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Is Your Injury an Obstacle or Opportunity?

So you’ve been hitting the gym consistently and seeing positive changes… and then it happens. Maybe you immediately know something’s up, or maybe you wake up the next day feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck. Something happened and now you’re hurt. Maybe it’s your foot. An ankle, shoulder, or low back. Whether it happened in the gym or not doesn’t matter. What matters is you’re hurting and not happy about it.

Here is the proverbial “fork in the road”. Are you the kind of person that packs it in when obstacle present themselves? Or will you find a way to use this opportunity to keep moving forward. I’m not telling you to exercise despite your pain. “No pain, no gain” isn’t a healthy mantra. This isn’t to say that rest won’t be beneficial, however, it is rare that stopping your training altogether is the best answer.

Most times, we recommend using the injury recovery period to work on other aspects of fitness. If you’re dealing with shoulder pain, why not use the recovery time to focus on unilateral work for the opposite arm, running, or lower body strengthening? If your knee is giving you issues, instead of packing it in, and usually packing on pounds, consider focusing on building strength in your upper body. Or if you truly need 6 to 8 weeks to recover from a procedure, consider using that time to get laser-focused on your nutrition.

In recent years, we have seen many more people with injuries contact us about training at our facility. It’s exciting to see the drive of someone willing to put in the work despite an injury.

At the other end of the spectrum are people that stop exercising because they “can’t get the most out of training because of their injury”. Sometimes I’m able to bite my tongue, however often I’ll ask them tough questions, knowing that if I don’t, it’s likely no one else will. It might be enough to remind them of members like Ren or Dion, who trained at CFW for weeks with a leg in a cast! I’m sure their squat numbers suffered a bit, but they got really good at pull-ups during that time.

Often the biggest motivator for continuing to train when you are injured is that the alternative is so much worse. History will show that if you fall out of rhythm doing something, if you lose that precious momentum, odds are you won’t return to it.

Next time an injury or pain is an obstacle keeping you from your goals, consider seeing it as an opportunity. One of my most important jobs at CFW is making sure that all our members get the guidance they need to achieve their goals, despite the obstacles that present themselves.

So if you are injured, either outside the gym or at the gym, what can you do?

1. Don’t assume you can’t workout. Our coaches are awesome at modifying workouts in a group or personal training setting. Even if you have a broken limb, we keep lots of alternate workouts lying around and we know how important it is to keep your gym momentum going.

2. Talk to the coach! We need to know about injuries so that we can effectively coach you and modify your workouts.

3. Email us to let us know you are injured. First, this allows us to find you some help. We have great physiotherapists, athletic therapists and massage therapists who understand what we do at the gym, and we can refer you to experts. Second, this allows us to communicate your issue to our coaching staff so they are ready to help you when you come to class.

4. Book a goal review. We can discuss the best plan going forward, which is much easier to do in person. This might include some rehab work, customized programming, or a referral to an expert.

Not sure where to start with a nagging injury? Click here to book a goal review and we can help turn your injury into an opportunity for continued growth.

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