Weight Lifting With an Injury
For serious weight lifters out there, injuries are the last thing that you would want to happen. It is not uncommon to get injuries in the gym, but a big question is whether or not you should continue lifting when you have an injury.
Back in 2008, I injured my wrist while bench pressing. I was pressing too much weight and my hands were angled back too far instead of being in line with my wrist. That lead to all the stress being ultimately placed on my wrist joint and a sprain occurred, keeping me away from bench pressing for a while.
When it comes to weight lifting with an injury, it’s pretty common sense that you should assess your situation and determine if it’s a serious one or not. Like for myself. I had a wrist injury, so I stayed away from direct heavy pushing movements and any movements that required me to turn my wrist, such as supinated dumbbell curls. I only decided that I needed rest on the joint after I kept pushing on for another few workouts, preventing the healing process and worsening the joint. That was a pretty dumb thing to do on my part.
The biggest tip that I can give you when it comes to training with an injury is: do not be stubborn. I know too many guys that will often workout with an injury. They will wrap up their knees, wrists or whatever part that hurts and continue to push on. That is the worst possible thing that you can do. I know staying away from the gym will cut down on your muscle gains and training, but you have to be smart about it. Do not be like me. Training with an injury can often make it way more severe and could even lead to more time away from the gym.
The simple fact is that anyone who trains with heavy weights will always have the potential to sustain an injury, whether a serious or mild one. If you feel like you have pulled something or injured yourself, the first thing you need to do is to get out of the gym. It doesn’t matter if this was the first set of your workout. Like I said, you should think about what pushing on can do in the long run rather than thinking about the moment.
That being said, if your injury is severe and you are forced to stay away from the gym for a while, it’s best to keep your diet on track to prevent any muscle loss. Keep your calories at your maintenance level and protein levels high to prevent any muscle loss. If you keep your calories and protein intake sufficient to your body’s needs, your body can preserve its muscle mass for up to a month.
When you do decide that it’s time to get back into the gym, you should always take note to listen your body first and make sure to ease yourself back in. Don’t assume that you can just come back and train with 100% of the weight and intensity that you were training with before your injury. Always have a few sessions where you lift with lighter weights and use moderate intensity to gauge where you are to make sure your injury is healed properly.
Though this subject should be common sense, I thought it would be a good idea to post on this topic for my readers who are stubborn and have not sustained an injury, so you can be prepared if an injury ever does happen.