GHD Nightmare

1 Jul

Sweet Baby Cheeses, what have I done?  WHAT have I done to my abs??!  I’m not a complete noob when it comes to the Glute-Ham Developer.  I COMPLETELY understand the potency of the move, I read up on the dangers of rhabdomyolysis and how GHD situps have been known to send people to the ER.  Yeah, I get it.

For the last 4 months, I’ve been incorporating sets of GHD situps into my warm up.  So, when I saw “3 Rounds of:  (30) GHD situps and (50) Thrusters” prescribed on CrossFit last Wednesday, I was ready!  And I went into the workout with the state of mind that if at any time my abs were exhausted or in pain, I would not force the issue.

Well, I made it through the entire workout… all 90 GHD situps, all full range of motion! (Here’s a pic of Ryan demonstrating the move.)

In fact, during the workout the GHD situps were EASIER than the dumbbell thrusters.  (Hold the applause!  It gets better!)

The next morning I was feeling great, still high from completing 90 (!) GHD situps.  And then I started getting sore that evening.  And then it started to feel like it was getting worse by the hour.  And then I had to fall, not climb, into bed.  And then Friday morning, I COULD NOT STAND UP COMPLETELY STRAIGHT.  (At the time I interpreted this to be, “Dang!  I had an awesome ab workout!”  Sick, sick, sick in the head.)  Saturday morning I decided to scale back on Run Drills and just take it easy.  And by Saturday afternoon, I told Ryan, “If we’re going mountain biking, we have to leave RIGHT NOW or I might not make it out of the house for the rest of the day.”

And then by that night it:

  • Hurt to even TOUCH any part of my midsection
  • I couldn’t sleep on my stomach or on my side
  • I couldn’t contract my abs.  No “sucking it in.”
  • My midsection got soft and puffy and squishy and swollen looking  (Ryan confirmed it!)
  • If I tried to stand up completely straight, I felt instantly nauseous and my lower back would get all crampy (it felt like menstrual cramps.  Yay me.)

For 5 days my ENTIRE abs hurt from my sub-sternal notch to my pubic bone, on the surface and the muscles deep inside… horrible, horrible pain.  I think I told Ryan, “I’m dying!  I’m dyyyying,” atleast once an hour at the top of the hour.  I think I even skipped an entire rotation of CrossFit; who knows, those five days were a blur.

I am SO not being dramatic here;  I am telling you:  I have never, ever, EVAR felt that sore before.  I’ve done Ab Ripper X and Turbo Core and Pilates ab routines – those pale in comparison.  At one point, I started getting concerned and actually googled, “Symptoms of Rhabdo and when to go to the ER.”  And I’m not a fan of medicating muscle pain, so I figured, “Well, Jessica, you knew the potential ramifications and you went through with it anyway.  So now pain is the price you pay.”  Talk about lame.

Well, it’s been 8 days since the GHD workout.  Last night I hopped on the GHD to stretch out the muscle and yelped in pain.  It’s not nearly as bad as it was but I STILL don’t have full range of motion.  In fact, this morning kipping pullups were  out of the question.  I’m still too sore to fully extend (hyper extend?  Like, arch back) my torso.  I’m really hoping I didn’t significantly damage the muscle enough to cancel out the strength gains I’ve built up thus far.  Right now it just feels like a “regular” soreness one would get after a “regular” ab workout.

The GHD situp is so, so, so potent that, at this point, I don’t think I would outright recommend it to anyone that doesn’t already sport an 8-pack.  I love CrossFit but, take my word for it:  If you see an astronomically high number of GHD situps prescribed, unless you’re already an elite athlete, I would sincerely suggest giving a big “F— that!”  If I see GHD situps prescribed next week, will I follow my own advice?  Probably not.


5 Responses to “GHD Nightmare”

  1. Jen July 2, 2010 at 15:39 #

    I do tend to shy away from doing most RXed CF workouts. I remember back in the day when I was first introduced to CF and I did the RXed workout and ended up doing some insane amount of pullups (jumping) I DID end up at Urgent care and was sent home with muscle relaxers and VICODIN! But 90GHD holy moly!!! I am sure you will recover well and come back STRONGER THAN EVER! 🙂

    • jessicamacho July 4, 2010 at 01:07 #

      Urgent care? Vicodin? Muscle relaxers?? Wow! How did you know that you should head to the hospital? What were your symptoms. I’m just wondering because I’m always apprehensive about going to Urgent Care. I’m always worried that I’m being a hypochondriac.

  2. Ricky May 14, 2011 at 16:20 #

    Hi, I am in horrible pain. I did “Mr Joshua” which is has 30 GHD situps in a round for 5 rounds. I was curious to how long it took to recover from those 90 GHD situps. My gf thinks I’m making it up to get out of a birthday party tonight.

    • jessicamacho May 17, 2011 at 14:47 #

      Hi, Ricky. Sorry to hear about your horrible pain. The GHD is a pretty potent device. 150 GHD situps is no joke. I was in pain for about 3 days and then just a “typical” soreness afterwards. Total it was a bout a week before I felt back to normal.

  3. Ryan June 1, 2011 at 13:38 #

    Late to the party, but like Ricky, I’m here after Mr Joshua and the 150 GHD’s. I definitely could have used a little more heads-up from the coach on this one. Mercifully, I’m merely “extremely sore” and not “debilitatingly sore”, but I still wish I’d read this post first! On the plus side, I guess we all have to admit that GHD, in moderation, are one helluva good workout!

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