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7 Lessons To Learn From A Toddler In Order To Rebound From Injury

7 Lessons To Learn From A Toddler In Order To Rebound From Injury

The next time you are faced with a running injury and forced to hang up the shoes for a while, embrace it with the energy and enthusiasm of an 11-month old and enjoy the journey back.

This past spring, as I built mileage toward my first marathon which lay on the horizon, I aggravated my IT band, and was forced to reassess my overall fitness and health. I was now resigned to strength training, cross training, stretching and icing to rehab.

None of these activities are especially dear to me, which is probably what got me into the predicament in the first place. Although I initially found myself schlepping through the motions each day as if to knock out chores on a checklist, I soon joined forces with a competent training partner, my then 11-month old son, Deacon.

In no time at all, he provided some much needed insight on how to move forward after being dealt a setback. Below are the seven lessons best learned from someone who has never even walked before.

1. Back to the basics

Before we ever learned to run, we learned to walk. And how did we do it? By building up our strength and confidence one step at a time. Much is the same when we are dealt with an injury. We have to take a step back, determine our deficiencies, and improve those areas, one step at a time.

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Tip from Deacon: Don’t feel defeated if you have to use modified or assisting devices. Deacon preferred a four-wheeled lion to help him from Point A to Point B.

2. Have a short memory

As I watched my 11-month old son encounter minor setbacks, he became frustrated. But he had an equally effective counter – a short memory. As adults, and runners, we grow accustomed to walking and running long distances.

We suddenly have that ability taken away, and there is an accompanying psychological effect. It can be disappointing when we compare a 30 minute indoor strength training routine to a two hour, outdoor 10 mile run, that we may have done just a few weeks prior. Don’t fall victim to this mind game – stay in the moment.

Tip from Deacon: If you encounter a setback, distract yourself. Cheerios work well.

3. Get plenty of rest

As he transitioned to sitting up, crawling, pulling up, and walking with assistance, Deacon put in some much needed rest, sometimes up to 12 hours a night! Don’t get me wrong, when he is tired, he still fights the notion of going to bed.

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But is our situation as injured runners (and adults) much different? As we build back our strength, our bodies also need valuable rest. As adults, we too struggle against temptation to get that much needed rest almost daily due to things like work schedules, TV, and social engagements.

Tip from Deacon: Try to get in a routine that is similar each day as bedtime approaches, and have a cue for yourself that it is approaching. Like a bath with all of your favorite toys.

4. Cross training

He crawled, he planked, he did toddler modified burpees. If Deacon woke up every day and tried to stand and walk with no help or progression, he may never have met his goal of walking.

The point being, his approach to overall fitness helped build strength and agility that would allow him to meet his goal progressively, over time. The more varied your approach (cycling, walking, strength training, swimming, etc.), the better your overall fitness will be, and the lower your risk for injury.

Tip from Deacon: Incorporate as many different toys as possible.

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5. Have fun

Imagine how weird it would look if he woke up from his nap, changed himself into workout clothes, and struggled through sets and reps with a painful look on his face. Instead, he tackles his toddler-modified workout with a smile on his face, and has fun doing it.

Whatever the exercise of the day or moment might be, add a twist or competition to it to make it fun again (plank-off, anyone?).

Tip from Deacon: Add music to your workout, and when you feel like dancing, dance!

6. Keep your intensity

Just because you are sidelined with an injury does not mean you have to slog through the rehab assignment. Without risking further injury, look for ways to maintain the intensity of each workout.

Watch a toddler barrel through playtime. They take on a circuit mentality as they cycle through activities with minimal break time.

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Tip from Deacon: Spread your workouts apart. Rather than sit between your sets, crawl (or walk, or jog, depending on injury) to the next station or exercise.

7. Remember that everyone has a different timeline

Pick up any child development book and it will give you an age that the average child will begin to walk. But we all know they don’t wake up that day and start walking, as they all have their own unique timelines.

Injury rehab is no different. Google “IT band rehab” and you will similarly find advice for how long you should take off. Again, every runner will differ. Be patient, and know you may not be “average”.

Tip from Deacon: Celebrate the smaller milestones along the way.

Featured photo credit: Yoga/Elvert Barnes via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

The Ultimate Workout Routine for Men (Tailored for Different Fitness Level)

The Ultimate Workout Routine for Men (Tailored for Different Fitness Level)

Now is as good a time as any to focus on getting your body into the best shape possible.

Whether you want to build muscle or completely transform your body, if you follow the right workout routine for men, you will get exactly what you need. (No! It’s never too late to start bodybuilding, here’s the proof.)

Finding the right workout routine, however, is tough. You see, in order to progress, you need to find a workout that appeals to you and is feasible based on your abilities.

In this article I’m going to list 3 workout plans for men to build muscle. Each workout routine is tailored for individuals of different abilities: a beginner routine, an intermediate routine and an advanced routine.

What’s so special about this workout routine for men?

There are plenty of workout routines out there for men, so what is it about these routines that are so special? Well, they are tailormade to each unique individual, rather than covering a broad demographic.

Basically, each routine is engineered towards an individual’s ability levels and fitness levels in the gym.

It wouldn’t be much use having a very fit and healthy bodybuilder, with many years of training under his belt, following a workout routine for men that is aimed at complete beginners. He will already know what he is doing and will find the routine far too easy. On the flipside, if he is looking for a new and challenging workout routine, he can follow the advanced program and will enjoy great results.

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With that in mind, here are the three routines to try the next time you’re in the gym depending on your unique level of fitness:

Beginner full body workout routine

To start with, we’ll be taking a look at a beginner workout routine.

This workout isn’t too difficult; though, for those new to health and fitness, it will certainly prove challenging.

    Day 1: Chest, Back, Shoulders, Legs, Biceps, Triceps

    Day 2: Legs, Triceps, Biceps, Chest, Back, Shoulder

    Day 3: Shoulders, Back, Chest, Legs, Triceps, Biceps

    Intermediate workout for men

    This next workout is ideal for those of you who are advanced enough to challenge yourselves in the gym without going crazy.

    This workout routine will help you burn a steady amount of fat without burning yourself out in the process. It is a typical 5 day split that will yield impressive muscle gains.

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      Day 1: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps

      Chest

      Triceps

      Shoulders

      Day 2: Back and Biceps

      Back

      Biceps

      Day 3: Legs

      Quads, Glutes and Hamstrings

      Calves

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      Day 4:  Shoulders, chest, and Triceps

      Chest

      Triceps

      Shoulders

      Note:

      Every second week superset bench press and dumbbell flys.
      Crossovers: Ultra slow rep timing with 2 second pause and squeeze at the top of the movement.

      Day 5: Back and Bis

      Back

      Biceps

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      Advanced Workout Routine For Men

      Now it’s time for us to take a look at the more advanced workout routine. This routine will really separate the men from the boys.

      It is high intensity, includes a lot of heavy lifting, and you should aim for minimal rest between sets.

      Here you will be training for 6 days per week, with just one day of recovery. It may sound brutal, but if you stick with it you will soon be reaping the rewards of an incredible physique.

        Day 1: Chest & Back

        • Barbell Bench Press – work up to a 5 rep max for the day
          • Set 1 at 50% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 2 at 60% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 3 at 70% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 4 at 80% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 5 at 90% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 6 at 100% – 1 set of 5 reps
        • Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
        • Dips – 3 sets of 6-10 reps
        • Pullups – 3 sets of 5-8 reps
        • Pendlay Rows – 3 sets of 6-10 reps
        • Pulldowns – 3 sets of 6-10 reps

        Day 2: Legs

        • Squats: work up to a 5 rep max for the day
          • Set 1 at 50% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 2 at 60% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 3 at 70% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 4 at 80% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 5 at 90% – 1 set of 5 reps
          • Set 6 at 100% – 1 set of 5 reps
        • Leg Press – 3 sets of 6-10 reps
        • Stiff-Legged Deadlift – 5 sets of 5 reps
        • Hamstring Curls – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
        • Calf-Raise – 5 sets of 10 reps

        Day 3: Shoulders & Arms

        Day 4: Rest

        It’s your rest day. Rest your muscle to prepare for the next round of training.

        Day 5: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps

        Day 6: Back & Biceps

        Day 7: Legs

        Final Thoughts

        So, there you have it, above I have outlined three of the best workout routines for men that you could ever wish for.

        Each workout is tough in its own way, but if you stick with it, push through the pain and squeeze out those extra reps at the end, your body will thank you. Plus, you will look better than ever before.

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        Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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