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  1. #1
    Philip Ross is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ
    Blog Entries

    Default Spinal Cord Injury Workaround.

    I don't know how many of you know much of history, but in September of 2011, I suffered a spinal cord injury and sustained permanent damage. In December of 2011, four levels of my neck were operated on. I underwent framenectamy, lamanectamy as well as other procedures to alleviate my spinal stenosis and remove the osteophyte that created my spinal edema (scar on my spinal cord). Needless to say, I couldn't even hold a piece of paper in my hand until after the operation. Immediately after the surgery, I could not even bottoms up press a 10KG! (Now I can do the 28KG).
    My son Spencer is 17 and one of the top ranked high school aged throwers in the country. He's an RKC and is quite strong. I wanted to put a little more size on him, so I started incorporating some barbell training into his routine. We started doing dead lifts. I used to be able to rip 505 lbs of of the ground, but no more. Once I got over 305, my right hand (the side most adversely effected by the injury) would simply give out. I was getting very frustrated. During one training session, he suggested that I try to single leg barbell deadlifts. What a great suggestion! I'd been doing the Dual Bell Kettlebell Deadlifts for years, but it never dawned on me to do them with a barbell. At this point, I'm doing 185 max for my sets of 6 and my hand has no issue holding bar.
    The point of the story is to simply talk about my deadlift numbers, but to listen to others and look outside o the box - especially when it comes to your own training. I've never had an issue coming up with solutions for others, but solving my own issue took listening to my kid!
    Phil Ross, Master RKC, 8th Degree Black Belt, PCC, CK-FMS, Bodyweight Specialist
    Strength and Honor

  2. #2
    GreenSoup is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011


    It's absolutely horrible to have to deal with that problem but I'm glad your son had such a useful workaround. Since the whole reason therapy works is that new neural connections can be made to work around the damage, perhaps you might want to add dedicated grip work as well.

    Anything that helps your specific concern would be good but I have to imagine the Convict Conditioning 2 grip work, as it becomes unilateral, requires a lot more coordination across the entire body to potentially activate the nervous system more and ingrain that strength-coordination-skill more. Perhaps instead of even doing repeated sets you could spread the work across the week like a Power to the People cycle.

    Regardless, deadlifts focus on the "big money" muscle and it's nice that you are able to get back to them with full force.

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