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Old 03-02-2007, 12:55 PM   #1
Rodney McNeely
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Hey, ya'll!

I was turned on to CrossFit a few weeks ago by a friend at the Gracie Jiu-jitsu academy I started attending recently. It's exactly what I've been looking for: time-effective functional fitness.

However, I've had a few problems with implementation (I have yet to attempt a WOD). My reason is twofold:

First of all, I have a severe case of anterior pelvic tilt. I've been swaybacked since childhood (a genetic gift from my mom) and I have a herniated disc (L4-L5) as a result. I've been managing with the following stretching/strengthening routine:

1. Calf Stretch (Achilles Board)
2. Seated Lower Back Stretch
3. Adductor Stretch
4. Piriformis Stretch
5. Standing IT Band Stretch
6. Hanging Knee Raise (25-25-25)
7. Fencer's Lunge
8. Glute Squeeze
9. Standing Quad Stretch
10. Floor Crunches w/10-pound Medicine Ball (30-30-30)
11. Oblique Crunch (20-20-20)
12. Supine Pelvic Bridge (2 minutes)
13. Prone Abdominal Bridge (45 seconds)

The preceding routine works well for managing the pain, and when I'm done with the workout, the difference in my hip alignment is noticable. However, it takes me about an hour to finish, and I'm beat when I'm done. If I want to work anything else, I have to wait until either the evening or the next day to do it. I usually do this routine four times per week. Anything less, and the back starts hurting again.

My second problem with implementing CrossFit is narcolepsy. I suffer from EXTREME fatigue (in spite of the meds) and it just about kills me to push through a workout (I do anyway). However, my jiu-jitsu classes are in the evening, and by the time I get there, I'm just about dead (even after several hours of sleep in the afternoon). Getting through a class is absolute murder, and lately, my attendance has been sporadic to say the least.

I have two questions. First, is there a CrossFit way to manage (and even correct) my anterior pelvic tilt? Second, does anyone out there have any strategies for managing fatigue while doing CrossFit?

Any help would be most appreciated. Take care.

Rodney
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:32 PM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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"managing fatigue while doing CrossFit"

Scale it down....alot...CF may not be the most ideal thing for you if it puts you in a state of extreme fatigue...go slow...do little bouts of strength work...build into it at your own pace.

As for energy...I am no expert...but I know lack of DHA (omega 3) has been linked to some brain disorders...as the brain is like 75% fat....so you may want to look into a good omegs 3 supplement with DHA....talk with your DR first since you are already on meds and they may not work well together...but just a thought.
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:46 AM   #3
Elliot Royce
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Everyone has his/her own path but I think you may be trying to combine too much. CF is not a stretching routine or light aerobic workout - it's designed to be your "one stop shop" for fitness. It's even recommended to only do it 3 days in a row and then rest.

On that basis, you may want to consider combining some different modalities for your fitness, including CF, but not trying to do all of the WODs. For instance, I would imagine that ju jitsu is very anaerobic so that energy pathway is being trained already. Next you do a lot of stretching and core work so do you really need 100 reps of situps and pushups as a workout? Looks like maybe you're a bit light on the weight work, so how about just doing the CF O lift days?

Some athletes can do triathlon training, weightlifting, CF and a martial art. God bless 'em. Not me. I am trying to become more smart about how I combine the different approaches.

What's the point of being the most buff, exhausted, injured, and sick athlete on the planet? All in proportion.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:26 AM   #4
Rodney McNeely
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Mike, I'll take a look at the Omega-3's. Thanks for the tip.

Elliot, I guess what I'm asking is this: If I were to completely revamp my training, using CrossFit as the basis of my program, how much additional stretching and core work would I need to address the anterior pelvic tilt? Correcting that and alleviation of the herniated disk pain is my primary concern. Thanks for the quick response, by the way.

Rodney
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Old 03-04-2007, 04:12 PM   #5
Elliot Royce
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Rodney:

I don't feel qualified to say. I know from my own two cervical disk herniations that the last thing you want to do is provoke inflammation of the nerve. Would CF do that? Hard to say - it is very intense and I have sustained a number of injuries that in some cases have proven hard to shake. Would doing 6 sets of maximum deadlifts cause a long-term inflammation in the nerve? Perhaps. You seem to have reached a pretty satisfactory compromise with your physical limitations. You could try integrating some of the CF workouts and seeing how you feel afterwards. I doubt whether anyone can tell you that they will help the pelvic tilt and disk problem for sure. I suspect your PTs and doctors would warn you.

You have 13 different steps in a workout that takes an hour that you do 4 times per week. In essence, you are asking whether CF will hit each of those steps in a similar enough way to be therapeutic. I can't see it.

Now do you need all of those steps to be healthy? That's the main question. Again, if you're willing to experiment, start doing more CF and less of your routine and see what happens. I think that's the only way you're going to find out. You could, for instance, do your warmup for 20 minutes as the CF warmup part of your exercises, then scale down the CF warmup to 20 minutes (just stop whatever it is at 20 minutes) and then do stretching, etc. for 10 minutes. That would keep you in a time range that might manage the fatigue.

If this works, then perhaps cut out a few more of your steps and increase the length of the CF workout by 5 minute increments.

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Old 03-05-2007, 07:58 AM   #6
Rodney McNeely
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Okay, here's what I'm going to do. I've been doing research on the Janda sit-up, because it's supposed to reduce back strain while minimizing hip flexor activation. So, it should be good for helping to correct anterior pelvic tilt. Besides, it's supposed to be insanely difficult when done correctly. I'll find out in about an hour...

Anyway, I'm going to use the "official" CrossFit warm-up as the basis of my routine for a while, with the following modifications:

1. I'm going to start with a light cardio warm-up, just to get the blood flowing. Probably 10 minutes on the bike, treadmill, or elliptical trainer. This gradual introduction also seems to help me manage the narcolepsy-related fatigue.

2. Next, I'll throw in the following stretches, aimed at correcting the pelvic tilt: achilles board stretch, seated lower back stretch, adductor stretch, piriformis stretch, IT band stretch, samson stretch (replacing the fencer's lunge), and a good quad stretch. This should take me about 20 minutes to do.

3. Next, I'll do the rest of the official warm-up as a workout, but I'll eliminate the back extensions because I'm trying to pull my hips up and back, not further down.

4. Next, I'll go with heavy reps on the sit-ups, using the Janda protocol in an effort to correct the pelvic tilt.

5. Finally, I'll probably cool down with a few pelvic tilts, glute squeezes, and ab planks, just to help stabilize the core a little more.

Wish me luck, and thanks for the help. I'll probably have more to ask after I try this out.

(Message edited by rodney mcneely on March 05, 2007)
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Old 03-07-2007, 02:51 PM   #7
Paul Theodorescu
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Have you been diagnosed with narcolepsy? Are you on Modafinil?

Extreme daytime sleepiness may be the result of an underlying disorder like sleep apnea...

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Old 03-07-2007, 06:46 PM   #8
Matt DeMinico
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You also might check into your B vitamin intake and average blood levels (if there is such a test). Most B vitamins are removed from the body on a fairly fast basis, and need to be replenished. Some people get B12 supplements (but B12 is actually stored in the liver, and often re-absorbed in your intestines strangely enough).

A doctor may have some sort of test to check on your B vitamin levels, I dunno. But you might find a good (natural) source of B vitamins and use them (might as well call your doctor to see what he thinks before you do though)
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:53 AM   #9
Rodney McNeely
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Paul, the diagnosis has yet to be confirmed, but both sleep neurologists I've seen are almost certain that's what it is. So am I (I've seen 24 doctors from different specialties over the past five years). However, I have to have one final sleep latency test before they'll start the heavy-duty chemicals. I've experimented with Provigil (modafinil) before, but it gave me major palpitations (which is common for people with ADHD, like myself). So, we'll just have to play it by ear. And sleep apnea (obstructive and central) has been ruled out multiple times over.

Matt, I've had blood drawn more times than I can count, and every time, it's been perfectly normal. No abnormalities, no deficiencies, no toxicities. My blood vitamins/minerals have always been on the top side of normal. Confusing as heck.

And yes, four different psychiatrists have confirmed that I am indeed normal, well-adjusted, and psychologically healthy...

:-)
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:42 AM   #10
Elliot Royce
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"And yes, four different psychiatrists have confirmed that I am indeed normal, well-adjusted, and psychologically healthy... "

Clearly you didn't tell them you did Crossfit....

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