Even a master trainer like Jeff Cavaliere—otherwise known as Athlean-X—isn’t immune to making mistakes in the gym. His most recent workout faux-pas, however, involved a very, very painful lesson that everyone can learn from.
In a new YouTube video Cavaliere posted earlier today, he breaks down a mishap that occurred while re-racking some weights before filming a video. As the clip begins, Cavaliere’s sidekick Jesse Laico is setting up to shoot when disaster strikes: A 95-pound weight falls off the rack and directly onto Cavaliere’s toe, and you can hear his pained reaction in the background.
Miraculously, an X-ray revealed no breakage, but that doesn’t mean Cavaliere got off easy, as his bloody, gruesome Instagram reveal makes clear. (Go ahead and click that link if you’ve got a strong stomach.)
As with all things Athlean-X, there is of course a lesson here. Cue the takeaway: As Cavaliere notes in the video’s lengthy explainer, the fact that he took immediate action to address the injury was crucial. “Within the first 24 hours, I made sure to ice my toe. While some may argue that icing is counterproductive to the healing process, it is important to bring down inflammation,” he writes.
Next, Cavaliere adapted his training, and even managed to keep some lower body routines in the mix while his toe recovered. In other words, he didn’t train through the pain, but around it. “I avoided movements like lunges knowing how they would feel. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t perform flat footed leg exercises such as squats, as I was able to displace pressure throughout my foot instead of through my toes,” he says. “I didn’t let my injury compromise my training.”
Finally, he worked to maintain a proper range of motion in the toe, which allowed him to maintain blood flow and keep it from stiffening. The result still isn’t pretty, but it could’ve been worse, and taking swift action allowed Cavaliere to avoid further aggravating things.
On that note, he shares one last, and perhaps most important lesson: Always rerack your dumbbells, and be careful while you’re doing it—especially if they happen to weigh 95 pounds.
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