Resistance Training = Injury Rehabilitation

When nursing an injury, rest is crucial. Continuing to overuse the afflicted limb or body part just leads to more damage incurred. While becoming temporarily disabled is a pain, it is often less painful than actually attempting to use your damaged appendage.

But what happens when your body does its job and heals your injury? You need to re-condition and strengthen. Not using a body part (or your entire body) is extremely detrimental to your muscle structure and overall well-being, and a lot of your post-injury pains are being caused due to weakness.

Not mental weakness, mind you.

Physical weakness.

DO YOU EVEN LIFT, BRO??? I certainly didn’t for eleven months. And that did more harm than good.

As I’ve spoken of a few times on this site (and many times on social media), I suffered a devastating series of injuries during June 2017 in the tune of a pinched ulnar nerve, strained bicep, strained tricep, and whatever the hell I did to my shoulder. The injury set was due to my own stupidity, and I made it worse due to subsequent stupidity. And then once that second injury finally started healing, I just had to be stupid again and throw axes for a couple of hours and hurt myself for a third time in a two month period…worse than ever before.

By early May 2018, I’d given up on ever having a normal right arm again, something particularly problematic because I am right-handed. I still did not have the full range of motion in my arm without pain, and we were nearing the one-year mark of the initial injury. Luckily, that is when my lovely personal trainer, Mel, realized that I hadn’t done any exercises with my right arm in nearly eleven months.

While my arm still retained some lingering effects of the injuries, the greater issue was that I had zero strength left in my right arm. The muscles had gone dormant, and due to my body trying to heal my injuries, the lack of movement was causing things to heal incorrectly as well.

Or, y’know, if noodley arms are your goal, just continue to skip arm day and any other arm movements 4eva.

Mel gave me a series of shoulder and upper-arm exercises to do with weights. She advised me to do just a few repetitions in the early days, and to increase the number of reps and the size of the weights as needed over time. The goal was to be “good sore” the next day; you know, the soreness you feel the day after a good, hard workout. I needed to avoid being “bad sore”, as in destroying my arm further and reinjuring myself. So no Silks. No axes. Just weights.

I bought some 3lb weights, or “baby weights” as I called them, and got to work. 10 reps of the two exercises, five days a week. It took a long time, but by the start of July, I no longer felt my arm ache while I drove, or felt it pulse when it rained (which is a lot in Kentucky). I moved up to 5lb weights and continued the exercises.

By the start of August, my arm was no longer restricted to simple exercises. I began a series of weight exercises with Kayla Itsine’s BBG program: a program I’d been wanting to start for months but couldn’t due to my janky arm.

And now?

My current weights of choice. Hoping to move up to the 10-pounders by mid-September! Fingers crossed, y’all!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I’ve moved up to 8lb weights and am doing even more intense exercises with them. I am also now able to do push-ups, ab bikes, and even burpees! My arms are looking more toned, and the ability to do actual workouts is rapidly toning my body back to its pre-injury state.

Mel is proud. Proud is Mel. Is Mel proud? Proud Mel is. Is proud Mel? Mel proud is. Mel is proud.

The moral of the story? My story is not a unique or isolated case. Well, I guess destroying your arm with some luggage in the airport is nearly as bad as the time I destroyed my Achilles tendon with a DDR mat or snapped a toe on a shower railing, but the MUSCLES thing is not unique.

Suffered a back injury? You need to build your back muscles up to support yourself and also prevent reinjury. Experienced abdominal surgery? You’ve gotta build those core muscles back up in order to get back to normal. If you broke your leg and didn’t walk on it for 8 weeks, you would need to strengthen it back up to walk correctly right? It’s the same principle for any other injury.

I mean, really? REALLY? Is WebMD EVER actually a good idea? Leave the rehabbing to the professionals.

Try not to WebMD your strategies. Consult with your doctor or personal trainer for the best exercises to rebuild your muscle strength post-injury. Take it slow. You do not want another injury. Your body will tell you when you can go harder. How will you know? When you’re going 100 damn reps with a baby weight and feeling bored, it’s time to bring out some actual weights and do heavier workouts.

One Cheat Meal Or Missed Workout Doesn’t Mean Failure

I’ve had this issue in the past. Most people I know have had this issue in the past. And it’s unfortunate.

We’ve all been there… You’re clean-eating like a champ, making sure to get #VeggiesMost and eschewing all of the sugary desserts. You’re working out daily, and feeling the literal burn in your muscles. You’re staring at ourselves nakedly each evening and feeling so many happy butterflies over how much your body is changing as you near your goal. And then…

Disaster strikes.

It might be a party.

It might be a vacation.

It might be the holidays.

But whatever it is…you don’t live up to your daily #FitFam expectations. And you feel gross.

A college-freshman’s wet dream, and a college-sophomore’s nightmare as they try to undo the damage of the past 365 days. These foods are tasty and are perfectly fine to enjoy on occasion. Just don’t make them daily staples in your diet.

You’ve devoured 4 slices of pizza, some cookies, a soda, and then laid on the couch all day. By the end of the evening, you’re beating yourself up and feel terrible. You want to go running to burn off the meal, but you’re too full and bloated to go more than a few steps. What do you do next??

Well, first, remember that we’re all human. No one is expected to eat clean and workout every single day. Personal trainers indulge. Celebrities indulge. Models indulge. Everyone indulges sometimes. That’s why the term “weekly cheat meal” exists. Should you use your weekly cheat meal as an excuse to drink a carton of lard. Helllll no! But indulging in your favourite greasy foods is a-okay!

Just as one healthy meal doesn’t make you lose 10 lbs, one unhealthy meal doesn’t make you gain 10 lbs. It’s all about consistency. If all you eat are veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins, then yes you will lean out and lose weight. If all you eat is grease, fried foods, and cakes, then yes you will bloat and gain weight. But one meal is not enough to influence one or the other.

Just as one healthy meal doesn’t make you lose 10 lbs, one unhealthy meal doesn’t make you gain 10 lbs.

Everyone deserves a guilty pleasure. Everyone has their favourite cheat meal. Why have it if you never use it? Think about your week to-come, and plan out the day for your cheat meal! (For all of my American readers, Thanksgiving Day dinner is your cheat meal this coming November. You’re welcome). And then, let loose on that cheat meal.

Trust me, you’re going to rememberi that cheat meal the following day, and you’ll have that much more motivation to hit the gym and continue your path to fitness.

Pilates-style HIIT workouts are my favourites! I recommend giving online workouts by Kayla Itsines, Lucy Wyndham-Read, and Blogilates a try if you’re looking for something new 🙂

What you shouldn’t do is to give up. Don’t feel like a failure (even though it’s inevitable at times, especially on vacations). Don’t say to yourself, “Well, I’ve been lazy for two days, so I guess this is it for my fitness plans”. NO! NO, NO, NO! So what that you were lazy for two days? Hop back on the horse, and start galloping your way to success again.

Repeat After Me: A two-day rest should not equate the destruction of your goals. Every workout and every healthy meal helps to further your goals. Again, if anything, a rest or a cheat meal should motivate you further to meet your goals. Where’s that determination and drive? I know you’ve got it. So use it 😘

HIIT Your Way To Fitness!

Do you love high-energy workouts that actually work, but you don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to the gym? If so, then you will love the new and improved form of interval training known as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT workouts have boomed in popularity because of the amazing benefits that they hold for people who regularly perform them.

HIIT workouts typically involve powerful spurts of exercise followed by short rest intervals. With this type of training, your heart rate stays up and, in turn, helps you to burn more fat. This satisfying fat-burn occurs both during and following your workout. Yes. You will burn fat as you recover on your couch.

Group sweats are the best sweats!

When I can, I enjoy workouts that are an hour long (dance is my favourite cup of tea). However, since I tend to find myself on a time crunch most days, HIIT workouts are perfect for me. Most of the workouts are 10–30 minutes long, so I can easily squeeze in a workout anytime.

I also make sure that I watch what I eat, read health related posts from healthy body healthy mind to improve my own health, and take natural health supplement daily. Working out can be counteracted pretty effectively by eating a lot of take out among other things, so keep this in mind if you don’t want you hard work to be wasted. As for the health supplement, I felt it was a nice addition to healthy eating. It makes me feel more energetic so I really like it. It is called kratom masters if you would like to check it out as well.

Even though the workouts are shorter, that doesn’t mean that I burn fewer calories than normal. Because of the bursts of high-intensity exercises combined with the short recovery periods, HIIT workouts are just as beneficial as your longer standard workouts.

HIIT workouts are also known for their efficiency. While working to your max level, you will be burning more calories in a shorter amount of time than you would with other workouts. Interval workouts in general are known for having a higher after-workout burn effect because of their burst nature.

One of the best parts of HIIT is that you can do your workouts either at home or in a group class setting. Because the training is accessible to all fitness levels, group class settings are fun because you have people around you to push you to your limits. You don’t want to be the first one to stop, do you?

Erin Kwaitkowski, a HIIT instructor, explained why she feels that this is the best workout on the market right now:

Okay, okay, I can’t do this maneuver, but kudos to those of you who can!

“HIIT is an amazing exercise for anyone because you can go at the pace that you’re comfortable with,” said Kwaitkowski. “Even if you aren’t as advanced as other people in your class, you will get a tough workout as long as you put in the effort.”

What it boils down to is that HIIT is all about using your energy effectively. If you do a 15 minute HIIT workout to your maximum strength, you will burn more calories and see results faster than you would with your everyday exercise routine.

Interval training is a concept that has sculpted amazing results on the people who incorporate it into their regular exercise routines. Remember, that interval training helps you to keep burning calories after your workout, which–to me–is one of the best benefits of all.

Home workouts are my preference. Get yourself some workout equipment, and sweat your little heart out!

No matter if you have hours to exercise, or if you are on your lunch break, HIIT should be the perfect workout for you. Whether you’re a regular gym-goer, or you haven’t been to the gym in months, there is never a bad time to start back up again. And with HIIT, there is no reason to go to a gym at all! This is why HIIT is a time-efficient and energy-efficient exercise that has become popular among many people today.

With a variety in HIIT workouts, your exercises will never be repetitive, and you can figure out what routines you like and dislike. Although HIIT exercises are high-intensity, you will still have the ability to go at your own pace through modifications and breaks. If you’ve been looking for a new exercise routine to try that will deliver great results, HIIT is it!