Pain or Gain?

There often comes a point in a good workout in which an athlete has exhausted him or herself, giving all that they’ve got.

At what point does an athlete push the limit of their physical capabilities? Should they run another wind sprint? Should they do another set of squats or pushups? Every athlete gets to this point from time to time.

The question is: can they do more? Or more importantly, should they do more?

There’s no simple answer to this question, for every athlete knows that in order to get better they have to push themselves outside of their comfort zone. Knowing when to keep going and when to quit can be the difference between advancing to the next level or injury. Here are a few tips to help you decide what to do when you reach this pivotal point in your training.

1) Start With Your Limit

Every athlete and coach should be well aware of their physical limitations. That being said, going the extra step in training should be based on each individual’s capability, so training goals will vary. Choose a next step that is close enough to your comfort zone to discourage injury, but still requires you to push yourself the slightest bit harder.

2) Incremental Change

You have to be extremely cautious before you add any drastic changes to your workout. Doing so could lead to serious injury. This is because, your body needs time to adjust during intense workout regimens. Strains, pulls and tears occur when we overexert certain body parts, and our bodies do not respond to the change.

3) Know When to Stop

We’ve all heard the saying, no pain, no gain, but that’s not entirely accurate when it comes to intense training. That extra set of a couple of more sprints can land you on the bench or on the sideline for an extended period of time. The wear and tear of an intense workout can leave your body aching and sore, but pain in a specified area of the body often indicates that something is wrong (like an injury). If you experience such pain during the course of a workout then stop immediately. There’s always another day to get back out there and give it your all again.

Pushing yourself to the limit is a complex task that requires the proper preparation and supervision. Recognize your limit and take baby steps as you increase the intensity of your workouts. Always remember to stop training whenever you feel pain that is not normally associated with your regimen. Now, lace up, get out there and go to work!

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