No pain, No gain. We are all familiar with this saying. It indicates that if we do not endure some kind of suffering, we will not make progress or succeed. People use it as a mantra to help them work through tough workouts. While it is good to have some method of getting yourself through a tough workout, we really should be thinking “no brain, no gain”. If we aren’t using our brain and training smart, then we will not see progress and are more likely to get injured.
We should be pushing ourselves so that our muscles are being taxed during workouts. Sore muscles are a good thing, it means that they are getting stronger, more toned, and leaner!! But straight up pain that all of a sudden comes out of nowhere is not good. There is a difference in injuring yourself during a workout and working the muscles. From my own experience, generally, when you are working out the muscles you are using typically may feel a burning sensation, or may feel like they are swelling up (swole- in the fitness world lol). An injury could feel like a stabbing, shooting, ripping pain. A feeling that comes out of nowhere and maybe takes your breath away (not in a good way) and is typically limited to one joint only or one side of the body….this could be an injury.
Everyone is different and has different levels of body awareness. If you can’t tell if what you are feeling is a normal sensation or an injury, the best thing to do is stop, take a break, chat with the coach and then reassess. Sometimes our form may slip slightly and we may feel something in the joint or tendon, rather than in the muscles. This is a good time to stop and then set back up with proper form to see if the pain is still present. If you do suspect that you have injured yourself the best thing to do is rest that area! Attempting to work through the pain is not ideal and can make things worse and lengthen your recovery time. Make an appointment with a medical professional (ECHF has several we work with !! So talk to your coach!!!) to have the area examined.
Still want to workout while waiting on an exam or results of tests?? Think no brain, no pain…. In most cases, you can still workout or do something active while avoiding the injured area. Again, talk to your coaches to get ideas on how to safely work around an injury. You may have to shift gears in the style of training, but you can still work on the unaffected areas with flexibility, stability, and strength.
If you do experience an injury, keep your cool. I know it sucks. I’ve been there. It’s just an obstacle in your path, not a complete roadblock or sinkhole. Keep training smart and you will rebound in no time.