So I go to the Doctor and tell him, “It hurts when I go like this”. He tells me, “Well, don’t go like that”.

As funny as the joke is, it’s 100% true. Telling that to an athlete who has specific requirements to win a title or earn an income, may be another matter. That is not most of us though. We approach exercise, strength training, flexibility, nutrition and endurance training for either self protection [maintaining health] or self preservation, [we want to look good naked]. Rarely is doing anything SO critical that we can’t make an adjustment. There seems to be some obsessive streak in us to do the very thing that keeps us in pain. As if limping or sleeping with a stomach full of ibuprofen is a badge of courage. We seem fascinated trying to trying to fit square pegs in round holes.

What follows seems like sarcasm, but they are actually simple solutions to comments heard every day in cyberspace.

Q – My shoulders hurt from bench pressing. What should I do?
A – Stop Benching. Of course you won’t because when you die and go to heaven, the strongest bench pressers get the best accommodations. Beyond that, get GOOD coaching. If that fails and your x-rays look like the film, “Faces of Death”,.. then try dumbbells, a machine, overhead presses or even types of push ups. Unless you are competing in a bench press competition, you can, gulp, NOT bench press. You may also try board pressing and reduce the range of motion.

Q – I have to use one of those, “Bane-like” masks to sleep. Do you have any ideas on sleep apnea?
A – How much do you weigh? 500? 400? 300? 275 lbs? What did you weigh in high school? Is there a difference in the quality of sleep between then and now? Here’s a revolutionary idea, lose weight. Is this a 100% cure? NO. Will it reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease dramatically? YES. Losing weight is also FREE and in fact will save you money.

Q – When I get near my max in the deadlift, I get injured. What could be the problem?
A – “If you seek your limits, you will find them”. Of course hiding under the bed is much safer, but boring. So let us avoid the extremes and find common ground. Once again, if you are NOT competing in powerlifting, why not just do sets in the 70 to 80% range? Why the need to approach 95+%? Is some number in a notebook more valuable than your spine? You will still get big and strong. Probably stronger than alot of your friends. Then you can be like your friends who don’t lift weights and not have aches and pains everyday.

Q – Heavy squatting gave me hemorrhoids. What can I do?
A – See a doctor. He’ll use some form of surgery, laser, etc to fix it then tell you to, “avoid straining”. Remember, he really doesn’t give a damn about how your legs look in shorts. In fact, if you are genetically predisposed to this issue, you might think long and hard about this. Even heavy leg presses will create pressure. What to do? Single leg lifting, hack squats, step ups, heavy kettlebell swings, higher repetition deadlifts and variations. Also sled pushing, farmers walks, stair climbing, sprinting, hiking or kicking Thai pads. You see, there is NO winning lotto ticket for doing squats. You don’t get a better table at your favorite restaurant either.

Q – You don’t understand me. I like to eat. What should I do?
A – I like to eat too. I just don’t medicate with it. Stuffing your pie hole is the second cheapest anti depressant. Think about that. What’s the first you ask? Exercise.

Q – The Workout of the Day says to do “kipping pull ups”. My shoulders hurt so bad after those that I can’t get my wallet out of my back pocket. What should I do?
A – Carry your wallet in your front pocket. Seriously find another gym, do regular pullups, rows, TRX rows, Kroc rows. Why do you want to be in pain?

Q – I bought minimalist shoes and started running with them. I have some pains that started in my feet and have worked up to my knees, hips and back. Do you have a recommendation?
A – Stop running. Really. You can bike, row, swim, walk on treadmills, push a sled or use an elliptical. Do you place value at being in pain? But I digress. Get different shoes, take some time off and build back gradually. Or ignore internet advice like I’m giving and actually go to a doctor.

Q – I’m fat!
A – You’re ugly too.

Q – I’m trying to avoid chemicals in my diet. Could you suggest some chemicals that might be in food I should be aware of?
A – Yes. Avoid CHO, H2O, Amino Acids, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin and Ascorbic Acid. Get back to me in a few months and tell me how you are doing.

Q – I know that certain artificial sweeteners can give lab rats tumors. What do you think?
A – You are not a rat. Chocolate will kill a dog yet people still stuff their faces with it. Why is there a difference? Lab rats getting tumors seems scary but dogs checking out is not?

Q – I just lost 40 pounds and want to keep it off. Have any suggestions?
A – Yes. Give away your “fat” wardrobe. I don’t believe in burning bridges, I believe we should carpet bomb them. That way, when you gain weight, it will cost you lots of money for a new, “fat”, wardrobe. Of course their are people who have tricks to disguise their weight. For women, it’s called Spanx. For men, it’s either a sport coat or large shirt or overshirt. Back in the day, we called this the “loose t-shirt trick”… Simply wearing a large shirt can hide twenty pounds of avoirdupois.

Q – I’ve heard that as you age, you weigh more. Is this true?
A – Yes it is. As you age, God turns up gravity. Life is unfair that way.

Any questions you want answered? Send them my way. Physicalstrategies@gmail.com