Focus on what you can do, not what you can't.

Hey Fitstudios family! Coach Stephen here, the resident strength and rehabilitation expert here at Fitstudios.

We get told so often what we should avoid and what we shouldn't do, especially in times like these. But when it comes to dealing with aches, pains, and injuries in your body, you should focus on what you can do.

I injured my back severely early in my lifting career, a full L5-S1 spinal disc herniation. I was told by multiple healthcare professionals that I should never deadlift again and that I should be careful picking up things for the rest of my life for fear of re-injury. I was 21 at the time.

I am so thankful that I didn't listen to them.

It was extremely painful to do most things early on and it hurt like hell to sit. You would think that taking it easy, resting my back, icing it, etc. would help rehabilitate my injury. But in reality, I realized that it would do nothing to solve my problem.

You have to take a step back and figure out why the injury happened in the first place. Was it because I was deadlifting? Are deadlifts inherently dangerous for your back? (The answer is a clear cut "no", but I'll explain in a bit).

See, I was doing a ton of heavy lifting at the time, both at work and at the gym. This combined with some less-than-optimal technique was putting a lot of stress on my back until the moment came when the camel's back was broken.

All injuries happen when the force being applied exceeds a muscle or joint's ability to withstand that force. I had reached this breaking point.

Thankfully I realized at the time that if I didn't learn how to manage loads on my body and properly pick things up off of the ground, my injury was bound to reoccur even after rehabbing it. It would just be a matter of time.

So I went into the lab (aka the gym) and studied what a proper deadlift actually is. It involves creating a neutral spine, bracing your core, and lifting with your hips. In other words, a hip hinge. Thereby, my rehab process involved doing the exact exercise that caused my injury in the first place.

I can now pick up a 485lb (and counting) deadlift completely pain-free by focusing on fixing the actual problem as opposed to just managing the symptoms! If there's anything you can take away from my story, this is it.

The risks of not moving will always outweigh the risks of moving. I wasn't interested in a bandaid solution and you shouldn't settle for it either if you're dealing with pain.

Here at FitStudios, our rehabilitation clinic takes this into account and focuses on improving movement quality to decrease pain and increase performance. Focusing on what you can do will allow you to live a better quality of life free from pain and injury.

I'm a perfect example of following this process and I've built up tolerance in my lower back to the point where I haven't felt pain in years and I continue to lift heavier weights.

Are you ready to ditch the idea of "bed rest" and "heating pads" when it comes to rehabilitation?

Click the link below to get started, you’ve waited long enough.