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Be a Real Man & Wait For Your Injury To Heal
- Updated: April 21, 2017
People will tell you to “man up” and train the same injured as you do healthy. There are two things to do in that case – tell them to go fuck themselves and then make your own assessment when it’s time to either rest or push it. A few days off will not change your long-term fitness plans, but a rotator cuff tear surely will.
Pulling muscles and soreness are part of the game; we all know that. But only you can feel what’s bothering you and even novices can make a determination on what’s normal and what’s not. Shoulder, elbow and knee pain come with the territory of lifting weights for an extended period of time. And ‘playing with pain’ does become second nature in the gym. But how about those times when you know that it is more than the usual? Here’s where being smart about it comes into play.
Let’s use squats for an example. Your warm-up set is usually 15 reps with 135 pounds on the bar. Even after ample stretching out beforehand, you are feeling pain in one of your knees rep after rep. But you shake it off and start your first working set of 185 pounds. Again, that same knee is bothering you and it is causing you to lessen your range of motion on the way down.
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Should you keep going and bang out a set with two plates on each side like you would any other day on the squat rack? Maybe if you’re into pain, but that would be more fun with a member of the opposite sex, a set of handcuffs and a riding crop.
Sure, it sucks to feel like a quitter, but you will be better off in the long run if you strip down that bar and move on to something less taxing on your knee – if you’re up to it. Maybe it hurts so bad that you should just go home and ice it. But if you still want to warrior it out, jump on the leg extension machine and see how it feels on there. That won’t put as much strain on your knee and it’s also stabilized on the edge of the seat.
Maybe you need to skip doing legs for a week or so and let that knee heal up a little. Don’t worry – those quads won’t shrink in seven days.
Wearing a knee brace may be a good idea when you want to give squats another shot. But there is only one sure way of knowing when it’s fully healed and that is to be able to do the same weight for the same amount of reps with the same range of motion as you did before the injury.