Back Pain Relief: How Lifting Weights Can Alleviate Aches

Back Pain Relief: How Lifting Weights Can Alleviate Aches

Starting Strength Coach Grant Broggi discusses how he approached curing his back pain after marine training using the traditional barbell lifts in the gym. This is a clip from The Okay Podcast EP 017.


Introduction to Training Benefits

Training consistently is not just about building muscle or enhancing physical fitness; it's also crucial for managing and preventing everyday aches and pains. Regular physical activity can significantly improve how your body handles pain and discomfort, especially as you age.

Personal Experience with Training and Pain Management

I've always prioritized consistent training, rarely missing a workout session. This routine has helped me avoid the typical pains that might creep up otherwise. However, a recent experience after a break in my routine due to Marine Corps duties, including a physical fitness test and other activities, led to unexpected physical discomfort. Despite being active over the weekend, the lack of my usual weight training routine led to significant back, knee, and elbow pain.

Realization and Action

Upon returning to my normal environment, the continuation of pain made me realize the importance of sticking to my regular lifting schedule. The pain was a dull ache, the kind that makes everyday activities challenging, rather than sharp pain which indicates injury. This distinction is crucial because it guided my decision to return to the gym sooner rather than later.

The Surprising Outcome of Returning to Training

Despite feeling exhausted and out of sorts, I decided to go to the gym and start lifting, focusing not on hitting specific numbers but on alleviating my discomfort. To my surprise, after a few sets of squats using the Mars Bar, the pain began to subside. By the end of the session, after completing five sets of five reps at 315 lbs, I felt significantly better. This experience reinforced a valuable lesson: sometimes, the best remedy for pain is the very activity we think we should avoid.

Conclusion: Rethinking Rest and Recovery

This incident has led me to reconsider the conventional wisdom of resting as a primary method for dealing with non-injury related pain. While rest is crucial in certain scenarios, especially in the case of injuries or acute conditions, reintroducing regular movements and exercises can sometimes be the key to overcoming discomfort. It's a reminder that our bodies are designed to move, and maintaining a routine can be vital for physical well-being.


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