I get a lot of questions pertaining to physical strength training and how I can help.
The first question I ask is “Has your doctor cleared you for resistance exercise?”
If the answer is no, you must get doctors clearance first and then come back.
If the answer is yes, we proceed to the next step, which is to find out what ones goal(s) is/are and where their body is physically (through an assessment) so as to determine the best course of action for that individual.
You see, it’s not wise to have everyone do the same program, because, well, not everyone is the same or after the same things.
Common sense you would think, eh?
After this we begin the program and there is definitely a ‘breaking in’ period.
The same holds true for someone coming back from an injury, or a long layoff and even when switching gears to a different program than they are used to.
There are programs to burn fat, build muscle, increase endurance and so on.
Some of us like to lift heavy weights. Some of us like more endurance. And some of us like combinations of both. (Or something else depending on the situation)
What I’m getting at is, we all have a wheelhouse where we are comfortable.
And when I find out what that is, I’ll usually start someone there HOWEVER, I will have have them step out of that comfort zone at some point and work on things they don’t like or are not ‘good’ at.
You may be saying, why? Exercise should be fun, right?
Yes, it can absolutely be fun, however, my job is to help challenge folks and get them to there goals and invariably, that requires us to grow and adapt in ways that we might not ‘want’ to but will help you to get to your goals, safely and quickly.
For example, if I have someone who loves weightlifting but I see they need to move better and have more mobility, I will have them work on moving better first with mobility exercises, which will enhance there ability to weight lift more often and with heavier weights, because they will be safer doing so.
Another example, if I have someone who moves very well but I see they could use more overall strength, I will have them do more resistance exercise which will help them move stronger and enhance there movement capabilities by keeping there joints safer and building usable muscle in all the right places.
And one more example, both of those groups of people can always use more endurance to keep their bodies holding up under stress. Whether that be helping a friend move without throwing out their back or chasing after their grand kids without blowing out a ligament in their knees etc…
One concern that crops up time after time is someone will ‘feel’ a muscle way more than they ever used to, or there program makes them a little uncomfortable and I hear “John, I feel (insert issue) and I’m not sure what that means.”
And the question I will then ask is “Are you hurt, or are you injured?”
To which, I usually get a blank stare or a look that could ice over hell…
What’s the difference?
Being hurt means you have a sore muscle (or ego) but you can still perform exercise, either with less intensity (weight), less volume (reps) or less density (overall work) or some combination of all of them.
However, It does not mean doing nothing or skipping a day, as that only sets you back even further.
We can always find something to work on, even if it’s more breathing exercises.
It’s ok to not be ok and the nature of strength training is to help you grow and adapt, which takes being uncomfortable sometimes and without sounding like a jerk, sucking it up a little bit while working through it.
If it were easy, everyone would be strong and in shape all the time and my job would be obsolete.
Being injured means you are in excruciating pain like: you tore a muscle or severely injured your joints, soft tissues, tendons or ligaments.
You will know when you are injured as your body will not let you continue properly and you will NOT train through that kind of pain.
It requires a medical intervention (usually orthopedic) to get cleared.
A caveat here is, a good coach will not have you do something that breaks you down and injures you, but rather builds you up and enhances your abilities.
That’s what we do here at Bair Knuckle Strength.
We help you Move Stronger and Live Longer while building you up, not breaking you down.
So the next time you ‘feel’ something wonky, ask yourself:
Am I hurt? (then maybe I have to suck it up and be smart)
or injured? (then I have to get to a doctor, asap)
And if you’re still not sure, shoot me a message and I’ll help you get to the bottom of it 🙂