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Old 11-11-2008, 10:32 PM   #1
Daniel R Raabe
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Cerebral Palsy

I have a gal who wants to do CrossFit and she announced that she has Cerebral Palsy, doesn't walk with a crutch but has some issues using her legs for certain things.
Who of you has any experience with CP? What exercises did you eliminate and which did you utilize? Should I be consulting with anyone special within the CrossFit community before taking this person on?

Thanks and email me directly at dan@gymriki.com.

Best, all...
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:12 PM   #2
Derek Maffett
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Re: Cerebral Palsy

You might try talking to the guys at Crossfit Effects (Sydney, Australia). It was a while ago, but one of their athletes had cerebral palsy. I was a little concerned about his form on deadlifts, but he's not my client. Anyways, they might know something.

Your avatar is interesting... but it's like a giant question mark. I don't get it.

Wait, that's the point, isn't it? It's meant to get people to ask questions about it! Amazing. It's subtle, but full of meaning.

Or is it more than that? Perhaps the カ is wondering who he is and why he's standing alone and abandoned in that avatar. However, he lacks the hiragana necessary to ask these questions and must satisfy himself with a simple "?," not realizing that this is one of the answers he is searching for. It's actually rather sad when you consider it that way. How could you do that to the poor guy?
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:43 AM   #3
Daniel R Raabe
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Re: Cerebral Palsy

That solo kanji character is the character for strength. Thanks for the tome.
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:40 AM   #4
Derek Maffett
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Re: Cerebral Palsy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel R Raabe View Post
That solo kanji character is the character for strength. Thanks for the tome.
Tome?

Hmm, I haven't come across that kanji yet. The only one I know for strength is .

Some research, though, and it seems that it is indeed a kanji. Just one that looks identical to a katakana. Guess I'll label that along with .
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Old 11-28-2008, 05:16 AM   #5
Mike Prevost
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Re: Cerebral Palsy

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Originally Posted by Daniel R Raabe View Post
I have a gal who wants to do CrossFit and she announced that she has Cerebral Palsy, doesn't walk with a crutch but has some issues using her legs for certain things.
Who of you has any experience with CP? What exercises did you eliminate and which did you utilize? Should I be consulting with anyone special within the CrossFit community before taking this person on?

Thanks and email me directly at dan@gymriki.com.

Best, all...
Daniel

Many years ago I trained a group of guys with cerebral palsy for the paralympic games. They competed in various events including powerlifting (bench press). I did not train them any differently than any able bodied person with the exception that we did not do any lower body work due to lower body spasticity. I worked their upper body pretty hard. We had quite a bit of success. It is going to take some time to develop a selection of exercises that she can do successfully and you will have to modify some. We had to use straps to stabilize the guys on the bench press. Experiment a bit and see what exercises you can get away with. You may find yourself using more machines than you are comfortable with. I recommend contacting your state Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association and see if you can find someone in your area working with CP athletes.

Mike
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:07 AM   #6
Aaron Trent
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Re: Cerebral Palsy

I have cerebral palsy.
The problem with something like CP is that there is no hard set of parameters about what will be affected. Different people will have different levels of functionality between limbs or in different ranges of motion, so it's hard to say what she can and cannot do without actually looking at her.

My CP affect my left limbs and my left arm more than my leg. I have issues with overhead Barbell work and over head dumbbell/kb work requires a huge disparity in weight. I cannot do cleans or snatches because my left wrist does not have the flexibility to snap around and then the stability to hold the weight.

Many exercises can be adapted. DLs: My left arm is shorter than my right arm so I do not hold the bar at the same width on each hand.
When I do most exercises I tend to focus the effort on my strong side.

If you work with this woman it may be a little more challenging than your average client. You need to pay attention to her imbalances and try to mitigate them as much as possible while realizing they will never be mitigated (it might be frustrating as a trainer, but it is more-so living with it every day).

Another consideration will be the emotional side. People with disabilities can sometimes have a defeatist attitude where everything is too hard, etc, etc. On the other end is the tenacious bulldog type that thinks they can do everything an able bodied person can. It can be very frustrating to this type if something is proving to be very challenging. I have been on both ends of this spectrum. When I was younger I sometimes took the "it's too hard" approach, but I realized it wasn't doing any good. Over the past 3 years I have experienced the frustration of not being able to do things in the gym that other people could. These were people that couldn't do half as many pullups or match my pound for pound DL numbers, and it would infuriate me. I have been actively trying to maintain a more level approach to training setbacks and successes since the start of this year. I must remind myself that, yes, I do have cerebral palsy. I can do most things able bodied people can, but I can't do everything. It's ok to realize that, I'll live longer if I'm smart about my limitations.

Now for some numbers, and these were all PRs and not attainable currently due to my present goals.
400m: 64 seconds
1 mile: 5:15
DL: 265lbs @ 132bwt
Pullups: 22
Cindy: 14 rounds

Not exceptional numbers, but they are decent.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:08 PM   #7
Graeme Beath
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Re: Cerebral Palsy

Hi Daniel
I do some PT with people with Multiple Sclerosis. The neurological issues are not dissimilar. With MS overheating is an issue ans cold can be at times. Some days things don't work so well & others thay do.
Assuming similar activation issues with CP as MS I'd probably try anything they think they can do, start with low weights & progress.
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