The importance of coming to the gym even when you're injured!

Friday, November 29, 2019 Benoit Poirier Tips, Programming


Injuries are an unfortunate situation, not only must you tend to it, but it also comes with a cost. The time and money it takes to go to a physio/chiro/massage therapist. But it also comes with a more insidious cost: the one to your fitness. 

Does it have to be so? In my honest opinion, no. There are a few reasons you should keep coming to the gym even when you’re injured. 

1: Motivation

Here’s a little known feature of motivation: it’s self perpetuating. Which means that any behaviour we cease to do, whether good or bad, we do less of as the days go on. On the other hand, any behaviour we express will be easier to express the more we do it. What does it means for your fitness? Well, all is good as long as you maintain your schedule and keep walking in the gym. It’s when we stop coming that the wheels fall off. And the longer we’re away, the harder it becomes to come back. The next time you get injured, try to show up anyways, it reinforces the behaviour and makes it easier to keep coming.

2: Better recovery

One of the quirks of the human body is that movement is rehabilitating. Any physio worth his salt will have you moving the affected area as soon as is able (even with fractures, as soon as the cast comes off). A totally sedentary lifestyle is a sure-fire way to increase recovery time and worsen your mood during your recovery. And in the case where one side of the body is affected, training the other side might lead to short term gains on that side, but your body will then fight hard to rebalance after recovery. This can be leveraged to come back stronger after the injury.

3: Technique

Is there a movement you really struggled with prior to injury? Time for some learning to occur! This is a personal story, but I’m better at snatching than prior to my wrist injury, because for six months, the focus when snatching was to snatch well. When I could start loading again, I was much better for it! This could work for any complex movement, and had the added benefit of keeping you engaged through the injury, and after the injury! Making immediate progress after some time off is a wonderful feeling!

4. The social aspect

I like to think that people come to the gym for more than the workout. In fact, one of the best parts of CrossFit is entering an environment on a regular basis with a coach and other people you care about, who care about you. Don’t deprive yourself of their support by staying home while you’re injured.

Now, there are different degrees of injury, from nagging pain to full blown incapacitation. It is up to you and your coach to have a class by class discussion of relevant scaling options. Just know that in most cases, there are solutions to be found, so that you can still participate in class, be part of the group, and perpetuate a winning behaviour!



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AMRAP 15 T2B-GHD-Hipext

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"AMRAP 15
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15 Hip Extension sur GHD"

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