Lockdown, Pain & Injuries
Pain and injuries during lockdown
Firstly, I just want to say this blog also relates back to Jamie and Josh’s first webinar in January (if you haven’t seen I highly recommend it), and in particular I want to draw your attention back their point of ‘Reframe the story’. Re-evaluate where you really are, what can you realistically achieve both previously in the gym and in your current situation, what would make you happier?
Hands up, who has had workouts effect by various pains and niggles? I know I have, and it sucks.
(disclaimer: serious injuries that require surgery may need a different approach to this…).
This is not universal, I know that not all injuries are the same, and everyone has different attitudes towards injuries and your body may react differently training stimulus, but this is just my view on what we can do.
What have you found that happens with your training while you’re in pain? Does it make it harder to exercise, harder to hit your goals whether that’s a weight goal, a body comp goal or a strength target?
In the short term you might not think it will be too bad. A last-minute change of workout, skip a few exercises, swap them out, don’t tell your coach and think ‘oh I will just try again next week’.
How about in the long term? Does it play on your mind before working out, do you maybe skip training certain body parts/certain training days altogether? Or maybe you just ‘accept’ that you’re just going to be in pain.
Now, let’s consider 2020 for a second, gyms were shut for large periods of time, you’re training likely been fractured and inconsistent? Not having been able to achieve much or been changing your goals to match your current situation? With all of this your injury and pain may have been getting worse, or at best, no better. Let’s use this lockdown productively and start 2021 differently.
Human bodies are amazing. They really are. They will respond and adapt to any stimulus that you present it with, it will adapt and overcome. Just like you’ve adapted to not training a certain body part or exercise, it will adapt to rebuilding and healing tissue if you present it with the correct amount and type of stimulus.
You know when you’re in pain and when you have to do something about it, maybe you do your rehab exercises every now and then; maybe you don’t feel comfortable rehabbing, do you feel pressure in gyms to lift and run? You don’t one want be known as the ‘injured guy’ in the gym? Well now you don’t have to be, they’re closed, use that to your advantage.
The first lockdown last year gave me the chance to re-evaluate. I might have been in good shape from a body composition perspective, but was I fit, healthy and able to enjoy the simple things? No.
For me, during the first lockdown I know it hit me, I got tagged countless times to ‘Run 5, donate 5, tag 5’ but hey, I hadn’t been able to run for the best part of a year. I had previously been training for my physique, I was properly on top of my diet, progress pictures were showing the results and I was feeling great, then boom, the ‘Rona hit, the gym closed, physio sessions stopped and I was sipping beers in the garden by 4pm – everything going out of the window as I couldn’t carry on with what I was doing.
I decided to have a serious word with myself, how could I best use my time? I had been rehabbing my knee for a while and was still doing bits of that at the start of workouts but it wasn’t really a key focus for me. I re-evaluated, I began to reframe my story. I couldn’t run and I could go out on long walks without being in pain for days after.
What have these lockdowns give us? Yes I could focus on the negative sides of lockdown, but hey, it’s given us a lot of positives as well. At lot less travelling time (think daily commute, travelling to shops at the weekends – that’s a positive for me, cant stand shopping!) more time to focus on yourself and if you live with family, more family time; potential for more sleep, time to plan and nail your nutrition. There’s a lot of positives there that can be all used to you advantage.
Now that the gyms are closed again, you might have stopped training, you might have had the thought that this could be the perfect time to rest and recuperate, and that might have worked… for the first few days. Did the pain start to get worse again? Were you having to use ice and heat pads more often? Well that’s because rest is only a very, very small part of managing injuries.
The treatment and rehabilitation of injuries involves building the tissue back up to full strength – and remember, ‘strength is relative’ – you’re rehabbing to be able to do your normal daily task AT A MINIMUM, to be able to live your life how you want to, don’t accept living in daily pain when we have the time to do something about it.
Start small – what can you do every day that will help, what is the one thing that you know will make it better. Look at professional sportsmen and women who sustain injuries, they can’t play without being fit and healthy, they dedicate themselves to regaining their fitness. Now I’m not saying you have to be that dedicated, but you have to commit to it, focus on it, work towards it and the results will come. That might be might certain stretches you feel better for doing or a couple of exercises that your physio has prescribed. Let’s start with them. You remember that 30-minute daily commute you used to have? That’s the perfect time. That nervous feeling of doing them in gym. Well, that’s gone, they’re not open, perfect. You can master them at home.
And that’s where I started, everyday doing a couple of key exercises that I know I needed to do, and I built from there. Incorporated more and more into my workouts until I could walk and hop pain free, then I started to push a bit more, could I jog? How long for? And built to be able to run 5k. I’m not saying that it’s an easy process, I had to stop thinking about ‘what I used to be able to do’, it took me a while to get into it, but once I did, once I committed, I made progress. And since then, my gym sessions got a lot better, I could enjoy them again, and I looked forward to them. Something that I hadn’t done in a while.
So, reframe, re-evaluate, re-commit and come out of lockdown in a fitter, healthier state ready to get properly back in the gym.
If you would like 1-1 support and guidance with this, click HERE to get in touch.
P.S: Click HERE to the Youtube video I mentioned at the start of this blog..