Instead of Toughing it Out, Be Smart and Treat Your Sports Injuries


You’re a healthy, fit person now and you enjoy being active. As you up your efforts at the gym, there’s more potential for injury. The occasional twist or pull is to be expected. A lot of guys will try to play off the injury, “push through it” and not get proper treatment. That can cause greater harm and permanent damage that can take you out of the gym for a long time; setting you back in your weight loss maintenance. If you do get injured, get treated as soon as possible.

Below is an entry I made in a personal blog a few years back. I’m reposting it here because it contains information that some might find helpful.

Apparently, a human shoulder is engineered to only provide so much force over a period of time. Like a lot of guys, I stupidly exceeded this limit. To literally add insult to injury, I ignored the pain thinking I’d “tough it out” and that it would get better over time. It didn’t.

After months of pain and watching the quality of my workout steadily decline, I went to my primary care physician. He did a few tests and told me there was something wrong with my shoulder and sent me to Grayhawk Family Chiropractic for evaluation and treatment.

During my first visit, Dr. Frank Sorrentino (he prefers to be called Dr. Frank) performed a series of movements with my shoulder that I would later learn is called Active Release Technique or ART. These seemingly gently movements actually did a lot to improve my flexibility and range of motion. He next pulled out this metal rod and started scraping the tissue around my shoulder. Yes, it felt like this sounds. This is referred to as the Graston Technique. My simple understanding of this is that a lot of pain and range-of-motion limitation is caused by scar tissue or improperly healed injuries. The only way to get the tissue to heal correctly is to break it back down. While this hurts like a son-of-a-gun while it’s being performed, I can tell you there is a payoff later. Treatment ended with 20 minutes of electrical muscle stimulation. Dr. Frank gave me a few exercises to perform throughout the day at home and I was done.

This series of treatments continued over the course of eight weeks. Dr. Frank closely monitored my progress and was attentive to my feedback. You could tell he genuinely cared. As time progressed, we slowly added more activities and eventually got to the point where I could go back to the gym. After working out for a few weeks, Dr. Frank sat with me and reviewed my workouts line-by-line and gave me feedback as to what was going well and where I maybe needed to be more careful. I have to say, no other doctor has given me this kind of personal attention! I also need to note that during the whole time of my treatment, Dr. Frank was always upbeat. Anyone that knows me well understands that I appreciate a sense of humor and I usually left Dr. Frank’s office laughing my a** off- even when I wasn’t feeling great.

Epilogue: It’s now been several years since this injury originally occured. I haven’t had any further trouble with my shoulder. While I’m not lifting as heavy as I used to and a few lifts remain off my list, Dr. Frank kept me from needing expensive and potentially damaging surgery for which I’m thankful.

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at

8 Ways to Be More Confident at the Gym


I recently heard one guy explain that his greatest issue after having lost weight was that he “felt like a fraud in the gym.” The only way you can be a fraud is if you’re trying to be something that you’re not. Here are a few tips on how to exercise your confidence at the gym.

Go with a Plan

 If you get to the gym and just wander around trying out different machines or picking through free weights, you’re going to look like a newbie. Have a workout plan in mind (or better yet, in hand) and complete each set with purpose and conviction. Record your workout in a paper journal or on your phone. Keeping track of your workouts will allow you to continually progress and prevent you from doing the same thing week after week. It also makes you look serious and dedicated; which you are.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Look, everyone’s body is different. There are guys that live in the gym, put a lot of money and effort into building their physique and, maybe, just have the right genes. Can you aspire to be as disciplined and hard working? Sure. But never feel less than them or unworthy of being in the same gym. There’s always going to be guys that are in better shape. Constantly focusing on keeping up with everyone you see at the gym will cause you to miss the opportunity to develop other aspects of yourself that make you unique.

Know Your Limits

When you work out, don’t try to impress anyone other than yourself. If you try to move more weight than you can handle, you run the risk of hurting yourself. If you’re using terrible form, you’re likely to call negative attention as opposed to wowing anyone. When you plan your workout, make sure you start out with weights you can handle and increase them over time. When a weight gets too easy for me, I’ll usually go up by about 10% but drop the number of repetitions in a set. Each workout, I’ll increase the repetitions until I can easily handle that weight, then go up. Not before! And for gosh sake, don’t drop or throw the weight—that just makes you look like dork. It also shows that you didn’t have proper control of the weight to start.

Take a Friend; There’s Strength in Numbers

If you can, get a workout buddy. Having someone to spot you, check your form and suggest new lifts is helpful. Plus, you’ll automatically feel more comfortable being with someone you know.

Dress to Impress

I don’t mean this in a shallow, show yourself off way. However, you can increase your confidence by feeling good about how you look. Don’t wear ratty, torn and stained gym clothes that are now 6 sizes too big. Find clothes that fit correctly, are designed for working out and make you feel good. Save up for better brands; my favorites are Lululemon or Under Armour. Better brands last longer, are designed to make you look good and you’ll feel like you belong in a gym. Also, the added investment is another incentive to use them.

Be Friendly, not Flirty

Smile and don’t be afraid to talk to people but don’t make the gym a pick-up joint. Most people are there to workout and the advances will be unwelcomed.

Don’t Create Your Own Discomfort; No One is Looking Anyway

While you’re going to act like you belong there, in reality, no one is going to notice you. People go to the gym to workout. They might catch you in a passing glance but there really isn’t any reason to feel self-conscious. Be a good gym citizen and you’ll be welcomed.

Corrolary to the Last Two

OK, some gyms ARE pickup places and everyone MAY be checking everyone else out. If that’s what you’re into then you probably don’t have any confidence issues. It’s important to scope a gym out to see if it’s right for you. Most gyms will offer a free or discounted week pass. Check out the place during the times you’d typically workout. If everyone is into their workout, people are friendly and you feel comfortable then you’re good. Family oriented gyms seem to be the least intimidating. If you’re really new and the idea of going to a gym freaks you out, try starting at the YMCA or the gym at a community college. They’re used to people just getting started and will be most helpful.

Some use a gym to lose their weight while others simply don’t feel comfortable until they’ve gotten close to their goal. Don’t let anxiety, or the feeling of being a fraud, keep you from having a fun and productive gym experience. You’re doing this for yourself and only you can give yourself the permission you need to succeed.

Image courtesy of stockimages