by Robert Maxwell
I love training with a barbell. I can't get enough of it. This has sometimes gotten me into trouble – causing injuries or imbalances in my time management. I've been accused of being an iron addict, and truth be told, this isn't far off. Still, there are things that would certainly stop me from training, and if you're a lover of lifting, they should stop you too. This post probably won't make much sense to folks who don't love any sort of exercise, and either force themselves to do it, or don't bother. That's fine. If you're one of these, consider this entertainment only. If, on the other hand, you're like me, this might put things in perspective for you. Here are 3 situations that would (and have) stopped me from picking up a barbell, and should do the same for you.
Serious Illness or Injury in the Family
This should go without saying, but some of you probably know me well enough to understand why it doesn't. When you're training for a strong purpose, it's hard to stop for any reason. That said, family comes first, and always will. If someone I love is seriously hurt or sick, there's no way I'll train when I could and should be with them, supporting them and helping in any way I can. Once the crisis is over, whether it takes a day or a year, I can pick up the pieces of my training, and eventually get back to where I was. Some things matter more than training, and although for me that list is shorter than most, family is certainly on it.
This is one I've been dealing with lately. Properly training for general strength will make you stronger and healthier. So will training for powerlifting, most of the time. Sometimes though, you push yourself too far, then get hurt. It's rare for general strength and fitness trainees, but part of the package for powerlifters. Some more than others, depending on training style, genetics, and other factors, but all serious lifters experience pain and injury that delays or halts training at some point. I've learned the hard way that when this happens to me, I need to back off on lifting. Every time I've gotten hurt and tried to train through it, bad things happen. It's taken me longer than I care to admit to learn my lesson in this regard. Bottom line: if you're hurt, give yourself the chance to recover before subjecting your body to more hard training. Otherwise you could be benched for a long, long time.
Training Prevents Family Time & Provision
This is a tricky one, because guys who don't like training enough to do it consistently cite this as the reason they don't train. They're usually lying. Most guys who don't train know they should, but lack the motivation, plain and simple. Work and providing for their families is just a convenient excuse. If you really want to train, you can almost always find time. It might mean hitting the gym at 5 AM, but it's nearly always possible. Still, there are rare situations where training means sacrificing too much family or money earning work time. Keep in mind that true examples of this are very rare, and you're probably not the exception, even if you think you are. When this does happen, the only appropriate response is to postpone training. Postpone, not give up. Chances are having zero time to train won't be your situation forever – especially if you diligently search for pockets of time you can use to build strength.