You’re pumped. You’re hungry. You’re ready for action. Today you’re going to earn a new PR, crush your marathon training, and finally defeat Zod.

BUT . . . before you do. Ask yourself these three questions about your workout.

1. Does it hurt?

Normal, functioning joints do not hurt when they move. Ever. Not even under maximum load. If you’re concerned that your joints are somehow damaged or compromised, there are options available for training that can mitigate pain and joint deterioration while also making you stronger.

Not sure how to go about finding those options? Skype me. I’m 100% serious. I coach a wide variety of athletes by video conference every week, all over the world. I can help you, too.

2. Does it hinder my mobility?

Strength and flexibility are the same thing, or rather, they are mutually dependent: you cannot have one without the other. If a muscle is only “strong” over a short range then it cannot facilitate bony alignment outside of that range. This creates pockets of instability that your body will instinctively avoid during movement, leading to progressively less mobile joints as muscles selectively atrophy; ergo, a lack of joint mobility will lead to progressively weaker joints over time.

It's all glory and trophies until he has to turn his head slightly to the left.

It’s all glory and trophies until he has to turn his head slightly to the left.

3. When I’m finished, what will it take to recover?

If the answer to that question is anything other than rest, water and food, you may be in dangerous territory. Ice packs and anti-inflammatories are for injuries, not workouts. Of course, injuries do happen—there’s no getting around that—but there’s a difference between accepting the occasional side-lining and training for it. Recovery should feel like a treat.

"Woo! Body Pump!"

“Woo! Body Pump!”

Now, go forth and conquer! Armed with a little self-awareness you’ll accomplish more and feel better.

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