How to prevent injury
Did you know, there are only four ways you can get injured during your training (apart from dropping a weight on your head, rolling your ankle or missing a box jump)?
Read this, and then read it again.
You can only get injured if you lift:
- too heavy (intensity)
- too fast (speed)
- too much (volume)
- too often (lack of recovery)
During training, we all want results RIGHT NOW, which is why we often push too hard past our capacity and tolerance. Injuries most commonly occur to muscles that are neglected due to altered movement patterns, which decreases their capacity, but are then forced to exceed their tolerance in a single bout (or repetitive overuse).
Think the rotator cuff grouping for example. They don’t get worked too hard in general life, but then we decide we want to swing off bars and put things above our heads 100 times during a workout. It’s only going to end one way. Your job is to constantly increase the capacity of the weakest links so that your overall fitness can move forward. By having more capacity (strength and endurance) we are able to perform more work and therefore increase our ability to starve off injury.
Who would get injured first.
- The guy who has the capacity to deadlift 200kg or the guy who has the capacity to deadlift 50kg?
- The woman who has the capacity to run 25km or the woman who can only run 5km?
What happens if the second guy tries to deadlift 70kg? Or if he tries to deadlift 40kg for 50 reps. (that’s 80% of his 1RM for 50 reps, whereas it is only 25% of the first athlete).
We need to take these work capacity and intensity calculations into account when we train. EVERYTHING IS RELATIVELY PROPORTIONATE TO YOUR WORK CAPACITY AND TOLERANCE. Take the time to isolate the weak links and watch your performance increase and your injuries vanish.
In order to stay pain free, you must adhere to the MCI principle
- Mechanics (move well: strength, mobility and motor pattern)
- Consistency (be able to repeat the movement with unconscious competence. Ie. without thinking)
- Intensity (start progressively overloading the stimulus with increased volume and increased intensity. You’ve got to get close to the stimulus without overreaching)
- Recovery: Your adaptations don’t start with the stress of training, they start when your recovery begins. The stress of training is DEstruction, whereas the recovery period is the CONstruction. Make sure you’re giving your body a chance to recover and provide the adaptations you are seeking.
If you have gone through a stage of injury, you need to reassess your current capacity and rebuild to your pre-injury state (or better yet, beyond). If you fail to recover to pre-injury levels, there will be an ongoing, negative cycle until you are forced to give up.
Remember everything is relatively proportionate to your work capacity and tolerance.