A Lesson To Learn From Mark Felix
Should you avoid training altogether when injured? Well, this is not the case with Mark Felix. Watch this strongman prepare for the World’s Strongest Man. You can see that his right arm is strapped because of an injury. But he doesn’t sit around. He gets busy by training his other arm. Perhaps he knows about the strength-transfer effect.
Allow me to quote Charles Poliquin, one of the world’s premier strength coaches, to explain about this phenomenon. He says, “If you’re injured, perform single-side training in the non-injured limb and you will minimize the effects of detraining. It’s well established that if you suffer an injury that causes you to be out of commission on one side, you can maintain strength and accelerate healing by training the uninjured limb. For example, if you dislocate your right shoulder and can’t train with your right arm for three weeks, by performing exercises with the left arm, you can decrease strength loss and speed recovery due to an effect known as “cross-education.””
I believe the brain/mind mysteriously decides that negating the effect of an injury is paramount for the well being of the individual. In other words, the brain decides that by training the uninjured limb strength loss is reduced in the injured limb. Due to a neural adaptation. The advantage of the strength-transfer effect has to be seriously considered. It will help athletes to recover faster when injured.
What is the take home message? Continue to train even if you are injured. In other words, rest actively. Importantly, train the uninjured limb, for it will help to minimize the strength loss of the injured limb.
Watch the videos. You will enjoy it.