“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
A few months back I began talking about the concepts surrounding the “antifragile body.” That the human body, as a living system, is able to come back stronger from stressors.
Today, I’d like to extend that a bit further with another concept of preemptive repair.
Let’s start by saying that your training or workouts should not be hurting you.
I’m sorry to say that if they are, you’ve screwed up! Not paying attention. Not listening to your body. Or doing something else wrong.
I know it sounds harsh…but that doesn’t make it less true.
Listening to your body is a skillset like I describe in Beyond Biofeedback, one that you can learn (even if most people don’t recognize it as such).
I still hurt myself minorly every once in a while, for the same reasons. I’m not perfect. Instead of feeling bad and blaming myself, I find this an empowering frame of mind. Why? Because if it is my fault, that means I can learn from it.
Not only how to avoid something similar next time, but also to fix what has happened and learn during that process.
In this way, pain or injury can become one of your greatest teachers. Do you see it this way? I would highly recommend it!
You can’t avoid injury 100% but I feel you can do much better than most people do.
The flip side is to stay in a comfort zone of pain and injury (an oxymoron but once again, still true) and think that it is beyond you to fix. This is a disempowering frame of mind that I want nothing to do with.
But I’m not talking about rehab today. Instead, on the flip side is prehab, preemptive rehab or repair. This makes things MORE ANTIFRAGILE than before.
To make you less prone to pain or injury.
Sure, the body is antifragile itself. But you can challenge those antifragile systems in order to make them even better.
How do you do this?
It is not by doing the same exact exercises over and over and over and over again. Even if this doesn’t result in repetitive use injuries, it doesn’t help your body move “outside the box” which, in my experience, is needed for antifragility.
Variety of movement, variety of challenge is important to the body.
And done in a progressive manner, like with all training.
We live in a day and age of OVERspecialization. True in fitness. True in pretty much everything. Like all things, specialization has benefits and drawbacks. While specialization does allow someone to go deep and excel in one thing, it often comes at a cost.
And we can see this in the human body, in performing any limited set patterns of movement.
That means if you want to grow your antifragility, if you want to avoid injury in the first place, it is helpful to do more different things. And it is necessary to progress with these things.
Challenge those things that would normally break most people, smartly of course…and you’re less breakable yourself.
This is how you can enhance your antifragility.
The Indestructible Body is a good guide to doing just that.