Tuesday, September 13, 2011

K-Star on Training Through Injury


According to super-guru Kelly Starrett, an ankle sprain takes -- without exception -- FOUR TO SIX WEEKS to heal. As K-Star says: "That four to six weeks sort of has a natural place in the healing cycle, the healing timeframe. We are superhumans. We're CrossFitters. I do superhuman shit every day. I can do anything...EXCEPT I cannot outrace my tissue healing times or my own physiology."

Also: Once tissue's been injured, it'll never be quite the same again.

Kill me now.

On the plus side, Starrett is emphatic that acutely injured individuals can't just sit on the sidelines until they're 100 percent. It's important to get back into the gym as soon as possible: “You had a surgery on Friday? Okay -- take a couple of days off. See you on Monday.”

WODs can (and should!) be modified, not shelved. Use dumbbells or scale down the weights. Do movements on one leg. But whatever you do, don't plant your ass on the couch and munch on ibuprofen. For a whole host of reasons, athletes should train through and around injuries:
Continuing to work out reinforces tissue and keeps systems intact. The metabolic and anabolic cascade and neurendocrine response lead to increased growth hormone, increased testosterone and increased insulin growth factors—all good things. And the psycho-social factors are also important. Athletes should not be isolated from their workout buddies or allowed to give up. They need to get back into action...
The recovery phase is when athletes need CrossFit most. When it comes to fitness, it’s a case of use it or lose it. Workouts should be modified, not abandoned. Do a workout on one leg, if necessary. Or consider Tabata intervals on day one of the recovery program, and let the intensity find you. Working out increases blood flow and promotes healing. It drives insulin sensitivity, restores proteins and gets the whole system looking for anabolic enzymes. 
Bottom line: "Injured athletes are still athletes. They need to avoid feeling sorry for themselves and get their butts back into the gym. And quickly."

More at the CrossFit Journal.