Hey guys, Coach Clint, Penance Gym. I’m coming to you today with a bigger message, and the first thing I’m going to say about it is that pain is not inherently bad. Pain or discomfort are not inherently bad.
However, pain is a hell of a motivator because pain leads us to fear. Fear that something is damaged, something is wrong. Fear that the pain is going to get worse or that the pain is going to continue on forever – that this is just what life looks like now. We’re always going to be in pain, and we’re taught to avoid activities and exercises that cause that discomfort or pain.
But, unfortunately, or I guess I should say, fortunately, we’re not that fragile. We were designed much better than that, and avoidance of those activities – avoidance of things that cause you discomfort – that’s the quickest route to ensure that you continue to lose your capabilities as you age. Quite literally, “use it or lose it.”
The fact of the matter is that weak joints hurt. If your knees hurt, odds are they’re weak. And I don’t mean like you have weak legs. I mean that the joints themselves, which are full of ligaments and tendons, those connective tissues are weak and that’s what’s causing the pain. Joint tissue or tendons and ligaments, just like muscles, strengthen through stress and then the necessary recovery that is after the stress.
But the key here is the progression. You have to progressively and intentionally stress and irritate the joint to irritate those connective tissues and then be patient for the recovery process. I say to be patient because, for the most part, everybody knows what muscle soreness feels like. But very few people actually understand tendon and ligament soreness. Muscle soreness, we all know what that feels like. Tendon and ligament soreness is more of a ache. It can be a burn. It can be a throbbing sensation. It can even sometimes feel a little sharp.
The key, though, is understanding if the pain gets worse as you move or if it gets better as you move. If it gets better as you move, good. It needs to move. That throbbing sensation could easily be blood flow getting into the joint because, what most people don’t understand, joints don’t have good blood flow. You have to be patient for that recovery process.
Oh, I totally forgot to say this. Muscle soreness, we all know, but it usually takes about two to three days for it to feel better. Tendon and ligament soreness might take up to a week. So if you pushed your knees hard to try to strengthen them up and then they’re achy for the next couple of days, that’s normal. That’s them recovering. You didn’t do anything wrong. You did something right. You stressed them and now let them heal.
If I was looking at this and laying this out for somebody step by step what they should be looking for, first thing, you need to get blood flow through the joints. Again, tendons and ligaments have very, very poor blood flow so the only way to get nutrients into those joints is to move them.
Secondly, if the joints feel better as you move them, you move on to the second part. If they don’t, stop right then. Give it a few days. Let them rest more. They might just need more rest.
Second step is to impact or add impact or irritation to the joint. This could be something simple. If you’re trying to strengthen up your knees, if you’re tired of dealing with achy knees, it could be something like air squats. It could be something a little more advanced like slant board squats. It could be anything along those lines. If you’re trying to strengthen up your shoulders, it could be rows or pushups even along those lines. The key, though, is progressively adding in irritation.
Step number three, this is the one people overlook, recovery. Be patient, stretch, rest, which includes getting enough sleep, and then food. This could be a much longer conversation so I’m going to try to keep it relatively short, and then I’ll come back with another video another day for this one.
But with your food, everybody stresses about inflammation and taking anti-inflammatory medications because, “Oh, my knees are inflamed. My shoulders are inflamed.” Inflammation on the acute scale is not a bad thing. If you stressed your joints, they’re going to inflame. It is part of the natural healing process. Do your best to move them a bit. Hot bath helps. Eliminate foods that cause inflammatory responses. For most people, this is red meat in abundance, wheat-based products or grain-based products and dairy. Those are the big ones.
To give you an example, I worked with slant board squats. Today is Friday, I did that Wednesday, and I pushed them. My knees are a bit achy today. They will continue to be achy through the weekend. It’s part of the plan. I know this, I’ve been through it before. I also know that afterwards, they’re going to feel a lot better, and they’re going to maintain their strength long into the years ahead.
Thank you guys for tuning in. I hope that helps. I hope you found value in this. Do me a favor, hit that Like and Subscribe button. If you have any questions, I’m not far away. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop a comment below. I’ll get back to it as quickly as I can. Thank you guys for tuning in.