So, one thing about me that all of my friends, family, colleagues know about me is that I am very injury prone. I’m pretty much a walking, talking crash test dummy. I always get injured at least once a year, and as of yesterday, I’ve hit my second injury this year (sixth sports-related injury, I should probabaly stick to lifting! Haha). My first this year was something most people call “Tennis Elbow”, which came about from doing intense training while I was following Kris Gethin’s Hardcore Trainer Part 2. Now I have I have been inflicted with a Grade 2 ankle sprain (hopefully I won’t have to go back for an MRI). But even though I’ve been injured, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop lifting. That’s another thing a lot of people know about me, I don’t know when to stop and rest (#NoRestDays). So, in this post, I’m going to tell you guys some tips for training around an injury. Some of these are from experience, some from friends, some from other online sources.
Tip 1: Reducing Weight/Range of Motion
I have had to do the in my own experience, and it takes a big blow to your lifting ego for sure. Sometimes when an injury occurs, you’re still able to perform the different lifting motions that are associated with the affected area, but now there is discomfort and sometimes a lot of pain. In this case, reducing the weight or range of motion can have a huge benefit. Eve though you see the numbers are smaller on those dumbbells, barbell, machine,etc., your body doesn’t know how to count. All your body knows is stress on the muscle, and by lowering the weight or range of motion, you’re still stressing the muscle while avoiding the risk of further injuring yourself. In my own experience, I like lifting heavy. But when I got tennis elbow, I had to drop all my weights by almost half. But by doing this, I never lost muscle or strength in the two weeks of time I had it. In fact, my strength stayed the same, and I was able to get back to lifting those 50 lb dumbbells for my 6-8 reps again.
Tip 2: Nutrition
This one I found online (BodyBuilding.com), and I found quite interesting and it makes complete sense! So, when injured, typically the recovery time could be a couple weeks to maybe a couple months depending on the injury. For the majority of injuries, the affected area will swell up. This is the body’s way of trying to heal itself by emphasizing blood flow to the affected area. This is because the more blood circulating through the affected area, the faster the recovery will be. Some things that could hinder this process are actually different types of FOOD! There are inflammatory foods and anti-inflammatory foods. Some of the inflammatory foods are those that increase your blood flow and spike your insulin levels, such as fast food, processed white flour, hot peppers, eggplant,etc. These are the ones you want to try and avoid. The types of foods you want to gravitate towards are those anti-inflammatory foods. These consist of foods high in omega-3s (fish, nuts, oils) and you also want to gravitate towards raw veggie juices. Even adding ginger can have some benefits in recovery due to the different healing properties contained within it.
Tip 3: Supplements
This one I learned from a friend who also suffers injuries from time to time. When it comes to lifting injuries in the gym, sometimes the best way to cope with it is to just plow through and use your supplements effectively! Some great supplements to look into taking are some dietary omen-3s, multivitamins, BCAAs, and Glutamine. As we explained within the nutrition portion, omega-3s are an anti-inflammatory substance. So for those who aren’t as fond of eating fish (such as I) then a dietary supplement of omega-3s are perfect. A positive side effect of taking omega-3s that many people don’t discuss is enhanced brain health: helping you become more productive, efficient, and helping with problem solving decisions (I take this every day for this reason). Multivitamins provide all of the important minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that you might not get throughout your day. So injured or not, a great multivitamin is never a bad decision to add into your dietary routine. BCAAs and Glutamine have both been shown to assist in muscle recovery following intense training, so these are a given when considering what other supplements you should incorporate into your training regiment.
Tip 4: … Rest
Now, I personally hate this tip, but sometimes it is the most necessary. There are just some injuries that can’t be trained around (in my case, a fractured femur). Although my case was extreme and required A LOT of rest, sometimes the best remedy for an injury is taking a week or so off from the gym. Now, it is very possible you could lose strength and muscle size, but that’s ok. You gained it before, so you can gain it again. Also, if you make sure to keep your nutrition and sleep on point, you could very well keep a lot of your gains with very little loss in size or strength.
These are tips I have for you guys now, if I come up with more in the future I may make another article about it. Until then feel free to comment below with some tips of your own and be share to like and share this to social media!
Be Fit, Feel Confident, and Never Stop Working!