I have been working out for about 11 years (I am 37) but the past five years have been harder Crossfit Style workouts. I was the leanest and strongest that I have ever been and LOVED them....but a naggig back pain caused me to stop about six weeks ago from those workouts. Since then I have been doing cardio stuff (biking, swimming) and trying to get some weight classses in at the gym but I am gaining weight, feeling sore and sluggish all the time and not sleeping as well. I am eating really clean right now to combat the drop in exercise. Could I have worked out my body so much in the past 11 years that now that I stopped it just doesn't want to do anything else? I am worried that I am still young and have my whole life ahead of me but can't find anything that I can do right now. Any thoughts?

  • 1
    Do you still feel the back pain after six weeks of rest? Based on the information on Crossfit on the internet, it's very possible the injuries you sustained were due to bad forms. Suggestion is for you to take a rest, and when you get back, ensure you use proper forms, and perform at the pace your body can handle. – Kneel-Before-ZOD Aug 17 '14 at 18:39
  • DO NOT DO CROSSFIT. It may make you feel like you're stronger, but it really just modifies traditional exercises so that all the strain of them goes to your back. – recursive recursion Aug 31 '14 at 18:52

Yes it can.

Many professional athletes have life-long injuries from their training.

Find a good physical therapist who can help you - it sounds like your having some im-balances that can be solved.

|improve this answer|||||

First and foremost, if you haven't already, go and see a professional about your back. Even minor back injury is very serious and can cause further damage if it's not properly dealt with. You should really get advice from an MD or physical therapist to prevent any further injury. Even if you have to really baby your spine, there's a lot you can still do in terms of strength and cardio without aggravating it.

What sorts of cardio are you doing? If you were in crossfit before the back pain, you might enjoy Tabata or other forms of HIIT. More isolated weight training is probably advisable, avoiding those big compound movements (squats, deadlifts, etc). Think about leg presses on a machine rather than squats and keep that back straight when using free weights in any position.

I'm sure you'll be able to figure out a satisfactory routine with time! Good luck!

EDIT: You mentioned you are "eating clean" and still gaining weight. Can I see your macro breakdown, calorie count, and meal timing? A lot of people swear by the IIFYM approach (if it fits your macros), but I've come to really believe in the intermittent fasting protocol. There are several approaches to IF but regardless of which one you choose you will get some major hormonal benefits. There's even some research into increased longevity and cancer prevention using a fasting protocol. Here's a Scientific American summary of the research which has some of the potential downsides listed as well. Leangains has been great for me while training, though I keep the carbs more limited than Martin Berkhan suggests. It's really helped my body composition without detracting from my training. Some people respond negatively though, so keep an eye on yourself and if you don't feel awesome after a week or two, try something else. There's a bit of a transition period, but after that my energy levels in the morning actually increased significantly and I now train exclusively in a fasted state. Your mileage may vary!

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    Thanks for the advice. I actually had an MRI done on my spine and it was normal. I think that I have some pelvic instablity with those big lifts that have caused some lower back muscles to help me through them. – user10483 Aug 15 '14 at 18:01
  • If your spine checks out, you might want to work back into those compound movements over time. Start low, do a ton of flexibility training, and have a trainer or friend watch your technique. Dumbells can assist with evening out strength imbalances, and you can do most of the major lifts with them. I would suggest a method similar to SL 5x5, starting very low in weight and progressing slowly. That gives you an opportunity to correct before any serious overload occurs. – Lipophage Aug 15 '14 at 18:07
  • OH! Were you checked for differences in leg length? It's not super common that there's a big enough difference to throw off mechanics, but it does happen. If that's the case, all of your problems could be fixed with a simple shim. – Lipophage Aug 15 '14 at 18:19
  • THis is all great stuff and the advice about using dumbells instead of the bar is great too! I haven't formally had my leg length checked but will have that done. I was told by my chiro ( I know I take it all with a grain of salt) that my right is just millimeters shorter but that is due to the tightness of the muscles on that side. Thank you too for the encouragement. Taking time off from a very active lifestyle can mess with your psyche. – user10483 Aug 15 '14 at 18:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.