Workout of the Day:
Split Squats or Bulgarian Split Squats
5-5-5 (each leg)
(Thanks again to our friends at Catalyst Athletics for the great videos demonstrating these movements.)
Three rounds for time of:
25 Kettlebell Swings (24/16 kg)
20 Wall Ball Shots (20/12 lb.)
Training with Injuries: The Physical Reasons
Written by Mark Riebel
Injuries happen. It’s just an unfortunate fact of life. In our constant battle against entropy, the human body occasionally breaks down and we are forced take a few steps back. It is not because of our methods—often the cause of an injury is as simple as sleeping in an odd position or stepping off of a curb incorrectly. Regardless of the mechanism, an injury can be extremely difficult to deal with, especially if your time at Invictus is the highlight of your day. As someone who happens to be particularly fragile despite my rough-looking exterior (ha!), I’d like to offer some tips on dealing with those injuries and how you can train with them, in a way that will augment your health care provider’s instructions on dealing with your injury.
In this first of two posts, I want to address some of the physical issues that you’ll face and how to tackle them. The point I would most like to drive home with you is that unless you are completely incapable of movement, you’ve got to keep training. Yes, it will be in a modified manner due to your injury, but you need to do what you can. Keep coming to the groups you normally would attend, and our coaches will be more than happy to give you modifications to keep you active. There are numerous reasons why you need to stay active doing what you can to move and train. Exercise is going to promote blood flow to all of your tissues and really make sure those immune cells and nutrients do their jobs to remodel your injured tissue. Studies that examine healing time between sedentary and active subjects show that healing is accelerated in the group that performs physical activity. Also, performing high-intensity multi-joint movements as we do elicits an endocrine response that increases levels of growth hormone, testosterone, and other substances that are Mother Nature’s experts at remodeling injured tissue. Finally, there’s a phenomenon referred to as carry-over. Essentially, when you train a part of the body that has an identical complement, such as your left leg, a small strength gain will be noticed in the complementary part, the right leg in this case. It’s not an incredible amount, but it’s enough to help stave off any large losses in strength and power you may have due to an injury. You can read a bit more about it here.
Keep in mind, though, that there is a fine line between training with an injury and training through an injury. Training ‘with’ is what we’re going for, and that entails modifications and work-arounds that will help to enhance your healing. Training ‘through’ is a mindset of “It hurts like hell when I squat, so I’m just going to grit my teeth and squat anyway.” That’s a quick way to turn some minor ailment into something that could set you back for months. Use your head and learn to distinguish ‘good’ pain from ‘bad’ pain.
And before I forget, don’t be that guy and just pop ibuprofen or some other pain killer so you can work through it. You can potentially derail the healing process (as Calvin mentioned a while back) and make your injury worse by not being aware of your pain.
In the next piece of this post, I’ll address some of the psychological challenges you may face when you’re hurt, and how to turn them into advantages.