Training Through Injury: A Smart Approach to Staying Active and Healthy

By Coach Shawn

Suffering an injury can be frustrating, especially for those who are passionate about movement and their training regimen. 

However, it’s important to remember that setbacks don’t have to mean giving up on your fitness goals altogether. 

With a smart and strategic approach, it’s possible to stay active and continue training while working through an injury.

Pitfalls: The “I’ll Just See How It Feels” Approach:

One common mistake people make when dealing with an injury is being stubborn and continuing to push through things that hurt. 

I hear all too often the classic line “i’ll see how it feels” approach. 

While it’s tempting to test the waters and see how your body responds to exercise, this can often lead to further aggravation of the injury and prolonged recovery time. 

Especially without a strategy, plan or attention to load/volume over time. 

Instead, it’s crucial to approach training with a plan and a focus on long-term health and wellness. Short term step back – for long term progress and healing. 

Progression Based on Potential:

To ensure that you’re training safely and effectively while injured, it’s important to adjust your training intensity based on your potential. 

One method for doing this is to progressively increase the load as your tissues and tendons heal. 

Here’s a simple example of an 8-week progression I’d recommend based on a percentage of your potential 1RM:

  • Week 1: 40% of potential
  • Week 2: 50% of potential
  • Week 3: 55% of potential
  • Week 4: 60% of potential
  • Week 5: 65% of potential
  • Week 6: 70% of potential
  • Week 7: 75% of potential
  • Week 8: 80% of potential

You can use this progression with any movement. From a deadlift to a single arm db press. 

We used something like this to help Julie (Emu) return safely in Large group classes from a recent sciatic nerve flare up. 

Training Within Your Pain Threshold:

When training through an injury, it’s essential to listen to your body and avoid pushing past your limits. 

→ Aim to keep your discomfort level at a maximum of 4 or less out of 10 during your training. 

This means working within a range where you feel some discomfort but can still perform the exercises safely and effectively and the pain is not exceeding a 4/10 or increasing. 

Remember, a little discomfort is normal, but significant pain is a sign that you need to adjust load, movement or even modify your workout.

Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation:

Finally, it’s crucial to continuously monitor your progress and how you feel throughout the training process. 

Pay attention to any changes in your symptoms or discomfort levels and be prepared to adapt your training accordingly. 

This may involve adjusting the intensity, volume, or type of exercises you’re performing to better support your recovery and prevent further injury.

The last piece of the pie: Patience!

Training through an injury requires patience.

This is hard for so many of us active humans. We think our progress will all be lost. 

I assure you – it won’t. 

Training through an injury also requires diligence, and a smart approach. 

By following a structured progression, training within your pain threshold, and continuously monitoring your progress, you can stay active and continue working towards your fitness goals while minimizing the risk of further injury. 

Remember, consistency and smart decision-making are key to a successful recovery and long-term health and wellness. 

That’s why you entrust your Coach.

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