IFBB Pro and BPI Athlete Jose Raymond has had more than his fair share of injuries in his career.
“I have a whole host of injuries that I’ve had to deal with over the years,” Jose Raymond says.
“My most frequent injury is an AC joint inflammation,” Raymond says. “I think everyone has had [an AC joint inflammation] specifically, young guys that bench press a lot.”
“Number two was a knee injury that has bothered me for over 25 years now,” Raymond. “It started out as chondromalacia [patellae] which is the rubbing of the underside of the kneecap,” he says. “That eventually led to bone on bone [rubbing] which I had repaired last year.” “I also have a labrum tear which occurred while doing leg presses,” Raymond says. “I was holding on tightly while leg pressing 10 plates and all of a sudden my shoulder came out of its socket.”
Here are Raymond’s tips to prevent similar injuries:
Tip #1: Know Your Body
“The first tip is knowing your body,” Raymond says. “[That’s why it’s so difficult] to write a workout plan for someone because you must know the person’s body. [A generic workout plan] says, ‘Do this weight for this [amount] of reps and this many sets,’ [which doesn’t take into account your unique body].”
“If you know your body as well as I [know my body] then you know that it takes time [to create a personalized workout plan],” Raymond says.
“And everybody is different,” Raymond says. “As you get older your body changes and adapts. The more muscle you put on, the longer it takes to bring blood into that muscle and warm it up.”
“[For example], when I was younger I could run in the gym, put three plates on the squat rack and workout for 20 to 30 reps without any warm up,” Raymond says. “Today, it’s different. [For that scenario to be possible, that regimen] would be my last exercise after warming up.”
Tip #2: Do Compound Movements Last to Prevent Injuries
“The second tip is pushing the compound movements to later in the routine [to prevent injury],” Raymond says. “I always use the compound movements later in my exercise [because that’s] when my entire body is warm, I’m feeling [great] and there’s tons of blood in the muscle.”
“It’s not only about warmth, it’s about security and support,” he says. “I get the best workouts that way. I’m the strongest.”
Tip #3: Pre-Exhaustion to Prevent Injuries
“The final tip is pre-exhaustion,” Raymond says. “When I say ‘warm up’ [I’m not referring to] the traditional [warm up].” Instead, Raymond prefers a high-intensity warm up. “I go in and get on the treadmill or bike and do a cardio warm up,” Raymond says. “I come in and pick up a light dumbbell and just start doing really light reps.”
“If it’s [a warm up for my legs], I’ll start with a light hamstring curl just to bring blood into that area,” he says. “I’ll do static holds, pumps and 15 to 20 laps but as I’m doing these exercises, I’ll slowly start adding weights.”