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Old 04-07-2009, 10:53 AM   #11
Steven Low
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
Bert-
It's not so much of a metabolic thing like with the girls or heroes, but just a matter of doing a large number of a pretty explosive movement that forces a muscle group to work in a very extended range of motion. I think they are worth doing despite the risk--I can't remember where I saw it but there's some benefit in the way they force the hip flexors, abs, and even hamstrings and lower back to some extent to work in harmony. If you increase your capacity for GHD situps, you'll greatly increase your capacity for Abmat situps or knees to elbows, but the opposite is definitely not true. Here's a copy and paste from what I posted on Chad Perry's rhabdo thread on the injuries page--probably good advice for anyone:

Any workout that includes high-rep GHD situps should be prefaced with a Rhabdo warning on the mainpage comments or at least in the WOD forum on here...no matter how many crunches or knees-to-elbows you've done, if you've never done GHD situps, you should limit yourself to about 10 of them for your first few WODs and do the remainder on the abmat. Add GHD work to your buy-in or cash-out every day til you build up a decent tolerance to them...THEN consider doing a workout that includes a lot of them. You'll still probably have a hard time rolling out of bed the next morning, but will hopefully avoid Rhabdo.
No, it's the ECCENTRICS with a large range of motion with high to extremely high repetitions that causes the rhabdo.

Eccentrics are notorious for popping sarcomeres and disruption of the sarcolemma (muscle plasma membrane). This can cause severe DOMS (as muscles leak electrolytes/ions) from the plasma membrane disruption. Ultimately, this can turn into rhabdo if the muscle sarcolemma destruction gets worse enough so that proteins such as myoglobin can leak out in the the bloodstream and will jack up your kidneys.

The other types of exercises that cause the "most" causes of rhabdo or crippling soreness are excessive amounts of jumping pullups, squats, walking lunges, etc. ALL emphasize the eccentric portion of the movement especially when you are trying to do them QUICKLY.


I wrote up something on this and submitted to CFHQ, but they already have their own team working on a rhabdo article...
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:55 AM   #12
Bert Brams
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post

Any workout that includes high-rep GHD situps should be prefaced with a Rhabdo warning on the mainpage comments or at least in the WOD forum on here...no matter how many crunches or knees-to-elbows you've done, if you've never done GHD situps, you should limit yourself to about 10 of them for your first few WODs and do the remainder on the abmat. Add GHD work to your buy-in or cash-out every day til you build up a decent tolerance to them...THEN consider doing a workout that includes a lot of them. You'll still probably have a hard time rolling out of bed the next morning, but will hopefully avoid Rhabdo.
Wow, I had no idea. I use a makeshift GHD situp, but apparently the real thing is much harder.

EDIT: Thanks Steven as well!

This makes sense. I "assume" someone who has been trained on a steady regimen of high-rep squats can take more, but this sounds serious. I will definitely look into this.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:52 AM   #13
Rayna McGinnis
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

Bert- I actually HAD rhabdo from GHD sit ups after scaling the work out based on what I thought I could handle. I had been doing backsquats/front squat/over head squats for a little over a year prior to this and doing 15-20 GHD sit ups in my regular warm up prior to each work out. I also use to do weighted back extentions for fun.

90 GHD's put me in the hospital for 2 day's on IV drugs after 5 day's of horrible pain and my CPK levels were at 75,000. 6 months later I was able to "start" to work out again and I still swell up like a balloon over a year later.

GHD sit ups are in fact dangerous, especially to anyone new to crossfit. and they can in fact cause MORE damage than you can imagine.

I agree that a warning should be put up as well when large amounts of GHD's are prescribed. I still do them for fun, but I always sub weighted sit ups now when they're prescribed. No use in putting myself back on the couch for 6 months over one work out.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:20 PM   #14
Steven Low
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

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Originally Posted by Bert Brams View Post
Wow, I had no idea. I use a makeshift GHD situp, but apparently the real thing is much harder.

EDIT: Thanks Steven as well!

This makes sense. I "assume" someone who has been trained on a steady regimen of high-rep squats can take more, but this sounds serious. I will definitely look into this.
Yes, the body can/will adapt to eccentrics and other high repetition stuff as you get more fit.... hence higher work capacity.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:33 PM   #15
Eric Montgomery
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

I'll defer to Steven's physiological knowledge on this topic. +1 what he said.

Bret-
Probably for some of the reasons Steven pointed out, GHD situps aren't improved by other GPP work. If you've done a lot of high-intensity front squats and shoulder presses, you're probably not going to get rhabdo from the thrusters in Fran--I say probably, because it could still happen. Likewise, a high capacity for deadlifts and cleans would be a pretty good indicator of your ability to handle high-rep SDHPs. But there's really no good preparation for GHD situps aside from doing a few reps of GHD situps every day until your body adapts to the demands of that specific movement. You may be fine with high-rep squats, but GHD situps work a completely different set of muscles in a very different way.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:12 PM   #16
John Klessinger
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

I have had back problems for about ten years. I have done CrossFit for about two years. In all the workouts with GHD situps, I have never had any issues with my back. I think if anything, the GHD situps have helped my range of motion and strength of my back and abs not hurt them. I agree with the post about heavy ballistic exercises like cleans being more dangerous than the GHD situps.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:39 PM   #17
Shawn Michels
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

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Originally Posted by Rayna McGinnis View Post
Bert- I actually HAD rhabdo from GHD sit ups after scaling the work out based on what I thought I could handle. I had been doing backsquats/front squat/over head squats for a little over a year prior to this and doing 15-20 GHD sit ups in my regular warm up prior to each work out. I also use to do weighted back extentions for fun.

90 GHD's put me in the hospital for 2 day's on IV drugs after 5 day's of horrible pain and my CPK levels were at 75,000. 6 months later I was able to "start" to work out again and I still swell up like a balloon over a year later.

GHD sit ups are in fact dangerous, especially to anyone new to CrossFit. and they can in fact cause MORE damage than you can imagine.

I agree that a warning should be put up as well when large amounts of GHD's are prescribed. I still do them for fun, but I always sub weighted sit ups now when they're prescribed. No use in putting myself back on the couch for 6 months over one work out.
This is exactly what scares me... thinking I could handle he exercises and then ending up in the hospital. I realize there is a risk with other exercises but it seems easier to know my limit. GHD situps sound harmeless... oh 90 sits ups I can do that... next thing you know... hospital time...

I am probably just being a pansy but it may be a while before I give these a serious go.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:57 PM   #18
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

my gf did michael with GHD situps despite my telling her not to

anyways it was sore for 1 week, then her lower abdominal became ridiculously swollen for the next week. we went to the walk-in emergency at the hospital, the doctor gave her a pregnancy test, but was otherwise not very helpful. it went away, and she seems to do fine with high rep GHD situps now

i get really sore after GHD situps for a couple of days
the first time i did michael, i couldn't do L-sits for about a month (whereas before i could do them for 30 sec)
now i recover faster

i think diff ppl get affected diff
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:36 AM   #19
Steven Low
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

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Originally Posted by Daniel Gam View Post
my gf did michael with GHD situps despite my telling her not to

anyways it was sore for 1 week, then her lower abdominal became ridiculously swollen for the next week. we went to the walk-in emergency at the hospital, the doctor gave her a pregnancy test, but was otherwise not very helpful. it went away, and she seems to do fine with high rep GHD situps now

i get really sore after GHD situps for a couple of days
the first time i did michael, i couldn't do L-sits for about a month (whereas before i could do them for 30 sec)
now i recover faster

i think diff ppl get affected diff
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:25 AM   #20
Rayna McGinnis
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Re: GH Sit-ups, Worth The Risk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Gam View Post
my gf did michael with GHD situps despite my telling her not to

anyways it was sore for 1 week, then her lower abdominal became ridiculously swollen for the next week. we went to the walk-in emergency at the hospital, the doctor gave her a pregnancy test, but was otherwise not very helpful. it went away, and she seems to do fine with high rep GHD situps now

i get really sore after GHD situps for a couple of days
the first time i did michael, i couldn't do L-sits for about a month (whereas before i could do them for 30 sec)
now i recover faster

i think diff ppl get affected diff
That is what happened to me. The swelling freaked me out before a week went by as mine was between the layers (compartment syndrome) and worked its way down to unspeakable areas .. The skin stretched so far it felt like a second degree burn when anything touched it.

It's surprising she doesn't have any post injury issues from that. Rhabdo can take a long time to heal from. She must be lucky
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