How To Beat Your Injury And Get Back To Training
August 12th 2019
What do you do if you are injured and you still want to train? What do you do if you are training for a competition and you are suffering from an injury? These two situations are not uncommon. However, for this article, we will focus on what you should do if you want to stay fit and ready while being injured. Because let us face it, there is never a right time to train. In fact, I will be bold and say that every day will always be the worst time to train.
You will always be able to compare your previous training sessions to a better one. As a result, you will never “feel” ready or “feel” great about a particular day. So, what is the best plan of attack? You just need to go train. But the issue comes when you are injured, how do you stay ready and primed for life when you are injured? Instead of laying out 20+ unrealistic things that you will never remember what to do when you are trying to stay fit when injured, I will present 5 KEY points on what you should do.
How to stay fit when injured?
Here are 5 ways you can stay on track with your training when you are injured:
- Stay active
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself
- Have some patience
- Your diet should also be great
- Have a long term vision
You are injured, not crippled. For 99% of injuries, they are probably relatively minor and would not require surgery. But this does mean that your main compound movements will be significantly affected. Whether you are a powerlifter, Strongman, or runner, an injury will derail your training. So, what can you do about it?
My first suggestion is that you need to stay active. Keep moving and try to get the blood flowing in the area. Then, you can try to find pain-free movements so that you can still load the body up and get a good workout in.
For those people (like me) who are very strict on having an exact program to do, this will be a crazy thought. You mean I get to control my exercises and what I do for the day? Yes, and it should always be that way. Strength training, especially, has a lot to do with trial and error. Most of the successful programs you see on the market are the results of decades of testing and hundreds of athletes who have tried that specific training methodology and have made gains on them.
So, you need to find something, anything to do that can help you not re-aggravate the injury. Of course, use your best judgment. If you just came out of the hospital from an accident or just had brain surgery, get some recommendations from experts on what you should do.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself
One of the most common emotions that follow an injury is being depressed. After all, you spent a lot of time in the gym, thinking about the gym. Now that you cannot go to the gym, your mind wanders around and it can get pretty dark.
An idle mind is a dangerous place to be in. This is why one of the first things anything should do is to find workarounds to their main programming. For instance, if you are having knee pain from back squats, have you tried front squats? High bar squats? Box squats? If all squatting movements give you pain, have you tried leg presses? Lunges? Goblet squats? Do you see the thought process?
Instead of thinking about how much of an idiot you are, why not channel all your powerful energy into something more productive? Think of this minor detour as a major stepping stone to becoming the best. And what would be the best use of your time now - how to recovery faster, stay fit, and to maintain explosiveness while being injured.
Have some patience
Alongside with bullet two, you will need to practice patience. Whether you are lifting weights, strength training or doing cardio, it will always be there. There is no need to feel anxious or worried about the situation.
Let us backtrack a little bit - what is the point of worrying? Exactly, nothing. You gain zero benefits from worrying and stressing about a previous injury. Yet, you successfully acquired all the cons of being stressed. What an absolute ripoff.
One part of being very successful in any athletic endeavor is that you not only triumph during the physical component, but you also are a master of the mental component as well. This means that you have the willpower to have the long term vision and to demonstrate patience. You are willing to take slow macro steps while going through your day-to-day life as a champion.
Your diet should also be great
Once you sorted out your mental game and workout plan, you also need to make sure that you are fueling your body properly. A common slippery slope many injured athletes can fall into is to abuse their bodies by not eating properly. Whether this is overeating, eating the wrong foods or even starving the food, any deviation from a proper meal plan is a recipe for disaster down the road.
You have probably heard that “You cannot out-train a bad diet.” My opinion about this is mixed but for a majority of people, they really do not have the self-control to maintain a proper eating lifestyle. And if you complete at the highest levels, there is no more room for error. All of your rivals are eating and maintain a consistent plan; you doing anything else but the expected will put you are a massive disadvantage.
What is the point of maintaining an eating schedule? If you practice good eating habits religiously, you will have no issues down the road. Picking great foods to eat at appropriate portions will be second nature to you, which is what every lifter, runner, athlete should strive for. A proper diet will help you stay on track while you are injured.
Have a long term vision
In a 24 hour day, you spend 8 hours to sleep and 2 hours to train. This leaves you with 14 hours left in the day. What are you doing with your life? For a lot of professional athletes, they tend to focus 100% of their efforts on their sport. For instance, for basketball players, players watch film, work on drills, nap, get treatments, etc. They spend most of their days preparing for a 48 minute game IF they even get to play.
The same goes for any other athlete. If your sport is not that important for you, you still have the rest of your life to figure out. Are you starting a business? Will you be spending more time with your family? What is it that you want to be remembered for? Figure that part out and work towards it.
Injuries happen. They are a part of the sport, whether they are completely random or because you are pushing your boundaries during training or competition. So, you have an injury now. So what? Life continues and it will not wait for you. This is the exact moment that will separate the average athletes from the great ones. And good news for you, I have just laid out the exact blueprint of what you should focus on if you do wonder how to stay fit when injured. So, leave your tears, misery, and negativity for the idle mind and start to take control of your life today.