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Thread: Exercise, equip, diet, supps, etc. Help pls?

  1. #1

    Talking Exercise, equip, diet, supps, etc. Help pls?

    Hi!
    I was diagnosed as a T6 Complete at the time of my accident, Oct 1, 2001. I recently regained function below my injury point, and also decided to climb out of a ~2 year depression and take control again. After contacting my GP Dr. and telling him about the recovery, I was referred to a PT for an evaluation. They determined I should have 8 one hour sessions. I am on Medicaid only, and unemployed (disability). I do not qualify for anything else, nor do I have any other insurance. The PT guy said he figures Medicaid will approve 4 of those sessions, and wants to make sure I get some pool time (which would make me soooo happy!). I have asked 3 times now for a referral to a Dr to have xrays done, and an assessment of my condition. I have Harrington Rods on either side (I destroyed T6-T10). Prior to my accident, I was incredibly active. I was into mixed martial arts for most of my adult life, gymnastics prior and into adulthood, worked out regularly and always in excellent shape (they said it is what saved my life); always very, very active. I could not feel when I was hungry or full after the accident. The bit of recovery I have experienced was sudden; one day nothing, next day I had some recovery. Within 4-5 days, I progressed a HUGE amount. I had been overeating incredibly, and got a good size quad belly and built a nice "fat house" on it, with love handles. I now feel hunger and know when I have eaten enough, just like pre-injury. This alone altered how I eat.

    With that out of the way.. I am really wanting to get back into shape. I have already lost 2 inches from my trunk. The quad belly has reduced a bit, and the love handles are really trimming down nicely. I have simply been doing a trunk exercise program daily that I created. While waiting for PT, and also waiting for a referral to find out what is up with my spine (stability, how hard can I push things? etc.), I have completely altered my diet, added supplements and protein/carb drinks/bars (I know good carbs.. shame that Atkins crap killed the good carbs in stuff as well..grrr..), and have created a pathetic cardio regimen (wheelchair, do steady roll on varying incline/decline for endurance, then finish with short hill sprints, and stretching).

    I did a bulking run years ago to see what my body was capable of (bodybuilder roommate helped). Yeah, you guys have a HUGE advantage there over us girls! But, I know what my body can (could?) do. I already have significant gains in my lats, traps, triceps, and forearms (my traps are wicked; I have a habit of doing pressure reliefs ALOT.. maybe 150 a day when I spend a good amount of time in the chair), so bulking is not a primary goal at this point. I am primarily looking for endurance, toning, and preventative; building/slight bulk will come with it. I am still trying to get a handle on what is working best for my body as far as diet and supplements go. I am taking the GNC Women's Ultra Mega Active Vitapak (morning), GNC 100% Whey Protein drink, and Biogenetics NO-D2T (pre workout). I grabbed all that to simply get going and see if I was still serious, and how serious, a month later. I have been eating a protein/carb bar prior to the wheelchair endurance/sprints, and then following up with a post workout geared protein/carb bar, and protein drink when I get back home. Dinner typically follows an hour after that. Been eating alot of chicken and tuna (single tablespoon of mayo for a single can of tuna), and for dessert- oranges, tangelos, apples, etc. Breakfast is usually a double bowl of Cheerios and a banana sliced into it. About 2L or so water per day. (recovery has made my bladder more spastic..ugh..)

    I really want to refine the bulk have been been adding, get some nice cuts and all. Really want to get rid of the quad belly completely. I have full control of my back muscles thru to the glut's. The lower back muscles are still freshly awakened, but I can prevent someone from twisting me if I fold my arms across my chest and they grab my shoulders and try to twist me. But, my abdominals and obliques are not up to task yet. There is definite control returning, albeit slowly. I had excellent posture (gymnastics for years and years, from early age), but am not able to hold that...yet.

    My wife (sorry if the lesbian thing offends anyone) has let herself go while I did. She is AB and wants to get back in shape as well. We cannot afford a gym like 24 hour fitness or anything, and her work schedule would make that rough anyway (neither of us drive). We might be able to afford payments on a home gym system or something (maybe $30-35/month?). I have created a program for her similar to one I used years ago (aerobic, stretching, etc..no weights though), but would like to get her going on defining what she adds (and loses). I doubt she will want to bulk much; endurance and tone will be her thing, heavy on cardio and building/maintaining muscle/skeletal support.

    So.. any suggestions on exercises for me? Equipment? I do not want to do something like the Bowflex Versatrainer where I use my wheelchair to workout, and it needs to be for her as well. I would rather transfer, and even strap myself in if I need to. We are in a duplex, and do not have an outrageous amount of room. Maybe a nice 6'x6' area, but could make up to 8' x 8'. I want to do preventative work, especially for my shoulders/rot cuffs. I would also like to create a good workout program similar to what I could do at a gym, but somehow do it at home. I have no leg use at all. I do not need a gym for motivation, but fear the only way to hit my goals will be with the variety and quality of equipment a gym affords. I can motivate my wife, and she can assist with the more hardcore training I will get into.

    Sorry for the length, but I am truly serious about this. I have pushed myself for a month, and feel so much better. But, I know I can do so much more.
    Diet and supplement advice?
    Exercises? Set/superset advice? (rot cuff!!!)
    Equipment? All-in-one to get started, plus some dumbbells maybe?

    thanks alot in advance!!!
    nikki =D
    nikki
    T6 complete since Oct, 2001
    TiLite ZRa, Spinergy LX 24", Shox Firm tires, 3" volcanic glare rollerblade wheels for casters

  2. #2
    Way to go Niki! Congratulations on the return and taking charge.
    You go girl!


    My son does an intensive physical therapy program that we developed with his physical therapist. I can't say enough about how much the exercise has helped him regain strength. He also does a lot of stretching and uses thera-bands to exercise.

    The pool rocks too. Hopefully you can get a few sessions in the pool and develop a routine you can follow from there. Do you have a Y nearby or community pool you can acces after PT? We found that for some reason or another if we piggy-backed a regular PT session with a pool session it only counted as one PT unit for insurance purposes. Might be worth checking on.

    There's a thread on the food forum about vitamins and supplements people are taking. That might help you some.

    We do have a home gym that my son uses. We spent the afternoon at a big sporting goods store and let him try out a bunch of different machines until we found one that works for him. He also uses 5 and 10 pound dumbbells-- his PT gave him a basic handout sheet of different exercises.

    I'm sure a lot of the guys will be able to offer more specifics. Check some of the older threads too, I know I've read stuff here about exercise programs and machines, etc.

    Good luck!
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

  3. #3
    Hi, it is sooo great to hear you got back so much, so suddenly!

    While reading your post I was making a list of things to write, but PeanutsLucy has said most of them: use your PT sessions to learn a routine and progressions that you can then replicate at home. Pool therapy is the best thing! The same applies: ask your therapist to give you some water exercises that you can then use at your community pool. The number of repetitions can increase as you gain strenght, and then weights can be added.
    Finally, as you grow stronger, you can start doing things that you did not do before, such as wheeling to the store or the pool, etc. This sort of things are also a great exercise. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Have you checked out the Total Gym? It is the one advertised with Chuck Norris and Christy Brinkley. I know that Project Walk and Sci-Step use these in their facilities. That is the one piece of equipment they (PW) told me to get. I haven't yet because of housing issues-now resolved. I am so glad to hear of your progress. You are really motivating me to get off my lazy arse and get moving. One more thing, you might want to check out second hand exercise equipment stores.

    Kathy

  5. #5
    Hey way to go Nikki. Glad to hear about the recovery. I am a T4-T6 complete as well and I have gotten very serious about my work outs. Haven't started taking supplements yet because my injury is only 2 year old and still new to me and not sure how my body will react to the meds but I think it's about time for me to give them a try. I go to 24 hour fitness myself as well as do cardio training at home on my bike and my cycle trainer. I would love to hear about your progress and how the supplements are treating you. Again congrats

  6. #6
    Thx for the replies!

    After considering alot of options, I have settled on free weights as a primary. Bench shopping now

    Cardio is an interesting one, as we do not have much to spend. I have been simply going down to the waterfront in Portland and rolling along one way, rest for a few and have some water, then return. At the center is a cool ramp down, flat, ramp up section. Once I get there, I grab the railing at the top, stretch, then roll down and sprint up the other side. Turn around, return, then stretch + water, repeat. I really need to find a cheap (but decent) heart monitor so I can see what is happening.

    Supplements: Checked out that thread in the Food section on vitamins and stuff. Still trying to find the multi that works for me. I do not want any "energy booster" stuff in my multi's, so I am guessing I will have to pick pills form here and there. The Whey Protein I am drinking is awesome IMO (GNC), and the Nitric Oxide works wonders; I can seriously feel the endurance gains. This week I have added Omega-3, Flaxseed oil, and Probiotics. And next week I am adding Iodoral (yes, I know to be very careful). The gains so far have been incredible. Changing my diet so radically was a little rough, and I miss certain things alot; others I do not miss very much.

    Still waiting on PT to be approved or denied, and even if/when it is, it will only be for a few sessions. Pfft on them. My doctor (GP) continues to be flaky and avoid all my requests or provide excuses, or deny completely. So I do not get to see a neurologist or SCI specialist to find out what condition my back is in. Plus, I found out that I was denied seeing an endocrinologist. Seems, "Your TSH is a little high; take this synthetic.. see you in 3 months" is the simple answer. No care for what the problem is or was, even if it were simply my diet (which, actually, was very likely the cause). Guess I will have to treat myself...
    nikki
    T6 complete since Oct, 2001
    TiLite ZRa, Spinergy LX 24", Shox Firm tires, 3" volcanic glare rollerblade wheels for casters

  7. #7
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    I saw your thread on the bench. I hope you find one! Keep us updated on your progress.

  8. #8
    Senior Member watchthisbaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikki-k
    Thx for the replies!

    After considering alot of options, I have settled on free weights as a primary. Bench shopping now

    Cardio is an interesting one, as we do not have much to spend. I have been simply going down to the waterfront in Portland and rolling along one way, rest for a few and have some water, then return. At the center is a cool ramp down, flat, ramp up section. Once I get there, I grab the railing at the top, stretch, then roll down and sprint up the other side. Turn around, return, then stretch + water, repeat. I really need to find a cheap (but decent) heart monitor so I can see what is happening.

    Supplements: Checked out that thread in the Food section on vitamins and stuff. Still trying to find the multi that works for me. I do not want any "energy booster" stuff in my multi's, so I am guessing I will have to pick pills form here and there. The Whey Protein I am drinking is awesome IMO (GNC), and the Nitric Oxide works wonders; I can seriously feel the endurance gains. This week I have added Omega-3, Flaxseed oil, and Probiotics. And next week I am adding Iodoral (yes, I know to be very careful). The gains so far have been incredible. Changing my diet so radically was a little rough, and I miss certain things alot; others I do not miss very much.

    Still waiting on PT to be approved or denied, and even if/when it is, it will only be for a few sessions. Pfft on them. My doctor (GP) continues to be flaky and avoid all my requests or provide excuses, or deny completely. So I do not get to see a neurologist or SCI specialist to find out what condition my back is in. Plus, I found out that I was denied seeing an endocrinologist. Seems, "Your TSH is a little high; take this synthetic.. see you in 3 months" is the simple answer. No care for what the problem is or was, even if it were simply my diet (which, actually, was very likely the cause). Guess I will have to treat myself...
    You have got to find a new Primary Care Physician. I find your Dr's practices unprofessional and potentially dangerous for you.

    I applaud you for the healthy lifestyle choices you have made.
    "We're one but we're not the same. We get to carry each other" U2

  9. #9
    Hi!
    Thx yet again for the replies!!!
    My doctor (GP) called today. Spent almost an hour on the phone, and he is putting in referrals for all the stuff I requested. He said that if referrals get denied, he will try to see what can be done.

    I guess this is how health care works when you do not have anything other than Medicaid. At least I will get the xrays and such for my back/SCI concerns no matter what.
    nikki
    T6 complete since Oct, 2001
    TiLite ZRa, Spinergy LX 24", Shox Firm tires, 3" volcanic glare rollerblade wheels for casters

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