Adversity can take many forms, such as an injury, family-related problems, job-related problems, school, etc. However, the biggest problem to the seasoned weight trainer is none other than injury. All of the other problems seem somewhat diminutive.
It is very difficult to train for a long time and to go without injury. Just ask anyone who has trained seriously for at least a year. He/she will tell you that injuries come with the territory.
I've been training for four years and I've had my share of aches, pains, and injuries. Probably more than I should have for such a short time frame... Regardless, I was stuck in the mentality that one little ache or pain shouldn't deter my training. I believe that if you train intensely and heavy enough, things will hurt and you will feel uncomfortable pain.
However, I also believe that when you suffer an injury that you should have it looked at it immediately by a health professional and cease all lifting.
Once again, I had the mentality that despite whatever I had injured, I would still continue training because I wanted to be the best, and I knew what it took to be the best. My advice to you is to stop, seek professional advice/help, and go from there.
If the doctor tells you to stop lifting, you better listen to him/her. If he tells you to go light, you better listen to him/her. Just do what he/she advises you.
That is the best piece of advice which I never received when dealing with training-related injuries. So, now I am dispensing this advice on to you. So you better read, and pay attention very carefully. It will save you a lot of trouble in the months and years to come.
I bring up the injury issue now because I recently had to deal with a series of injuries. Let me give you an idea how bad these injuries had gotten from the intense and heavy training David and I had endured.
Just three weeks ago, I could not even bench press 135 lbs. for 4 reps without a sharp pain in my right shoulder. I was starting to develop a sharp pain in both of my wrists from all of the heavy lifting. Carpal tunnel, perhaps? I had a swollen left elbow from one particular arm-training session because of heavy training.
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All of my joints felt as if they were rigid and locked. Not exactly the ideal situation one would like to be in, but for me, I knew it was time to give everything a break. So I reluctantly made the decision to cease all training when the school semester ended.
I didn't set foot or even think about setting foot in a gym during the entire break. I felt awful and out of shape, but I knew that this was the best course of action.
I had to look at the entire situation from a optimistic perspective, and I knew that by resting that I would be doing my body more harm than good. Now that I've given my body the rest it so badly needed, I am active in the gym once again. I'm training, albeit not with the intensity that I'm used to.
I'm just making the transition back into the gym an easy one for the next two or three weeks. Then it will be full force once again but with a twist: I will train with slightly lesser poundages than previously, while enduring a higher rep scheme of 10-12 reps.
I have nothing but respect for guys who train heavy and intensely all of the time, like Dorian Yates, but being so young, I need to keep my future in mind. I want to be able to train later in my life and make it a healthy way of living.
I know that if I kept training at the pace I was training at during the past three or four months, I will surely set myself up for permanent injury which will put me out of the gym for good. Not exactly what I (or anyone else) would want.
One thing I have had to let sink into my mind is that I can train intensely and stimulate growth with lesser poundages. I know this is possible because I see a lot of people with quality physiques who train with lighter weights and higher reps.
The trick, however, is near perfect exercise form. I know I have always believed that heavy weights and low reps would get the job done, and I still believe that, but I am faced with a decision. Either I alter my training style or risk serious injury. Hmmm... the answer should be an easy one!
David and I have decided to train this way because David has the Mr. Jr. GA competition in 6 months, and we need to start fine-tuning his physique. We are also going to start cleaning up our diets so we can get the most out of our training. Why start playing with the diet so far out, you ask?
Well, if we can make a habit out of healthy eating so far out, then come crunch time (right before the contest), controlled eating should not be an issue. And so the world of bodybuilding is perfect once again, or is it?
The events of late have forced me to rethink a lot of things concerning my health, training, and eating. I use myself as an example because I hope that you can learn from my mistakes. If you cannot learn from me, then perhaps you need to (unfortunately) experience what I have experienced to fully understand what I am speaking of.
Only then will you realize that I was right the entire time and you have wasted enough training time because of adversity, such as injury!