By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here
The difference between a regular person and a world class athlete isn't just ability. There were many almost greats that were plagued by injuries. We can do a lot of the things great athletes can do, we'd just get hurt when we do them.
Then athleticism isn't just about ability, it's about how many days out of the year can you use that ability. If you're always hurt, it would be hard to call you athletic. Then what is the job of the athletic coach? Is it to make their athletes stronger? Or is it to keep them off the injury roster? In professional sports, a healthy starting line up makes millions of dollars of difference. And if you're the athletic coach, and you didn't make anyone stronger or faster, but you took an injured roster of 13 and reduced it to three, this could mean millions of dollars of difference next time there is a contract negotiation.
Being superhuman doesn't mean being really strong. There's a lot of strong people. Being superhuman means hardly every getting hurt or sick. In this day and age, that is a rarity. Your body is your livelihood, then the first job of fitness is to make you injury resistant.
For the fitness enthusiast
A mistake I often note with the general population is; they focus on weight loss, or calorie burn, but injury resistance is not taken into consideration in their programming, by them or even their trainer.
I don't mean just doing things safely or avoiding dangerous exercises, I mean actively trying to condition the body to make it less likely to be injured.
To make big impact on your body, you need two things:
- The ability to do the exercises that stimulates the most change in the shortest amount of time.
- The ability to train consecutively without long layoffs.
People who don't take injury resistance training into account may never do the exercises that have high impact (or they do it so modified it is diluted of its impact). Relegated to machines, cardio, or group classes.
Eventually they'll still get hurt and/or sick, and any long layoff from training is when people begin to lose their motivation. For the older population, one of the greatest risk is falling. What's the price to be able to prevent more of that?
Good training means maximal impact in the most effective amount of time. Since most people can't create intensity without injuring themselves, they end up sticking to steady state exercising. Meaning easy to moderate but to make up for it, they do an extended duration.
Injuries then are sustained from movement pattern overload: meaning the same movement done over and over slightly incorrectly. An explosive high impact exercise may cause an acute injury, an easier moderate exercise done over and over may cause chronic injuries like runner's knee, tennis elbow, impinged shoulders, low back pain, etc.
The majority of injuries currently are non-acute. Meaning they developed over time.
Extended duration exercising is also taxing on the body and immune system, which can lead to illness and dysfunctional breathing.
Steps to take:
- First test to gauge the areas you're most likely to be injured. This means movement and posture assessments.
- From there create a plan. Include corrective work into your program.
- Do some fascial and movement prep work prior to exercise.
- After exercising, spend time doing longer duration stretching.
- The actual intense part of your work out should only last 20-30 minutes, leaving plenty of time for injury resistance training.
Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.