Nobody likes being on the injury-recovery-injury hamster wheel. This is the phenomena where you get going on your workouts, then you get hurt, you recover, you get going again, then the next injury occurs. Repeat forever. There’s a simple way to step off that hamster wheel, and doing so will net you numerous benefits.
In this article, you’ll learn the simple four stage process you should follow to step off the injury-recovery-injury hamster wheel, get better fitness results, reduce your likelihood of injury, and have more consistency in your workouts.
Your Forever Home
Imagine you are building the home you’re going to live in for the rest of your life. Would you put the roof on first or last? When you put the walls up, would you build supports to help them stay up or would you make them free-standing? Would you cut corners along the way or would you be meticulous in your measurements and construction?
Here are four examples of common missteps when it comes to building your body:
- going from living a sedentary life to starting an exercise program that is too high of intensity or effort for where you actually are in ability level
- starting an exercise program that presumes you’ve already built a foundation of fitness but you haven’t actually built that foundation yet
- doing a few “prehab” drills before your “real workout” and assuming it’s enough to maintain your foundation of mobility and joint function
- not keeping up with the maintenance that’s necessary to maintain the results you’ve achieved
Building your body to feel good and be fit enough to do the things you want to do is like building a home. When you build your body with the attention and craftsmanship of building your forever home (because your body is just that…your forever home) you’re likely to see your aches and pains simmer down.
If you cycle through these four stages, you’ll be more likely to feel capable and more comfortable in your body. You’re going to become stronger. You’ll be able to take on more. You’ll become what, around here, we call unbreakable.
Stage One: Build Your Foundation
The foundation is the thing which you’ll layer everything else on. If you don’t build a solid one, or fail to have a foundation at all, and you’ll run into problems down the road.
One part of a strong body foundation is building your joints so they function well. Joint function includes having full range of motion, both passive and active.
If your shoulder joints cannot move through the ranges of motion they should be able to move through, it’s going to be much more challenging (and far less effective) to do exercises that require you to have full range of motion in your joint.
Building a foundation is also about introducing gradually increasing doses of the stressor.
You wouldn’t force a kid who just learned their ABC’s to read War And Peace, and you shouldn’t expect the tissues and systems that make up your body to do intense workouts if you just stopped your sedentary lifestyle yesterday.
It’s understandable to want to go hard and tackle your goal of being fit and strong, but the sooner you can recognize truthfully where you are at, and dose yourself accordingly with movement and exercise, the sooner you’ll see consistent gains.
If you don’t know how to dose yourself accordingly when in the foundation building level of things, a coach can help tremendously to guide your journey. It’s why I built the UB Jump Start: Beginner Track Program. You’ll do the right movements and exercises at the right intensity to make real, measurable, progress in the first eight weeks of taking on this fitness journey of yours.
Stage Two: Maintain Your Foundation
Remember that your body is always responding to the signals you send it. So if you stop sending signals that you’re using the full range of motion in your hips that you worked hard to build, your body will stop prioritizing the maintenance of it.
This doesn’t mean you have to keep doing all the workouts you did before to get to this place plus add on any new workouts you’re doing now. You’d never stop working out if that were the case!
But you do need to send a consistent signal to your body to tell it to maintain the foundations of what you’ve built.
One way to do this is to move your body every single day. Specifically, to move each joint through its full range of motion every day. Because however much you use each day is however much your body will maintain over the long term. Try this follow along movement routine to learn the moves I do every single day to tell my body to maintain what I’ve built.
Stage Three: Add Layers Of Strength And Support
When building a home, a good builder doesn’t build the foundation, put up the frame, and then put the roof on. They build layer after layer of structure and support, to make a home that is strong and durable.
The next stage of building your body is the one that most people tend to start with. Which is one reason why those folks might find themselves on the injury-recovery-injury hamster wheel.
In this stage, you’re ready to handle greater intensity, more strenuous workout programs, and more complexity. And since you’ve taken the time to go through stages one and two, you’ve now accumulated practice in listening to your body and knowing when to push and when to back off.
This is vital to navigating more strenuous workouts, for if you don’t know how to be tuned into your body, you could miss valuable responses your body is giving you that are telling you to slow down, back off, or take a break.
Stage Four: Enjoy Living In What You’ve Created
There’s an old adage that goes something like this, don’t be so focused on the path you’re walking that you fail to realize you’ve gone past your destination.
Fitness training has an element of ‘always striving’ to it. That’s understandable to some degree because even simply maintaining any fitness that you’ve built requires you to continue doing work to maintain it. And there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with efforting for an achievement, which is addictive for some.
To me, point of building your body is to create a body you love to live in, to have experiences and adventures, to feel confident and capable. Even if my focus was on building my body so I could win a race, I’d be sure to enjoy the journey along the way. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Your body is quite literally the home you live in forever. And it’s never too late to build it to be strong and solid. Thankfully, your body is always ready to respond to the signals you send it – whether you’re 20 or 80 years old.
If you’re ready to start training your body to be a strong and durable forever home for yourself, my Unbreakable Body: Jump Start programs are perfect for you.
You’ll follow progressions that take you from stage one to stage four with a program that spans eight weeks. You can do all of the workouts at home with little to no equipment, and I am at your service to answer questions and support you via email.
Let’s Build Your Unbreakable Body