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Joined: Sep 2001
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Addicted_to_AS_Kickin
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Wow! Thanks for sharing your story! What and inspiration!
I would have to say that exercise saved my life as well. I joined the STW Krav maga place up the street from my house. That was 4 years ago and it saved my life. I'm now a KM III student and hoping to test out in the next couple of months. Before then I was using my cane every week and in a wheelchair often during the winter months. Mind you I started off VERY slowly as well. Running wasn't an option for months. I am more of a jogger. lol. Thankfully, I had great instructors who were very kind and understanding. I first began with the bag classes. Which are a bag class with Krav maga woven into the class. I am now able to do Kettlebell a couple times a week when I am not busy with the Level III program twice a week 1 1/2 hours each class. It strengthened my back. It strengthened my core. I lost 5" in my waist. I wasn't overweight to begin with as AS made me so sick I was so thin but I gained much needed muscle that I had lost!

Fighting back against AS was what I needed to do and I am glad I did. Having AS full blown now for 15+years hasn't been easy. SI joints are fused and thoracic is starting to but I'm still kicking it and wont stop until I have nothing left in me. This grandma isn't giving up without the good fight! Best wishes on your fitness journey. You have clearly found a successful way to battle the AS beast!


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Great story, thanks for posting! I am very happy for you and glad you are feeling better. And, your English is excellent!

Brad

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cst025 Offline OP
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Thank you everyone, and happy new year!

And ladybuggie; thanks for sharing your story! It's great to hear how much better exercise have made you laugh

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This is definitely one of my favorite recent threads on this forum.

Keep up the inspiration, guys!

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So guys, what are your favorite gym equipment? Because my back was so stiff (and to some extent still are) I've had problems with lifting free weights (deadlifts, benchpress etc.). I also hate those rigid machines since the movement you perform while using them is so restricted. The movement just feels so static and unnatural.
So my favorite equipment is using cable cross trainers (or whatever they are called). My favorite exercise for my chest is cable crossover:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/cable-crossover

It puts minimal stress on my back. It really works my chest hard. And because I can move the cables at will I can adjust my movement if I feel that my shoulders or back hurt in anyway. I really recommend it to anyone having trouble lying flat on a bench or incline for chest exercises.

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One of my major inflammation points is my knees, and it has been for years. I bought a stationary bike about a year ago and try to put in at least 15 minutes a day on it and it's done wonders. Minimally, it keeps my legs in shape instead of having them atrophy, like they were before.

Another thing I always tell people about is a smartphone app by the name of 'Sworkit.' It can randomize full body stretches and allows you to pick how long you want a series to run for. There's a free mobile version online right now (that doesn't look nearly as good as the app, but it'll work for anyone who doesn't have a smart phone) here:
http://m.sworkit.com

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cst025 Offline OP
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I made a side by side comparison. The first two pictures are from summer 2014. I was actually a lot worse around January 2015, but i have no photos from that time as I was so ashamed of my bad posture.
The next 3 photos are from mid december 2015 to January 2016.


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Apprentice_AS_Kicker
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Originally Posted By cst025
I made a side by side comparison. The first two pictures are from summer 2014. I was actually a lot worse around January 2015, but i have no photos from that time as I was so ashamed of my bad posture.
The next 3 photos are from mid december 2015 to January 2016.


Woah that is some transformation! Congratulations! I'm currently trying to put on some muscle, spending 5 days/week in the gym. Managed to put a couple of KG on so far but progress is so slow and having to be very careful to avoid a flare that could set me back weeks.

I would love to see your workout programme?

Last edited by Staffy; 01/28/16 01:52 PM.
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Originally Posted By Staffy
Originally Posted By cst025
I made a side by side comparison. The first two pictures are from summer 2014. I was actually a lot worse around January 2015, but i have no photos from that time as I was so ashamed of my bad posture.
The next 3 photos are from mid december 2015 to January 2016.


Woah that is some transformation! Congratulations! I'm currently trying to put on some muscle, spending 5 days/week in the gym. Managed to put a couple of KG on so far but progress is so slow and having to be very careful to avoid a flare that could set me back weeks.

I would love to see your workout programme?


I wish I could give you a more detailed workout programme, but the types of exercises I do each day kinda gets decided on the fly depending on how I feel that particular day.

My routine is basically: Exercise something every day

A week can maybe look something like this:
day 1: shoulder, arms, chest
day 2: legs, streching exercises
day 3: back (some of these exercises also train arms) and abs
day 4: only cardio (i run between 6 or 10 kilometers, or take 30 min on a rowing machine)
repeat
On day 1-3 i warm up with 15-20 min of easy jogging.
Around every 2nd or 3rd week I take one or two days off and just go for a walk or something instead.
It might sound a lot (or even too much), but it's not extremely hard. If I feel pain I stop immediately.

I usually spend 2 hours a day working out, and I try to take time to relax in the sauna afterwards as it really relaxes my back.

Some good exercises that works for me:

Cable crossover for the chest. I mix up the height of the cables so I work out both upper and lower chest. Chest press (machine), and chest flys.

Bicep curls. Both barbells and dumbells, mixing up the grip (wide/narrow, palms up/in etc), as well as doing them leaning back on an incline bench.

Cable pulldowns (again mixing grips and handles) and dips for triceps.

Leg press, hamstring curls, nordic hamstring, bulgarian split squats and standing calf raises for my legs. All of these are good. Working legs can be a chore when your back is stiff, so I'm very thankful for nordic hamstring and bulgarian split squats.

I'm afraid I don't know the names of the exercises for my shoulders (exept standing shrugs for my traps) and back. They are also done on a cable crosstrainer.

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That's useful thank you

How many sets/reps would you do?

You seem to have similar body weight and starting place to me so really excited to see what I *might* be able to achieve. What worked for you so well might work for me.

I actually find traditional squats and deadlifts ok on my back as long as I don't go crazy on the weight.

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