Adapting to Injury

Week 9 and suddenly we really are on a countdown, aren’t we? What felt like a lifetime of clean eating and intensive training has become a way of life that I don’t really want to end, in all honesty. Which of course it doesn’t have to. The best part about this journey is how much I’ve learned when it comes to training, food and my body.

Listening to my body and learning to understand what it’s trying to tell me, has been one of the most important lessons to learn.  When I look back to my Thai boxing training and even my 500-mile hike across Spain last year, I can see now there were so many times that I ignored what my body was trying to tell me.

100 miles into my hike and I was using two walking sticks and taking ibuprofen like it was going out of fashion. The reason for this being, that my hip flexors were so painfully tight that even walking for long periods of time meant that I was in serious discomfort. Had I have paid any attention to my body in the year leading up to that hike, I would have seen a physio regularly, practised stretching daily and most probably I’d have had a much better experience. My hip flexors had always been tight from three years of kicking people every night of the week. Listen to your body – don’t ignore issues until they’ve become a problem.

With the guidance of my personal trainer at UP, I have been able to effectively address any message my body has sent me during this transformation. Whether we’ve adjusted my diet, tweaked my routine or incorporated some stretching and mobility work – whatever issue has cropped up I’ve been able to easily continue my transformation by managing it properly.

When my foot was playing up at the beginning of the twelve weeks, physio and different foot positioning on certain lifts made all the difference. When I was run down and not feeling very well, a careful adjustment to my diet plan was all it took to get me back on my feet. When those tight, old hip flexors of mine made a return we incorporated ‘active stretching’ before every workout (and I also now have one of those big inflatable yoga balls at my desk as my new chair!)

A pain in the neck

This week, I have had a headache from hell. Which may sound a little bit pathetic but this was a pressure headache that genuinely felt like my brain might pop out of my skull. By the end of this week, it had worked its way to the base of my neck and so I’m off to the physio to get it sorted.

When I told my PT this during the week, he quickly adjusted my session to avoid any excessive pressure or load, since it seemed that I was holding a lot of tension. Completely re-writing my session while I warmed up, I managed to get through a fantastic workout with more of a focus on HIIT and rest periods. Talking me through the science behind interval training, recovery times and time under tension meant that I understood all of the aspects to my workout and learnt a lot in the process. I had been dreading the session that morning, as my head felt like it was in a vice, but I managed to get through the adjusted routine and received a lot of support to get me there.

Training at UP is hardcore, don’t get me wrong. It is intensive and the trainers here will push you to your absolute limit. The point I’m trying to make, however, is that they’re not bullies. If you whine every time the weight goes up or you’re moaning that it’s hard every session, you will be pushed through it every time. If you train your butt off every session, get gritty with it and suck it up when it is hard – you will also be listened to. My trainer knows that if I come in and mention a niggle or a concern, that it needs to be taken into consideration. He takes it seriously because I don’t make excuses when I train, and all I ever want is to be able to give 100% every session.

Whatever kind of training motivation you need, UP will figure it out very quickly. They will push you through any plateaus, challenge you to beat yourself every time and you will get to the end of every workout and be amazed by what you’ve achieved.

My new best friend is a skipping rope, since the watt bike won’t help with tight hip flexors (see – always adapting training methods) and so I finished off my final workout of the week with some intervals and a serious word from my PT to get myself to the doctors and get a good massage.

Three weeks to go, the last push is going to require all of my grit and mental focus but I feel like I can achieve anything now.

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