Snap. Crackle. Crunch. Injuries While Training
I like to hop in with some of my athletes while they are benching. It gives me a chance to compete with them a little bit, and stokes the fire for some increased performance in the weight room. At the end of the day, none of my athletes want me to be able to just pop into their workout and out-do them in a lift.
Yesterday something happened.
The last set of 5×5 on the bench was going as expected. The weight was slightly outside the range of that I had been training with, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t get up.
Snap. Crackle. Crunch
My left shoulder did a dance under my skin, and I knew right away that I was finished for the day.
Panic set in.
Shit! I can’t believe this fucking happened, it was the last set, it wasn’t like I wasn’t warmed up, the weight wasn’t crazy I had just done 2 clean reps, I better be ok tomorrow.
Then I relaxed, grabbed a band, and started doing band presses with my left side, 15 reps at a time. By the end of the night, I had done roughly 10 sets of 15, or 150 reps to the “damaged” area.
I got home and the first thing I did was kiss my girlfriend. Then I rubbed my pugs stomach because he loves that ish, and then I ate dinner, took a shower, and got into bed to fall asleep for a solid 7.5 hours.
This morning my shoulder/pec is fine, slightly sore and tender, but for the better part good to go (I can train, but not nearly where I would like to)
What things didn’t you hear me do? Rest, ice, compression or elevation; I also didn’t reach for the pill bottle and start knocking back pain relievers. Today, I also am not going to stretch the muscle to loosen it up, as I have stated many times before, I wouldn’t stretch a torn piece of paper in order to mend its pages.
But don’t we want to stop inflammation?
My friend Tony Bonevechio wrote this in an article for Stack.com:
“Inflammation is part of the natural healing process and a normal function of our immune system. We can’t repair our muscles and tissues without it. Open any biology textbook and you’ll read that inflammation is actually good because it protects the injured area, bringing antibodies, white blood cells and other substances to the site to speed up healing and kill invading particles.”
Why would I ice a body part and stop this function from happening? Doesn’t it seem like a bad idea to stop a function in the body that improves healing?
So what is the take home message here?
- Tweaks and Twinges are going to happen: Quit obsessing over every little thing you feel or sound that happens. Why did my shoulder crack!?!?!? Maybe it needed to? Often times these are the simplest answers to a wide variety of physiological questions, injuries aren’t the only time our body makes a sound.
- Don’t ice and shut yourself down: You aren’t dead, you can still do SOMETHING, and it seems with growing support that doing something is the key to improving the time to recovery. That doesn’t mean only working the area we injured, but also working on the general system. Improvements everywhere help with improvements locally. Injuries happen, find a way
- If it is bad, go to a doctor: Pushing through and “grinding” through pain makes us worse. We compensate, we adjust position, we back off intensity, and we set ourselves up for issues in the long run. Go get it checked out and find what is the issue and then go back to #2.
No…no we don’t train with this. At least not directly.
Today I am doing step ups, TRX rows and some mobility work. I also am going to pop on the bike for a few rounds of HIT. Total time: 40 minutes – it isn’t always the intensity but the consistency that changes you the most, don’t let small injuries rob you of that.
Here is a link to a republication of Tony’s article:
Here is a link to Tony’s site: