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Old 08-11-2005, 07:03 PM   #1
Corinne Thieleman
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Hi to all! I am a 40-yr-old vastly overweight female (212 at 5'7") just itching to be able to keep up with you all. (I realize this will take quite awhile, boohoo!) I've only been watching the site for a few days but I am raring to go. I've ordered the journals #1 & 9, but I have a couple questions.

First, 20 years ago I fell out of a tree and shattered my right wrist. I do not have full range of motion anymore. I do pushups on my fists/knuckles. This would be very hard when I get past the ability to do 3 pushups. Also I would not be able to walk on my hands or do handstand pushups (when I get there). Would it be suitable to use either the parellettes (sp?) or make myself some little pushup bars? I am sure I could learn to balance on such a thing.

The other thing is that I am unemployed and trying to start a business and cannot afford to buy equipment or gym membership at the moment. I've been reading about substitutes and I think I can figure something out for everything but the weights. Unless I deadlift the tree trunks that I am going to be splitting for firewood, I have nothing to use. Can one have decent form lifting something like a hunk of wood? I even have a bar in the basement I can use to try and do pullups. I've never in my life been able to do a pullup unassisted and that is my first goal I think.

One last thing: I seem to have a bum knee the last few months. I am not sure if it is arthritis or an injury, I am waiting to get into see my VA dr. in a few weeks to have it looked at. I can squat down but it is painful. Should I keep trying or wait?

I can't wait to be able to do the WOD!!! :-)
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:44 PM   #2
Roger Harrell
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Make yourself paralettes. They make a HUGE difference if you do not have full range of motion in your wrist. You will be able to work on handstands and pushups with them. You can do just about everything CF modified with virtually no equipment. Just get working. Start slow and ramp it up gradually CF is a life change. Your gains will be fast, but moderate your progress and think long term.
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:47 PM   #3
Christian Hansen
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Nice to have you here Corinne. My advice is to slowly work up to the WOD (as I am still doing) and set perfomance based goals. This stuff rocks. It is fun and inspiring. With a little creativity, a beginner (and a way past) can modify the WOD and still move forward with just bodyweight exercises. Welcome aboard.
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Old 08-12-2005, 09:09 AM   #4
David Birozy
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Hi Corinne - glad you've come over to Crossfit. If you haven't done so already, you should take a look at the getting started link, along with LynnE's FAQ link in the upper right corner - it's a gold mine of info.

Most of us have some kind of homemade equipment at home, and it all works well. Since you're just starting out, you probably won't have to worry too much about needing heavy weights for deadlifts for a while. You may need to start out using some modified form of dumbbells you find laying around (be creative, that's what CF is all about! Maybe larger rocks, pieces of wood, things around the garage, etc. If you look at the different posts, people use sandbags, homemade medicine balls - cheap old basket or soccer balls filled with sand, etc.) Bottom line is that you can use anything that works for you, you’re not required to do the workouts exactly as posted. I use the paralettes too (though admittedly, I didn't know they were called that until I read the post. I just called them the "push up things." You can make them for less than a couple of dollars from PVC pipe from Home Depot, plus some material to make it softer on your hands.

As for your knee's, my personal philosophy is that if it hurts, you shouldn't do it. Please note that this applies to injury pain, not workout pain. There is a difference. You'll need to modify your workouts accordingly. I have the same problem after 6 knee surgeries. I’ve learned the hard way that trying to work through injury pain not only makes it worse, but sets you back longer (I’ve always known that, I’ve just been to stupid/naive/young/bullheaded/addicted/takeyourpick to cut back). The good news that as long as you are doing some form of exercise, it doesn't matter if you are doing them exactly as prescribed.

Best of luck!!
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Old 08-12-2005, 07:21 PM   #5
Corinne Thieleman
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Thanks for the welcome.
I printed out the beginner workout today, built a set of paralettes (luckily my brother had some PVC in his garage all I had to buy were the joints) and tried to do a pushup. No go. Turns out I am in even worse shape than I thought! I tried also to do some hanging from the pullup bar and couldn't even support myself. I guess I am going to have to get some thera-straps or whatever they are called for assistance, and also start my pushups on my knees. However, all this just makes me more excited to see progress, however slow.

Oh, one more question. The beginner workout has running days that say (for example) 400m x 5. Does this mean I am to rest in between 400m 'laps' or should I run the whole thing without stopping? Am I going for speed or stamina? Also, there is a high school track near my house. How far around the track is 400m?
Thanks again.
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:28 PM   #6
David Birozy
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No problem at all ... everbody starts somewhere. Where you start doesn't matter, what matters is the improvement you see! The pushups on the knees are a good way to go. For pull-ups, I'd suggest heading over to the exercise board, as there is a pretty good thread going entitled "fastest way to improve pull-up and dip." Don't forget to click on the archive link on the top for the earlier posts on the topic.

As for the run, you simply need to pace yourself. If you can do the entire thing without resting, go for it. If not, rest as needed. You'll quickly build up endurance.

A standard high school track is about 100 meters, so you'll need to run four laps for each 400 meters - in other words for the work out you'll be running 20 laps ... No, sorry, just teasing (bet your heart rate went up).

The "typical" track is around 400 meters (actually a bit shorter), so one lap should do it.
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:38 PM   #7
Beth Moscov
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HI Corinne,

Welcome. Glad to see you here.

Knee problems - take it slow but crossfit squats is what fixed my knee problems. Losing 50lbs also helped. Deadlifts helped my back problems. The key is proper form and you can get a lot out of the journals and asking here on the site. But listen to the above posters and learn the difference between workout pain and injury pain. It takes a while and I hurt myself sometimes in learning but never set myself back too much.

There are many ways to modify push ups. If you can't do regular ones, do them on your knees. If that is too hard, try putting your hands on a wall and leaning into the wall and pushing your body back. Put your feet farther back as you get fitter and then try push ups on a table or something. Eventually you will get to regular push ups. As you lose weight they will get easier cause right now it is like your doing everything in life with a weighted vest on. I know - I was there.

Welcome again. Glad to see you here.

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Old 08-15-2005, 12:55 AM   #8
Andrew Arasta
 
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If somebody hasn't mentioned this already, I would recommend just going out and buying some push-up bars. They arn't too expensive I found mine at big 5. To me the bars are easier than flat hand so I only use them sometimes to avoid routine or to focus on my shoulders.
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Old 08-15-2005, 12:22 PM   #9
Corinne Thieleman
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One more question: Today I started the Crossfit beginner's workouts. I used a cement block to do deadlifts, this necessitated having to do 'sumo' deads, is that ok? I tried to keep a good form. I did a few squats in the warmup and my knee is VERY crunchy. But it didn't hurt after I got the joint moving so I think Crossfit may just fix it, if I am very careful. I may have to use the cement block for push presses too, or maybe something lighter. Did some jumping pullups but am unable to support my bodyweight for more than a brief moment. Will that actually help?? Or do I need to figure out a way to assist? I am looking for a night job to keep me going while my business gets off the ground but in the meanwhile I am dead broke. Can't wait to be able to buy a bar and some weights though!
Thanks for all the advice! :-)
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:49 PM   #10
Larry Lindenman
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Great spirit! Sumo's are great. I would look to build a medicine ball for push presses. An old basketball filled with sand and rags, and duct taped, weighs about 20 lbs. Might be a little safer than concrete blocks.
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