Place your Yellowbelly food order for this Thursday’s Cool Cruel Summer!

3 rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
35-lb. dumbbell thrusters, 21 reps


Much of Bill’s rehab scaling involved unweighted barbell movements and always full range of motion.

Working Through Injury

We’ve all had injuries of some degree at some point in our lives.  They come with being alive.  It’s easy to try and point blame on the activity responsible for our setback but in reality we can get injured in pretty much anything in life.  I’ve worked with people who hurt themselves shoveling snow, walking in high heels, picking up a couch, mountain biking, raking the lawn, climbing, picking up a patient, running, doing a muscle-up, skiing, etc.  The list goes on forever but the point is that we have to learn to deal with injuries because they’re part of life.

The Coaches at Roots have worked with hundreds of athletes who have suffered injuries that may prevent their ability to do particular movements.  It’s the perfect application of what scaling is all about!  So when we hear that someone has suffered a setback we immediately think how can we scale so they can still get a good workout in.

Bill Kobrin, also known as Joe Oldenslo on SugarWOD, experienced this first hand last year when he tore his bicep.  In his own words, “the tendon detached from the bone and the bicep muscle recoiled to the upper part of my arm. The cause was a life­long history of mobility issues and injuries for which I have a long list of excuses for not addressing!”

For a lot of people that would have been the end.  They would have put their nano’s in the closet and decided that they could no longer workout until the injury was back to 100%, but for Bill he took Nicole’s advice “that just because one limb isn’t working well, you still have 3 other limbs and a midline to work with – that leaves a lot of options in CrossFit.”

After surgery he was restricted from using his arm at all for 6 weeks.  This certainly gave the Coaches at Roots some obstacles to work around but they worked within the parameters set by the doctors and Bill never left feeling like he didn’t get in a good workout.  He continued coming 5 times a week as normal and the Coaches continued dreaming up scaled options that would work his conditioning and challenge him mentally in addition to constantly harassing him about doing his PT rehab homework. 

3 months later and Bill was given the go-ahead to use his arm with no restrictions other than not to over do it, since it had basically been doing nothing for the past 90 days.  He started slow with little to no weight and an emphasis on full range of motion in everything he did.  Sure it was frustrating having to scale things that the rest of his body could do no problem and some days it meant him doing a completely different WOD because of his scaling options, but he stayed the course and began working his way back. 

“I know the “reasons” I would have used to justify not working out for 3+ months but I felt if our coaches were that committed to help me then I had to be as committed to help myself and I especially never would have kept doing the mindless, painful mobility exercises without their support.”

The end result?  5 months after the injury he PR’d his Fran time by 1:16 and if you follow him on SugarWOD you know he’s been PR’ing nonstop ever since.  He has also gained more mobility in his arm than pre-injury and the peace of mind that he can work through setbacks. 

Have you had to work through an injury?  Post your story to comments.