How often have we heard the phrase “No Pain No Gain”? A quick search on Pinterest for No Pain No Gain results in so many motivational pictures stating “Pain is weakness leaving the body”, “Today’s pain is tomorrow’s progress”, etc. All glorifying pain. It makes one think pain is necessary for improvement.
As a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I have to be really careful about the use of the word “pain”. I’ve come to really dislike the word. Often in the introduction to my classes I tell them I do not want pain. I want discomfort. Pain in the knees, hips, back, etc are absolutely not ok in my classes or training sessions. These are prelude to injury. There is nothing to be gained from injuring ourselves, except maybe a large stack of medical bills. Discomfort in the muscles is ok. Fatigue should be pushed through to a point, but we have to be very careful about feeling real pain.
Pushing through muscular discomfort can result in gains. Pushing through joint pain means injury. So, let’s not go forth and prosper with the idea of no pain no gain without really defining what type of pain is ok. Always work to find a balance between improving yourself and not hurting yourself. Ease yourself into any new activity and consider hiring a professional to help you with perfecting your form. Slowly increase the speed, weights or resistance. And do move out of your comfort zone, just not into an area where the pain is going to sideline you.
**take special notice of the word smart. Smart choices = results.