I’m not going to lie to you all, lately I’ve been staring blankly at my computer screen a lot.
In the last few months I’ve been focusing on the staples – clean eating, calories, macros, carb cycling, cheat meals, what cardio to do, when to do it, weight training, supplements, my own progress…I know there’s hundreds of topics I have yet to cover and hundreds more that you guys are interested in, I just can’t seem to come up with any!
So to social media I went, and hey presto, I was inundated with questions. I’m going to answer them one by one, which hopefully will give me enough time to get my creative juices flowing and will also help each and every one of you out. So, without further ado…
@iamamyholmes Have you ever had any injuries and if so, what did you do to work around them and did you manage to stay positive?
@leadan91 I train / rugby 4 x a week and if I pick up a niggle (usually shoulder, back or knee) I get so down as the advice is usually don’t do anything strenuous for X amount of weeks.
@sherryd82 Are weights a good way to fix a dodgy shoulder? Mine is weak and clicks and clunks. X-Rays and ultra sounds show nothing. On bad days I can barely lift my arm.
Please bear in mind that the below is the advice of a PT and fitness professional, not a qualified physiotherapist or doctor. It goes without saying that any injury should be seen to by a professional.
Yes @iamamyholmes, I have been injured and I am currently, funnily enough!
What inspires me to stay positive? I don’t give myself a choice. Period. I find a solution, I find an alternative, I stay patient with my body and I absolutely refuse to take no as a final answer. For example…
The first injury I ever got was shin splints from running, which may not sound like a real injury, but trust me, when you’re mid sprint and your shins tighten up like frozen chewing gum, the pain is so intense it makes you feel sick. The first time it happened I had to sit on a park bench for an hour before I could hobble back home. I rested my legs for weeks, iced them, bought new trainers and special insoles, but that was it, they were gone and I could no longer run without pain. Sometimes that’s the case, you just have to stop doing that one specific activity completely. For me, running is now a once in a blue moon event and man alive do I feel it for days afterwards.
The second injury I got was tendonitis in my forearms from pull lifting. I had to go very light with my pull weights for a while and spent a LOT of time icing and massaging my forearms, but eventually I got stronger, my arms adapted, and now I no longer suffer the problem.
The third is my current injury – a stress fracture of my middle metatarsal (foot bone). I cannot cycle, row or use the cross trainer currently, but anything that allows me to stay 100% flat footed I can manage – so the Versus Trainer and Stepmaster are getting all my love right now.
And that pretty much sums up your 3 outcomes when it comes to injuries. You may have to accept that a certain physical activity is out of bounds for you, period. You may find that by strengthening the surrounding muscles the injury will become obsolete. Or you may just have to find an alternative activity until you heal…
Which brings me to you @leadan91 – if you have a niggle and you are playing a contact sport like rugby, that will absolutely have to take a back seat until you are healed. The fact of the matter is, if you have a bad back or knee, you are risking A LOT by taking big hits. Don’t get down about this, your body should be your number one priority as an athlete and you should be patient and with it. Seriously, rest and injury is as much a part of the sport as the sport itself, get used to it and don’t be hard on yourself. HOWEVER, your training absolutely doesn’t need to stop. If a certain area is playing up, don’t train it for a few weeks, ice it, stretch morning noon and night and it will get better. There is always an alternative on that gym floor, look for it and you will find it.
Which finally brings me to you, @sherryd82 . As I have said above, rest injuries, ice them, stretch them within their means and they will get better. HOWEVER, if your shoulder is not injured but very problematic, you are a candidate for strengthening the muscles AROUND the shoulder and it will eventually ease up. So really focus on your traps, upper back and upper arms, and your shoulder can take a bit of a break.
To end this piece I want to say this – injuries suck and initially it is scary and annoying that your training will take a hit. HOWEVER, as I have said above, REST AND INJURY IS AS MUCH A PART OF SPORT AS SPORT ITSELF. Get used to it, accept it, and go easy on yourself. Rest now, recover later, you do not want the injury to become a permanent fixture.