Injuries should not stop you

I am always amazed at the excuses people give to not train when they get injured. Injured hands, arms, feet and big toes suddenly make training impossible for them. The whole body now suffers because of one of its parts. The “wounded/ sick deer” mentality takes over, and soon mental strength begins to decline.

“Wounded/sick deer” get singled out, separated from the group, and the wolves feast. Men should never accept this mentality.

A broken foot, shattered hand, 2 hernias, hip injury, shoulder arthritis, dislocated fingers and toes etc., have not kept me from training. Each injury made me adapt, and develop training plans based on what I could do. I took a lesson from people who are inspirational, and never focused on what they couldn’t do. We have men and women who are severely injured or maimed but are out there running marathons, jumping from airplanes, and driving on. The video of the wrestler born without arms or legs doing exercises some healthy people can’t do, is just outstanding.

When you do become injured, take it as a challenge.

Look at what you have available for equipment, what effects the injury has on your movement, ROM, and load bearing abilities. Set a goal for the end of the recovery period.

Now do research and find all the options you have for exercises based on the injury, and equipment you have. Implement the plan, and make adjustments when needed. This is the perfect time to start doing some of the exercises that you neglected while healthy.

Hand, and arm injuries are a perfect time to focus on core and leg strength. Do hip bridging with weight, glute-ham raises, leg presses, step ups with weight in a back pack. Think your dead lift and squat will suffer- do zercher squats, and zercher lifts off the pins. Put lots of weight in a back pack, and do squats or loads of step ups.
Want to do shrugs, use the standing calves raise machine, and shrug away at the shoulder pads.

Shoulder, upper torso injury- hit the lower body. Use the hell out of the machines. They help stabilize the body and isolate, so use them to your advantage. There are tons of body weight exercises to choose from.

Lower leg and foot injuries- no better time to do all the upper body work you want. Get the guns, chest and back you’ve always wanted. Hit the pull up bar, and all the ground based body weight exercises you can. String them together into circuit training and keep your cardio and work capacity up.

Core injuries- use the stabilizing benches, machines, and ground based exercises. I hated working back from double hernia repair. You never really know how much your core does until you injure it. The hernia repair was my most challenging in that it hurt to do most anything involving hanging, or stretching the abs. One of my goals during this time was to just hang from a pull up bar for 30 seconds without pain, let alone do a pull up. My core work during this time focused on breathing exercises, Pilates, and stretching.

After you have implemented your plan, adjusted when necessary, met your goal, you need build a plan to get the injured area back up to par. Follow your therapists recommendations, and build on that. I will tell you from my experience that most PT’s are not used to dealing with serious trainees. If you are lucky enough to get one that understands your needs, great. I am just saying my experience has been less than ideal.

The “wounded deer” mentality is one of my biggest pet peeves, but also my biggest challenges. I have to deal with guys all the time that, once they get hurt, take physical training and put it to the wayside believing they can’t do anything until they are all better. Usually it is through not knowing the options available, and sometimes its just pure laziness. I use personal example, instruction and motivation for the clueless, and repeated swift kicks in the ass for the lazy. It seems to work every time.

Just be smart. If you are continually learning and seeking knowledge, an injury is just another learning experience. Having a goal during this time to aspire to, takes the focus off what you are unable to do. Maybe the injury was a result of improper technique, or imbalance. Take this time to fix things, and come back stronger and smarter; a great combination.

(NOTE: Now, I am not a doctor, a certified trainer, or physical therapist. I am not saying to ignore the “doctors orders”. Only you and your doctor know you. Do what you think is best for you. As long as you are not being a wuss, its all good)

Take care and good lifting,

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1 Comment

  1. Exactly!!! | Faith, Iron, Sweat, Chalk

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