T Nation

Dealing With First Real Injury


I've been lifting for about a year, and just as I'm really getting into the swing of it, I've gotten my first injury, in a particularly embarassing way. I was showing my tiny home built gym (bench and bar) to a friend of mine who has always been considerably burlier, and he had a go on the bench press.

He commented that he thought the weight I had loaded on was a bit heavy for him (a weight I can comfortably to 5x5 of) so I cheerily said "oh I can do that". First rep, fine. Second rep, fine. Third rep, my right elbow gives out and I have to have the weight lifted off me. No warning, no previous twinges, nothing.

It doesn't hurt outside of the gym, doesn't hurt when I do anything but bench, but I've taken time off lifting to recuperate.

The problem is, I'm not recuperating. Once a week I try and bench just 20kg (+bar) and it's agony. If I go to the doctor he'll just tell me to stop lifting weights. Has anyone had an injury like this? How do you all cope with injuries psychologically?

I'm so depressed about not lifting that my diet has suffered and I'm already turning into a sack of potatoes. Should I just ignore the bench press and stick to other exercises or is totaly rest a better option? Any help or shared experiences would be great.


How do you know what the doctor will tell you?

You have to find out what is going on before you can make an educated guess as to lift or not.


Never mind the doctor. Get your ass to a physical therapist or exercise physiologist. A therapist will be able to diagnose your problem, have X-rays taken, AND provide you with a routine of exercises to get you back in the game. If you have insurance, it's covered. If not, it's still money well spent.

In the mean time, don't get discouraged. Use this time to work your lower body, lose fat, whatever. DON'T allow this to become an excuse to falter in your training.