by Kris Pitcher
If you still subscribe to the "no pain, no gain" mentality you're either twenty-something, you've never been injured, or you just have no clue. Let's get one thing straight, pushing through the pain will get you one place fast - on the injured reserve.
I get that we want to be tough. I get that we want to feel motivated. I understand some of us over do it on the weekends with recreation. But honestly, if you are a competitor, or a lifter of any kind, it's time to come back down to earth with the rest of us.
Joint or muscle pain is indicative of injury. I'm not referring to delayed onset muscle soreness caused by your workouts. That's a different issue. I'm talking about that lingering twinge in your shoulder when you bench. I'm referencing that knee pain after you leg press.
You get one set of joints and while they are replaceable...that's not a real good thing to be working toward. You are better off listening to your body, and dealing with issues when they come up. Often, you can rehab an overuse injury with some common sense.
That's actually the hard part. It requires lifting differently. It means you have to give up the big lifts for a while. You can't be chasing the numbers. And, it might mean leaving momentum and gravity behind for a while. (You don't need those anyway ;)
The point is, if you pay attention and catch that pain in time, you can rehab that shoulder, for instance, without going in for the cut. That should be your last resort. On the other hand if you just, "work through the pain" you'll be under the knife and out of the gym for a long time.
So, we can work ourselves into a frenzy with "beast" this, and "tough-guy" that...but in the end slow and steady wins most races. For all those super hard core lifters...more power to ya! I plan to keep myself under the weights, not the knife.