These days there is so much information out there about rehab, prehab, and injury prevention. Physical therapists, chiropractors, and injury prevention specialists are all over social media giving you advice on how to stay pain free. Although there are certainly some charlatans in this arena, many of these accounts do provide some great advice. However, no matter how much preventative work you do, injury is almost sure to happen at some point. Whether it be a mindless error in training or a weird accident outside the gym, you’ll find yourself ailing at some point. Although you can make yourself more robust to injury, you can’t necessarily prevent it forever.

Given that some sort of injury is inevitable, it would be smart to prepare for such an event. This means figuring out a game plan that you can put into action when the injury bug bites. In other words, how are you going to proceed in training when you find yourself hurt? Obviously, this is going to depend on the type and severity of the injury you have. There are times when you should definitely stop training and let yourself heal. However, there are also times when you simply need to work around the injury you have incurred. As such, it is important for you to know when to tough through it or when to back off.

 

When to Take Time Off

If you are serious about making gains in the gym, you probably have great work ethic. You believe in working hard to get results. This is usually a great thing as far as reaching your goals is concerned. However, it can also be a double edged sword at times. If you find yourself afflicted by a particularly serious injury, being such a work horse can work against you.

You hard working gym goers barely even like to take a rest day. Just the thought of taking a day off from the gym seems like a nightmare. As such, the prospect of taking several days off to let yourself heal is incomprehensible. However, continuing to work out when you have a serious injury is going to do more harm than good. Even if you only work out the parts of your body that are not injured, you may be doing yourself a disservice. A serious injury needs as much help as it can get in order to heal quickly. Working out hard will actually rob your body of some of its ability to repair the injury. Instead of devoting all resources to the injury, it has to send a significant portion to repairing the muscles you just worked out.

So, what kind of injuries would warrant a complete cessation of gym activities? I’m talking about things like lower back issues, muscle tears, ligament tears, broken bones, hernias, etc. If your lower back is locked up and causing pain just walking, you’ll want to stay at home until it heals. Likewise, a tear in a large muscle like a pec, quad, or hamstring is going to need some rest up front. You are best to let your body heal these kinds of injuries to a more tolerable level before you think about returning to the gym.

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