Injuring yourself…From Doing too much, or doing too little?

Posted on 02. Feb, 2009 by in Articles, Back to Health, Muscle Building

A few months ago, I decided that I was going to press 225 pounds over my head. For some of my friends that is a huge number, for some others, it’s not a big deal. For me, it was just a mark for me to work towards someday.

Up to that point, I had pressed 210 and 215 over my head, each once, so adding 10-20 points didn’t seem unreasonable. However, once you get into heavier weights, even a few pounds seems like a ton.

Long story short…not only was I able to press the 225 over my head, but I added 5 pounds and did a few more reps at 230. I was feeling very good and very strong.

The next day, upon waking, I had a lot of pain in and surrounding my lower back. As the day went on the pain seemed to get worse. I knew at that point, this pain and stiffness was because of the overhead press. I was thinking that I must have done too much.

That is the first thought from most people when they injure themselves, “I did too much.” I think it comes from our mothers…I have heard my own mother say those exact words most of my life, “Keith, you are doing too much…”

The more I thought about it, I don’t think that was the case for me, and I would venture to say, for a lot of people. Let me explain;

It is true that people can do too much when they are not ready and hurt themselves. I see it all of the time. With that said, and in my case, I think many people are injured because they simply don’t do enough.

Thinking about it more, I realized that I was trained and have been training for a long time. I was strong, I certainly progressed properly, my technique was good and I was properly warmed up. What I recognized however, is that I had not been doing enough core work in the weeks and months prior. (I also stopped deadlifting for a while too.) What it came down to is that I was not doing enough. If I had continued to work my core, work deadlifts into my program, and work on some other ‘stabilization’ techniques, I probably would have been more than strong enough to handle that weight.

I see it often with people. As their strength increases, and they start feeling good, they tend to stop doing the basics. They tend not to do enough. Pure strength is awesome, but if you don’t take care of things like core strength, mobility and stability, injury is bound to happen.

There are a few lessons to be learned here:

  • Don’t always assume that you did too much. Many times, it is not doing enough that is the problem. Do enough to protect yourself.
  • When you are setting up your programming, make sure you are including the things that will keep you safe so you can do more!
  • Personal Records can and should be beaten all of the time, and they are by many people. This is the only way to progress. Don’t be afraid to push yourself to do more and set new records. Just take care of business so you can prevent injury.

Remember, it is not always about doing too much, many times it is more about not doing enough!

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4 Responses to “Injuring yourself…From Doing too much, or doing too little?”

  1. JMJ

    03. Feb, 2009

    Curious if you were doing push presses, or just a standard standing military press w/225-230 lbs? That is some serious weight.

  2. Keith Scott

    05. Feb, 2009

    There was a little push, for sure. I try to do them strict, but once I got to that weight, I used my legs a bit

  3. craig ballantyne

    08. Feb, 2009

    Very good weight Keith!

  4. JMJ

    16. Feb, 2009

    Even with a little push, that is still serious weight! Impressive.

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