Lifting Outside Of The Box

Lifting outside of the box. To cross fitters, the box means the place where they train. Stacy and I have never tried crossfit. We have talked about trying it but I know I would be terrible at it. I love to lift but I am not a quick lifter. I like to hem and haw over my lifts. An AMRAP (as many reps as possible) is something I really, really hate and do not care to do after a significant injury. My elbow aches just thinking about it. This week I got to lift outside of the box and by that, I mean the traditional way of lifting. I like to scan Instagram in the evenings after my kids are in bed. I came across a girl lifting after a serious injury. She was olympic lifting despite not being able to use her legs. What?? The idea comes from Wheelwod. Wheelwod adapts fitness for ALL levels of ability. I absolutely LOVE this idea. In my past life (or so it seems), I was a special education teacher. My favorite part of the job was adapting everyday life to fit the needs of my students. The same idea is being done by Wheelwod. Can’t use your legs? You can still lift. I scanned their IG account and watched numerous athletes doing lifts, pull ups, wall balls, rope slams, etc with some kind of adaptation. Many were in wheel chairs. I found the account and those athletes so inspiring. Here I was sitting around barely going to the gym because I thought I couldn’t go the racks (my happy place) and lift.

I am seeing a muscle activation therapist (look for a post about it in the next few weeks) for my hip. He thinks my hip decided to freak out because my arm that had the tear was probably not ready for the weight I was pulling. I was not, in any means, lifting too much weight. I was no where near my max. However, my right arm is significantly weaker because of my tear. Most likely my body was overcompensating for the weakness in my arm. Boo. The repercussions of an injury last a whole lot longer than the injury itself. It is so frustrating. I have not been motivated to go the gym. I was only going here and there because all I can do is upper body exercises. It is very limiting and can get redundant. Since seeing the muscle activation therapist, I have started doing isolation exercises so I can strengthen my weak arm. I do not like to isolate exercises. I would much rather do the dynamic movements, like olympic lifting, and target all of the muscles in one shot. However, the free weight section of the gym is my new best friend.

Back to Wheelwod. I tagged Stacy in a video that I thought was just amazing. The girl I mentioned earlier was sitting in a wheel chair and cleaning 75 pounds. It got us talking about the possibility of me trying that kind of lifting since I can’t do any lower body right now. Ross and I were up for the challenge so we attempted an adapted lifting session earlier in the week. Not going to lie, I was very nervous. How does one bail out of a lift if needed? Was I going to be able to even get the weight up? I am used to using my legs and hips for more power. Just the idea of sitting while trying to clean or snatch was very intimidating. Guess what? Went WAY better than I had anticipated! Thank goodness! We, of course, did not load the bar with weight that I am used to pulling. If fact, we started with just a PVC pipe. I graduated to a body bar, then the bar itself and then started adding weight.


I had Ross video my lifts so I could watch them later. Do you video your lifts? It is a great way to watch progress and correct mistakes! On the right, you can see that my back is rounding too much. I can usually feel my mistakes as I do them but the videos are a great tool to use. Lifts are quick and sometimes it is hard to feel if the form is correct.


I was happy with my cleans. My form was much better with the cleans. Sure, I have too much of a death grip on the bar but I think it was just a natural response for me. Again, it is scary and intimidating to throw a bar up to your face while you are sitting down! :) Be sure to check out our Instagram page if you are interested in seeing a short video from this lifting session. Again, the link to our account is here. If you have any physical limitation, whether they are long term or short term, I highly suggesting checking out Wheelwod. Be sure to seek out a professional trainer before trying any olympic lifting if you are a beginner. If any of the Wheelwod athletes are reading this post, thank you for the inspiration. I truly admire your determination. Keep it up!

Have any of you had to think outside of the box with your training? I would love to hear about your experiences!


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