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Old 03-19-2006, 09:10 AM   #1
Brooke Simmons
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Hi all,

I actually feel that it's a bit premature for me to introduce myself -- I wanted to stick with this until I had finished the beginner's workout from the Crossfit Journal before posting here. *But*, I have a question that may or may not be pressing.

When I hurt my right knee years ago (torn ACL plus a few smaller things), there were some complications after surgery, and my right quad muscles atrophied significantly. I have never been able to get them to completely come back (and to be completely open about it, I haven't really tried that hard). If I measure the circumference of my thighs, my right measurement is an inch smaller than my left.

So my question is: will this naturally correct itself as I build up my overall strength, or do I need to be actively working to promote using my right quad more than my left in certain exercises? I'm worried that if I continue as though there's no disparity, I'll unconsciously favor the right leg and make the difference between the legs larger by using more of my left leg.

I was thinking of adding in some exercises, e.g. one-leg squats, but I don't know if that will be useful or not -- and maybe there's something better to do instead -- so I was hoping to get some advice on that.

More general stuff about me, if people are interested:

I'm certainly what you would call a total beginner. I considered myself moderately athletic in high school (played softball, worked out somewhat regularly etc.), but was never in good shape from a Crossfit perspective.

After my knee injury, which was at the end of high school -- 10 years ago! -- I frankly have never gotten back into shape. I'm more than a little ashamed to admit that my attempts at fitness since then have been really half-hearted. Certainly they've been dominated by standard ideas of cardio and weight machines, and the standard low-fat diet filled with pre-packaged chemical-rich meals. I have lost weight on those diets, and gained it back, and never really built significant muscle from working out. A general lack of making-fitness-a-priority has led to me gaining about 60 pounds since high school, and I'm sure gaining more than that in fat, since I'm in worse muscular shape now than I was then.

About 6 weeks ago, I stumbled across the Crossfit website (via Gym Jones via a promotional video about the movie "300"), and was very, very intrigued. I love the theory behind all this, and even if you all scare me sometimes with your fervor :-) I very, very much want to be physically fit -- again or for the first time in my life. I like the way you all think, and I think that with a lot of work I could eventually call myself a Crossfitter.

I downloaded several back issues of the Crossfit Journal (and also subscribed) and have been reading the boards and the WOD posts every day, and I've started the beginner's workout detailed in journal #9. I work out at home using equipment I scrounged from craigslist (I'm a grad student, so budget is limited). I've just finished with week 4. It's getting a little monotonous, but my carrot is that after I finish week 12, I will be ready to start doing scaled versions of the ever-varying WOD. I was tempted, after reading the boards, to start a GTG regimen for push ups and pull-ups, but I'm trying to be patient and not rush into everything all at once.

This seems like a great community, and even though I don't have the same fitness history that so many of you do, I hope that in 18 months or so (I have a long way to go from a bodyweight standpoint, so I hope this is a realistic goal) I'll be able to post WOD times that won't make me want to hang my head in shame!

Cheers,
-Brooke
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