I’ve written about the importance of strength training numerous times, but at this very moment, focusing on rebuilding capacity post injury is more important than ever. At this time last year, I “celebrated” the majority of my 36th birthday suffering from the worst back injury I’ve ever experienced. I then spent the next 6 weeks on the shelf, doing everything and anything to recover. I’ve discussed that ordeal in greater detail in a past blog: Dr. Mike’s Injury Update if you’d like to read more about it.

Fast forward to this year, on my 37th birthday, I was able to perform 10 sets of box squats with 65% of my current 1 rep max. It’s not the heaviest weight, but more importantly I was completely pain-free while working out. As a matter of fact, I’ve been virtually pain-free for the past 5-6 months to be exact. I’m currently in the middle of a powerlifting program that I’ve been doing for the past 7 weeks and have continued to notice progress week after week. It has been a concerted effort to stay on top of my self-care, receiving routine chiropractic care, combined with acupuncture and massage therapy. 

So where does the strength training come into play? Well, first and foremost, it was a huge portion of my rehabilitation. My physical therapy consisted primarily of resistance training, all within a comfortable level of discomfort. I would be lying if I said everything was performed pain-free, but it was nothing debilitating. And if anything became too painful, I backed off. Eventually, I got to be pain-free entirely. 

The idea is that if you are physically stronger and your tissues have a higher capacity to handle stress than whatever your everyday life throws at you, ideally, you should never get injured. 

World renowned strength coach, Mark Rippetoe, has a famous quote:

“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general.”

Although the quote may be a bit tone deaf, but it’s not necessarily wrong. There are a number of studies demonstrating the association of strength to all-cause mortality. So, it’s imperative that everyone could benefit from some form of strength training, injured or otherwise. Not only can it prevent injury, it also can help you recover from injury, and is basically an anti-aging activity.