We get quite a lot of enquiries from people suffering from some form or other of back pain. This is not really surprising considering that 8 out of every 10 people will suffer back pain at some time during their life.
What bugs me is that back pain is the very excuse these same people use to NOT start CrossFit. Back Pain is the very reason I started CrossFit, not many of you know this about me, but I thought it high time to share the following:
In 2005 I was basically crippled, I was unable to walk more than 100m and was unable to stand for any length of time. I was subsequently diagnosed with Adult Isthmic Spondylolisthesis.
Here’s my spine now:
And here is an extract from my affiliate application essay in 2009 which pretty much explains what CrossFit did for me:
In 1989 I walked into my first gym, to join I had to lie about my age. The minimum was 16 years old, at the time I was just 14. I followed religiously all my bodybuilding heroes’ workouts from Muscle and Fitness, Flex, and Muscular Development magazines. I did body part splits, push pull days, supersets, tri sets, 21’s, partials, HIT, etc. you name I tried it. I even drank Arnold’s protein powder!
A year later I was struck with my first herniated disc, and a dislocated shoulder.
Despite this I continued on my quest to be huge and ripped, I continued all the way through University and into my adult life. I was far from reaching my goals, I ballooned to 88kg (194lbs) of ‘shapely fat’.
In 2005 I was struck down with my second herniated disc. This time it was serious, I had less than 10% of movement in my leg before pain would stop me. I embarked on physiotherapy and visited a chiropractor. After several months both told me there was nothing more they could do. I was unable to walk 100m, and that 100m was in pain and with a severe limp.
In 2006, after 6 months of battling with back pain I went to a neurosurgeon, I was diagnosed with adult isthmic-spondylolisthesis, and if I wanted a pain-free life would have to go through surgery. I elected for surgery and was operated on in July 2006. The surgery was a success albeit with loss of strength and several patches of nerve damage down my right leg. The surgeon told me in no uncertain terms that I could no longer lift weights, partake in sporting activities or even carry my new born son. The thought of not being able to cradle my own child in my arms was emotionally and morally devastating.
Fortunately, my rehabilitation was extremely successful. Believing that I could no longer lift weights, and feeling very physically frustrated, I started to search for bodyweight only workouts and came across www.crossfit.com.
CrossFit has given me my life back.
My first workout was 30 muscle ups for time. I did 60 pull-ups and dips on a gravitron, last week I completed the workout as recommended in 11:15. My first deadlift was with an empty 15kg bar, my last lift was 115kg for 5. My first Cindy was 10 rounds, my last was 20. I can walk again, I can run again, I can jump again. But most importantly, I can pick up my sons (now two of them) again.
I want to open a CrossFit gym so that no parent has to forego holding their child.
I want to share what CrossFit has done for me, and what it can do for others.
My request to you is to please not be the next person to tell me that you can’t do CrossFit because you have a sore back.