I cannot speak of the countless times out of shape individuals walk through my door looking for a quick fix of some caliber. They all have a certain ‘greasy’ sheen of light surrounding them similar to an alcoholic’s body odor.
‘I use to be a football player (lifter…enter high school sport here) and I use to be fit and exercise all the time’ seems to be the most COMMON statement, especially from males.
They are using the word ‘use to’ and are looking for some connection that will guarantee them the perfect reenactment of their PAST achievements or vanity-driven bodies.
In my head, the response is something like “WOW! That was 30 years ago and you have completely let yourself go in all areas! There is absolutely NO PROGRAM or tool that can undo THAT kind of neglect”….OUCH!
My words are truth and yet some people might view them as too harsh. So I adjust, hedging my actual response into something more digestible for the EGO.
It’s never too late.
We can certainly help you reach your goals.
C’mon and give us a try.
It takes small steps/baby steps.
Seriously, if we could simply look at the 40/50 something overweight, stressed out, beer drinking, over extended, tobacco using, trash eating individual currently on 2 or more prescriptive medications talking about how they want to LOSE this (grabs a part of their body and jiggles it)….the one whose EGO says they already know HOW because they did it 25 years ago…and speak the truth, where would we be as a fitness industry?
Legitimately we would be right here…
Ma’am, I am not concerned with what your stomach looked like at age 17. That moment is past. You are morbidly obese and this ‘masterpiece’ you are looking to achieve is going to take a lot of work and consistency to BEGIN to see changes.
Sir, nothing is going to OMIT your protruding belly and weak glutes just by way of a conversation. Your lifestyle is toxic. You drink entirely too much alcohol and your current daily lifestyle is a major factor in your current unhealthy body composition. Consistency, listening and patience are the keys.
Ma’am, I understand you have knee issues, however, your excess visceral body fat has nothing to do with your knees. Your food choices, excuses and lack of consistency over a period of time are the culprit.
Sir, your tendinitis, herniated disc, patellofemoral syndrome, high blood pressure, pre-diabetic medical results, shoulder pain are all directly relate to one thing….EGO! Stop overtraining. Stop refueling with chemicals. Stop spending nights out at the bar, calling it stress relief. LISTEN and STOP ignoring the truth.
In every case, the EGO takes ahold and prevents the individual from looking inward for the reasons they are in their present state, no matter if that state is emotional or physical!
Therefore, the EGO is the number one indicator relative to injury. So how do your navigate the ego and work towards injury prevention?
Let’s take a 48-year old man. He’s out of shape, works a stressful job, has a family; lots of bills and obligations! He wants to shed some belly fat and get strong like he was when he played ‘high school football’, but he has low back and knee issues.
You agree to work with him, but find that during each session, you are met with a huge EGO! He doesn’t listen to your recommendations. He continually grabs the weights the others use. He gives off the air of ‘arrogance’ or ‘know-it-all’ dom.
Over time, you find you stop helping him because you know he is an injury waiting to happen. You listen to his complaints of pain without empathy because you already KNOW the issue.
Injury comes in three phases: the preventative phase, the injury phase and the recovery phase.
In the preventative phase, the focus is on NOT getting injured. This is where the EGO often gets in the way, telling you that you can go harder, faster, stronger. This is when you may hear the erroneous statement ‘no pain, no gain’.
It is important to perform all movements in a manner congruent with your body’s CURRENT capability. Sure, you may WANT to do that crazy muscle up like your 20-year old granddaughter or perform a twice-your-body-weight deadlift like the guy next to you. But are you fully capable in the present to do so without injury?
Genetics, physical limitations, hormones, bone structure, past injuries, energy levels, appropriate nutrition, overuse and a host of other variables ALL contribute to our CURRENT capability.
To prevent injury, listening to your body is the number ONE step. If you feel pain, weirdness, stiffness, difficulty breathing, hit a wall of energy or have reservations in performing certain movements, you MUST listen to these signs. Some may simply require additional information, while others may be a VERY REAL billboard advertising your limits!
Prevention is the cure to all things. An ounce is worth a lot, I’ve heard. Don’t get injured and you won’t suffer injury!
Once you suffer injury, or you have the signs of impending injury, you have crossed over! Somewhere along the line, YOU did not listen to your body or your intuition telling you this movement MAY not be good for you or the number of reps may be too high or the depth isn’t for you.
You allowed your EGO to say ‘you can do it….just push through it! Grab that heavier weight and prove to them what a badass you really are! It’s on the board or in the program so it must mean you have to perform it exactly as written”.
Swelling, chronic pain, weakness, limited movements, bruising, lowered performance and of course, the obvious results of ankle rolls, pain from improper form and trauma are all INJURIES.
I sustained a knee injury just four days ago! Unknown to me, I pulled something in the front of my knee. The bursa sac in the back of the knee began holding fluid and by the next day, I felt an uncomfortable tightness in my gait. No real pain, but tightness.
My EGO stepped in and I performed a max effort row test the very next day. The knee became tighter, with greater movement restrictions. On day 3, I let both my EGO and my empathy take over, and I injured myself even further helping out a fellow client. Now, I couldn’t move!
What started as minor tightness ended up creating a greater issue, putting me out for a day and limiting my workouts in the present.
Those who know ME know that no broken bone or pain will STOP me! I find a way to navigate every scenario. But the fact that I allowed my own EGO to dominate without listening to my body’s cues is anything but NOBLE! In fact, it’s downright stupid!
The EGO is stupid.
If you do find yourself in pre-injury or an injured state, don’t quit or give up everything and allow yourself to go into a state of depression, focusing on what use to be!
No!!! Find suitable alternatives that allow you to work around the injury while maintaining an active lifestyle.
Once you finally recover and heal from your injury and you begin returning to a state of normalcy, low swelling or reduced pain, it is crucial to pay attention to what increases the risk of reinjury and educate yourself on how to strengthen the supporting muscles. Moreover, understand what you did wrong to cause the injury and making a commitment to yourself not to ignore prevention!
Today, I worked out with the class. We performed running, rows, jump ropes, battle ropes and flutter kicks. Instead of running, I walked 1/2 the distance. Instead of using my knee for rowing, I focused on my calories per pull without over flexing or locking out my knee. Instead of speed ropes, I performed a one-leg jump rope. Instead of walking lunges, I performed seated one arm presses. The rest of the workout was performed in the same manner as the class.
This is both an example of working around an injury and preventing further injury.
The main thing with preventing further injury while recovering from a current injury is setting the EGO on the back burner and listening to the voices of reason trying to help you slow down, recover and HEAL.
The EGO plays a major role in the lives of some people. While it holds value in certain circumstances, it is important to understand and embrace its very negative impact on the body when it comes to movement and exercise in terms of injury risk.
I hear people talk on the daily about how many injuries they have sustained, as if there is some PRIDE in this! Surgeries caused by a lifetime of EGO is nothing to be proud of! Knee and back injuries caused by overuse and poor form is not an achievement medal.
You have ONE capable body. Wouldn’t you like to enjoy it to it’s full potential for an entire lifetime?
Stop listening to your EGO!