Dealing with a injury that interferes with training is hardly anything new when it comes to the fitness enthusiast. It goes without saying that when you're pushing the limits of your body for the sake of athletic improvement, some discomfort does come with the territory. Yet, training with an injury is something of a tight-rope walk. Here are some ways you can keep the gains-train chugging along while minimising the risk of a breakdown.
- Scale back on your training
This is a healthy compromise between not training and training. You may want to consider cutting back on activities that place your body under high amounts of stress for an extended period of time, such as high-intensity interval training, as a slight error could actually do more harm than good to your body. If you feel that you’re unable to perform, but still want to get some training done, scale back on either the weight, the intensity, or both.
- Listen to your body and let your trainer know how you’re feeling
If for example, you feel a strain in your lower back while you deadlift, it may be your body trying to tell you something. Let your trainer know so that he/she can help determine the cause and either help you address the area or suggest a different movement altogether. Don’t see it as complaining or giving up - your body is providing important feedback and you need to take it seriously.
- Your state of mind is just as important
Where you are mentally can have a greater impact on the outcome of your training than most people would think. It's okay to feel the need to give yourself some extra time to adjust yourself before you get back into training, especially if you've just emerged from the other end of a traumatic experience. If you have a trainer or gym buddies, you may wish to confide in them so that they’ll know to look out for you when you’re back in training mode. Sometimes, a smile, a pat on the back or someone cheering you on during your work set may give you the extra push that you need during training.
Of course, if you still feel like you are not up to it after a few days, do consult a medical professional. Consistent pain, fatigue, or other ailments may be signs of something more serious and it’s best to catch it at the early stages before it gets worse. You can't fix everything at the gym after all!