This is an issue I've had with both coaching athletes on teams and also coaching athletes/clients for training, injured and hurt (or some may call it banged up) are two different things as I'll explain what the difference is to me.
We all do it, everyone that's reading this and everyone that's not too. We find ways to get out of our workouts, feigning injury is the route many take. To put it in simple terms of my own, an injury is something that would most likely land you on the 60-day disabled list in the Major Leagues or something similar aka torn muscle, broken bone, big gaping flesh wound in your chest, arrow in your ass, you get the point.
Hurt, or nicked up, on the other hand is something you likely can go about life through while only noticing only now and again. Something like a sore foot, a cranky shoulder, tightness in your upper back, someone insulted your mom, it's not really debilitating, but you think it is because you're looking for an excuse.
From a strength coach's perspective the difference is all about can you train and how? Injured you either simply cannot train or you would have to make significant adjustments to your training program. Hurt you can probably train through, maybe you need a few extra drills to be sure you've got the right muscles firing and your technique doesn't slip due to compensation, but you're good to train.
I get it, there are certain points, at all experience levels of training, where you know that couch or bed is SOO much easier and is just calling you like a beautiful siren. I personally know there will be someone looking at me with 8 heads, or someone on the other end of a text saying what the hell are you doing if I don't get my training in. As much as you hate it it helps. Don't get me wrong there are days when suck it up buttercup isn't the answer, but that's usually reserved for those that train super intensely for 5-6 days a week at an elite level. Those, for the most part are the elite athletes of the world.
Sorry I got off track there. When you're dinged up and not 100% sitting around like a lump on a log is the exact wrong thing to do. All you're going to do is get tighter and feel worse, then you'll fall into that hole and all of a sudden 2 weeks go by and you're like "Oh shit what have I been doing?" Just get up and go, even if you don't go full bore and maybe leave a part out, you will feel closer to a million bucks than to a puddle of mud.
Perfect example I experienced the other week with a client of mine. The client is a high school athlete, they had a competition during the weekend and didn't feel up to coming in because they felt like they had hurt themselves during said competition. After some conversation and a bit of inquiry I managed to convince them they should come in and at least get some movement in of some sort. I watched them go through their warm up and movement prep, really saw nothing that told me that they couldn't do their program.
The truth is we did their program as it was scheduled that day with the exception of eliminating their conditioning/finisher at the end. Other than that they moved just fine, felt fine the entire workout and left feeling better than before. Just like magic, they came back next week and had not signs of the previous ouchie from before, BOO YA! As we can see here, and as is often the case, movement quite often will cure what ails you.
In short here's what you need to get from this post:
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS