A lot of people have a pretty big challenge when it comes to getting into shape
…having an injury…
It can be hard enough getting in to shape at the best of times but having an injury can make it even harder.
Here is my 4 Phase plan for getting awesome results FAST even when you have an injury.
12 months ago after a very long day training clients in my Personal Training studio I lifted a 25kg weight plate awkwardly and felt a massive pain in my back.
At the time I didn’t think too much of it.
For the next session I ran up the massive hill out in front of my studio with my client and his guide dog who was preparing for the City to Surf Run and I felt a sharp pain.
– the Next morning –
OMG I took 35 mins to stand up getting out of bed- so bad
I could not even dress myself
I needed help putting on my undies and clothes and if I tripped or sneezed OMG such pain..
For 5 days I could not stand without painkillers and a hot water bottle first.
I didn’t want to let down my clients and the only way I payed my bills was through training clients in my studio.
So a long recovery was not an option.
Heal and Repair.
This phase can be about making a fast track to recovery or it may be about getting the most out of your current injury.
For many injuries at this stage you will need to find a great physio.
Every now and then I would start up a new client at my studio and find out they had an injury that just wouldn’t heal. Many of them had been seeing their physio, osteo or chiro for years and nothing had ever changed.
Their treatment often consisted of just a hot pack, a cold pack and some manipulation to help with the pain for a few hours and the advice “stop exercising and keep seeing me until the end of time” This is not a course of action I recommend to anyone.
You may need to look long and hard to find a great physio. I know in the area where I had a studio there were a lot of “stop exercising and keep seeing me until the end of time” type physios.
One of my clients had been told she had a “frozen shoulder” that is she couldn’t put her arm above her shoulder. She had been seeing the same chiro for a whole year before working with me.
It took a while for me to convince her to try something new in her treatment, mostly because she had been seeing her Chiro for a long time and she didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
After I advised her on a new place to seek treatment she got back 100% use of her shoulder in just 2 weeks of visits and a few simple daily exercises.
So you may need to be proactive and it may take a few different physio’s to find the right one but getting this phase right will mean that you are on the fast track to recovery.
HINT Look for a physio who is fit and active themselves and has being fit and active as one of their personal values.
One of the reasons that the physio I went to see was so great was because he used to be a professional Rugby Union player and was a little “accident prone” compared to the other players. He brought himself back from some pretty shocking injuries on numerous occasions so his whole approach was based on his personal experiences.
He was also used to working with A-grade sports people who just cannot afford long periods of time away from their sport.
I loved that he was not messing around and just wanted to know what was going on and how he could best fix it.
He told me that generally people who do not manage injuries like mine ended up with 3-6 months of intense pain as they were often told to rest and it heals in the wrong place.
The best thing was to keep it moving through correct exercise and physio manipulation –
I had about 10 treatments over 2 weeks and was back to training clients and working out after 5 days.
Depending on the severity of your injury Phase 1 might take a long time or be over relatively quickly. Persistence in finding the right treatment in Phase 1 will ensure that you make a full recovery or at least dramatically improve what your are able to do with your injury.
Phase 2- Nutrition
77% of your result when it comes to getting into awesome shape comes from your nutrition so you can get started on getting this right from day one
The common misunderstanding that many people have about getting into shape is that you can only lose weight doing hours and hours of punishing workouts and bucket loads of sweat. The reality is that you only get a result from working out when you are supporting your workouts with your nutrition.
So even when you are in Phase 1 you can get straight into losing weight. The first few kilos lost often will often assist your recovery as well.
I have had many clients who’s partners simply changed what they ate at the same time as my client started training with me and dropped lots of kilos through nutrition alone.
To ensure you are getting your nutrition right follow the Rapid Response Meal Plan and Recipes from my Response Mode Program.
Click Here for all the details about Response Mode.
Phase 3- Modify
Of course you are going to get the fastest results from getting your nutrition right AND working out and you need to workout with weights to get toned… so Modify is how you ease your body into working out again.
First of all you will more than likely have been given some exercises and stretches from your physio. These are your key to getting back into working out so prioritise getting these done every day, or more frequently if you are advised to do so.
One of my clients who worked in IT and had terrible neck pain was advised to do a simple stretches every hour. Her neck was pain free in just days.
Once you have made some progress and are ready to do my workouts, work with your physio on what is ok for your body to start.
Take it easy to start with. Listen to your body and start to gradually build up over time.
Don’t try to do too much too soon, even starting with 20 mins 3 times a week and building up from there is a great way to get momentum.
As you do this just do what you can out of the workouts, put 2 or 3 of the workouts together to make enough exercises that you are able to do.
Modify Exercises as you need to as well
TIP Here is an example of how you can modify squats if you have sore knees:
1. Try experimenting with squats with a fitball behind your back on the wall
2. Try straight leg (knees just slightly bent) Deadlifts (look in my Miss Totally Toned Workout for a demo.
3. Also try a leg press/ hack squat machine.
Phase 4- Staying Strong
Depending on your injury you may need to always be persistent with your physio exercises to ensure that your pain does not return.
Although I have complete pain free movement back and can do any exercise and work with heavy weights my physio’s back exercises are still the norm at the end of every session. Every session ends with 30 cobra pushups lying on my tummy and pushing up my chest to hyper-extend my back to flexion
To this day if I do not exercise my back gets a little crunchy – I find squats and dead lifts really release my back and when I exercise and I have NO pain at all.
So even when you are back to feeling awesome again make sure you keep up your physio exercises so you stay strong!