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Bodybuilding: Stop doing it if your back hurts

 Bodybuilding: stop doing it if your back hurts.

In some cases, bodybuilding-style training for back pain might be holding you back from recovery. For example, some strength athletes who come to me injured assume that ‘going lighter’ and doing SINGLE JOINT ISOLATION BB work will allow them to heal. This is the case sometimes; other times, it’s keeping them in pain.

But bodybuilding doesn’t hurt me.

Also, just because it doesn’t hurt during the movement doesn’t mean you aren’t picking the scab. What do I mean by ‘picking the scab?’ You are creating motions, postures, or pressures that are part of your injury mechanism(s) and delaying the healing of your tissue. The process of picking the scab can be cumulative, meaning it happens over a period of time.

Everyone is different – some can bodybuild just fine.

Some people can get away with doing more and still heal; others cannot. Each injury and its mechanism is unique to the person. You cannot compare your injury to others if it’s not the same. One must also consider the goal and the miles of an individual’s body. Finally, you must make the call or have a professional help guide you. You can book a video call with me here: Video consults with Brian Carroll.

My closing thoughts on bodybuilding

My suggestion is if you still have back pain and you’re training to back off and let your body heal. We outline great ways to restore the spine in Gift of Injury and McGill’s Back Mechanic. I tried to do as much as possible while trying to heal and thought I was OK to continue training as long as it didn’t hurt me at the time, but I always woke up the next day worse. So start as Back Mechanic guides you by removing the cause, then progress with pain-free core work and walking, increasing as your body allows it.

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Brian Carroll

Brian is a world-class powerlifter with over two decades of elite and pro-level powerlifting under his belt. Coming back from a devastating back injury in 2012 that broke multiple bones and that most experts said he would never recover from, he has returned to the pinnacle of world-class lifting (while 100% pain and symptom-free) and is now dedicated to helping others avoid the same mistakes that he made in the past through private and group coaching in Jacksonville, FL. Brian’s impressive recovery has given him the opportunity to teach and deliver talks to physical therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors, professional strength & conditioning coaches and experts from all facets of sport, on how to avoid injury, while building anti-fragile strength and resilience in athletes.

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