4851Prevention & Treatment of Sports Injuries
- Dec 12, 2013
An injured lion still wants to roar."
- Randy Pausch
* * * *
His name is Doug Graham, and he is now a little bit more
than 50 years of age, although you could not guess by
looking at his finely chiseled body, and he is a brilliant
doctor, writer, lecturer, and trainer of professional
athletes, and he is vegan, and he is my guru.
My name is Robert Cohen, and I am now a decade more than
fifty years of age, and I am the Notmilkman, and I am vegan,
and I want to complete an Ironman triathlon, and in my
quest to do so, I experience too many injuries.
My solution has been to read and re-read Doug Graham's gift
to full time pros, and part-time wannabe athletes.
"PREVENTION AND CARE OF ATHLETIC INJURIES"
Dr. Graham wrote his new book just for me.
What are friends for?
I knew that fact when I read in his introduction
advice to "avoid failure at the weakest link".
I had been creating one weak link after another.
particularly in my feet and leg ligaments.
Graham eloquently writes:
"If you were building a wagon wheel with sixteen
spokes, you would want each spoke to be exactly
the same length as the others, or else the
resulting wheel would be out of round."
My body is not round. It is an icosagon, and for
months at a time of late, I've been asking myself,
where has my muscle and ligament integrity gone?
Graham's wheel metaphor perfectly describes what
I have been doing wrong during my personal training.
In that same introduction, Dr. Graham lists 32
"Fundamental Elements of Health".
I would be able to list five or six.
If you do nothing else but spend two or more
hours contemplating the elements of this brilliant
list, this book would have paid for itself many
times over. I might even "borrow" this list
from my friend in order to write a new perfect
book on sports injuries. But what would be
the point? That book has already been written.
At the moment, it is just to the left of my left arm
in a prominent position on my desk.
Inspiring? Photos of Dr. Doug Graham inspire me. I want
to soon have that same magnificent build as the man who
produced this 4-minute YouTube video:
Prevention & Care of Athletic Injuries contains 17
chapters, and is broken down into four parts:
I) Injury Prevention II) Injuries - Failure at the
Weakest Link III) When Things Go Wrong IV) What
Injuries Teach Us
In the beginning...
Injury prevention (for an ignorant dumbbell like me)
is worth a kilogram of correct weight-lifting cure!
My daily gym routine has traditionally included
40 minutes in the weight room working out on 15
different machines that make me feel good. Machines
that I am familiar with. Machines that I enjoy.
I have forever ignored proper warm-ups and cool-downs
as parts of my routine as Dr. Graham recommends.
My repeated injuries might have been warning signs
which in the past, I've ignored. On page 8, Graham writes:
"As we age, the need for warming up can cooling down
generally increases, especially if we continuously attempt
to reach the levels of intensity that we achieved when younger.
Graham stresses to "Focus on the now".
Why have I been spending $75 per hour on training sessions with
instructors who have not a fraction of Dr. Graham's wisdom?
"Time is short for most people, and motivation for warming up is
often not very high. Therefore, it's important that your warm-up
not be diluted or wasted by unfocused effort."
Got it, Doug! Attitude change accomplished!! Thank you!!!
What exactly is a warm-up? Ignorance results in injuries.
Dr. Graham reports:
"Warm-up activities are designed to overcome the body's
ability to maintain its core temperatures. Stretching cannot
do this. Stretching is an important part of a proper
cool-down, but holds no place in warm-up activities for
My own personal observation is that most people who warm up,
do so by stretching. My injuries. I keep returning to my
injuries. My past training has been intensely wrong.
According to Graham, warm-up should take approximately
30 minutes, while cool-down should last for 1 minute
for every 5-10 minutes of exercise. In other words, for
my usual 2 hours of weights and aerobic exercises, the
cool down period (here's where stretching comes into play)
should last for 25-50 minutes.
There is so much more to part one, and each thought is
a delicious concept for me. However, if I report each
concept, I would be re-writing Dr. Graham's unique book.
Before moving on, I must pause to suggest whether or
not this book is for you. This book has been written
for three groups of people.
Group One: People who go to a gym to workout.
Group two: People who have a regular exercise routine
which they perform at home.
Group Three: People who anticipate that they will one
day join a gym and get into shape so that they can
feel 18 years old again.
This book is NOT for committed couch potatoes.
If you are a couch potato, rather than invest in
this magnificent book, invest your dollars in a
good medical plan or cemetery plot futures.
Part II begins with Chapter 5 on page 63. The subject
is Overuse, Overload, and Overtraining.
Yesterday, I was the expert at all of the above.
Today begins a new day.
Dr. Graham writes:
"There is a fairly reliable voice inside each of us
that tells us what is safe and what is not. "Why
risk it?" The voice asks. "Don't do that, you will
likely get hurt," it warns. Self-preservation is
a natural instinct, and the impulses we have toward
it should likely be heeded at all times to avoid
overtraining and injury."
Like the great 17th century sports philosopher, Rene
Descartes, "I over-train, therefore, I injure."
In the spirit of the great 17th century sports trainer,
Rene Descartes, "You just keep pushing. You just keep
pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But
I just kept pushing. Therefore, I limp."
In the fractured words of the great 17th century athlete,
Rene Descartes, "Perfect numbers like perfect men are very
rare. I lose count of my reps and sets. I do not think.
Therefore, I suffer."
Doug Graham is the 21st century reborn version of the
great sports existentialist. "I think, therefore I
make more sports training sense than any before me."
Chapter 6 is "Enhanced Recovery". I have told you
enough to get started. You have read enough to want
to read the rest. Buy this book and you'll save
a world of hurt:
Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/m9fvxta
* * * *
On page 285, in his final chapter, Dr. Graham writes:
"Consider the warm-up and cool-down as essentials in your
smart training regimen...Smart training requires variety...
Injuries end the fun of training...Some accidents that
happen are simply out of our control. Most of the time,
however, we cause them by ourselves...Plan to play for
the rest of your life.
If you have chosen not to own this book, take a serious
look at yourself and ask "WHY?"
* * * *
"The thing about getting older is the injuries.
You just get injured more often. You take time off,
you come back, you get injured again and you never
get in shape."
- Allen Johnson (1996 Olympic Gold medal winner)