I read a book last year called Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. Maybe you’ve read it, too.
Anyway, Goggins is a former Navy SEAL. He’s also arguably one of the hardest men alive.
In the book, Goggins teaches us that life - and working out - is a mind game. Some days, the gym will win, other days you will win.
Ultimately, though, you have to learn to enjoy discomfort, otherwise you won’t achieve your goals.
The problem - as Goggins himself discovered - is that sometimes the pain gets too much and we simplyhave to quit. Worse still, wekeep hurting and can’t seem to perform a certain exercise without feeling pain.
Beast Gear takes a look.
Before you do anything else, if you’re experiencing chronic pain that you just can’t seem to shift each time you day exercise X, the best thing to do is see a doc. I’d suggest you see one who treats lifters and athletes on the regular if you can. They’ll know what to do with you.
Don’t just do a bit of stretching - warm-up comprehensively.
This means doing some dynamic mobility work, some self-manual therapy and some low-load activation work.
The more comprehensive your warm-up is, the higher the chances are that you’ll remain injury-free during your workout.
For example, if the pain is super bad, you could use - say - 75% of your typical loads while performing the same amount of reps. But do so with better form.
Alternatively, you could use - say - 60% of your typical loads for higher reps but with a focus on improved form.
Whichever way you go about it, experiment with form. Mix up your position and stance width. Experiment with your grip angle and width, as well as bar position, posture and foot flare.
Also, work on your technique. This is something you can do if your weak form is down to things like poor motor control and mobility deficits - as opposed to anatomy (such as scoliosis).
The idea is that you then perform drills and exercises that strengthen coordination, mobilityand your muscles. From there, your technique will improve, too.
If there’s a specific exercise that’s giving you trouble, have a think about where you usually perform it in your workout. Is it at the beginning, the middle or the end?
Wherever it is, consider moving it. For example, if you normally perform it at the end of a workout, moving it to the start might improve your form because you won’t be as fatigued.
If, on the other hand, you normally perform it at the start, shifting it to the end might be beneficial because you’ll be more warmed-up by then.
Give things some time. To really see if any of these tips improves your situation, you’ll need to wait a couple of weeks. The pain may decrease as your body adapts, or it may not. If it doesn’t, it’ll be time to see the doc again, or a physical therapist.