No matter how bulletproof we attempt to make your muscles and joints, injuries are part of life and they will inevitably happen from time to time.
If and when you do ever become injured, there are some good ways and less good ways to proceed.
Less Good #1:
Use your injury as an excuse to abandon your fitness and healthy eating routine and stop coming to the gym altogether.
Less Good #2:
Don’t tell anyone you’re injured and work through the pain until the injury eventually gets worse and you stop coming because you’re frustrated or even more broken.
Less Good #3:
Show up to the class and announce to the coach of the hour as the warm-up is unfolding that you hurt your shoulder and can’t do pretty much anything that’s on the board today.
It’s not that we can’t come up with a quick substitution for you, but giving you a random substitution for each class isn’t what’s going to be ideal for your development, let alone your rehab. It’s going to end up being more of a patch-work temporary fix, and there won’t be any consistency from day-to-day to help you move forward in a way that makes sense.
Proceeding this way also usually means the coach then has to take time away from the class to frantically figure out the nature of your injury and come up with a workable solution for the day. In other words, you’re not going to receive the best care in this situation (And you might notice the coach trying hard not to be annoyed).
Step 1: Contact your coach before you come to the gym. Call him, text him, e-mail him, Facebook him, show up at his house…you get the point. Tell him what you hurt, and provide any information you have about your injury if you have been to see a physiotherapist or other health professional already.
Step 2: Set up a time with your coach to do a one-on-one session to come up with a plan.
The plan might involve you doing your rehab exercises at the gym before class. Or the plan might involve figuring out consistent substitutions for a few movements until you’re 100% healed—an injury Rosetta Stone, so to speak. This will mean you’ll show up to the class prepared with a thorough understanding of how you’re going to tackle the session with your current injury. Or maybe it’s an opportunity to put you on, for example, an upper body strength program until your lower body injury is better.
The point is, being injured doesn’t need to stop you dead in your tracks. Sometimes it’s a chance to improve a weakness, or at the very least it might give another chronic injury a chance to heal at the same time. Sometimes, injuries can be blessings in disguises.
Step 3: Execute your plan!