Even Machines Need Rest. Slowing Down is Not Stopping.
Being motivated towards staying active is very important towards achieving the goals. Consistency without a doubt is a key component in every fitness journey. Physical activity is meant to be a lifestyle to endure forever. This being said, during every journey there are tough times where the goal in target seems to be under a thread, and the fitness journey is not any different.
Certainly, the body will be challenged in several ways (increasing weight, reps, times of training per week, etc) and sometimes the body will not always react the best way towards these challenges. For as much care and thought as we put into our training, sometimes unforeseen situations occur. The body and mind can be presented with an even greater challenge: Injury or pain.
As mentioned before, injuries can be prevented with the care that every trainer should encourage towards their clients. Regardless of the fitness level and/or goal they aim to attain: proper technique, proper progression, mobility, among other important aspects should be a priority. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent 100% of injuries from happening, it is something we need to learn how to manage, adapt, solve and keep moving forward. So the question is, what to do when presented with an injury? As well, what not to think?
Well, towards the first question there are crucial steps to follow:
Understand where the problem is coming from, and work towards fixing the source of pain rather than where the pain presents itself.
Adapt the routines to this new injury as time and patience are key to go back stronger
Understand and recognize that it is time to take a step back and “take off some weight from the bar” and/or modify the movements
Be consistent towards the modified sessions as it will be crucial towards recovery
There is one important step even before all of the mentioned above and it is the step that will help the mind with the presented challenge. Do not feel discouraged if the injury comes to place, slowing down does not mean stopping.
When injuries happen or pain is presented and movements need to be modified, many people tend to put themselves in the position of negativity. A prime example of this are the following thoughts: “This sucks, I will never get where I want to be this way” or “I’m getting old, this is not for me, I might have been too ambitious”. People tend to think that going to the gym and being motivated is going non-stop no matter what. When in fact, the best way to be consistent is to do the things that are necessary to keep the body moving towards their goal.
It can be less weight, different exercise, mobility within the sessions, a whole session dedicated to mobility, whatever is the case and the medium used, the most important thing to remember is that there is no stopping. It is a detour. A slower route but consistent, which will bring back the main way. The journey is the goal but the process itself will get you closer to your goal than not doing anything at all.