Weightlifting Injury Recovery
Here you'll find a personal story about (and some very basic advice on) weightlifting injury recovery. How to get back in shape after an accident in the gym and recovering from a minor weight training injury requires a unique outlook on your situation. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.
An injury sustained while weight training could put you out for a long time, but not only because of physical limitations. Being stopped in your tracks from doing something you love could be more damaging than the weightlifting injury itself, which is why maintaining a positive attitude is essential to a quick recovery.
Several years ago, while performing a heavy barbell curl, I injured my lower back. For close to a year afterwards I would feel discomfort when working my abs. I also had to decrease the amount of weight used for most of my exercises. I thought I would never again be able to work out the way I wanted to and, possibly even worse, never gain another pound of muscle.
Something unexpected, however, came out of that experience; I learned to listen to my body. I stopped looking at what other people were doing, and began thinking about what was best for me. In a way, the dangerous back injury I sustained was well worth it.
Throughout the first couple of months following my injury I began gradually accepting that if I wanted to continue enjoying my weight training workouts, I had to go a little lighter on the weights. My workouts did get better, but what was surprising was that I also began to build muscle almost effortlessly. I want you to accept and understand the fact that there's always a reason for why we get injured, a reason deeper than "I went a little too heavy" (and yes, you could have been tired or stressed out on that particular day, but it's deeper than that as well). Often the way to achieving your objectives is disguised as an unfortunate or undesirable occurrence.
Since becoming a member of a gym for the very first time, my goal has been to gain muscle mass. Even though I did achieve great results in my initial six months of training, after that point it was incredibly difficult to do so. I had to do everything perfectly, and still, I was no Adonis. Backtrack to my weight training injury, and once again having no other choice but to perform exercises using lighter weights - my first reaction to this new type of training was one of anger towards myself for not having known my limits... and so I started thinking somewhat obsessively about how I "could have" avoided the incident.
I was afraid that I would never reach my muscle mass potential. But as it turned out, pushing lighter weights was the solution to getting bigger. I eventually didn't feel anymore discomfort in my back while working my abdominals, and I broke through all my muscle growth plateaus. Today, physically, I'm nearly 100%. But I continue to use lighter weights because it is what works best for me.
Don't quit because of a minor weightlifting injury... or major injury for that matter. Everything that happens to you is a lesson. It teaches you about yourself. When you look at things in that way, achieving your goals becomes much easier. You can recover from the worst of injuries, and turn out better than ever.
Understandably, if you're a power-lifter, a weight training injury forcing you to lift a third of what you were used to can definitely put a damper on things. From my experiences & observations, most individuals who suffer injuries in the gym are almost completely healed within months. More importantly, what separates those who continue along their desired path from those who don't is determination. Injuries, setbacks, they'll always be part of your path; Therefore, remaining still in your demeanor & conviction, and moving forward no matter what, is what makes the difference - and is what ultimately gets you super-natural results.
Note: In the case where you sustain a weight training injury, be sure to contact your general practitioner immediately. S/he will give you recommendations on how to lessen the negative effects of the injury. Doing this may save you days, weeks, months, or even years of recovery time. Common advice is applying cold to the affected area for approximately 30 minutes, followed by heat (also for 30 minutes), followed by extremely light activity/movement, and then repeating this process; The number of times depends on the gravity of your injury.