Almost all injuries are injuries of the joints and connective tissue. Hyperplasia doesn’t injure. Hypertrophy does.
Let’s go back to bench press so you can see what I’m talking about.
Hypertrophy … means going for size so you’re using as heavy a weight as possible. A weight that requires pecs, frontal deltoids and triceps to get the weight up.
When you get so many muscles stressing one joint the joint starts to deteriorate. It isn’t long before it starts to hurt. Soon you take longer warmups but … it keeps getting worse. Finally, you lay off. You start to shrink and … panic sets in. You go back to benching again. It doesn’t hurt quite so bad so you try a few reps. The next day it hurts like crazy again. This temporary healing and re-injuring comes and goes and … you get despondent, hungering for the time you could train without pain.
Assuming you can still do some exercises without pain … Here’s some wonderful news: The heavier the weight … the greater the stress on the joints. The lighter the weight … the less stress on the joints and … the slower you go, the more stress on the muscles.
Most of the time the problem is in the joint not the muscle. So switching the stress from the joint to the muscle does two very important things. First, it takes the stress off the joints and it increases the stress on the muscles in a wonderful way. Which I’ll explain in a minute.
Here’s what you should do: Get a light weight, find a track through which you can move the weight that moves the injured joint without pain. You may have to switch to dumbbells rather than a barbell. (barbells are especially hard on joints)
As you do the exercise find a “pain free” track through which you can move the weights. It’s got to be pain free or it won’t work. It can’t be less pain. It’s got to be “pain free”. Once you’ve got this track nailed down, slow way down, 20 sec up and 20 sec down. Use a weight that you can barely handle. This does several things.
First, it assists healing by increasing circulation which removes damaged capillaries. Also, it carries nutrition to the injured tissues.
If you learn to be sensitive to pain you won’t interfere with the healing process.
Secondly, you completely avoid atrophy of the muscles by use of …”“Intensity exerted on the muscles is inversely proportional to the square of the speed of the repetition.”
If you get injured … slow way down … select a weight that feels just right and you’re on your way to … Healing Without Shrinking.