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There Will Be No Burpees

February 23, 2009

Updates for today- no burpees. Our ceiling is too low in our basement for burpees. If I stand up and put my hands up, I touch the ceiling. We have ceiling tiles taken out in random places so we can do KB presses. Anyway, we did squat thrusts (which is basically a burpee without the jump). And we added a push up to them. I looked all over for a tabata timer or a round timer or interval timer that will beep 20, then 10, then 20 and so on. No luck. Instead I used two of our household timers (that I use for timing homework and cleaning in fifteen minute intervals) set at thirty seconds each. Started the second one when the first got to 20 seconds and just kept resetting them. Worked okay enough to get by. Some of our rest might have been 12 seconds, some of our work might have been 23 seconds. Oh well, we make do with what we have.

How it went: Dumbell squats. 70 lbs for me, 80 for Josh. I could have upped to the 80, but we’ll wait for next time. Five sets, five reps. Nothing in between except rest.

After that was the tabata squat thrust push up thingeys. Much fun :). Josh said his arms felt like jello afterward- good for me cuz then he can’t strangle me for attempting to kill him yet again.

Lastly, five min stretch. I did yoga for my five minutes. Josh attempted to stretch as allowed by his jello arms :).

My back still hurts, not as bad as last Wednesday. I hope it calms down soon. But as I type, I am sitting in my massage chair trying to work the pain out of my back. I’ll probably roll over my foam roller as well after this just to be extra sure I did everything I could.

I was going to post about ladders tonight but Luke did it for me :). If you’re not sure what rungs and ladders are in relation to weight training, head over to his blog.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. jleeger permalink
    February 23, 2009 8:01 PM

    Michelle, killer workout, again. What’s wrong with your back?

    • February 23, 2009 8:18 PM

      Years ago… okay, about three maybe. I injured my back while doing things I shouldn’t be. It could have been during patient care when a large lady really really had to pee and was sitting down before she turned all the way to the toilet. I then, without thought, just reacted and grabbed her, hoisted her up and over to the left onto the toilet. We were also moving around that time. Moving furniture and stuff. So, could it have been the furniture? Or was it the patient. Anyway, when lifting, I felt this sensation like someone taking a knife down my spine along the right side. I was out of work a couple weeks and then on light duty and then I expected that I’d be pain free someday. That someday might still come. I don’t give up hope :).

      For the first few weeks I had to have my husband help me to get up from chairs, to lift my legs into bed until I figured out I could crawl into the bed, then carefully lay down and hopefully not hurt myself as I rolled to my back. I wasn’t able to sleep on my stomach for awhile after this happened. Now I have pain off and on. This past September was awful and I could barely move. It got so bad that I couldn’t sleep because of the pain (which is when I went to the doctor again for the last time so far). I kept doing my job though, lifting people and such. Why? Because I’m nuts :). And really, because as much as I hold out hope for someday, I can’t spend the next three years on and off of work. Sometimes just sitting makes it hurt. Lectures for me really are unbearable. Those chairs just kill my back. Moving is most comfortable. So, I move lots if I can.

      Which still doesnt answer your question- what’s wrong with my back… well, I really don’t know. I was offered some injection- which really made no sense to me since my doctor didn’t know what was wrong with me. She thought it was muscular or ligaments along the spine. I figured, yeah, a shot so I cant feel that I’m doing more damage is a great idea! (sarcasm- I declined the shot). I’ve had a different doctor each time I go. They give me muscle relaxers which dont help and anti-inflamitories which sometimes help. Now I self medicate with 2-4 tablets of asprin a few times a day when I can barely stand. If I can stand, even if in agony, I don’t take pain pills. I prefer to know when I’m hurting myself worse if at all possible. I think they should do an x-ray or something. I’m not sure if it’s muscular or disc related. With the coming and going of the pain, and the occasional radiating pain, I’m leaning toward it being a disk. It may have started out muscular, but bodies adapt to the stress we place on them and sometimes not in good ways.

      So, heck, this could be a post all by itself! Sorry I get so long winded!

  2. RobFitness permalink
    February 23, 2009 8:31 PM

    I didn’t realize it was that bad Michelle. God, I am so sorry to hear that. Hopefully one day they’ll figure it out and you’ll be pain free. You still kick butt with that Kettle bell though and I’m proud of for sticking with it with all that you have to deal with, especially with your schedule. Can’t you do the burpees outside or is it to cold for that. Or how about the garage, if you have one. 🙂 So do I have it right that with burpees you end up jumping, were squat thrusts you don’t?
    yea you would think I wouldn’t have pain riding like I do but you see I were clip on biking shoes that clip onto the pedal and if I don’t unclip them in time and I stop you just end up falling over and you can’t help it. That’s why I ahve the bloody knees and sore wrists. All because of my 2 falls today. Wrists were to sore to to any swings, but hopefully tomorrow (Tuesday).

    • February 23, 2009 8:43 PM

      I’m not sure I get the clip on biking shoes? I get that they clip on, but why? From your escapades with them, I think I’m afraid of them!

      I have a garage but it’s got melting nastyness all in it. And yep, outside is too cold and covered with a couple inches of snow. I can’t wait for winter to go away!

      Good luck with those swings! Otherwise, take a day off to let your wrists recover. Unlike me, you know when the pain is too much :).

      • RobFitness permalink
        February 23, 2009 9:42 PM

        With clipless (the ones I wear), your feet always stay on the pedal and with the momentum of going fast it helps in that regards as your feet never leaves the medal. So you build up better momentum and can go faster. Theoretically more efficient power transfer because you can pull back and up as well as push down. I hope that makes sense.
        Like I said the disadvantage is that if your forget to clip out of them once you stop, you have no choice but to fall. I still love them though. I guess I am just into pain. After all I did get a KB. 🙂
        By the way I did do a post especially for you. Now promise not to cry 🙂

  3. jleeger permalink
    February 23, 2009 10:18 PM

    I’m surprised you can do KB work with your back like that! What state are you in? You really need to see a qualified (i.e., brain-still-working, non-robot) physical therapist, or Egoscue specialist. They might be able to help you out. Is it up the side of your back still, or in your lumbar area?

    Sounds like you did a number on your spinal extensors, but it’s impossible to tell over the internet. Is there an Egoscue clinic near you? Is your posture affected? Do you do any abdominal/core work (I mean, strictly core, aside from KB or other lifting)?

  4. February 24, 2009 5:53 AM

    Rob, I’ll check out your post when I get home from work today. Don’t want to cry this early in the morning!

    Josh, I am in WI. I think most people would probably avoid doing what I do, but I’m of the idea that if I can do it I should do it. It doesn’t make it worse, sometimes feels better afterward. It is still my right side of my spine, but in the lubar area. I work as a physical therapist assistant and have talked to qutie a few people in my line of work. I think what I need is traction but we don’t have a traction machine at our clinic. I try to do it manually and that also helps, but not enough.

    My posture is affected only when I sit really. It’s painful to sit upright, it’s painful to slouch, it’s least painful to tilt my pelvis forward when sitting. But still hurts :). I don’t do any additional core work. I did the exercises they give you to do for any back injury for quite some time afterward but… alas… I gave up. Also, if my hamstrings are tight, then my back usually hurts more. I try to stretch them often.

    When I go to the doctor next (which will be the next time I can’t sleep anymore), I’m asking for an x-ray to determine what it actually is. And I did ask for a referral last time to the spinal clinic and then left for work for six weeks so ended up not going and when I got back in Mid October it was much less painful.

    I agree, I need to see someone specialized in spine therapy/rehab and not someone who just wants to toss pills at me and ask me if I’m really in pain. Just love that, they make you feel like you shouldn’t be there and give you the impression that they feel your pain isn’t as bad as it actually is. Well, they probably get that idea because despite pain I will do lots of things that other people would stop doing (like working).

    Sorry I got so darn long again! Well, off to work :). See ya’ll later. I won’t be home for lunch so when I get done I’ll pop in.

  5. ladlam permalink
    February 24, 2009 4:28 PM

    The clip-on shoes on bikes is largely so that you can pull upwards as well as pushing downwards on the pedal, so as one foot is pushing down, the other foot is pulling up. It helps a lot with squeezing out just that little bit of extra power. Personally I think bike riders are all nuts and should go buy a kettlebell instead 😉
    The workout looks good, where do you hold the dumbells when doing squats? Just hanging by your side?

    • RobFitness permalink
      February 24, 2009 5:00 PM

      Aren’t we the funny one today, Luke 🙂
      I might be a bit nuts, but I am getting fitter and stronger as each day passes and before you know it I’ll be #1 😉 Then what will you have. Just on big 44 pounder to comfort you during those lonely nights.

      • February 24, 2009 6:39 PM

        Luke is a strange one ;). Rob, you and I would both be in the nuts category. I’m not worried about it. I kind of think it’s more fun being a little nuts :).

    • February 24, 2009 6:39 PM

      Yes, Luke, they are just at my sides. It’s a squat/deadlift sort of thing. It’s not really exactly one or the other but sort of both. We did place the weights on the floor between each rep. I’ve got to mention, my grip strength is much improved since starting with KB’s.

      • ladlam permalink
        February 25, 2009 4:12 PM

        Interesting you mention grip strength – I’ve noticed that I’ve got a lot more forearm strength for holding the sword at gumdo these days as well. Heavy deadlifts helped too, but since starting with the kettlebell those forearms are getting stronger and stronger! And the wrists, which is great because my wrists always sucked.

        • February 25, 2009 6:38 PM

          I’ve always had trouble with my deads because my legs could do more than I could grip. Today I loaded it to 75 lbs which is what I could grip last time and complete my reps with. I had no trouble lifting it. I’ll up another ten pounds next time since my grip is doing so well :). I’m excited! I also before had trouble lifting those dumbells for all my reps. On our last variety night, no issues holding them for all the reps (though setting them down momentarily between each rep probably helped, too).

          My right wrist is a bit weak. I can tell with the KB that my left arm is better and I think it’s because my left wrist is stronger. I’ve sprained my right wrist a few times and have a nerve impingement there- which suprisingly hasn’t bothered me since starting kettlebells.

          • ladlam permalink
            February 25, 2009 8:46 PM

            I hear you there. My arms were always the first to go with deadlifts. Never tried reverse-grip though, that just seemed like the sissies way out to me 😀 That’s awesome that you’re making progress though – I love when one activity inadvertently causes gains in another!

            • February 26, 2009 6:21 AM

              I use the mixed grip (recommended by Pavel) and switch my grip each rep. I don’t think it makes it easier or harder. Seems just the same to me. Got to love those KB’s!

  6. jleeger permalink
    February 24, 2009 9:02 PM

    Michelle, go here: and put your zip in the finder. Go see one of these people if you can. If you can’t, I highly recommend Egoscue’s book –

    This is not an ad, btw. I just have a lot of faith in this method. The book is worth a read anyway from a PT perspective…

    • February 24, 2009 9:08 PM

      I saw this on your blog and was planning on doing a little internet searching about it. Thanks for the link :). Sorry about the pending, anything with two links automatically has to wait for me to approve the comment. I have tried quite a few different things for my back, even swimming twice a week for nearly a year and a half. That was supposed to be the perfect fix. I’m willing to try nearly anything (except accupuncture- fear of needles is intense!). I’ll give the site a look right now before I head to bed.

  7. jleeger permalink
    February 25, 2009 7:04 PM

    It’s a cheesy site, but the method works. You could probably get as much from following the exercises in any of the books (Pain Free, Egoscue Method, or Method for Women) as you would from seeing someone, but it might be nice to get an in-person diagnosis.

    • February 26, 2009 6:19 AM

      I was planning on heading to the bookstore on Sunday and seeing if they have the book or will order it for me. Then I can read it and decide if I want to buy it :). I’ve tried so many things that I’m just hoping someday something will work!

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