Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
December 25, 2017
While we are preparing for the week of future fitness with the standard holiday “carb loading,” we have to think about one of the most important aspects of fitness as the new year approaches. Consistency is the key to success, and maintaining that schedule of success is essential in building a healthy foundation for your life. Now, this will never be easy, for the standard struggles of life will surely get in the way of your progress. For me, that is the never-ending stream of stress at work and the fact I will be going into the new year with four straight months of forced overtime. I don’t like overtime, because those hours do add up and disrupt my work-life balance. So yeah, I will continue with that for the new year. The reason why you need to maintain the consistency is because it keeps you loose, ready and maintained. When you have an inconsistent schedule, our minds continue to think those lapses won’t cause any issues with our abilities. So we continue to do the weights and movements we think we can do, and that is where the subject of today’s blog can lead to. Injuries happen from time to time, and properly dealing with them is essential in the whole process of fitness. Whether it be because your body went a little too hard or an accident occurred, you have to manage that injury in a way that will either A) allow you to heal properly and maintain some form of fitness or B) force you to take active rest measures. What I mean by active rest measures is that if the injury is bad enough, you might need to do extremely scaled back exercises and movements that allow you to keep some semblance of fitness while healing. For example, if you hurt your shoulder on the job, you want to focus more on resting that shoulder rather than trying to push. Scaled back workouts for the shoulder will have to be constructed while you try to push other areas in the absence of those shoulder workouts.
The physical side of dealing with injuries can be complex, especially if the injury is bad enough where physical therapy is prescribed for you. Either way, some of the best tips involved for the physical side of the coin can be found in this nifty little article. https://www.active.com/health/articles/4-key-strategies-for-dealing-with-an-injury?page=1 One of the best tips I have consistently seen through the research is adjusting your goals. A lot of people have this issue where they get angry about not being able to do as much as they used to before the injury. Like the old guy at the gym that boasts he used to bench over 350, but can barely get 200 on most days (provided he could bench 350 at one point at all, which is typical from most basic gym bros). For me, my shoulders are merely okay and have been a source of problems for me, so bench pressing huge amounts of weight (also the lack of spotter doesn’t help) is not really in the cards for me right now. I do want to be able to push over 200 on the bench on a consistent basis, but that is just not where I am at. When I get into a better place, I might attempt to make that a bigger part of my workout regimen. It’s also similar when it comes to the issues with my tendinitis riddled wrists. 405 pounds on the deadlift has been my limit for the moment, mainly because my grip is fairly nominal. When I get a little better with my grip, perhaps I can really pull some heavier weights. One other important thing often mentioned is the adjustment in nutrition. Now obviously, when you are working out, you have to intake so many calories to make up for the lost calories. If you continue to eat the same when you were able to go full force in the gym, obviously some of your weight goals might not be met due to the increase in calories. Either way, it might mean shaving off a couple hundred calories a day or taking smaller portions with your meals while you adjust your workout program. Trust me the biggest problem I have dealt with is this particular detail. There were days where I would eat way too much food, mainly because I was running so much during that time. Then my injury happened, and I was so used to eating heavily due to the running, that I ultimately gained weight as a result. So yes, don’t be like me. Aside from making the standard adjustments, there comes the toughest part of the equation….the mental side.
Clearly, I have a lot of experience in this particular arena, from both sides of the coin. First of all, there is the frustration of not being as good as you used to be. This can be difficult for a pair of reasons. 1) you either go too hard and hurt yourself more when you feel you are ready, of 2) you lose interest in the process because you are convinced that you will never get back to where you were. For me, I am really stuck in the second part. My running has been sporadic at best. Couple with an illness and the fact my hours are killing me at work (as well as a new found love for Madden Football) I have not been as good as I need to be in that department. I want to get back to the point of where I used to be, running nine minute miles for nearly ten miles at a time. I felt amazing and good when I did this, but a leg injury caused all of this to go to hell. And it frustrates me that I cannot get back to that point so easily. Some days I really want to go out and get the job done and rebuild, but here there are days where I step outside and realize “maybe I should just stay in and watch Youtube videos.” Trust me, just about everyone falls into this trap, with the second half of that trap being “I will start on the new program next week.” Don’t ever feel bad if you fall into this slump, because we have all fallen on these hard times. So while I have fortunately not hurt myself in the process of my rebuilding, I have hurt myself mentally. It’s going to be a tough road to get inspired again, especially when I feel my life is in a rut.
The other mental issue is of course pushing yourself too hard. This too happened to me and led to another injury. Often times, we often think that if we did it before, we can do it again. When I ran Ragnar Del Sol last year, I knew I could handle the pressure and the running, but due to an injury I just did not have the mileage under my belt. I barely survived, getting through my worst race and aggravating the very injury I kind of got over. And then the soreness, fatigue and mental exhaustion hit culminated in more problems, where I didn’t even attempt to run for several months. That rebuilding process has been long and problematic, and this is where everyone needs to understand there limits. From a recent article we published here at Parsons, managing your expectations and setting small goals is key to this. For me, just getting out and down three runs a week is tough. I will get back, but it will be a process. That is definitely what you will also come across when you deal malaise and injury. That is why you need to manage your expectations accordingly and get back into the game at the right pace.
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.