In the gym world, especially the strength type gyms like our’s, injuries are a common thing. People come to me every single day and ask me what I think their particular aches and pains are. Luckily for them after lifting heavy for 35 years I have experienced just about every minor injury and a few major ones too. In some ways I offer them better ways how to handle their injuries than these foolish, overly cautious doctors who just worry about getting sued give them. Sure there are many ways to avoid injury, mobility work, foam rolling, different kinds of warm-ups and stretches. But sometimes they still hit you when you least expect it.
Take Cheeno for instance, Cheeno is a young guy at my gym who was doing well with his weight training and then broke a bone in his lower leg playing hockey. It wasn’t displaced and did not require surgery but they had to put a cast on it for six weeks. Not being experienced with sports injuries himself he assumed he would never squat again, never do cleans again, would require months of rehab just to walk properly again, etc. Meanwhile he tells me this tale of woe and in my experienced mind I’m thinking, “Ok a simple broken bone, doesn’t require surgery, the Dr says stay off it for six weeks, I will stay off it for two weeks, start walking on it with the cast on till four weeks, then remove the cast with power tools in my garage, be back to full training on my own two feet in five or six weeks.” He thinks I’m fucking nuts but I couldn’t get through to him just how minor this bullshit was and that as soon as they take off his cast he’ll never look back and be training at full capacity in a few weeks. Of course just as predicted he’s already totally fine and can’t believe I was actually right. Hell yeah I was right, I have been through that crap a hundred times.
Please don’t read into this like I’m trying to come off like some kind of hard ass to prove to you what a man I am, because that’s not what this is about. I’m just the kind of an athlete that hates being on the sidelines and loves to train and thus hate seeing other people needlessly on the sidelines as well. And yes, there is an important lesson here that goes along with this info. Most people that are new to the world of strength training and lifting heavy weights just don’t understand that you’ll have to just accept a certain amount of Â “collateral damage” in your life to get ahead. And by “accept” I mean forge ahead without flinching, taking the minor setbacks in stride and quickly devise a plan to work around it and keep going without missing a beat. The sooner you learn to accept minor bodily damage, the harder you will start to train and will begin to train without fear. This fundamental building block is a very big key to building long term strength.