The Injury Monster
Strength. Anyone who walks into a fitness facility is looking for some form of strength. If you are in it for the right reasons, you are trying to get better. Part of this process will provide increased strength, maybe. In today’s world, everything is at our fingertips. An answer can be found to almost any question that you have. Ask and you shall receive. However, evolution has not quite caught up to the information superhighway. Instead of a search engine, think of your body as a very strict parent. If there is something that you want that is out of the range of food and shelter, it is going to take some effort and dedication to be successful in getting that new car. Sacrifices and guarantees will have to be made. If you try too hard, too fast you will blow it. Get mouthy, and you will be grounded. Your body works in the same manner. When you walk into the gym as a new student understand that the people that are moving major weight with grace and power are the ones who followed the process. Sometimes, though, it happens. You show up after two weeks of private or semi-private classes and you think that you are going to add some weight without your coach clearing you to do so. You may think, “my form is fine, I can add another twenty pounds.” POW!! You tore a muscle, dropped the weight on your foot, broke your wrist due to holding the load improperly, whatever happened, you are now grounded. There is a way to stop this from happening. It is not lifting light weight and not pushing yourself; it’s called train SMARTER so that you can train HARDER.
One of your coach’s main jobs is to keep you from becoming injured during the process of bettering yourself. This does not mean that you will not be pushed during your sessions, only that you will not be pushed into over training. Over training is the slow road to injury that can set you back for longer periods of time than acute injury. If you break your toe from dropping a weight you have a couple of weeks and you are back at it. If you over train and get tendonitis, you may never lift the same again. There is a price for impatience. Trust the plan that your coach has created for you. This will include progressions with load advice from your coach after he/she has accessed your movement capability and current level of strength. This being said, if your movement is limited due to misuse or disuse, then your mobility has to be reclaimed, first and foremost. If you movement is broken, adding weight is the absolute worst thing that you can do. Earn your movement to a point where your coach tells you that you are ready to add weight. Your body will thank you for it in the long run. “No pain, no gain,” is not the mantra anymore. Listen to your body when it speaks or it will start to scream. With this understanding, there is a level of practice that does push practitioners to , and sometimes a little past their limits. This is called over reaching.
Once in a while your coach is going to help you break through a plateau. This method is not done every time that you come in for a session. This will be a special training session where your coach has had the experience to know that you have the form and the strength to move to another level. Understand that this may simply mean that you will be asked to break parallel while squatting only your body weight. This may be over reaching for some. Your coach will show you that your body can do what your mind still thinks it cannot do. Do not do this without the consultation of a professional. If you do, you may get grounded. Trust your coach. He/She has your back. Treat the Injury Monster like a prison shower, always be vigilant and never let yourself be vulnerable. Mindfulness is the key. Sorry, nothing makes the point quite like the last two statements. Now, take this information and get your you-know-what to work and keep getting better!
The Injury Monster