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Avoiding Injuries And Dealing With Them

Injuries are nasty. Nobody wants them but in order to see progress in the gym, there's always going to be a risk of attaining them. I've had my fair share of injuries over the years. Thankfully, they've been fairly minor problems that I've managed to work around.

I am pretending to be Wim Hof - The Iceman

In this article, I'll share my experiences and explain what I've learnt from them. Hopefully this will help you to avoid injuring yourself and if necessary, assist you at getting on the track to recovery as quickly as possible.

Best Advice First - Avoid Injuries!

Yoga is good for everyone

Do everything in your power to avoid injuries. Push yourself, but always maintain perfect form, whether its lifting weights, running or playing sports. It's easy to get carried away sometimes and sustain an injury in the heat of the moment. If you sustain an injury whilst training, STOP! If it feels sore when you're training, it will likely be much worse once you cool down. You're better off wasting one training session than risking a month or two away from the gym.

Now, just to clear things up, there's a difference between pain and discomfort. Discomfort is good. It's necessary. It's progression. Pain is not good. 'No pain, no gain'? That quote should actually be 'no pain, however there is some discomfort in the form of lactic acid buildup and muscular fatigue, without this my gains would be likely minimal at best'...

There are many things you can do to avoid injuries. Here are a few of the best ways;

Mobility tools

1. Foam rolling/mobility work

2. Sports massage

3. DAILY stretching aka yoga

4. Optimal recovery

5. Patience

7. Ice baths

8. Hot baths

9. Common sense

10. Warming up properly

My Injuries

Just over one year ago from the date of writing this, I thought that I'd never lift heavy weights again. I injured my back (mainly caused by too much sitting and poor posture - I never actually hurt myself in the gym!)

Deadlifts and squats were a major problem for me. Every time I recovered slightly, I'd try a barbell squat, and even with very light weights I would instantly receive a reminder me that I have a problem. Or I'd try a deadlift again, nope, instant agony. I tried sumo deadlifts and trap bar deadlifts (as they tend to place less strain on the lower back), but to no avail. It just kept giving in.

Mountain bike pedal vs. leg 1-0

I love lifting heavy weights, so this was rather frustrating. I could have easily just felt sorry for myself, given up and pursued a different hobby such as baking cakes or gardening. Fuck that. I decided to get over it. You should do the same if you ever get injured.

How To Fix A Problem

Step 1 - Get Medical Advice

I recommend to anyone in this kind of situation to seek medical help right away. Get yourself on the fast track to recovery. Just be wary of what the doc says. He may say, oh don't lift weights or take a few weeks off... This may actually make things worse. He's a doc. He's smart, but is he a competitive athlete? Seek out a good sports physiotherapist and consider chiropractic work or sports injury specialists. With the help of these people, I was able to highlight my problems and start working towards solving them.

Step 1.2 - Do Your Research But Be Careful!

There's a vast amount of information online when it comes to injuries, and much of it is valuable. Just remember that not everything you read is correct and every problem is unique in it's own right, so although the solution may help someone else, it won't necessarily help you. A prime example is when I recently suffered from some mild plantar fasciitis. I read that it was a good idea to massage and roll the foot with a ball. Wrong! The upper part of the foot and shin required stretching to alleviate the stretching of my sole. This goes against most advice online and from doctors and is just one example of where this can happen.

Step 5 - Remain Positive

A positive mindset is a must. With any injury, illness or setback in life, having a positive outlook is always going to help. This is a fact. It's sometimes difficult but being positive will set you on the path to recovery. I'd go as far to say that this mental outlook alone could be the key to your recovery. (Steps 2-4 got deleted as they're a waste of time.)

Top Tip: Implement Rehab Into Your Daily Routine

If you have a serious injury, chances are you'll try anything and everything to alleviate the pain.

You'll stretch, move, mobilise and exercise each and every day because the pain is ruining your life! The minor injuries that only affect you from time to time, for example my ongoing wrist injury, is only noticeable when I bench press, perform press-ups or Bruce Lee palm strike someone in the face with my left hand. And because this only affects me on occasion, it's much easier to 'forget' or 'slackoff' on my rehab. This can lead to chronic injuries, possibly leading to further problems in the future.

Yoga is good for everyone. Twice.

Diagnose your problem, no matter how small, then implement an aggressive plan of action to remedy the issue, before it get's any worse! Implement a habit, where you perform your stretches, exercises, etc at the same time every day. That way it'll be much easier to stick to it.


How on earth would your diet make a difference? Greens and healthy food reduce inflammation. Inflammation causes pain, injuries and will ruin you life if you let it. Don't be stupid and drink green stuff, it isn't fucking difficult.

Just drink green things. It's easy!

Elephants Never Forget

Never forget what caused your injury in the first place. And never forget how you healed from it. Avoid recurring injuries at all cost! Humans have a tendency to forgot how painful, annoying or inconvenient something was once the problem is solved. If your injury was caused from neglecting something, do not neglect it in future.

If you can avoid the injury in the first place, you'll never have to read this article. However, if you had read it, maybe you would have never attained the injury in the first place... A paradoxical situation indeed...

Take care out there but always push yourself!

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