Disabled Future Gym Rat


  • Aug 27, 2015 6:02 PM GMT
    When my gym opens up in a few weeks it will be my first time within a muscular "sweat shop" --- get it?

    I have cerebral palsy. It mostly affects my legs. For the longest time I thought I wasn't worthy or would be able to keep up in a gym and get stared and laughed at.

    My future sister-in-law agreed to go the gym with me, as she actually knows how to use most of the machines. (lucky me)

    I know it's going to take a long time to start seeing progress, and I'm nervous about that.

    I'm willing to push myself to my limits without passing out.
    I have to concentrate on my back, my core and my legs.

    I don't even know how much I can lift and/or press.

    What has worked for you in terms of diet, motivation, cheat days, and regiment?

    Thanks for the input.
    I would get a personal trainer but they are too expensive for a bare bones income.

    Thanks,
    J
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    Aug 27, 2015 9:50 PM GMT
    Start with very very light weight so you can work on your form, and learn to use the machines correctly. That's the most important part of starting from scratch, because if your form is wrong, you'll risk injuries and have slower progress.

    As for diet, etc, I like Paleo...more of an 80/20 mix (80% paleo, 20% other). Doing it that way eliminates the need for "cheat" days.

  • Aug 28, 2015 2:25 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidThat's excellent that you're going to start working out.


    Honestly, I am not sure what would be best as for as recommendations for you since I have no experience working with anyone who had cerebral palsy. But I did a Google search and found a link on bodybuilding.com:

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/brian-used-bodybuilding-to-rise-above-cp.htm

    That guy really transformed his body and looks amazing.

    I would suggest you read that over. It appears to have a lot of the information you're looking for.

    And no one is going to laugh at you. If they do they are huge jerks.


    Thank you so much for brining this article to my attention. I really appreciate it. I feel for Brian, I've gone through most if not all of his experiences and then some.

    I'd be happy to look like him, or you for that matter.
    Thanks for the words of enocuragment.

    J
  • Oceans_of_Flo...

    Posts: 393

    Aug 28, 2015 2:32 AM GMT

    I hope you don't mind if I love on you a bit. Congratulations for pursuing fitness even though a gym can be daunting for everyone. I've seen quite a few disabled gym goers at my gym in Arlington , TX. They don't seem to let anyone step on their toes. I feel pretty proud too when the overweight guys come in and coolly , confidently, strut from machine to machine. A gym is really about mastering your personal space. If you stay on task and sweat, the other guys will get it, you're here to push it. The only trespasses I've seen happen are to chatters, and machine hogs. Good luck to you, I wish it were my gym you were attending. I'm pretty well known as the no nonsense guy there, some black guys dubbed me The Silent Assassin.

  • Aug 28, 2015 2:36 AM GMT
    Well it would be great to find someone who knows what their doing to walk me through it all and keep me accountable.

    Silent Assassin? Is that because you kill em with kindness?
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    Aug 28, 2015 9:55 AM GMT
    I wish you all the best. I do not think anyone will laugh at you, you will be an inspiration though.
  • ASHDOD

    Posts: 1057

    Aug 28, 2015 11:00 AM GMT
    i think its great, if the guys there are even a little bit like in my gym you are going to get a lot of help and encoregment from them, if you dont, come to RJ!
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    Aug 29, 2015 4:37 AM GMT
    Anyone afraid of going to the gym because they might be "judged" should be referred to this thread.

    Awesome responses guys!
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    Aug 29, 2015 7:15 AM GMT
    I find a lot of people seem to have this irrational fear that people in gyms are going to be making fun of them for whatever reason. I have to tell you, that is something I have NEVER seen happen in all my years of going to the gym. And even if someone did make fun of you....what do you think that says about them? Only a truly mentally disturbed (and insecure) individual would do such a thing. So just get in there and give it your all. You will be an inspiration to everyone I'm sure.
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    Aug 29, 2015 4:51 PM GMT
    Check out your local community college. They often have adaptive physical education for peeps with disabilities , which includes me. The trainers are excellent and motivated and it's cheaper than a gym. When I went there were all types , stroked victims, people recovering from surgery etc, the instructor knew just what to do . There was a young dude with CP who the trainer had to stretch so that his muscles would not atrophy.
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    Aug 30, 2015 12:02 PM GMT
    Have you joined the gym yet? I know some gyms will give new members an orientation and show them how to work all of the machines. You should check and see if you can get an appointment for an orientation to all of the machines.

    Regular members will not stare or laugh at you. They will understand and appreciate what you are doing. Every single one of them started as a newbie.

    And as paulflexes said, start out light so you can work on the form. I see a lot of people with really bad form at the gym, swinging their bodies so hard just so they can "lift" a weight that's too heavy for them.

    When you're at the gym, pay attention to what others are doing (without looking like a stalker). If you see someone doing an interesting exercise, try asking them about it. I've done it a few times and people have been really nice about it. You might wind up with a good workout partner that way, too.

    Also, check out the workouts here on RJ. They all have animated videos showing how correctly do the exercises.

    As for food, pay attention to how your body reacts. I can't exercise on an empty stomach while other people can only exercise on an empty stomach. If I don't eat well during the day and exercise really hard, I wind up craving really bad food around bedtime (ice cream, bread, etc.).

    Are you going to be doing any cardio?

    Be patient with yourself as well. Give yourself plenty of time to make changes and be healthy. It's an ongoing lifestyle.
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    Aug 31, 2015 10:41 PM GMT
    At the gym I go at, I often see a guy who has cerebral palsy (well, I'm not sure, I'm not a doctor, but he walks in the typical way of people having this disability).
    He has a nice body and seems to enjoy the gym a lot. He must have done it for years. No one is judging or staring at him. Actually, it's quite the opposite, I always see him chatting in a friendly way with other regular customers and trainers.
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    Sep 01, 2015 7:09 PM GMT
    start with small weights, go to the gym few times per week, go when there are not too many people and just watch you tube videos, there are many explanatory videos how to do certain exercises


    you will be ok as long as you will not bother other people :-)
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    Sep 06, 2015 2:18 PM GMT
    johnnytheginger saidWhen my gym opens up in a few weeks it will be my first time within a muscular "sweat shop" --- get it?

    I have cerebral palsy. It mostly affects my legs. For the longest time I thought I wasn't worthy or would be able to keep up in a gym and get stared and laughed at.

    My future sister-in-law agreed to go the gym with me, as she actually knows how to use most of the machines. (lucky me)

    I know it's going to take a long time to start seeing progress, and I'm nervous about that.

    I'm willing to push myself to my limits without passing out.
    I have to concentrate on my back, my core and my legs.

    I don't even know how much I can lift and/or press.

    What has worked for you in terms of diet, motivation, cheat days, and regiment?

    Thanks for the input.
    I would get a personal trainer but they are too expensive for a bare bones income.

    Thanks,
    J


    This is really great you are moving forward. As with any person with a physical disability (incuding myself). Its best to know ones limitation and work around it but by no means give up to that limitation. Most gyms have a coach or specialist that can help cater your goals to your needs. Help you develop a routine. I agree with most response so far, that is to start out slow, learn correct forms and progress from there. I too get uncomfortable if people watching BUT once I was focused and into the zone- I cared less about people around me. Good Luck and keep us posted on your progress.
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    Sep 09, 2015 4:20 PM GMT
    I think that is great. I seriously doubt anybody will give you any crap, and if you do we RJ guys might just have to come talk to them.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Jun 07, 2016 6:34 PM GMT
    Looking at your profile, you are in a good position to start. No fat to deal with first. I'd recommend you expand your goals to include chest, shoulders and arms as well as back, core and legs. No one will be anything but supportive so long as you don't waste time chatting and you appear serious. Machines are good but free-weights are better, especially dumbbells. Men's Health puts out a book that walks you through the biology of what you're trying to accomplish as well as the mechanics of many exercises and what muscles they are working on. I found that helped me isolate 3 or 4 different exercises per body part. And also provided alternatives. I'd suggest you get it. (I know you can find this online but I found the print version easier and the pics are part of the fun.) Then devise a schedule isolating the muscle groups but covering everything each week. Do 3 sets of ten per exercise to start with about 90 seconds between sets and a couple of minutes between different exercises. Don't try to go heavy to start-- just enough that the last couple of reps are a bit of a struggle. Work on tone. Size comes after tone.

    Diet-- Fresh, no processed food, no soda. 2200 calories/day. Get a high quality whey protein mix that is no more than 180 calories and no less than 28 grams of protein. Drink one immediately after workout. Keep a shaker cup and a supply in your gym bag. Cheat meals? I give myself one breakfast, one lunch and one dinner cheat per week. But even then, portion control is the ticket. And eliminate sugar from your diet. (Did you hear over half the sugar in the US comes from GMO beets, the modification being a resistance to Roundup, a know carcinogen. So they bathe sugar in poison to keep the weeds down.)

    There's a lot more to it but this will get you started. Good luck!