JOE'S ALL EARS - Training While Injured or Ill

Welcome to J-Bro Joey’s spot-column aptly named not only because of his willingness to listen to others, but also because of a certain likeness he shares with a wing-nut. Laugh it up folks, but if you’ve met him you’ll surely know that he always has something interesting to share about his experiences in training as well as in everyday life. His life, like the other J-Bros, is a quest for knowledge. Sharing the knowledge is where others fall short. Not us.

People, look forward to this blog being filled up with articles from the JBs.




Some members of the jungle family have recently asked me about training while injuried/ill. This is a big question, and of course I am no doctor. However I have my opinion based on my experiences as an athlete who commonly gets injured and never likes to skip training.

Like it or not our machine does get a little damaged every now and again and when it does, it always hurts (mentally, mostly) so we need to know what to do.

Gauge the severity

Identify how heavy your situation is and act accordingly. Got a bit of a head cold? Most likely a bit of strength training will be fine, if not helpful. Full-blown bird-flu symptoms? Your machine probably needs a rest in order to kill the virus, and you should probably go see someone.

Learn to understand your body and know when its asking for a rest

Soreness, tiredness, stiffness, these are all parts of being an active human. most of the time its all good, but sometimes your body will be a little sorer than usual in a particular area. Learn to identify this and act accordingly. If you’re unsure, give it a try and see how it feels. If it hurts, rest and re-evaluate the following day. If it’s really sore and you’re starting to fret, go see someone.

Choose a health professional that is familiar with your sport/lifestyle*

It’s always best to go with a doctor who knows the deal. Say you’ve gone too hard on your kettlebell snatch and busted up your shoulder  – the nice-guy suburban family doc your mum ‘really likes’ probably hasn’t done hardcore eastern-bloc kettlebell strength training before and will no doubt tell you to ‘take some voltaren, forget training, and rest for two weeks’. Instead, go and see Dr. Dimitri and get an informed opinion from someone who understands your situation (show him your calluses too!). Remember that stimulating a damaged joint/muscle through movement will help deliver fresh blood and nutrients to the area.

* like when I took my first cauliflower ear to the local doctor and asked her to stick a needle in it – she was horrified at my suggestion and demanded i go to a specialist. I went to the specialist and he was equally horrified, and told me I needed plastic surgery which would cost $5000 per ear. That afternoon I bought a needle, went back to training and my coach drained it for me. Now my ears are just fine!

Know how to ‘back off’ during a workout

You don’t always have to go 100%. Switch off your inner competitor for a couple of days and take it easy. You can always use a training session as an opportunity to refine your technique. Remember that the Jungle Brother running the class is always happy to prescribe a modified workout to accommodate an injured family member.

Be prepared to work on rehabbing an injury

You invest money and time into developing and furthering your abilities, so don’t be afraid to do the same when your knee is giving you a bit of trouble. It could mean some extra daily stretching, a gentle massage from Bettsy, or a trip to the physio.


That’s all for now gang! Until next time, look after yourselves and the others your training with.





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  • April 24, 2013
  • Blog

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