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Can Body Training Be Pain-Free?

Can Body Training Be Pain-Free?

A friend and I had a discussion some years ago. We were complete beginners to strength training. He had started to develop some wrist pain after his workouts and asked me if joint-pain is just a necessary part of getting in shape. I agreed, as I suffered from shoulder pain myself. I then proceeded to tell him, that having pain in your joints is simply a toll, that every person needs to face when getting the body they want. I’ve never been so wrong in all my life.

    Some years fast forward and I’m completely pain free. I didn’t achieve this state by following a crazy and new workout schedule. I achieved this state by simply following the basics that I will lay out to you in the following article.

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    The Fundamentals to Stay Pain-Free

    Removing pain from your workouts is not rocket-science. But if you’ve never been to a gym all of these 3 rules might be completely new for you. Remember to keep your workout as simple as possible. Ask for a coach to take a look at your workouts so you’re being aware of blind spots. The 3 rules to staying pain-free are as following:

    1. Move Often

    A good friend of mine, Daniel, is a passionate long-distance runner. He plans to run 60 consecutive miles this year. He told me that his joints have never felt better since he started running on a regular basis. Daniel is not an isolated case. Remember that your joints need movement to function properly.

    The saying ‘Use it or lose it!’ holds true for most parts of your body. The human organism has evolved to save energy over time. We’re basically survival machines. Survival machines can’t waste energy on things, that give no value to them in return.

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    Your joints, muscles, ligaments and bones are all made to facilitate movement. Your joints get nutrients and deposit waste with the help of the synovial fluid. But here’s the catch: Synovial fluid only gets secreted by mechanical stresses, aka: movement. While high stresses on your cartilage may decline your joint health too, lack of physical activity is a big factor in the formation of joint pain.

      2. Have The Correct Form

      Crossfit has risen in popularity over the past few years. While one of the biggest strengths of Crossfit is their fun workouts – I’ve tried them some time ago – there’s nonetheless a high chance for injury. Crossfit exhausts you and forces you to push beyond your limits. While pushing your limits, you often neglect having a proper form.

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      Having good form is crucial when it comes to keeping you injury free. A small error in your training style can accumulate over the long-run, leading to stress injuries. A small bending of your wrist when doing the bench press or a slightly rounded spine while deadlifting may accumulate and leave you with great pain. Focus on the details in your form.

        3. Train Your Whole Body

        I manage a fitness center for a big chain in Switzerland. Recently a new client asked me for more chest exercises. He’s already doing 5 exercises for his chest only. His workout plan consists of training his biceps, abs and chest. His plan is not balanced, and therefore will lead to injuries.

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        A better way to structure your workout plan is to train your whole body. Your body is a system and your muscles are connected with each other. A dominant chest with neglected back muscles will lead to a slouched posture. Dominant hamstrings with underdeveloped quads will lead to knee problems.

        If you’re a beginner, I suggest you to train your whole body in every workout. You can still implement 2-3 extra exercises for specific body parts that you specifically want to focus on. This is more than enough for you to get a great training stimulus. Arnold Schwarzenegger trained for years with a full body workout.

        Training doesn’t need to hurt your joints

        Training in the gym is healthy for your whole body, including your joints. Keep training pain-free by focusing on these 3 rules that will keep your joints healthy for years to come.

        Remember to move often, move well and train your whole body. Don’t hesitate to get help from a professional or ask a competent friend. Your body is worth it, trust me.

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        Florian Wüest

        Qualified and experienced fitness trainer and online coach.

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        Last Updated on September 16, 2019

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

        We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

        The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

        Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

        1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

        Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

        For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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        • (1) Research
        • (2) Deciding the topic
        • (3) Creating the outline
        • (4) Drafting the content
        • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
        • (6) Revision
        • (7) etc.

        Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

        2. Change Your Environment

        Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

        One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

        3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

        Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

        Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

        My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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        Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

        If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

        Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

        I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

        5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

        I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

        Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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        As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

        6. Get a Buddy

        Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

        I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

        7. Tell Others About Your Goals

        This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

        For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

        8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

        What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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        9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

        If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

        Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

        10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

        Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

        Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

        11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

        At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

        Reality check:

        I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

        More About Procrastination

        Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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