Joint Pain and Over-training or Under-recovering

Six Sigma Fitness

I get asked a lot about joint pain and if the cause is due to exercise injury or from over-training. Over-training comes from long-term lack of ability to recover properly. This may be due to too much training but it is really a recovery issue. The more acute version is called staleness which involves both psychological as well as physiological breakdown. Besides declining performance, the individual may often feel whole body Upper extremitypain or flu like symptoms including loss of appetite, indigestion, weight loss, or inability to sleep properly as well as chronic fatigue. These are all factors affecting your recovery.

Over-training occurs because of an imbalance between the load placed on the body verses its ability to cope with it adequately.  The result is often a body in a chronically inflamed state.  It can easily be rectified with 3-5 days of rest or a lower amount of work.  New CrossFitters can often overdose on their new found love for training which may lead to a lack of proper recovery.  I stress the fact that when you perform high intensity routines like we do at Six Sigma Fitness™ you will become keenly aware of your environmental factors that affect your recovery.  You will begin managing your diet, sleep, stress, alcohol and activities to maximize your ability to perform in your next workout.  When you don’t you will notice the results quickly as these routines have a tendency to magnify how well you do at your recovery efforts between workouts.

Joint pain from over-training and pain such a muscle or tendon tear are very different .  Most athletes develop common forms of tendonitis in the joints such as the shoulder, elbow or knee. Pain from over-training is caused by inflammation in the actual joint itself as well as a breakdown in the Central Nervous System.  Tendonitis occurs due to the inflammation surrounding micro-tears in the muscle attachment to the bone.

I have noticed that most new clients introduced to High Intensity resistance training develop some form of inflammation of the elbow from trying to learn the mechanics of the kipping pull-up or any pull-up for that manner while utilizing a weak forearm that has not yet been fully developed to handle the full complement of heavy loads that we use in our routines.

This happens very frequently when individuals start doing a lot of pull-ups.  The constant full contraction of the forearm muscle especially if the bar is small in diameter causes micro tears in the tendons that attach to the Humerus, Radius and Ulna . Chin-ups are more likely to irritate the inner forearm or medial epicondyle from the inside elbow joint down the forearm to the wrist. More properly known as Medial Epicondylitis, the injury is caused by repeated forceful flexions of the elbow such as the fully extended whole body kipping pullup. Pain happens during forceful wrist flexion such as a tight grab of a pullup bar and may radiate down the arm. As you can see, the smaller the bar diameter the tighter the grip, the more the pain. Typical treatment includes rest, cryotherapy (ice) initially for swelling and then heat later for blood and healing nourishment. Analgesics and anti-inflammatories will help with pain management. In addition for Medial Epicondylitis, a counter-force brace like an armband with a Velcro wrap located just below the bend of the elbow reduces elbow stress. Normally, 7 to 10 days of rest is recommended but I have seen cases of this drag on for 6-9 months in a very slowly declining level of pain.

If the pain is in the outer forearm or lateral epicondyle, (also commonly known as tennis elbow) or Lateral Epicondylitis you will notice the pain with repetitive extension of the wrist which can also happen during the force full initial movement of the kip as the body swings forward like a backward “C” and the wrists extend into position before flexing back into the “C” for the pull-up. Treatment is similar to Medial Epicondylitis except that the armband below the elbow will not help here. You should avoid pronation or palm down movements such as a Pull-up. In fact wrist pronation, palm up movements such as the chin-up are recommended for rehabilitation.

A graduate of Loyola University and MBA from The University of Chicago.
Pre-med LSU and post graduate at A.T. Still University.

His love of technology started right out of school. As a new hire for Arthur Andersen's Consulting group, the largest accounting and consulting firm in the world at that time, he led the first implementation of one of the very first IBM and Apple personal computers ever used in the business environment quickly becoming the world wide expert in analytical implementation of personal computers for business. Eventually moving on to a widely successful leveraged buy-out and then returning to Arthur Andersen and becoming a Partner in the Chicago office, he specialized in health, fitness, nutritional and food businesses managing some of the largest strategic food industry restructuring deals at the time. As COO of a successful Midwest Venture Capital firm, he was responsible for the operational management and success of over 25 investments over 5 years yielding returns in excess of 1000%.

He served on the board of many businesses in the health and nutrition sector as well as the educational and certification industries, including the board of Nutrisystems and one of the largest licensing and certifying bodies in the US. He returned to school to increase his scientific and technical knowledge and launch an investment company targeting startups in the health and fitness sectors. During this time he became interested in digital marketing technology and became a certified strategic partner with Infusionsoft, providing digital marketing consultation and operational management for many industries including the health, fitness and hospitality service sectors. Having custom developed some of the very first website to CRM integrations, he completed over 50 digital marketing projects and developed one of the first website membership systems providing targeted content to clients based on funnel tagging and online behaviors. Having incubated and exited several fitness concepts, he noted a need for better digital marketing and client management systems as well as analytical tools for health practitioners to use to chart a scientifically valid path to achieving their goals and objectives leading him to develop the Six Sigma Fitness™️ methodology and technology app.

He is a founding member of Six Sigma Fitness LLC (SSF), an online science and technology company with multiple distribution channels. SSF is a Cloud based SaaS health technology and educational platform for Athlete Management and sub-clinical Health, Wellness and Fitness evaluations for the Health and Fitness industry. It is a health practitioner educational resource that certifies practitioners in the SSF proprietary methods and business processes. Additionally, he has created proprietary scientific algorithms, custom CRMs and integrated technologies using API integrations and behavioral logic for marketing and conversion strategies in the health sector as part of the SSF technology stack. This platform and technology has been adapted and customized for both a small muti-location mobile technology retail organization as well and B to B telcom provider.

A wrestler in high school and for a brief time in college until realizing the challenges of studying and playing sports at a high level while constantly having to cut weight, he decided to coach and master the challenges of health and fitness through weightlifting and martial arts while pursuing careers in consulting and eventually the venture capital and private equity business specializing in food and nutrition industries.

He is a multiple blackbelt having studied martial arts for over 30 years including kickboxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, Krav Maga, Kenpo Karate, Kung Fu, Northern (Longfist) and Southern Shaolin (Hung Gar Tiger and Crane), Tai Chi, Qigong, Traditional Weapons and Chinese philosophical studies including Taoism, internal arts and energy systems from an Eastern medicine perspective.

He has had the good fortune to train with and or under the direct lineage of some of the greatest martial artists in the world including Master Ed Parker, Master Jinheng Li, Kru Pol and Master Eddie Cha.

He is also the author of the Six Sigma Fitness™ Scholar Warrior Program which brings together the Eastern and Western sciences as well as the training of both traditional strength and conditioning with martial arts programming.

He is currently the Research Physiologist with UltraFit Systems, Physiologist/Consultant to many professional athletes specializing in combat sports, weight cutting and physiological adaptation and performance. He authored and developed The Scholar Warrior Program for Six Sigma Fitness™ and The Six Sigma Fitness™ Methodology.

Past certifications include Six Sigma Fitness™ Certified Practitioner, Certified Personal Trainer (C.P.T.), CrossFit Level 1, Precision Nutrition, Poliquin Biosignature, Poliquin PICP, BioForce HRV, BioForce Certified Conditioning Coach adding to an extensive academic background.

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