Injuries Are Not Excuses!

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Unfortunately, injuries happen, whether they’re exercise-induced or a by-product of simply living life. Sometimes they can be avoided, sometimes they cannot. Here?s the thing: an injury is not an excuse to take a break from your health and often your fitness routine! Throughout our many years of working with clients and our peeps on the show, Chris and I have never come across an injury we can?t work around. Never. So even with an injury, you can continue working out?it will just require some modifications and creativity from you and your healthcare team to find what works best for you.

Coach Bob Brenner, our dear friend and contestant on season 3?s final episode of Extreme Weight Loss, is an awesome example of how to not let an injury sideline your transformation goals. Bob had barely begun his 365-day transformation journey when he suffered a torn left ACL on day 4. He was given the option to get surgery and wait until season 4, but he said ?No!? So Chris and our awesome team worked around this knee injury. On day 53, while doing lunges (which he wasn?t supposed to be doing!), he tore the meniscus on his right knee. At this point most people would quit, but not Bob. He said, ?If I have to crawl to my goal, that?s what I?m going to do.? And even with two injured knees and a knee scope before his day 270 weigh in, Bob set an Extreme Weight Loss record, losing 56.47% of his weight?253 pounds! And he was the first person to outperform Chris during a milestone. Two injuries did not stop Bob!

You can also reach your goals, like Bob did, even with an injury. If you can?t run, bike or walk, hit the pool, and use the arm bike. If you have an upper body injury, use the stationary bike. There are so many options available that there really is no excuse to put your exercise routine on hold. Again, your healthcare team can help you figure out what works best for you in your situation and help you learn how to avoid injuries in the future.

While injuries do happen, there are some things you can do to decrease your risk of being injured:

  • Always warm up and cool down. Always.
  • Stretch before and after every workout and throughout the day.
  • Ease into a new program or exercise.
  • Don?t stick to the same routine day after day?throw some cross training days into your schedule.
  • Know your ?trouble? spots (knees, ankles, feet, elbows, etc.).
  • Listen to your body. Seek medical care sooner rather than later, and don?t try to ?tough it out? because you could end up making your injury worse (which means a longer recovery period!).
  • Fuel your body with healthy foods and lots of water. We think carb cycling is a great option! 😉
  • Work with a certified trainer to learn how to work out correctly, especially if you?re new to strength training.
  • Dress appropriately for your workout. Be sure to wear a helmet when biking, the right shoes if you?re running (believe me?this is crucial!), and so forth.
  • Be sure to incorporate some rest days into your routine, and make sure you actually rest!

As frustrating and difficult and never-ending as they may feel, injuries are temporary. You?ll be back to your routine sooner than you think, with a newfound appreciation for having a healthy and injury-free body to move!



23 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for getting back to me. I have both of Chris’s books and it’s not in either one. But, because you gave me the youtube link I was able to find it. It’s the “couch potato” 9 mimute mission, as he labels it. I was/am working with a Dr. and PT. I was able to show the youtube video to them and we were able to modify it too make them and me happy!..yeah!! And it didn’t take much changing either. For now, I just have to modify the squat part… part PT. is a Chris Powell fan and is going over other 9 minute missions for me too modify too use with his assistance.
    A win WIN situation for everyone around. And, a heck of a lot less frustration.
    Transformation has begun!… I don’t have anymore excuses!! YEA TEAM!

  2. Bob Brenner was the one that makes me said: “I can do it. Injuries are not excuses.”
    He saves my life.
    And the three of you, in fact.
    Thanks a million.

  3. I just started and want to excercise after to many years being a couch potato! While finding you and Chris (YEAH!!) I was searching so much on so many of the sites you have. I came accross a video of an exercise ( 9MM) I think I can do to get started but can’t find it now.
    I have had pervious back problems and really they are all mush now, but I must strenthen them first.
    You and Chris were in the video together, you were on the floor raising your head up, leaving body on the floor and using arms to do a push up, then into (an upside down V) lifting your legs up ( or out) to your chest and then into side motion jumping jack.. I can modify this one. I just need to see it again.
    Can you please help me locate it??
    I have been on utube looking for any video’s you might have on modifying these missions with out any luck. Do you have a such a series?
    I can’t jump do to previous foot surgeries, but I am not giving up and I need to get started at the same time..
    Frustrated!! Thanks for your help

    1. All the 9-Minutes Missions are in Chris and Heidi’s book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” complete with instructions. With your back and foot issues, I’d strongly suggest you work with your healthcare team and have them help you make any necessary modifications to the 9-Minute Missions or to any exercise program. We want to keep you safe as you’re working to achieve your goals! As for the video you’re looking for, here’s a link to several on YouTube – I hope the one you’re looking for is in this link: We wish you the best!

  4. I broke some toes a couple months ago right before I was starting a diet/workout plan. But I continued on and made modifications to some of the exercises and I’m now down 25 lbs with 5 more to go. If I would have waited I would still have so far to go and I’m so thankful for not giving excuses

  5. Thanks for this information. I have a somewhat related question. How long do you stay out of physical activity due to illness. For example, do you wait until the fever subsides or until you are 100% well? So you have a general rule?

    1. Since each illness can be different, it’s best to listen to your body. Our bodies are pretty smart! If you ever have a concern or question, it’s best to talk to your healthcare team, and then follow their recommendations.

  6. hey Heidi,
    I’m pregnant with my second one and i’m planning that after i give birth and recover i want to start training for a half a marathon. My problem is that after i gave birth to first one for about half a year (as i was also breastfeeding) i had problems with my knees, even walking up the stairs, or taking a longer walk with end up in pain. What’s the best approach if this were to happen again after giving birth to the second one? As i want to start running (i hate running, but it is my goal to start loving it) but I don’t want to end up with an injured knee.

    1. Congratulations on your pregnancy – that’s so exciting! I’d suggest discussing this with your healthcare team and then follow their recommendations – they are the best ones to help you since they can work with you on a one-on-one basis. We wish you the best!

  7. I have elbow/forearm tendonitis and wrist pain from overtraining lifting weights. Injury first happened in December and I have been resting since. Any advice? I miss the iron so much! But I also can’t do body weight exercises either

  8. Some of us have injuries that are permanent.. But it’s still no excuse to give up 🙂

    After a car accident 23 years ago and multiple surgeries including a hip replacement in 1999, I competed nationally 4 years later in bodysculpting in NZ and won.
    Since then I also developed a regional pain syndrome which means my body tells my brain 24/7 that it’s still in pain, and no cure for it. I lost my career and ended up on ACC (an insurance type system here) for the past 8 years and can only work part time. But I hire a nutritionist and workout every day to avoid becoming crippled or overweight like so many with this syndrome.

    I refuse to let the injury define me!!
    We can do this people!! 🙂

  9. How does one go about to even start walking when within the first 5 min legs go numb/burn, back spasms and numbness on and off throughout entire upper area due to c6/c neck fusion….2 years now and my husband is still having difficulties even walking much less trying to exercise and it’s not an “excuse” he would love to be active he’s just not physically able so what would you suggest tried pt and after one and half years there’s nothing more that could be done….I appreciate a reply…..

    1. That’s definitely a tough one, and he’s definitely not using his injury as an excuse! The best we can advise is that he continue to work with a PT to see if there is anything he can do, and then he can simply do his best. I can’t imagine how frustrating this must be for him, and we wish him the best!

  10. dear heidi powell I am in week 4 of 6 for a sprained ankle and my first 10k with others on may 9 can you recommend some stretches ?

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