Many fitness professionals have a difficult time looking at their own bodies as objectively as they do with clients. I have fallen into this category on several occasions. We have the knowledge, we put together a plan, we do corrective exercises, and we push beyond our limits. But, like 16 year olds with license to drive, we think we are invincible… until our bodies remind us that we are human, just like everyone else. To date, one of the dumbest things I’ve done to my body as a fitness professional was that I stopped deadlifting when I started running. If you are a runner that battles with cross-training, you will understand my case.
I had never been interested in distance running, but I decided to start training for 5ks about 3 years ago. I didn’t want to be sore or in recovery from a workout when I had to run, but I knew it was neglectful to cut my lower body training, so I put some “maintenance leg work” in my weekly workouts. I didn’t know at the time that my 1″ leg length discrepancy with this type of training program would result in sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which led me to 3 years of lower back pain.
In 2009, before I started running, I had my best deadlift PR at 305lbs. I spent a little over a year training for that and I loved every minute of it. My body and my mind love deadlifting. In hindsight, when I was deadlifting regularly, the muscles surrounding my SI joints were strong and capable of stabilizing my pelvis. When I finally figured out this new non-deadlift training program was causing me damage, and hours of sitting at a desk in grad school exacerbated the issue, I was stuck in a cycle of back pain I couldn’t get out of. It has taken 2 months after graduation to finally report that my back pain is gone and I started deadlifting again. I had spent a lot of time on my Rumble Roller, stretching, getting deep tissue massages, and seeing the chiropractor over those 2 months.
The moral of this story is not to tell you not to run, or that you have to deadlift. The moral of this story is that everyone’s body is different, and each body has its own quirks and kinks. Your body will tell you what it likes and what it doesn’t like, and you should always listen! I do not believe we are all built to be runners, nor do I believe we are all built to be weight lifters, for example. If you are doing something that your body is not responding positively to, stop doing it. Just because Jane Smith loves her xyz workout doesn’t mean it’s going to make your body happy. Find what your mind and body agree on, and love your workouts!