Big (super BIG) thanks to everyone who got along to the gym last week. I found myself running a heap of sessions early in the week – then not so many late in the week…then running Saturday Boxing for the first time in what felt like ages. Lot’s of fun. Due to my own shoulder issues (more on training ‘around’ injuries below) I have been avoiding the Strength gym (aka being VERY selective with the workouts I participate in) but I have been pretty happy with the progress I am seeing everyone make on SugarWOD and I think a couple of the accessory blocks we have been doing lately (Core Block with the loaded carries + to and fro’s, the loaded Copenhagen’s and the volume builders for both horizontal and vertical press) will see regulars hitting some nice numbers in the short-medium term.
Lastly (on last week) a big ‘SMILE’ is needed for the guys getting along to the Wednesday night “Boys Club” – I’m enjoying the banter and support you guys are giving one another…hopefully there are some gains – sorry, apparently they are “GAINZ” – happening as well!
Before I do any ‘BLOGGING’, we have an amazing special on our Two-Week-Trial right now. It is available for half-price (just $25). You get a Free Body Scan with the trial these days as well….I mean, they cost $25! Anyway, if you have family/friends thinking of giving it a go (or if YOU are thinking of making a long-overdue return, well, nows the time!)
Let me start this next little bit by saying getting injured is truly (TRULY) annoying and when you are used to being in the gym and training regularly then it is DOUBLY annoying. Let’s face it, if you are a dedicated NetFlix viewer and start getting a sharp pain in the butt when you jump off the couch to refill the bowl of chips, well, that is mildly annoying. If you are a dedicated gym goer and \get a shooting pain in the knee every time you squat? Well, that’s more than a mild annoyance…that is having a real impact on your ‘gains’ and your ‘me time’.
People tend to take one of two approaches (which ends up being one approach eventually). The first approach is this:
“I’m taking a couple of weeks off to rest”.
The outcome of this approach is generally as follows. After a couple of weeks it either does (or doesn’t) feel better. In both cases, the person then makes a return to the gym only to find that complete rest didn’t solve anything – all it did was mask the problem (because the knee/shoulder/elbow/foot) wasn’t being used as much so…which means step 2 (which should probably become step one) is then in play.
And step two is: “I’m off to see ‘someone”.
(There are a few people in the same category as me of course. The “I’m just going to change what I do and work around this and, well, stuff my ‘knee/shoulder/etc’ if it can’t take a joke”…but honestly, even I know this approach is only short-term. If you are like me and want to try and ‘keep going’ until there is literally NO MORE going that can be done, please be smart and take the ‘First – Do no harm’ approach. Sharp pain = Bad. Swelling around joints = Bad. And if those things don’t make you ‘stop’ and seek advice, they should at least make you avoid whichever exercise caused those symptoms.)
Seeking advice isn’t as easy as it sounds though. First off – you need to work out who it is you need to see. For me, this is a pretty straight forward situation. If I need to see someone about any muscular/joint based issue, my first port of call is my Physio. I like ONE PERSON to be in charge of the treatment ‘process’ – and in my experience physios do this better than anyone. They are usually prepared to hand you over to sports doctors, podiatrists, exercise physiologists, orthopedic surgeons etc as required – liaise with those people – and then take control back from them when ‘that stage’ of treatment is completed.
It is important when you are making an appointment to see a physio (or your G.P. if you have a great relationship with your GP and want them to be ‘the hub’/liaison point or in fact any other specialist) that you go to the appointment with a CLEAR GOAL of what outcome you are chasing. For example, if you want to explore NON-Surgical alternatives to an injury, then leaving the office with a referral to a surgeon and not much else is probably going to be counter to your objectives. Another example? If you go to the appointment seeking information on exactly what exercises you CAN do at the gym and leave without any information on what those things might be, well…what do you think is going to happen next?
I still remember back in my playing days when my first words to the physio would be: “When you look at this (injury), please understand that I am going to be playing this weekend – so I need to leave here with a plan as to how that can happen…and if that means I need to see you every day between now and then, well, I need you to help me make that happen.” It was amazing how often this approach led to me running out on the weekend when my team-mates missed time due to similar injuries.
Let me go back to that last point. When you go to the Physio/Doc, YOU need to be the one with a plan. You need a CLEAR idea of what you want to get out of your treatment. In all seriousness, if you go in with a sore knee and tell them you are there because your knee is sore, well…they are going to undertake a very conservative approach that will – to you – feel like they aren’t “doing anything”. I hear this all the time – I went to the physio and they didn’t ‘DO’ anything. Well – they did – they have assessed it and (in most cases) given you a couple of exercises to do and will want to see you in a few days time to work out if that has had an impact…that feels like ‘nothing’ to you because the outcome you wanted was very different – it was either some kind of magic touch that healed you OR a clear plan to get moving again.
Remember, your issue isn’t that you have a sore knee/shoulder/whatever. Your issue is that you aren’t able to run and want to do the Park Run next weekend because you promised your friend you would join them. Or you want to go to the gym tomorrow but it hurts when you squat so you need an alternative exercise. Or whatever it is. Be clear as to what the ‘PROBLEM’ is – for most of us the problem is the activity our injury is preventing us from doing and you need to be prepared to SAY that.
We are so lucky to have a great range of Health Care professionals in the Cockburn area (I mean, we have Fiona Stanley and STJOG Murdoch and all the associated specialist treatment rooms on our doorstep) but just ‘going to the doc/physio/chiro’ doesn’t solve the ‘problem’ if you aren’t prepared to tell them what the problem is. And if you are ever dissatisfied with the speed of progress, again – be clear re- what you are after. “Going to the gym is really important to me – when do you think I can get back and do xxx (be clear about what you want to do!)”. “Running is really important to me – do you think I will be able to take part in the trail running series…it starts in November?”. Again – just be CLEAR about what you want and you will be amazed at the outcomes you will get. If you don’t SAY what you want out of your treatment, the person you are talking too will make up their own mind about what you want…which means you will be getting a version of treatment that MAY or MAY NOT be what you are after. Why go to a restaurant and eat fish every day if what you really wanted was a burger? You have to ASK for what you want!
One other thing – we are ALWAYS happy to chat to your physio about the state of your injury etc and your return to training. This often requires a bit of an email back-and-forth to open up communication lines but generally once things are going it is really easy to maintain…so don’t be shy to ask us to reach out! This sort of thing is really ZERO trouble for me to do.
That’s it. Injuries suck…but there’s always a way to keep on rolling!
See you in the gym,
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Let’s work out together to see if we’re the right fit. Just hit the button below to let me know if you’re ready to see what’s included.