Few things are more frustrating than an injury, especially one that prevents working out altogether.

They’re also basically inevitable.

While powerlifters and contact sports athletes are at a much greater risk of suffering a big “career ender” versus someone who just trains to look good, at some point even recreational lifters will find themselves hobbled by a tweaked lower back, stiff neck, sore shoulder, etc.

But as shitty as not being able to train is, your attitude while recuperating is key.

Especially when the goal is something as multi-faceted as fat loss or muscle gain.

Think about it. If you were to make a list of what’s required to build muscle, training would obviously be number one.

But right underneath would be nutrition/hydration, sleep, restorative work, stress management, positive mindset, even supplementation.

As for fat loss?

Many (perhaps not me) would argue that nutrition (i.e. energy balance) would overtake training for the top spot, followed by all those other factors (and then some).

But what happens when something goes “pop” and we can’t workout as effectively as we’d like?

We focus entirely on that one thing that we can’t do (train) and stop paying attention to all the other things on the list.

A tweaked back or strained shoulder may keep you from lifting effectively, but perhaps there are muscle groups you can still train, even specialize on?

And if all you can manage is a daily walk and re-hab, maybe double down on meal prep or even learning a few new recipes?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still sub-optimal as there’s no substitution for being able to train pain-free. But just because progress is halted in one area doesn’t mean you can’t make progress in some other areas.

Make a list of what’s required and check off all the items you can do.

It’s probably a lot more than you think.