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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Train! Train! Train! Speed. Power. Quickness....Ouch!!

We are trained professionals in the science of sports performance and injury prevention. Sometimes things go wrong and injuries happen. It is no doubt that all sports has its own inherent quality to provoke an injury. From the muscle tear to the dreaded ACL tear, the body does have its limitations. My mentor put it bluntly when I did my first clinical internship many years ago while performing my first shoulder exam of a professional baseball player. He said: "Skip. The body is NOT made for sport!"I thought, 'how true.'

Injuries happen at all levels of competition no mater how 'talented' you are. The stress and frequency of training should increase as you become stronger. The amplitude, loads, intensity etc should all become more demanding BUT, this must be calibrated properly to reduce the risk of injury.    The bodies tissue i.e. ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscle have certain tensile capacities that breach or tear when training loads are chronically excessive.

Disease of excellence then are injuries that occur from intense demands on a complex movement system: the human body. When you watch sports that require quick decision making, speed, acceleration, deceleration, jumping, colliding, agility there are complex neurological relay systems that happen so fast its incomprehensible.  Muscles are firing at incredible speeds. Volitional responses occur within milliseconds.  But when it goes wrong you may "wonder how does a high level professional athlete let alone a little league, high school or college athlete get hurt?"  There are several factors that result in injury: 1. Poor or outdated training methodology, 2. Ignoring signs and symptoms, 3. Date injury management techniques, and 4. Lack of or no training periodization.

Poor or outdated training methodology.  Whether you know it or not, training and conditioning is a science. Often times it appears that all you are doing is just working hard with no real purpose besides sweating! However, our training program is designed to provide optimal intensity that will provoke a training stimulus to make you stronger and enhance calorie combustion. Unfortunately, their are armatures who think that training has not evolved at all and are still doing the same training methods done when they were in high school!  Little do they know that those dated techniques predispose them to injuries,  decrease in power output and the dreaded training plateau!

Ignoring signs and symptoms. I'm guilty of it too. You feel a little 'something' in the shoulder, ankle or knee but you brush it off as a training 'pain'. Then it gets worse. So what do you do? Stop the offending exercise until the pain goes away then with a logic that is truly dizzying you go BACK to the thing that hurt you in the first place!! This is the same guy/gal who is compelled by the body building or boot camp mentality that the pain is normal...Huh?! Look. Its not normal. Muscle soreness is normal. NOT pain that last more than two weeks! Such training programs need a serious overhaul, which is what we specialize in. When I evaluate an injury caused by training I always have the subject demonstrate 'their' technique. 99% of the time the technique is either flawed or out dated. Our training programs are challenging, innovative and progressive but never flawed or out dated. Like we  say with a grain of truth 'don't try this at home'!!

Dated injury management techniques. Epsom salts. Magnets. Oxygenated waters. The list is endless.   So are placebos! IF YOU BELIEVE IT WORKS, IT WILL WORK!! Nevertheless, it does not address the CAUSE!  We encourage our clients to inform us when they suffer what I like to call 'snags'(minor soft tissue injury) caused by a workout that was too aggressive. We simply 're-calibrate' the training session to promote recovery via specific rehab techniques that we design.  We have vast experience in the treatment, management and treatment of orthopedic sport related injuries. The key is managing the intensity and duration of the workload. But more importantly getting an accurate assessment of the problem before proceed to the point of no return!

No training periodization. Periodization simply means altering training frequency, duration and intensity throughout the year. Most don't do this and by combining all of the above scenarios this is a   'perfect storm' for an injury to occur. It is easy to periodize your training simply by adjusting variables that are in your control such as training days, active recovery and regulating training durations. We recommend that if you are involved in personal training and taking classes, it is a good idea to mix up the frequency of your training week. So if you train 4 days a week and take classes 2 days a week thats' 6 training days. We suggest you do what is called a two day split: Train 2 days in a row-REST third day-train another 2 days-REST for two days. If this sounds sacrilegious to YOU then this blog is for you!

Hopefully, this gives you insight on how to prevent injuries and still maintain a intense training environment.  Hey. Injuries will happen when you push your body to the limit. The key is knowing how to manage those injuries, prevent them in the first place and more importantly knowing when you need to upgrade your current training regiment.

"Muscles soreness is a side effect. Not an objective"
-Skip Bunton

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