The old adage goes something like this: Two guys try to chop down a tree. One is using an axe, and the other is using a sledgehammer. Both are working hard, but only one is working smart. Training can be the same way: smart training gets you results, and dumb training usually leads to an injury. If you lift weights long enough, chances are that you're going to suffer a few injuries. There's perhaps no greater frustration than to have the desire and the fortitude to train but not be able to because you're injured.

To make matters worse, when you finally see a doctor, he smiles and tells you to just take some aspirin and stop lifting weights. Stop lifting? Could Mozart have just stopped composing? Could Da Vinci have just stopped being creative? Would Sosa just stop hitting homers? Would Jenna Jameson just stop...well, you get the idea. So you try to "work around" the injury. Soon, you can't even open the door to the gym without pain, and again you have two choices: you could quit and spend the extra free time building your own Topanga shrine on the Internet, or you could seek out a real doctor, one who understands the needs of athletes. If you're lucky, you'll find someone like Dr. Ken Kinakin.

Dr. Kinakin falls into the same esteemed category as Dr. Mike Leahy. He's one of us. Dr. Kinakin has been involved with bodybuilding and powerlifting for over 20 years. He's a chiropractor and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Not only has he created the revolutionary Society of Weight-Training Injury Specialists (SWIS), but he wrote the book — literally — on weight-training injuries. "The Encyclopedia of Weight-Training Injuries" is revolutionary in itself — a "virtual book" that's constantly updated as new information becomes available (call 877-220-7947 for more info).

Recently, Dr. Kinakin put together an International Weight-Training Injury symposium that included presentations by Dr. DiPasquale and Dr. Leahy (don't freak out just yet because you missed it — there's still a way you can see it in its entirety...stay tuned). In other words, Dr. Kinakin is the Da Vinci of weight-training injuries. By the time we finished our interview, I decided that he was also da man on the subjects of drugs, diet, supplements, and even ethics in sports.

T: Let's get started with a little background information. Tell us a little about yourself.

KK:

T: You competed heavily in powerlifting before you became a chiropractor. What lead you down that path?

KK:

T: Sounds like a good reason to switch professions!

KK:

T: Were you also involved in bodybuilding?

KK:

T: Do you mean as far as drugs?

KK:

T: You Canadians are strict! We live on some of the stuff that's not allowed over there, like ephedrine and its derivatives, and even a lot of over-the-counter pain medications.

KK:

T: Rumor has it that Johnson was actually using the least out of any of those guys in the race.

KK:

T: Speaking of ethics in sports, Brain Batcheldor once wrote about Olympic swimmers shooting helium up their asses so they'd be more buoyant in the water. What's the deal here? I mean, the Olympics aren't even going to be fun to watch!

KK:

T: Are they just beating the tests?

KK:

T: I've judged and coached powerlifting a little on the amateur level, and I've seen these guys do some crazy and often scary stuff just to win a lousy trophy. What's it like when there's money and endorsements involved?

KK:

T: Now, what do you think of safe, sane, and relatively mild steroid use? Like say that a guy in his forties wants to get back what he had in his late teens. What do you think of that whole idea? It seems to be getting more and more popular.

KK:

T: Psychologically, you mean?

KK:

T: What do you think of some of the dietary approaches to doing that — like, say, the Anabolic diet?

KK:

T: So everybody is different in their abilities to handle certain diets?

KK:

T: Tell us about your Society of Weight-Training Injury Specialists. Sounds like something that's been needed for a long time.

KK:

T: Where did it come from, anyway?

KK:

T: So much for the validity of that study.

KK:

T: Do you explain this to the doctors that you teach?

KK:

T: Right. Hey, what exactly are we doing to screw up our ACLs these days? It's like you're not part of the cool crowd if you haven't been scoped!

KK:

T: Really?

KK:

T: Are our muscles, in a sense, outgrowing our ligaments?

KK:

T: Is there anything preventative that you can do to avoid an ACL injury?

KK:

T: Really? I was expecting an exercise recommendation.

KK:

T: Tough off-season?

KK:

T: What's the biggest problem that you see creating weight-training injuries?

KK:

Part II of "Smart Training" will be posted next week.