Pain and Its Benefits

When I’m coaching and someone tells me “this hurts, should I continue?” I usually need a clarification. Are you saying your muscles are burning? Is it hard for you to breath? Did you drop a weight on your foot?

Pain is our friend. It tells us what is wrong with our bodies. Listening to our bodies is the most important thing you can do in the gym. When your body communicates with you, pay attention.

Whether to work through pain or not has more to do with experience. Good common sense would tell you to stop at the first sign of pain. But who said good sense was common. There as been more than one time I have pushed through pain in order to finish a workout. But I relied on experience to gauge the severity of the issue and come to a conclusion whether to continue or not.

On occasion my hands and writs hurt when I play the piano. This is probably because my hands and wrists are too tight. When this happens I try and relax as much as possible and push through the pain. As I improve on the piano i’m sure the pain will decrease. The decision to push through the pain is made so I can advance my learning and possibly decrease future incidents of pain.

Like most things, there is no clear cut answer to this question. Here are the takeaways:

  • Listen to your body. Pain is a communication tool.

  • Stop if the pain is new or you don’t know what is causing the pain.

  • As you gain experience. You can make better decisions whether to work through the pain or not.

  • Using pain relievers hinder the conversation your body wants to have with you. Try and stay away from Tylenol, ibuprofens, and the like.

David Shirley

CrossFit Upland is an Official CrossFit Gym in Upland California. Since 2014, CrossFit Upland has been guiding its members to find their fitness.