No pain no gain. Well there is a statement and half! How many times have we heard that one? Many, let’s leave it there.
I’m currently writing this on a flight in search of some decent waves in Spain and although there’s some big swells coming in, the weather isn’t looking great but you sometimes can’t have everything!
Anyway, just before I boarded I was reading about the recently retired 8 time Mr Olympia Ronnie Coleman having various surgeries, which included a hip replacement. This certainly got me thinking and although I’m not entirely surprised, it can be a warning to others doing the same thing out there.
Ronnie Coleman smashed onto the bodybuilding scene like no other (except maybe Arnold) in the 90’s and totally dominated. He was also the strongest bodybuilder of all time doing reps with 800lb’s on the squat and unheard of bench presses! He was well known for working the hardest out of everyone and really pounded out gruelling workouts…. At a cost.
With that winning mentality and a lot of performance enhancing drugs, those joints took loads on a regular basis that they were never naturally meant to take. So what probably happened was that he ended up with osteoarthritis in the hip, which basically means wear and tear of the joint, the cartilage is worn away and the bones rub together causing serious pain. As someone who’s helped rehabilitate people after a hip replacement, I must say, it’s not easy and it takes time.
Now I know Coleman’s case is an extreme one but we can certainly take away a few things here when it comes to resistance exercise:
1. As I teach all my clients, form is absolutely essential. Whether it be heavy loads or just body weight (I know someone who’s hip popped out with a yoga position once).
2. You must qualify yourself to know you can even do the exercise properly before pushing performance because most people these days have postural problems that won’t allow them to have good form and then of course, wear and tear will happen. Sooner or later you will have an injury.
3. When you lift heavy, lift with control! You may have to put the ego aside and drop the weight but a slower tempo will get you more time under tension for the muscle fibres and of course give you full range of motion without the extra risk of injury.
These are very basic rules but as I see in gyms these days, most people don’t stick to them.
We have a growing selection of various core, postural and range of motion assessments we do on all our clients so that we can tailor correction as well as condition, this provides safe but highly efficient workouts for the long term.
So here’s to less pain and more gain!