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Old 01-15-2006, 05:59 PM   #1
Mark Brinton
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I’d be interested in hearing whether my current approach is sound. I’ve been doing Crossfit for 3.5 weeks (the NY Times article really piqued my interest!). I’ll be 50 in 2 months and prior to starting CF I thought I was in good shape (you all know that song...). Additionally, both of my shoulders have been surgically repaired to prevent severe chronic dislocations. Years of stability apprehension caused, in turn, years of shoulder functional disuse. I’ve read a lot of info at the Crossfit site and I think I have a rough idea of the very long road ahead of me. Basically, any WOD that involves significant shoulder ROM (esp. external rotation) causes me to completely set aside any thoughts of weight and intensity and instead approach it as a technique/elements session. This also goes for WODs that include any oly lifts. These WODs also become low-intensity technique/elements session. Later, I will usually do ergometer or treadmill intervals to partially replace the foregone intensity part of the WOD. Am I on the right track? Does anybody see any pitfalls? Much thanks and gratitude.

p.s. Right now I'm thinking that 30 kipping pullups is about as likely as climbing Mt. Everest... just the thougth of kipping sends chills up my spine.
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Old 01-15-2006, 06:32 PM   #2
Steven Stackpole
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Hey Mark
I think you're on the right track. I wouldn't be too worried about your age, as much as the conditions of your shoulders. Personally I think the low intensity/technique sessions are a very wise choice. I think anybody who came to crossfit new to Oly lifts went through the same adjustment period. Just remember that you want to be in it for the long haul, so allow your body the time it needs to adapt properly, however long that is, then slowly start ramping up the intensity.
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Old 01-15-2006, 07:30 PM   #3
Mark Brinton
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Steve,
Yes, I definitely see this as a long-term endeavor. As such, I really want to avoid any costly - and demoralizing - setbacks. The program offers such incredibly benefits. I now appreciate how important doing the warm-up exercise is. That tabata squat interval would have been impossible had I not been doing the warmups for the first week. Thanks for taking the time to give me the support and feedback.
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Old 01-15-2006, 07:56 PM   #4
Michael Keller
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Mark, just scale everything back as much as you need to do to complete it. Shorten the workout reps, lengthen the time, lighten the weight, etc. Whatever it takes to make it happen. Go slow, take your time, do as much as you can do, and NEVER give up.
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:42 PM   #5
Mark Brinton
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Mike,
Thanks for the encouragement. I understand what you mean regarding the "never give up" attitude. It means to patiently but inexorably work through any of the obstacles (like my shoulders) along the way. Having read alot of injury posts, I'm currently encouraged in the (hopefully realistic) belief that with patience and dedication, I can restore significant functionality to my shoulders. Like you said, I just need to be deliberate and mindful.
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Old 01-16-2006, 10:38 AM   #6
Sharon Smith-Mauney
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Thanks to Mike at Crossfit Oakland for the great workout/training session this morning! Getting a handle on proper technique is going to make a HUGE difference in my own workouts and I look forward to attending your Sunday classes when it fits into my schedule.
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:16 AM   #7
Frank DiMeo
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Mark, I started CrossFit at 55.
"I rememeber 50, it was a great year...."
All kidding aside, you can do this stuff!
Universal scalibilty is the thing that helped me get rolling.
Yes, experienced CrossFitters can do many incredible athletic things; however, I'm not there (yet). I have made definite progress, though, I lost 5 pounds (during Thanksgiving) and dropped down one waist size in a matter of a few weeks.
I recently started training a heart surgeon (who has not trained in quite a while) using scaled down exercises from CrossFit.
He absolutely loves it!
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:30 AM   #8
Mark Brinton
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Frank,

Guys like you, Larry, Eugene, Skip are definitely my role models.

Sharon,
Along those lines, after a bit more perseverence on the program, I think I need to arrange some training sessions with CrossFit North (Seattle).

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:10 PM   #9
Craig Van De Walker
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Mark,
I think it is a great approach. Everything should initially be thought of as technique work. I think you will be surprised at what you can accomplish if you keep working at it. I don't see why 30 pullups is out of reach. If I did not actively hold my shoulders together when I kipped both arms would pull out of the sockets. I am not saying kipping is necessary to make crossfit work. Heck you could crossfit if you had no arms you would just need to be more creative. But, if you are still pushing hard in a year, I would not be surprised to hear you were able to kip just fine (but start slow)
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Old 01-16-2006, 03:35 PM   #10
Mark Brinton
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Craig,

I must admit; right now with my shoulders, kipping has this gruesome fascination for me. I see the videos and its just jaw-dropping for me. God willing, I will be doing this same time next year. I started 3 weeks ago being able to do 8 deadhang pullups. Now I can now do 10 deadhang pullups! Maybe that should be a goal; 10 kipping pullups by Jan 2007. Thanks for the encouragement. It is most appreciated.

- Mark

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