Michael* has been training with me for 2 and a half years. He initially lost about 10kgs and 7% body fat and then his focus shifted to running competitions. He has competed in the City 2 Surf, 2 half marathons and the Sun Run 10km. He has also competed in Tough Mudder. Needless to say his attitude towards health and fitness has completely changed. With that said, I wasn’t surprised when Michael’s first question after informing me of the fracture to his 5th Metatarsal (small bone on the outside of the foot) was: “can we still train?”

The answer was easy: “of course!” We set out a plan to develop Michael’s upper body strength and take advantage of the ‘opportunity’ whilst he was on crutches. We did a 2 day split program. For the uninitiated, this means that we split Michael’s body parts into 2 sections and did several exercises on each day only focusing on those body parts. We also incorporated plenty of abdominal training and as much leg training as we could safely complete.

In a short space of time Michael discarded his crutches and over the course of 6 weeks his upper body strength dramatically increased and the physical changes were also noticeable. The best part of the training was not just what Michael was gaining but also the fact that we were limiting his losses in terms of cardiovascular fitness and leg strength at the same time. Over the course of 6 weeks, without regular exercise you can lose a tremendous amount of fitness and strength and whilst rest is important to allow the affected area to heal, exercise also plays an important role in increasing blood flow and in turn, delivering important nutrients to the injured site to support the healing process.

Last week, the now famous moonboot was finally removed. We were able to immediately transition to the bike and continue training as efficiently as we had done for the past 6 weeks. The benefit of continued training was more than evident. We had also been monitoring Michael’s body composition throughout this time. Despite being incapacitated for 6 weeks and only completing strength training throughout this time, Michael has maintained the same healthy weight and body composition he had prior to his injury.

It’s a great example of being mentally strong during a difficult time and as they say “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Congratulations Michael , you’ve done a great job and proven that despite injury and very difficult circumstances you can still achieve great outcomes for your health. “Glory, glory….”


*Name changed for privacy