Train Through Pain?
Training through pain is not a signal of toughness, but of stupidity. Here’s why.
“It Was My Duty”
I once watched a guy who had two reps to go doing bench presses.
When the tenth and last rep was done, he threw the barbell to the side, yelling, “my shoulder, my shoulder, it feels like a knife is stuck in it.”
Well, welcome to rotator cuff injury. But why did you go through with the set? When I asked him that, he replied that the pain started with the 8th rep, but he felt it was his duty to finish the set.
Duty? Duty to whom? Finishing that set was like holding a finger over a lighter and keeping it there, disregarding the red alert signals about something being absolutely not ok in the digit area.
What sane person would do that? I felt it was time we have a word about this:
But I Did And It Went Ok!
Yes, I know all those stories about people who got away with training through pain. There are also people who survive subway surfing, sneaking into a lion’s den or getting on the nerves of a 7 ft, 440 lb grizzly.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Even it if goes ok 9 out of 10 times, the one time where it goes wrong turns you into an appetizer or leaves you with a joint damaged for life.
Last but not least, those boasting on online forums about their toughness when injured are those that did get away with it (or claim to). Many who didn’t remain quiet, too ashamed of admitting to having done something stupid or fearing the ridicule from the tough guys strutting their supposed manliness.
Picture courtesy of Steven Depolo.
I’m guilty of trying to push through pain more than I should – like you said, sometimes it works out and other times it turns out to be a really poor choice!!!
I used to be a ballet dancer and we were constantly told to dance through the pain. I ended up with some horrific injuries as a result!
I saw a documentary about ballet dancers a while ago and one teacher, a former ballet dancer herself, said she had to end her career due to injury at the age of 25. Her body just couldn’t take it anymore.
I saw an interview with a top gymnast who claimed that if you are not injured and/or painkillers (all the time) you are clearly not into it 100%.
What kind of mindset is that? If you haven’t ruined your body by age 30, you didn’t really want it?
For me as I am a serious exerciser/athlete the key is knowing which pains need to be treated with rest and which do not. It’s always been about balance.
True, if you really know your way around your body.
For those less experienced I prefer to err on the side of caution.