Injury Management: Redemption Arc
By: Payton Cowan
When the War Arc Quickly Becomes a Redemption Arc
Whether you are fighting Cell after unlocking your new form or battling your way to Femto, everyone suffers drawbacks in their conquest to their final goal. In lifting, specifically, the drawbacks are in the form of injuries and tweaks.
Last week I woke up to attend class. However, when I got out of bed, my back tightened to such an extent that I was unable to walk for multiple hours. After going through my recovery process, I was able to squat 510lbs the next day. Today I would like to share my secrets to injury recovery with you, so that you can efficiently facilitate your recovery in order to get back to your full power.
The three steps, or mental cues, to injury recovery that we will walk through are calming the mind, understanding the injury, and patience with recovery.
Calming the Mind:
More often than not, receiving an injury is quite the scary ordeal. In the specific moment of injury the mind begins to race towards the unknown questions such as “what is this injury?”, “will this end my lifting career?”, and “ what caused this?”. Rapidly grasping for unknowns without taking the proper procedure to truly answer these questions only leads to more questions and stress.
Firstly, you want to understand what your body is telling you, calm down and remind yourself that this does not have to be a career ending injury - and the pain is clouding your judgement. Understanding how to limit the emotional backlash of pain in training creates a sturdy foundation in order for recovery to occur. Similar to any goal that is worth achieving, a solid foundation is required to build upon your goal.
Once you can fully control the innate response to pain, and clear your mind of commotion, you can create a method as to how you will deal with this injury, which is the first step to fully recovering.
Understanding the Injury:
Once you have established a calm, sturdy foundation in which you can base your recovery on… it is time to understand what happened to your body.
It is important to take this process in steps - as it is easy to overwhelm if multiple questions are tackled at once.
First ask, “Where does it hurt, and to what extent?”. To understand the question, going through standard motions is best - especially if the injury was caused by that specific motion. From replicating the same movement, or similar movements, that caused the injury it is easy to target the pain locale and the level of pain it is at - notate both of these either mentally or on paper.
Now that the location and level of pain has been established, researching what stretches/therapeutic techniques works best for pain in that specific area is the next step. This is another step which is easy to be overwhelmed on, so to keep it simplistic - take the top 3 stretches/techniques that you find, and use them religiously in a routine.
The final step to complete this mental cue is notating, in set time intervals, the pain levels of the afflicted area. From here, you can compile these numbers and take the average of them. In general, as long as the process is followed, the average of the pain level should go down over time (the length of time depending on the severity of the injury), which leads into the final mental cue: patience.
Patience with Recovery:
The final and arguably most important step in this lengthy process is being patient with the recovery process. While “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is quite cliche, it is heavily applicable in the situation of injury recovery. This recovery process takes time to work, and there is no true “secret” to injury recovery outside of diligence and patience. Understanding how to create the best environment to recover from the injury, facilitates a deeper understanding of training and physiology which is highly beneficial moving forward.The most important thing to be aware of during this process is that sometimes the process that you follow does not work. Not that the stepwise process I have laid out for you is an ineffective process, rather, the methods of recovery or external factors can make injury recovery harder or inefficient. The recovery process is the most stereotypical case of “trial and error”, until eventually a method is found that most efficiently deals with the injury.
You must be cognitive of the endless unanswered questions in the case of an injury, without letting them overwhelm. By calming the mind at the time of the injury, the lifter erases unneeded stress that could impede the ideal outcome. Furthermore, by understanding the injury, lifters can use the locale of their problem in order to find the most optimal recovery tools for the target area, and analyze average pain levels through the recovery process.
Finally, being patient with the recovery process and understanding that while there is a plan laid out to follow, it could take countless repetitions to obtain the final goal. However, with diligence and patience with the injury recovery process, you too can recover in as short of a time as possible, and resume your training arc where you left off.
Hi! I’m Payton Cowan, I have been a part time powerlifting coach for 2 years now and I’ve been powerlifting for more than 4 years! I am a full time college student and a huge anime fan! My favorite anime of all time is either Violet Evergarden or Naruto.