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Old 03-20-2007, 12:38 AM   #1
Jeremy A Thompson
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Location: Ramstein Air Base  Kindsbach
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Greetings all,
Let me first say that finding Crossfit feels like 'coming home.' That's the best way I can really describe how I feel about this program.

I had back surgery when I was 23 to remove herniated disks around L3/L4. I've had a recent MRI and they are showing some more 'issues' around L4/L5. I generally don't have many problems, just tightness and tingling/numbness down my legs. But I've gotten used to it. Kinda sad..

I've started with just the Official Warm up now, really working on the form -- especially for squats. It's gone well since I'm able to move after I get done. I'm nervous to do them with any weight, same goes for dead lifts. The back extensions have felt ok though.

I currently also do karate, and an elliptical for 30 minutes hitting around 400 calories.

Questions -

Is there a good prep exercise for dead lifts? As in something that will get my back strong and help me with form?

The warm up is kicking my tail right now, especially the pull ups. Does the grip for the pull ups matter? Ex. pull ups are under hand grip while chin ups are over hand? Or should I vary.

Should I wait a month or so to incorporate the regular work out in addition to the warm up?

I do have a bunch of the links for the other cross fit sites with different work outs. Is there one targeted at beginners?

Thank you for your time. Looking forward to being here for a good long time.

EDIT - found, nice!


(Message edited by Chachee on March 20, 2007)
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:38 AM   #2
Allen Yeh
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I'm not too savvy on the disk removal stuff so I'm not entirely sure where that leaves your ability at. I'd say most importantly in terms of your back is to nail that form down for all exercises from squats to swings to deadlifts. Ensure you are keeping a good arch (but not overarching) or your lumbar spine.

To address your specific questions:

1. Deadlifts - Start light (i.e. broomstick, short bar), I imagine you still lift boxes/luggage..etc so a very light deadlift seems to be doable. I'd recommend any of Mark Rippetoe's deadlift information i.e. Starting Strength.
2. Pull-up grip - Variety is great, different grips and widths just ensure you are going full ROM at the bottom of the pullup.
3. BrandX has scaled versions of the daily WOD, that would be your best bet as you start off, because it does all the scaling for you.

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Old 03-20-2007, 08:13 AM   #3
Jeff Martin
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Here is the link to our scaled workouts:
When I started CrossFit my docstor was discussing surgery for my back. For him deadlifting was out of the question. I read everything I could about the deadlift, watched every video I could find on the net, and started working with a 10# bar, and dumbbells off of stands. I rarely push my top end numbers, I look at the deadlift as a longterm project. I cannot tell you that my back is fine, it still hurts every morning when I get up, but after three years of CrossFit I have worked up to a double bodyweight deadlift.
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:21 AM   #4
Josh E Lundgaard
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I am presently in my 7th month of CrossFit with a L4-5 HNP. I can echo everything that has been said so far. I started with Brand X mods and SLOWLY worked my way up until at present I do MOST work as prescribed. I still modify some, especially heavy deadlift days. I have had only one episode of pain (last week, unfortunately), and have done things I never thought I'd be able to. Take it easy, increase gradually, and never, never, never let your impatience take away your form (like I did last week).
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:14 PM   #5
Jason Billows
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I had a severely herniated L5S1 that my doctor wanted to operate on. I opted for physio. After a long recovery time I got back into "working out" and was introduced to Crossfit. Crossfit played a key role in making my back feel strong again.

Attention to form and gradual increases in load will be key. You'll be amazed at how good of a workout you can get with a broomstick.
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Old 03-24-2007, 10:41 AM   #6
Jeremy A Thompson
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Thanks all for the posts and the PMs. I'm really looking forward to this.

As everyone has said I will be focusing on form most of all. I know that from my days of body building how important it can be.. since that's how I hurt my back. :bangin:


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Old 03-24-2007, 04:29 PM   #7
Peter Queen
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Hello and welcome to Crossfit Jeremy. Just to throw in my 2c, I want to add that I too use to suffer with a very aggravating back issue that was created directly from an impinging L3 & L4 disk that would leave me literally in teeth grinding pain and as helpless as a baby. I went about doing my exercises in what I thought was a beneficial way during my days as a body building enthusiast. Bad form was also how I hurt myself. After living with the hellish experience for the better part of 8 years with multiple visits to the chiropractor on a monthly basis for constant realignment, I finally discovered Crossfit. Through this system I can tell you that my back has made a 180 degree turn. My back has not gone out and I have not been to my chiropractor in over a year. Deadlifts are indeed beneficial. Also, the other variations have helped me immensely. Case in point: Sumo Deadlift High Pulls with the bar and with DBs. DB and KB swings, DB thrusters and Goblet squats have also helped to increase my back, abs and leg strength. Also, don’t forget the benefits of lunges, they help to keep your legs loose and conditioned as well. When you have access to a pull up bar definitely do "knee-to-elbows". They also work the core area (back & abs). These were the particular exercises I started out with and they really helped to give me a much stronger and flexible back beyond my imagination. I never thought I would get back to the way I use to be when I was younger ever again. As everyone else has mentioned, scaling at the beginning is definitely the key. It worked for me and now I can do all of the other and more advanced workouts as well with no problem and I am in better shape than when I was in my 20s. As a 46yr old Volunteer Firefighter it feels great to be among the strongest in my department at any age. It will take time however. Jeff stated how he has greatly improved in 3 years. So stick with it and don’t rush. You’ll see results in no time. I have been in it for over a year now and I am looking forward to another year and so on and so on.
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