View Full Version : Time off

Michael Gibbons
11-22-2009, 04:16 PM
Hey all, I have been doing Crossfit as a back yard privateer for roughly 3 months now, and I really dig it. I've lost thirty pounds, and started to recover the body I had before my last high-stress job 4 years ago.

Anyhow, one of the things I loved about crossfit was that with the varied exercises, I wouldn't aggravate old injuries and get shut down. If I started to feel my IT band act up, there probably wasn't running the next day, for instance.

However, it seems to have now caught up with me, and I feel like I've broken everything all at once. My IT band is always tight, so I stretch it. My patellafemorral (sp?) issues (weak VMO) are very aggravating, and the PT isolation exercises aren't keeping up. And finally, between picking up climbing this summer, and the pullups, I've given myself elbow tendonitis. Tendonitis has always been a problem and is one of the things to sideline any athletics on my part very quickly (wrist issues for 3 years from computer-work, shoulders, wrists, elbows at other times).

So, I have decided to take some time off. Niggling injuries not going away, and feeling kind of beat generally, sounds like overtraining. I have also just started taking Cissus for the tendons.

So my questions are as follows:
What is the best way to cycle time off like this? one week, two weeks?
Any suggestions for this miserable climbing/pullup elbow going forward?

Thanks in advance for your time and feedback.

Mike, 38yo, 210lbs.

Steven Low
11-22-2009, 05:48 PM

Read this and do it wfs


As for IT band/PF you're going to have to strengthen your glutes and hammies, dig out trigger points in your TFL/quads and stretch them out significantly... probably stretch out calves and hamstings as well.

Currently posting up a series that covers a lot of this so stay tuned wfs

Will be all posted by Thanksgiving.

Michael Gibbons
11-23-2009, 10:07 AM
Thanks Steven. That site does a great job bringing together a lot of what I've read in disparate places.

And going over the last few WODs, including 80+ pullups, a 365# deadlift (woohoo!), and 45 weighted pullups all within the last two weeks, this isn't too surprising.

But I am going to have to be very careful about what I eat, so as not to go backwards.

How do other athletes cycle their training time on and off?

Steven Low
11-23-2009, 11:22 AM
A rest week here and there isn't going to destroy all of your hard work... I recently took off 3 weeks and didn't really lose any mass. A bit of strength though, but it comes back very easily.

Just eat well and let your injuries heal. Work on some weaknesses and skill work in the meantime.

Michael Gibbons
11-30-2009, 02:46 PM
One week update.

Golfer's elbow tendon still hurts like a mother-lover. Maybe I actually tore something. I can feel a lump in there right where it hurts. I massage it and push on it like a knot, and feel some relief. At this rate, I don't know when I'll be back to working out again.

As a plus to taking the Cissus, my computer tendonitis has gotten better. Not all the way gone, but less aggravating.

RE the PFPS, I think it has been wise to take the time off, and I will take more. I was operating with the idea that if I could get the VMO up, then balance would be restored and ti would feel better. Now my knees still hurt, and I haven't been working out for a week. Which I am taking to mean that I needed to take the time off before cause more/worse problems.

I have scoured the CF forums, and other places and followed this link

http://www.ualberta.ca/~alester/conditions/patellarfemoral.html#Treatment (wfs)

which has a nice protocol of stretching and various leg exercises. I'm thinking that if I take the time to do these over the time off, will result in better knee health when I start back up again.

Weight is holding steady at 210, which I am pleasantly surprised with. Got to keep that in check.

Anybody who has any suggestions or ideas, I will happily accept. Thanks also Steven for the links earlier.

Michael Gibbons
11-30-2009, 03:30 PM
Actually, now that I see Steven's article is finished, it is much more comprehensive than the link I posted, which only lists a handful of exercises.

Michael Gibbons
12-07-2009, 04:35 AM
Two week update.

Arm is much better, but a long way from all the way better.

Knees (PFPS) have not improved as much as I had hoped.

Weight is holding steady at 210.

I really really really want to get back to working out, and think I could handle it. My main cncern with that would be starting to soon and re-injuring things, maybe worse.

I am thinking that if I do start, perhaps I could use BrandX buttercup scaling, subbing for pullups and such. I could go slow, if I'm really worried, or I could go fast, working on intensity.

OTOH, this is going to be a busy week or two at work. Perhaps I should just let it heal.

Steven Low
12-07-2009, 10:45 AM
I wouldn't go heavy (with pullups yet).

It's fine to work isolation stuff for your rehab.

Just work on skills, and flexibility work and rehab for now. Consider this an extended rest breaks where you try to fix the chinks in your armor.

Michael Gibbons
01-05-2010, 05:46 AM

It's been 5 or 6 weeks since I quit. I've been taking Cissus, massaging. The knot has gone down, and the nub tendons attach to does not feel quite so much like a constant bruise anymore. It's still not well, but it's better.

The PFPS in the knees has subsided strongly. The exercises I have been doing while not crossfitting have been deep squats, light deads, and good mornings for the hams and butt. The goal was to strengthen the posterior and the VMO. It also is not well, but it is much better.

So, I am starting to ramp up to crossfit again, using BrandX scaling. I am incorporating 3x5 or 5x5 110# dumbbell squats (held at the shoulder) as part of the daily warmup. Maybe the good mornings too (50# kb).

Anything smelling like a pullup, I am subbing bodyweight ring rows. For yesterday's muscleups, I just got a different WOD off the american parkour site.

Hopefully this plan gets me back on track. I'll keep this posted in case anybody cares.

Also: holiday damage is about 5lbs. Could be worse, considering I wasn't working out. But still. (Dear Wife's lasagna is good)

Steven Low
01-05-2010, 10:33 AM
Have you been massaging everyday? How long? How many sessions?

You do need to take a couple breaks every once in a while. I tend to say everyday because most people won't adhere but you really want to be doing it about 4-5x per week, and have some rest to let the tissues heal on their own.

Have you been stretching out the IT band/TFL/hip flexors and quads for patellofemoral? That and the massage will help on top of hte exercise.

Also, fish oil at least 3-5g EPA+DHA.

Start adding some light eccentrics for the elbow. I dunno if you wanna go to full exercises yet like that...

Michael Gibbons
01-08-2010, 10:07 AM
Thanks for reminding me. I had indeed gotten less vigilant with massaging as the pain hurt less. I will continue to do so.

Steven Low
01-08-2010, 12:18 PM
What I've found tends to work well is for the muscles that are getting massaged:

Heat (10-15 minutes) ---> massage (10-15 minutes) ----> stretching (5-10 minutes)