I noticed a recent search term for my blog was “powerlifting injuries” so I thought I better clear it up online so people don’t think that powerlifting is a dangerous sport. I actually think it is one of the safest sports around, and is very good for your body generally speaking.
My most recent injury is a back injury – probably very common amongst powerlifters. It’s either a torn QL ligament or minor disc irritation.
I did it in the middle of strongman training, although it was during a deadlift – one of the powerlifting lifts. To be clear, this was a long time coming. I had referred pain in my glute for several months leading up to this, and when the QL went snap, the deadlift was just the last straw.
On the day, I had already done a fair amount of work. I had lifted heavier than I had before in other things such as the yolk and squat. I had also done log clean & jerks, and heavy farmers walks. All these things use your back so I was already fatigued. When it came to the deadlift, I was focusing on strong glutes, due to the recent referred pain in my glutes, which at the time I didn’t realise was caused by my back. I knew I had to strengthen my glutes, so I was really making an effort to use them in the deadlift.
So it wasn’t due to bad form. It wasn’t due to lifting too much. It wasn’t due to a weak back. It wasn’t due to those obvious things.
It was because I had become complacent. My clients’ warm ups were better than my own. I usually skimmed through my own warm ups, and did minimal direct anterior ab work. This meant my back took the brunt of the load. Not to mention that throughout winter my laptop lives in the lounge room where it’s warmer, so I slouch on the couch when working at home. My back is pretty strong, so it could get away with this for a long time… before it snapped.
So now I am taking my training much more seriously. I mean, if you are going to train and compete in sports, you may as well treat yourself like you are a serious athlete. All that training is going to catch up with you sooner or later.
- Thorough warm ups so I am completely ready for lifting
- Direct anterior ab work to build a stronger core to assist my back
- More direct glute work so I have buns of steel to assist my back
- Plenty of stretching afterwards to minimize tight muscles
- Massage on tight muscles in between training to minimise muscle imbalances
- Experimenting with supplements to improve recovery such as fish oil
- Experimenting with other recovery techniques such as having a sauna
So basically… all the things that an athlete should be doing.
I personally believe that with correct form, nothing is impossible.
So… onto my running injury – tarsal tunnel syndrome. This is something that built up over years. I did not see anyone about it, and then when I did, I just kept running race after race! Although I rarely believe rest is the answer, modifying training should be.
My running form is pretty good. But when you have tight muscles, causing imbalances, the last thing you should be doing is running ultras. I did not pay attention to my body. I did not treat my body as an athlete should. All the points mentioned above… I did not do.
So now… while it is physically possible for me to go for a 3 hour run, it is not wise.
I should be doing all the above points. I should be treating my body much better. And I have no doubt that if I do that, and build up my distance sensibly, then there is no reason I should not be able to run ultras again.
And I know everyone in the world will disagree with me on this point: But I see no reason why I cannot be a powerlifter and an ultra-runner at the same time 😉