I spent most of my 30s injured.
Back, knee, and hips.
(There’s no nice way to say it.)
Injuries prevent you from reaching your goals.
Say goodbye to almost any sort of fat loss.
(Injuries create inflammation, which increases cortisol levels.)
Say goodbye to most of your strength gains.
So what should you do?
1. Get diagnosed/treated/cleared by a medical professional.
This should go without saying, but sometimes we seem to disdain the pro’s. I know I used to.
Until I needed one.
Back in 2005 I injured my right hip.
I tried to fix it myself. And failed.
I finally went to see the orthopedic surgeon because I was in absolute agony and life was miserable.
It turned out that no amount of ART, stretching, foam rolling, or any other non-traditional treatment approach could fix the issue: A torn labrum.
Ultimately, what I needed, was a reprieve from the inflammation that was causing the pain.
So I took a cortisone shot.
And that experience ultimately led me to where I am today.
2. Focus your training on fixing the stuff you suck at.
Great, you can do 300 swings in a day.
But can you put both arms overhead symmetrically?
Yes, that’s right – overhead – so they are perpendicular to the floor?
Without arching your lower back?
If not, you have some issues you need to address.
Otherwise Presses, Snatches, and even Get Ups will become problematic for either your shoulders or your lower back – or both.
And not addressing them will keep you from making the progress and getting the results you’re looking for.
You don’t have to spend years here.
3 to 4 months out of the year will be just the ticket for most people, especially if they’re the right exercises.
And not necessarily in a row either – just strategically injected at the right times to accelerate gains in other areas.
For example, after 15 years of neglecting any serious direct abdominal work, I spent almost 2 years doing direct gymnastic type abdominal work as part of a “season.”
The result was a much stronger hinge pattern at a lighter bodyweight.
3. Focus on training instead of “working out”
I’ve hammered this point more than a few times over the last 6 years or so, but it still bears re-enforcing.
Training indicates there is a goal to be achieved.
Training indicates that you’re hoisting your KB with and for a purpose.
Working out does not.
Working out is associated with [high levels of] fatigue, sweat, and sometimes even nausea and vomiting.
And I guess if those are your end goals, then working out is for you.
But in over 20 years of training, I never once had a client or athlete say to me, “Hey, what I’m really looking for is to puke all over my shoes at the end of every workout. Can you help me do that?”
Training by default means there will be ups and downs and different cycles in your programming.
And, yes, it also indicates that there will be programming.
Not just random “workouts of the day.”
Give up the false notion that training has to be “killer” in order to be effective.
More often than not, training will be the opposite.
Sure, there are times when you’ll find it challenging, maybe downright difficult, as you bump up against your limitations, but that’s part of #2 and is part of the process, not the intended outcome.
Finally, realize that training, by its very nature, is measurable and that means you have some valid data points to determine your progress instead of “feeling” like you’re getting results.
If you’re currently injured and cleared by your medical pro of choice, realize it’s time to make some changes if you want to see those results.
Two of the most common issues or areas people struggle with as a result of injuries are shoulder range of motion limitations, and abdominal weakness, which manifests itself in an inability to hinge and squat properly.
You can take care of them here.
Best part is, you’ll be able to make noticeable gains in the training journal and in the mirror.
P.S. Ignore your injuries and they’ll get worse, eventually leaving you unable to do anything except pay a large medical bill from some kind of surgery.
Ignore your movement limitations and restrictions, and if you keep on going, you’ll end up with some kind of injury.