on the causes, preventtion and measures of recovery.
Here’s a link to Amazon where you can buy this joint supplement to help you prevent injuries in the gym.