Training while injured

Few things sting as much as getting hurt and not being able to train while injured. Injuries are a fact of life and they can unfortunately derail you from your goals.
Accidents can happen at home, school, and of course the playing field at any time, so if you’re healthy take advantage and train hard.

However if you are injured, it doesn’t make sense for you to not work out at all. Sometimes injured athletes get left in a limbo state where the coach tells them to just work out “upper body”, or “lower body” or “take it easy”.

For example, one year, we had a kid who broke his foot. Like literally broke it and had a cast, his doc told him to not to work out. After a week of seeing this young man do bench and curls every I asked him about his situation. Turns out his doctor had allowed him to work out but he had to be off his foot when he did. Later on he would be able to put weight on it, but for the next couple of weeks, no lower body exercises at all and any exercise had to be seated or lying down.

Say no more fam

Thats when I made a plan with him. If you’re in the same boat, where you have some sort of injury that is not letting you work out with the team or towards your goal, you might want to do what we did.

Ground RUles

First of all we made two conscious decisions and set the ground rules:

A. Obey your doctor!! Don’t listen to the crazy weight coach (that’s me) over the advice of your doctor. If he says don’t move then jump in a casket and die!
No but seriously follow your doctor’s advice and if they’re being super strict then be honest with them. Tell them something like “I don’t want to go against your orders, but you have to let me do something. What if I don’t use my injured body part?” Just reason with them and they’ll likely work with you.

B. Do not use your injury as an excuse. So you can’t work out legs, thats not an excuse for your upper body to shrivel away.
Your shoulder hurts when you move it? That shouldn’t be a death sentence for your tiny calves.
Your groin hurts when you squat down? Then you can probably still train your hamstrings and around your injury.
Just own your situation and don’t be a victim

Make a menu

So once we made those two decisions we wrote down every exercise we could think of for the rest of the body parts we could use. Our list will be diferent than yours because your injury may limit yours in ways someone else may not be. It also depends on equipment available to you. For example my guys can make use of mostly Dumb Bells, Bar Bells, bands, and med balls. If you’re lucky to have Nautilus Machines or cardio equipment, that’s an advantage you should make use of.

We came up with a menu that looks like this:

Lets GOOOOO!!!

  • Now it’s up to you how you want to approach it. You can ask your coach to help you if they have a preference. But the way we went with it is:
  • Every day you choose a column and you stick with it.
  • Match reps to whatever everyone else is doing. So if the team is going heavy and doing 5×5, then you do the same.
  • Throw in 2 exercises from the core column each day.
  • Don’t repeat a column until you’ve done all of the other ones. So don’t hit chest 3 times a week.
  • If you aggravate your injury then stop!! Move on to the next exercise or choose a different body group. There’s no need to be a tough guy / gal here, we’re trying to train around your injury not through it.
  • Celebrate your gains with a protein shake!

Hey that’s all it takes, we just decided to plan it out and lift toward our goals! Injuries suck but they should not be excuses to get weak. Remember to Lift with Purpose and Be your best!


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