Getting hurt sucks:

Bryan selfie at the doctor's office

Perhaps it’s something going pop in your back mid-rep.

Or a niggling pain in your shoulder that gets progressively worse. (Serves you right for trying to work through it.)

Or even a non-workout related injury that still forces you to hit pause.

All of the above suck royally, each in their own way. How much they suck depends on a lot of things outside of your control.

But what you DO control is related to your goals, namely thinking that because you’re injured you now have to abandon them.

“I was trying to lose 15 pounds by July 4. But now my shoulder is screwed and I can’t do any upper body lifting. It’s all over man, game over!”

Chill, Hudson.

animated gif of Bill Paxton in Aliens freaking out — game over man!

Maybe. But maybe not.

It depends on what actions your goal requires, what’s now off limits due to your injury, and what just needs a little work-around magic.

If you suddenly can’t do any upper body pressing and your goal is to win a powerlifting competition in two months, then… well, yes, your shit is toast.

But if you’re just trying to get in better shape — such as losing 15 pounds by July 4th — and you can’t do much upper body work, you’ll probably be okay.

A general fat-loss goal requires more than just lifting: it takes diet management, cardio and movement/steps, plus weight training to hang onto muscle or maybe even build a little, and rest.

The ability to press overhead, or even press at all, would sure help, but that is NOT essential for your goal.

So just replace it with more work you CAN do, and ideally stuff that can speed-up recovery.

So you can’t do upper body pressing but you can:

  • train lower body, arms, and core;
  • do extra horizontal pulling (rowing) to help develop structural balance in the shoulder and upper back;
  • do cardio;
  • be more active in general;
  • be attentive to diet;
  • sleep;
  • stretch;
  • manage stress;
  • see a sports doc or PT for treatment.

This is hardly a be-all, end-all guide to injury management. At best, it’s just saying “not all injuries are the same, mmmkay?”

Sure, things are now a bit more complicated, but complicated doesn’t mean DISASTER. It just means “options” (or keeping perspective as you figure out what your options are).

Which you have plenty of those options.

Folding your tent and going home isn’t one.

– Coach Bryan