Morning Chalk Up Community

Helen: Scaled

May 12, 2022 by

Today's CrossFit Linchpin workout for me was Helen. Just a classic CrossFit workout that I've completed numerous times in the past. I knew going in that today's interaction was going to be just a bit different though. Currently, I'm suffering from back/nerve issues. Through an MRI it was found that I have some spinal stenosis and degenerative arthritis occurring. Normally, I only suffer mild discomfort. Mild low back pain, weakness in my left leg & also numbness. At its worst, this causes me pain so bad I'm bedridden for days. It feels like there's molten lava coursing through every nerve in my lower left back, hip, groin & leg. One of the last times it fired up like this was after a workout session that had kettlebell swings prescribed. I did pick up the lighter 35lb Kb and gave it a couple of swings. Immediately, my body sent me the message that this was not ok. The question I was faced with was "How do I complete Helen and sub out Kb swings?"

Looking around what I had available to me in my garage, I focused in on my 20lb dumbbells. I started tinkering around and decided upon doing double dumbbell hang snatches in lieu of the kettlebell swings. I was able to basically muscle them up in a kettlebell swing type motion. The reps were going to remain at 21 and by rep 17 my shoulders were pretty fatigued. This told me I had come to a good scaling decision. Kettlebell problem solved.

Another part of my workouts that are effected by my current physical condition is running. Now, I wasn't a strong runner to begin with. Compound that with the fact that I now weigh quite a bit more than I used to along with left leg numbness and running becomes quite the adventure. My left leg basically is asleep 24/7 which means I'm running with a dead leg. Every time I plant with it, I feel like I'm going to tip over. It's gotten better recently but I'm still scared to go "full send" on runs. Plus, the extra weight and smaller gas tank play a factor. I can "run" though so the 400m were still on the menu.

The last element of Helen I had to make a decision on was the pull-ups. Working out at my home out of my garage has limited me in that area. I do not have a rig or any kind of pull-up bar. What I do have is a set of rings hanging from a tree branch. Just doing ring rows for 12 reps wouldn't be too challenging. Plus, it's too easy to just reposition your feet if you get tired. Put your feet up a little onto a box though? Ring rows are devastating. Pull-up issue solved.

So, how'd it go you ask? About as expected. I set out with the 15min mark in my head. I finished at 14:59. The running/jogging was taking me around 2:15 each round. The dumbbell work was pretty much unbroken and didn't take too long. The ring rows (Did I mention elevating your feet made them devastating?) took what felt like forever. They were very much broken up. All in all. Fitness was achieved. I "moved the needle" or "put another brick in the wall of fitness" as we say over in the CrossFit Linchpin private Facebook group.

Keep your nose on the grindstone my internet fitness friends.

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