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Putting Pain in Perspective

By admin | In Mobility | on November 12, 2013


No pain, no gain.

Know pain, know gain.

Pain is weakness leaving your body.

Be patient and tough.  Someday this pain will be useful to you.

All these quotes are fantastic for getting us through tough workouts.  After all, high intensity workouts can put our bodies in a state of fight or flight.  Shortness of breath, aching muscles, and fatigue challenge our intestinal fortitude and make us want to quit.  That is the kind of pain the above adages apply to.  We, as trainers, want you to push through that kind of pain.  We want you to embrace it as the fire that will forge your mind and body into a stronger being.

However, pain is also your body’s barometer for health.  Overtrained muscles, tendonitis, impingements, strains, sprains, and pulls all begin as a nagging pain or ache that we choose to ignore.  Since our goal here is to have you train hard today so that you can come back and train hard tomorrow, pushing through that kind of pain is unproductive and dangerous.

 How do I know if it’s just sore if it’s overtrained?

Most of you remember the first few weeks of CrossFit (or the first few days back after taking a break).  You were sore in areas you may not have known you had muscles.  But after a day or two the soreness eases up and it feels better after you warm up and get the blood flowing to the area.  However, overtrained or strained muscles will have a lingering dull angry ache to them, even when you don’t flex them.  This is the time to ease off these muscles to allow them to recover.  Follow the RICE protocol, come in and use the Marc Pro, and ask your coach to sub out movements for a few days.  Two days of rest for overtrained muscles beats two weeks of rest for a strained one.

 An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – Ben Franklin

Take charge of your recovery.  We expect you to be responsible in all aspects pertaining to your health and wellness outside of the gym.  Your nutrition, sleep, and recovery is up to you to regulate.  We’re happy to give advice on how to optimize them but it will be up to you to prioritize and make time for it.

So come in to the gym early or stay late.  Buy a trigger point kit, or make a DIY one and use it at home or work.  Get a baseline of how your quads, glutes, etc. feel when they’re healthy so you can tell when they’re junky and tight.

“But I don’t know how to foam roll/stretch/mobilize my [insert body part here]!”

In this information age where the answer is literally at your fingertips, the above question just screams lazy to me.  You have IMDB to help you link Barbara Streisand to Kevin Bacon in a few degrees and Soundhound to identify that catchy tune on the radio.   You also have mWOD and Trigger Point Therapy to help you figure out how to use that lacrosse ball to help your shoulder impingement.  Check out our Mobility corner in the back of the gym complete with trigger point book and mWOD posters.

The point of this post is to get you to be proactive in your recovery.  Know yourself as an athlete enough to differentiate between good pain (sucking wind in a WOD) and bad pain (everything else).  If you have a nagging tightness or the beginnings of tendonitis, don’t ignore it.  Figure out what is upstream and downstream of it and roll/mobilize it.  For example, if you have a nagging elbow pain, roll your forearms, biceps, and/or triceps.  If your knee feels achy, roll your calves, quads, and hips.  And if it’s something you need to see a doctor for, by all means make an appointment sooner than later.  We will always be here to answer your questions, but at least take the first steps to search our past posts or look it up in mWOD or tptherapy or you will surely do bear crawls for laziness.

WOD 11.12.13

Power Clean 3×3

4 Rounds:
7 Hang Power Snatches
7 Toes to Bar
100m Run

4 Rounds
3 [Squat] Snatches (155/103) or (135/93)
9 Toes to Bar
100m Run

*must be able to squat snatch B weights with proper form.

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