Staying Strong and Strong Minded

At some point in time, we have all tweaked , strained or down right damaged something in our quest to stay fit. And along with the physical pain comes the mental anguish of not being able to do what your mind is trained for and wants to do. Long recovery injuries can really take their toll mentally; it wasn’t too long ago that I was nursing a shoulder issue for over 6 months  and can honestly say that it came close many times to pulling me down.

To be clear, the goal for all of us should include avoiding injury at all cost. We often get carried away, push too hard, lose concentration during reps or don’t warm up and skip stretching properly; all recipes for trouble. While all work can lead to potential issues, pull ups can leave us especially vulnerable and high volume kipping adds to the opportunity for something to get out of kilter. A few thoughts to consider:
Try to only go to fatigue when you are testing your maximum. This really includes most exercises that involves lifting external weigAt some point in time, we have all tweaked , strained or down right damaged something in our quest to stay fit. And along with the physical pain comes the mental anguish of not being able to do what your mind is trained for and wants to do. Long recovery injuries can really take their toll mentally; it wasn’t too long ago that I was nursing a shoulder issue for over 6 months and can honestly say that it came close many times to pulling me down. To be clear, the goal for all of us should include avoiding injury at all cost. We often get carried away, push too hard, lose concentration during reps or don’t warm up and skip stretching properly; all recipes for trouble. While all work can lead to potential issues, pull ups can leave us especially vulnerable and high volume kipping adds to the opportunity for something to get out of kilter.

A Few Thoughts To Consider

Try to only go to fatigue when you are testing your maximum. This really includes most exercises that involves lifting external weight and is particularly important when addressing the pull up.

While we are all tempted to push it to the wall each time we hit the gym, don’t exercise to fatigue too often. It’s easy to do with pull up exercises (especially a WOD with high volume reps required), but it will lead to injury if done too much. Your technique is likely to be poor in the last few reps before fatigue, and there’s a danger of straining a muscle….I have been there for sure.

So when that injury does happen(shoulder and back most often) rest is key but is so very hard for many of us. The thought of taking a few weeks, months or even more off plays havoc with the mind. It’s no fun to lose that training time with the pull up, but there is a point when it just has to happen. Of course a doctors visit is always advisable if things don’t improve over time with rest but often a visit to a good massage therapist or a dose of physical therapy may do the trick.

While healing the body is the obvious goal, the mental calisthenics caused by physical hurt is sometimes just as hard to cope with, if not harder. From my personal shoulder experience, the best advice I can give is to find something that you need to work on that does not aggravate the injured area, but didn’t necessarily earn the necessary training time to master it when at full health. Set goals, make progress and through small victories, the distress from not being at full strength isn’t nearly as hard to deal with. Double Unders (double jumps with a jump rope) were one of my focus areas with my shoulder injury holding me back a bit from other work.

With all of that said, the mind game may be hard to manage so one best just avoid injury altogether. Without a doubt, staying strong minded is the key to staying strong in the long run.ht and is particularly important when addressing the pull up. While we are all tempted to push it to the wall each time we hit the gym, don’t exercise to fatigue too often. It’s easy to do with pull up exercises (especially a WOD with high volume reps required), but it will lead to injury if done too much. Your technique is likely to be poor in the last few reps before fatigue, and there’s a danger of straining a muscle….I have been there for sure.

So when that injury does happen(shoulder and back most often) rest is key but is so very hard for many of us. The thought of taking a few weeks, months or even more off plays havoc with the mind. It’s no fun to lose that training time with the pull up, but there is a point when it just has to happen. Of course a doctors visit is always advisable if things don’t improve over time with rest but often a visit to a good massage therapist or a dose of physical therapy may do the trick.

While healing the body is the obvious goal, the mental calisthenics caused by physical hurt is sometimes just as hard to cope with, if not harder. From my personal shoulder experience, the best advice I can give is to find something that you need to work on that does not aggravate the injured area, but didn’t necessarily earn the necessary training time to master it when at full health. Set goals, make progress and through small victories, the distress from not being at full strength isn’t nearly as hard to deal with. Double Unders (double jumps with a jump rope) were one of my focus areas with my shoulder injury holding me back a bit from other work.

With all of that said, the mind game may be hard to manage so one best just avoid injury altogether. Without a doubt, staying strong minded is the key to staying strong in the long run.

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