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Training While Injured

This is from Bill:

"Oh my god I can’t believe how much better it feels, normally it'd take weeks to feel better.
But I exercised every day this time, usually I'd lie up and protect it "

Bill hurt herself doing something mundane.

We all do it.

We love to talk about all our cool injuries.

That time we were setting a PR and.....

It was the closing minutes of the final round when......

I'd never gone so fast in my left when......

But in real life, it's so often something trivial that trips us up.

Reaching for something

Bending to lift something


Setting up or taking down a lift in the gym

Doing a day of unfamiliar work

And that is just life.

Bil had pulled and recurring injury. A simple thing that is never a problem until it occasionally becomes a problem.

But this time round, they treated it differently.

Like most people, when Bill feels this pain the first thing they think of is to rest it.

This is rarely the best idea.

This time though, they exercised every day, gentle exercise, exploring how much movement they can get away with without aggravating the injury.

And this time, the time spent in pain was greatly reduced. It was counted in days rather than weeks.

Read that again.

Days, not weeks.

More often than not, with low level aches and pain, minor stuff, rest is the last thing you need.

And if I'm honest, even with fairly major stuff, as soon as you have medical clearance, you should be getting back moving.

I've lost count of the amount of people who come in to me on crutches for upper body only training, or with their arm in a cast to do leg lower body sessions.

Why do we think this works?

Simply put, blood and lymph flow.

Almost all the healing substrates are delivered by the blood and the lymph.

And guess what ships away the waste? Yup, blood and lymph.

So when we elevate the heart rate, stimulate the central nervous system and get that lovely cascade of hormones that training gives us, that blood pumps around the entire body, including the injured area.

The time after training is the recovery window where "supercompensation" occurs, ie any tissues that were strained/damaged during training are not only repaired but upgraded slightly.

The theory is, if there's a pre-existing injury, tissue damaged before training, then that gets the same upgrades.

The second, and potentially more valuable part of the equation is the psychological side of things.

When we see ourselves as fit, strong, capable human animals, an injury can knock that.

If our routine includes training and exercise, and we stop that because of injury, that's a further knock.

But, if we find a way to continue to train, continue to exercise, even if it's in a compromised manner, adjusted to our injury state, then we are still maintaining that identity of a physical animal, a person who trains, a person who is making forward progress.

Is this proven and true?

I actually can't say.

Anecdotally, it is 100%, assuming care is taken and we don't do anything to make the injury worse.

In research, I have no idea.

In Bill's case, it was certainly true from the comment I received and started this email with.

There is always something you can do.

If you can't figure what and need help, reach out, that's my job, helping people.

And don't forget to reach out with your questions and comments for future newsletters.

I love getting them and love answering them.

Did you see as well, I'm experimenting with following these emails up with a youtube video?

I'm still figuring this out, I'm not really a youtube guy, but it seems that everyone is doing it, so why not join them.

If you prefer to read rather than watch, ignore that.


Dave Hedges

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