Training Through Injury – Assert Fitness | Northumberland Fitness | Nutrition coaching | Group Training | Personal Training

Training Through Injury

training through injury

As kids we were “indestructible.”, well at least I was.

I could swing and jump from monkey bars, climb quarry faces, fall off, dust myself off and try again, dive for the soccer ball with no fear and climb trees because I could.

It just never occurred to me that I could get hurt. Things like that just didn’t happen. Even when injuries did happen, they really didn’t linger. I’d break a bone, let it heal, and be right back at it. That was a parents or doctors job, they had the task of keeping me from hurting myself. In other words I was forced to heal and had no choice in the situation.

This is why it took me a long time to learn the best piece of advice that I could give ANY person – no matter where you are physically in life:

“Don’t let your toughness outweigh your intelligence.” 

I had to learn the hard way – repeatedly. Lets just say training hard and training smart are two VERY different things.

Let me tell you the story of the first time I let my toughness outweigh my intelligence…

I am a martial artist so the potential to get hurt is never far away, but I loved it. One time I had started a new job and was asked to play 5 a side football. I hadn’t played in a while so I thought why not. Despite this I had a create game. Trouble was after that first game there was a “pain” in my knee. Being “tough” I shook it off, still went to kick boxing and continued my training for the Great North Run 1/2 marathon. There was a niggle there, but thought it would be fine. It wasn’t until I was doing some circuit training that was to become the straw that broke the camels back. I decided against my better judgement to do tuck jumps when at the back of my mind I knew I shouldn’t. I was right, the second jump did it. I pop and twang and my knee gave way. Cartilage torn. I worked through the signs because I wanted to tough it out, I wanted to keep going.

I wasn’t “SMART” about my injury. I was naive, bullheaded, and “tough.” Looking back at it now I see that I was too “tough” from my own good. It happens to the best of us. Let me repeat:

“Don’t let your toughness outweigh your intelligence.”

Many of us have been taught by past experience (whether from our coaches, parents, siblings, peers, or ourselves) to push through the pain. Some of us have even been berated to “suck it up,” or “stop acting like a wuss!” or “No pain no gain!”

So, how do you differentiate between pain that is productive FOR you versus pain that is damaging TO you? Here is your quick guide to find out if your pain is good pain or bad pain.

Good PainBad Pain
Located in the musclesLocated in the joints (where the body bends) or along the centre of the spine.
Feels like tightness or stretchIs sharp, or electric in nature. May also feel like a toothache in the joint.
Is occurring on both sidesLocated on only one side
No swelling or bruisingAccompanied by swelling or bruising
Eases with exerciseGets worse with exercise


Put yourself through this checklist. If you are experiencing “good” pain – Congratulations! You are taking the right steps to reach your goals. If you are experiencing “bad” pain:

“Don’t let your toughness outweigh your intelligence.”

You have to train smart not hard, know when to rest and train intelligently. But don’t push through bad pain. If you doyou are dooming yourself to injury, and actually keeping yourself from reaching your goals!

Action Plan:

1. STOP IT: Stop whatever is hurting you. NOW. Stop it!

2. SPEAK UP: Talk with your coaches about your pain. The Assert Fitness team will modify the class or your customized program to fit your needs. In this way you can still work out hard toward your fitness goals as you heal.

3. ADDRESS IT: Don’t let your injuries sideline you forever. Schedule an appointment with one of your coaches for a free 20-minute physical therapy assessment. We will figure out what is happening and how to FIX it! Long story short: Protect yourself from yourself and…

“Don’t let your toughness outweigh your intelligence.” 


To Your Strength and Health



Head Coach

If you are struggling with what you should be doing to look leaner, fitter and stronger. Maybe you are sick of the reflection staring back at you in the mirror or just want to feel sexy again, then click the button below to get in touch with us for a free discovery call to see how best we can help you…

Book a Discovery Call
Related Posts
No related posts for this content

    Dean Coulson

    • International Best Selling Author of the Fit Formula • Feature writer on Nutrition for the Uk’s biggest selling Martial arts magazine – Martial Arts Illustrated • Presenter & speaker - Tour the UK with Bafta Award Winning writer Geoff Thompson. ( ) • Owner and Performance coach at Assert Fitness Ltd. Taking our clients Dreams and makes them a reality, through the realms of coaching all aspects of health and fitness to busy professionals. • ,