Sunday, January 17, 2010

Does it Hurt?

Hi Everyone,
This is a topic I get asked about very frequently. I received an email from Mike Boyle the other day that addresses this topic perfectly so I thought I would share it with you.

Mike is a very well respected coach, speaker, and educator in the field of sports performance and rehab. I read his material all the time. His websites and contact info is below:

From Mike Boyle:
I get asked rehab questions all the time.

I have rehabilitated athletes in almost every major
sport who were told they were “all done” by a
doctor or a team trainer. Because people know
my background, they often ask for advice.
Most of the time they ignore the advice because
the advice does not contain the answer they
want. They say “it only hurts when I run”,
I say things like “don’t run”.

A famous coach I know once told me “people
don’t call for advice, they call for agreement or
consensus. If you don’t tell them what they want to
hear, they simply call someone else”. His advice to
me, don’t bother wasting your time with advice.

Here I go again wasting time.

If you have an injury and are wondering whether
or not a certain exercise is appropriate, ask yourself
a simple question. “Does it hurt”? The key here is
that the question ‘does it hurt?” can only be
answered yes or no. If you answer yes, then you are
not ready for that exercise, no matter how much
you like it.

Simple, right?

Not really. I tell everyone I speak with about rehab
that any equivocation is a yes. Things like “after
I warm-up it goes away” etc. are all yes answers.
It is amazing to me how many times I have asked
people this simple question only to have them
dance around it.

The reason they dance around the question is
that they don’t like my answer. They want to
know things like “what about the magic cure
that no one has told me about?”
What about a secret exercise? I have another
saying I like, “the secret is there is no secret”.
Another wise man, Ben Franklin I think, said
“Common sense is not so common”.

If you are injured and want to get better, use
your common sense. Exercise should not
cause pain. This seems simple but exercisers
ignore pain all the time and rationalize it.

Discomfort is common at the end of a set in
a strength exercise or at the end of an intense
cardiovascular workout. Additional discomfort,
delayed onset muscle soreness, often occurs the
two days following an intense session. This is
normal. This discomfort should only last two
days and should be limited to the muscles not
the joints or tendons. Pain at the onset of an
exercise is neither normal nor healthy and is
indicative of a problem. Progression in any
strength exercise should be based on a full,
pain-free range of motion that produces muscle
soreness without joint soreness.

If you need to change or reduce range of motion,
this is a problem. Progression in cardiovascular
exercise should also be pain free and should follow
the ten percent rule. Do not increase time or distance
more than ten percent from one session to the next.

I have used these simple rules in all of my strength
and conditioning programs and, have been able to
keep literally thousands of athletes healthy.

I’m sure the same concepts will help you.

-Mike Boyle

Bio from

Michael Boyle is one of the most sought after speakers in the area of performance training and athletic rehabilitation. Mike's client list reads like a Who's Who of athletic success both in New England and across the country. Mike has been involved in training and rehabilitation with a wide range of athletes, from stars in every major professional sport, to the US Women's Olympic teams in soccer and ice hockey. Mike has 10 years of experience at the professional level combined with over 20 years at the collegiate level. During that time, Mike has helped in the rehabilitation of the some of the biggest stars on the Boston sports scene. Mike's work has been featured in the media on HBO RealSports, ESPN, CNNSI, as well as in Sports Illustrated and USA today.

Mike is a featured speaker at numerous strength and conditioning and athletic training clinics across the country and has produced 14 instructional videos and DVDs in the areas of strength and conditioning, personal training and rehabilitation.

Functional Strength Coach

105 South Street
Plainville, MA

1 comment:

  1. Great post Scott! Recognizing that you aren't ready to do an exercise can be a bitter pill to swallow, but in the long term, it will save you from a lot more pain and suffering!


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