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Weight Lifting #87609
10/11/05 05:06 AM
10/11/05 05:06 AM
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Atlanta, Ga
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mtsargent Offline OP
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I am a 'Newbie" also and am wondering if there are any weight lifters out there with experence in dealing with this. I have been lifting on and off for about 42 years and it still makes me feel good but my doc and I are not on the "same page". She is recommending things like "water aerobics" instead, saying that she is afraid that weight lifting causes too much stress to the joints but those sorts of exercises don't present enough resistance to actually stress my muscles..becomes pure aerobics which seems to make me feel worse. As I said, when I am done with a workout I have a much lower level of pain and a much greater feeling of "well being" so I am a bit "conflicted" and could use some advice.

Re: Weight Lifting #87610
10/12/05 01:34 PM
10/12/05 01:34 PM
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My doctor loves that I lift weights. It is great for the bones (I have osteroporosis) and it is great for the muscles which help to stabilize the joint. I have been lifting weights since college and have no plans to stop. I am very careful and don't overload my joints. During flairs I sometimes lower the weight I use. I don't do water areobics but I do swim for cardio along with doing the eliptical machine. Both are low impact. My doctor told me not to run or do high impact stuff because of my bones.


I have pain. Pain does not have me.
Re: Weight Lifting #87611
11/02/05 01:42 AM
11/02/05 01:42 AM
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Hi, Froglady. Thanks for your reply. After my first post, I kind of lost the site..or forgot about it. At this point, my rhemotoligist and I don't talk about exercise as she wants me to limit to walking in a pool or something like that. I have been weight lifting for 42 years and all I know is that when I do it consistently, it makes me feel better.
mike

Re: Weight Lifting #87612
11/04/05 02:23 PM
11/04/05 02:23 PM
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Westchester County, NY
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I'm a newbie too, so maybe I don't really know much yet. But I lift weights and also run (or I'd like to get back to running when I don't have so much pain!). My doctor told me his goal was to manage my disease so that I can do the things I want/like to do -- and that incudes running and weight lifting -- and not let the disease control my life and activities. It remains to be seen when/if I'll get back to my full athletic activities, but I really like his attitude and approach. If you and your doctor don't see eye-to-eye on this, maybe you should consider consulting with another doc?

Re: Weight Lifting #87613
11/06/05 11:05 PM
11/06/05 11:05 PM
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Illinois
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I have had AS for over 16 years. I can no longer run if I want to enjoy the rest of my day. Some days even walking can be a pain in the back. My doctors also kept pushing water exercises but my back and left hip kept disagreeing with them. Weightlifting, using the stationary bike with a supporting back attached to it and using my total gym at home keeps me active, makes me feel better even during my rough patches, and has never been a problem. I always walk out of the gym feeling much better. As long as I use machines and benches that support my back I have been ok. If your doctor is like the ones I have seen (I have moved and changed insurance companies many times in 16 years so I have seen a lot of doctors) until someone does official medical research on weightlifting and spondylitis I donít think your doctor will recommend it.

Re: Weight Lifting #87614
11/11/05 06:24 PM
11/11/05 06:24 PM
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Atlanta, Ga
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Ann and Susan, thanks for sharing your experiences with me. Other than the exercise issue, I like my docter a lot as she is both skilled and compasionate. As Ann points out, apparently there is no good "official" guide to exercise. As I talk to more athletic AS sufferers, I am coming to realize that the "walking in the pool" recommendation is almost something of a joke as everyone seems to get that from their doctors and then goes on to figure out what works for me. Like Ann, I am finding that my best combination is 3xweek with 20 minutes on a stat bike with a seat having back support along with 7xweek seight training. In my younger years (until about 40) I was all about power lifting with free weights. Now I find that I mostly need to use machines that support both back and hips. One brand that does this and seems to give a range of motion very similar to free weights is "Hammer Strength" if anyone is interested.

Another question, I just started Embrel this week (2x25mg/week) and am wondering how long it usually takes to "kick in". I have heard good things about the relief it provides.
mike

Re: Weight Lifting #87615
12/03/05 04:55 AM
12/03/05 04:55 AM
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SF Bay area
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Hi Mike,

I'm new to the forum, but have been lifting weights off and on like you for years. My rheumy likes the fact that I stay active and wants me to continue whatever it is I do. I've had AS for 10+ years and will be entering my mid 30's and I feel better now than in years past. I don't lift as heavy as I used to. My current workouts will follow Crossfit. I'm basically going to go as long as my body allows me to. Good luck to you.

Re: Weight Lifting #87616
12/17/05 10:12 PM
12/17/05 10:12 PM
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phoenix
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weights are great. They actually strengthen the joints. But you should be wise with what you do. Dont lift like a macho man. And in a flare back off on the joints that hurt.
I have lifted for 20 years but I do a lot of yoga too.

Re: Weight Lifting #87617
01/07/06 09:42 AM
01/07/06 09:42 AM
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Washington
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I don't lift. But my husband does. He doesn't have AS. I officially have FMS but I recommend doing any thing that makes you feel good if it is physical activity. My moto is if you stop moving... you won't be able to move... so whatever keeps you going is good.
Day~

I ride horses and run on the treadmill and that probably would be off the list of things to do but there is such a thing as quality of life and inspiration/passion of living. Motivation is a good thing. Both activities cause me great pain at times but more often cause me great joy.
Day~




"I do not want ever to be indifferent to the joys and beauties of this life. For through these, as through pain, we are enabled to see purpose in randomness, pattern in chaos." L'Engle
Re: Weight Lifting #87618
01/08/06 04:44 PM
01/08/06 04:44 PM
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Atlanta, Ga
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mtsargent Offline OP
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Day, thanks for the feedback. I had a post on another topic about Horse back riding. My youngest daughter (19) is very involved in riding, training and showing to the point that we actually are the proud servants of 2 1/2 quarter horses (mare due in May and a gelding currently being shown).

I had a relatively early exposure to horse (early 20s) as my parents had 30 acres outside of Spokane and my sister and then my parents always had horses. I lived in a cabin on the property for several years and only saw the "Three Fs" so was not overly fond of them (feeding, fences and feces).

I have been reluctently dragged into the whole horse business over the past 10 years but now can't imagine life without horses.

My origional question about riding was for me but now, I have this sick suspision that my youngest may have AS as she is showing some of the early signs. She has had a problem wiht lower back and hips for the past year and it has gotten to the point that she has been at a show in Florida for the past two weeks and unable to show anything but Showmanship (on a lead line) this week. My concern for my daughter is that horses are her life at this point. This is her last year as a "youth" and she intends to start work as a trainer and coach when she is done showing next fall. She is apparently very talented and has been getting "employment offers" from established trainers for the past year. Additionally, her very serious boy friend is a young, professional trainer in the process of establishing his business and reputation. I am not sure what AS might do to all of this. On a good note, my rhemey is pro riding as a theraputic exercise for AS.

On another note, although now in Georgia for the past 18 years, I lived in Washington, mostly in the Eastern part of th estate for about 25 years and really love the state. My sister is still in Olympia, some kind of 3rd or 4th line manager for the state DMV. I would love to get back to Washington to live but I am not sure I ever will as my three kids are rather "rooted" in Georgia. If you want to continue this discussion off of the forum, my email is mtsargent@hotmail.com.
mike

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Re: Weight Lifting #87619
01/08/06 06:16 PM
01/08/06 06:16 PM
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Ari, how do you determine what is "reasonable". When I tried to discuss this with my rheumy and told her what poundages I was using (for 14+ reps) she told me that I should consider "walking in a swimming pool" instead. My quandry is that I have been lifting for 42 years, since age 16 and while the amount of wheight that I use may seem excessive on the surface, it is just what it takes to fatigue my muscles adn I never do low rep sets any more. At this point, my rheumy and I are basically in "denial" on this subject.
mike

Re: Weight Lifting #87620
01/09/06 11:17 PM
01/09/06 11:17 PM
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Hi Mike,

I lift weights two to three times a week. I truly believe that by keeping my back muscles strong (along with everything else) it is going to help me in the long run with my AS. I am sure you know this but the endorphins are great!!

Right now I am confused on a program specifially for my lower back.... Some of the traditional ways of lifting arent that great for me. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Lynette

Re: Weight Lifting #87621
01/11/06 05:40 AM
01/11/06 05:40 AM
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Lynette, I was lucky enough to be refered to a physical therapist who not only specializes in sports therapy and back injuries but was also an accomplished body builder. He gave me a couple of rules of thumb which are a little contrary to the form that I have always employed with traditional power lifting.

First, he told me to limit the amount of load on the top of the spinal column. Second, don't do anything that causes an arch in the back. Finally, make sure that the hips and back are supported in exercises that would place stress on those regions.

As you can see, that somewhat limits "free weight" exercises such as squats and dead-lifts, two of my favorites in the past. Fortunatly, the gym that I uses has a line of machines with the trade mark "Hammer Strength" which I have found create a very natural range of motion, similar to what is used with free weights.

In terms of lower back, what I am doing now is lateral cable rows but with no back arch and a more full body motion with the lower back involved.

Feel free to email me at mtsargent@hotmail.com if you want to take this "offline" so as not to "clog up" the forum.
mike

Re: Weight Lifting #87622
01/22/06 11:48 PM
01/22/06 11:48 PM
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Brunei Darussalam
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I was diagnosed with AS about five years ago. I am actively going for bodybuilding workouts. My doctor is also not at the same page as me. She said I am also 8KG overweight for my height (68KG at 5'6"). BTW I'm 29 years old.


Live your life to its fullest. Try everything with care.
Re: Weight Lifting #87623
01/23/06 05:45 AM
01/23/06 05:45 AM
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New Hampshire, USA
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Quote:
Originally posted by mtsargent:
I am a 'Newbie" also and am wondering if there are any weight lifters out there with experence in dealing with this. I have been lifting on and off for about 42 years and it still makes me feel good but my doc and I are not on the "same page". She is recommending things like "water aerobics" instead, saying that she is afraid that weight lifting causes too much stress to the joints but those sorts of exercises don't present enough resistance to actually stress my muscles..becomes pure aerobics which seems to make me feel worse. As I said, when I am done with a workout I have a much lower level of pain and a much greater feeling of "well being" so I am a bit "conflicted" and could use some advice.

Re: Weight Lifting #87624
01/23/06 05:53 AM
01/23/06 05:53 AM
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I've lived with AS for 22 years (I just turned 40). And I have been weightlifting seriously for 4 yrs. I'm not a bodybuilder, but I like to sculpt my body. I learned that you simply have to do those exercises that don't hurt on those days when you feel fine. Now I have started judo and jujitsu training. But I'm beginning to feel that this may not be the right martial arts for AS.

I would be interested in hearing from fellow AS warriors who have studies martial arts and choose to remain active.

Re: Weight Lifting #87625
01/30/06 04:28 PM
01/30/06 04:28 PM
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miami
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Hello all im 33 an have had a/s for over 10 yrs , i have seen many Dr.'s an many meds.sorry in advance for any spelling errors for my spelling is as bad as my a/s . smile based on my exp when i 1st found out i was diagnosed with a/s i had to get a hip replacement things were so bad . if you can run , run . If you can lift weights lift , i find also that machiene wieghts are better just for support factors however with excercise we must not forget the basics streching is always the best , while a 20 min workout may due, hrs of streching will never over due. med wise been on every pill there was , they may unintenseify the pain but i was still always in pain . embrell worked for me it took about 90 days to feel a big improvement , which i did but stil had pain mornings an eve's where difficult , but after being already on it for 3 years i have switched to remicaide. i noticed a differance that day an i have been better every day after. still stiff but alot less pain. Thank you


matt
Re: Weight Lifting #87626
01/30/06 06:59 PM
01/30/06 06:59 PM
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Hey Matt, I agree - do whatever you can do....

And Jafonso2, I have not tried any of the martial arts - I do try to do Yoga. My son however is heavy into Tai Chi and swears by it!!

I feel so guilty for the fact that I am still able to do alot physically because I know there are alot here that are limited so I feel bad mentioning it at times. Is that odd to feel guilt? I am so thankful that I can still run - I ran the St. George marathon in 2001. Of course I have to modify things and will not ever be a speedster but that is o.k. It is really the only time of the day that I don't have pain.... I lift weights as well and then like Matt said, stretch, stretch & stretch!!!!

Good luck everyone with your quest for better workouts!!!

Lynette

Re: Weight Lifting #87627
02/02/06 01:52 PM
02/02/06 01:52 PM
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I see that this subject has been here since Oct. so I don't know if anyone will see my reply. If your body says it's good for you THEN IT IS. If doing an exercize makes your body say it is bad for you THEN IT IS. And each one is different so what works for one may not for the next. Your body is the very best judge. Like food: you eat (example) yogurt and feel great, the next person eats the same and has stomach pains. Same idea w/ exercize. I have learned to ignore stupid things that come from a doctor, no point to try to enlighten them. You can't teach a person something if they think they already know everything.

Re: Weight Lifting #87628
02/02/06 11:44 PM
02/02/06 11:44 PM
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Good Point!

L.

Re: Weight Lifting #87629
02/13/06 12:23 AM
02/13/06 12:23 AM
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WA
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HI there all; I see that many of you have had water exercise recommended, but did any of you actually try it? You might be pleasantly surprised. I am not a weight lifter, I am a swimmer. Water walking keeps me moving. I see it as stretching while supported by the water. We work all the joints, not just a few, and work the range of motion for all of them. My instructor is certified by the Arthritis Foundation. If "water walking" is not enough, try water aerobics. I do my water workout 3x/week. On the off days I walk. You could be doing weights on the off days, or after warming up with the water workout. Good luck.

Re: Weight Lifting #87630
02/25/06 04:44 PM
02/25/06 04:44 PM
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Issaquah, Washington
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Hi Mt. Sgt,

I think you go out and do what makes you happy.

Walking in a pool to me is like driving 20mph on the autobahn lol smile

I've been lifting weights off and on ever since high school and I'm 38 now. I find excercises that feel good and some that irritate it and mold my workouts around what doesn't irritate the joints. Chest workouts seem to be ok for me but back workouts can irritate my joints later.
Leg workouts I can do just about anything but squats. Any weight bearing on the spine I try to avoid. I do lay down squats to replace the upright squats and that is plenty enough for me.

I have a great way of swimming. I had tried swimming many times and was discouraged because I have neck involvement and I spent too much energy lifting my head out of the water every nanasecond because I also have no chest expansion.
At any rate I got a SNORKEL smile best thing I purchased for excercise. I can swim and breath at nanosecond speed and just swim! Really good excercise to compliment your excercising.

I also find low impact, high intensity cardio to get the heart rate up. My favorite for two things is the Step Up machines. I sweat within 8 minutes of being on it and my back doesn't get bothered one way or another by it. Great leg workout. Two I'm training for a summit to Mt. Ranier. The only thing that could be a factor for me is the chest expansion after 10,000 ft. I need AIR lol smile

Have a good day,

Tim

Re: Weight Lifting #87631
02/26/06 12:14 AM
02/26/06 12:14 AM
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Atlanta, Ga
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mtsargent Offline OP
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Hi, Tim. It sounds like we have discovered about the same things for weight lifting. I have also had to give up squats in faver of incline leg presses. Like you, I am bothered by anything that exerts too much preasure on the spinal column. I appreciate the tips regarding swimming. I never thought of trying a snorkel. I envy you living where you do. I spent about 25 years in Washington state, Spokane, Colville, Kettle Falls, Richland and Longview. I was even in Spokane for the big "Mt. St. Helans gala".
mike

Re: Weight Lifting #87632
02/26/06 03:40 PM
02/26/06 03:40 PM
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Issaquah, Washington
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Morning Mike,

The spinal column can really throw me a day or even three days later if I irritate it.
I get too much out of lifting weights for me to stop them but I've added much more strength building cardio to the mix.

Where do you live? I don't mind the rain out here so Washington is a great fit for me. I live in Issaquah near Snoqualmie. Many hiking trails are literally 15 minutes away so I do alot of hiking for workout as well. A big benefit for me living in this state with all the outdoor fun.
I actually went skiing a couple weeks ago at Crystal Mountain. There are a few risk involved on that when your body is fused in many places lol I wonder what the doctors would say on that smile I need excitement and that does it for me. I only fell down three times an no tumbling was involved... just a face plant. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little sore the next couple days but it was worth it for me.

Have a nice Sunday Mike and pain free I hope smile

Tim

Re: Weight Lifting #87633
02/26/06 05:14 PM
02/26/06 05:14 PM
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Atlanta, Ga
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Hi Tim. I live in the Atlanta, Ga metropolitin area now. My only sister is a senior management bureacrat for the State and lives in Olympia. She and her husband have been trying to get me to coe for a vist for some time and it is deffinitly on my "todo" list as I love Washington (as well as my sister, of course).

I feel the same way about weight lifting as you. I have been doing it for 42+ years and it is something that still makes me feel good. I was lucky to find this site and the people on these boards as some of my early "exercise" discussions with my doc were not good. She of course recommended the standard "walking in the swimming pool" for strength building...yea right. I have got her to reluctantly concede that anything that I can do 12+ reps with should be okay....I don't dare talk about weight as I know that would freak her out. I used to do power lifting so have fairly strong legs and am having to use around 900lbs on the lying incline leg press. Because the machine provides reall good suppor for back and hips and becasue the weight is not loadeed at the top of th espinal column, this seems to work very well for me and gets me tired. Some people, including the personal trainers at the club focus on the weight and get a little nervous, though and I no my rheumy would probably go totally balistic but you have to do enough to make you tired, right?

I also know exactly what you mean about the "delayed" pain for doing something wrong. A couple of times, I have done things that I knew I shouldn't, just to humor the young PTs at the club who are freaked out about my leg presses. The problem is, their alternatives have all either loaded weight at the top of the spine or stressed my spine "asynchroneously". In one case, I had trouble walking the next day due to back and hip wierdness..I am sure you know what I am talking about. I finally suggested to the manager of the PT group taht he look up AS on the internnet. At this point, they pretty much leave me alone and deal with what I am doing

The one place that I am not satisfied yet is with the cardio stuff. Currently I ma using a stationary bike which has a comfortable seat and a back, thus providing support again. As soon as I get access to a pool I think I am gong to try the swimming tip that you provided as it has some obvious collateral advantages such as range of motion and total body support.

Well, have a good Sudnay...I am enjoying our "conversation".
mike

Re: Weight Lifting #87634
02/27/06 02:43 PM
02/27/06 02:43 PM
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Issaquah, Washington
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Mike,

I'm going to have to use a catch phrase I acquired from a young customer service rep at Best Buy when I told him I got Klipsch speakers for surround sound.. He replied to me "That is sick..." smile . I reply to you on your 900 lb squat, "That is sick!!" lol

I do have to tell you that at 17 in high school (Germany) my friends and I had a squatting contest and I did not have proper form at all. My back bent and such... The next morning I could not get out of bed due to my lower (sacroilic) pain that was running through my left hip. That was the start of me having problems with AS.
I went to the army hospital in Landstuhl Germany for HIP TRACTION to fix my hip dislocation lol
To make it even more offensive I had to display my rear to the gods for three months so they could work on my hip... smile What a riot..

If your ever over here in WA let me know.
I'd certainly like to touch base with you.

Have a great day. It is nice to go back and forth here. I agree walking in water is just not enough cowbell for me smile

Have a great day..

Re: Weight Lifting #87635
02/27/06 08:48 PM
02/27/06 08:48 PM
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Atlanta, Ga
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mtsargent Offline OP
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Remeber, that is a "incline"...I never saw the day that I could do more than 500lbs on an actual squat.

I am like you in that I learned to squat by doing it wrong and injuring myself. I finally got lucky when I waa about 31 and a guy started working out in th eYMCA that I was lifting in who was a pretty good power lifter (600-700lb squat). He gave me some real good form tips and I quit hurting myself with squats.

I will try to take you up on your invitation to meet up. My saister has been after me to visit them in Olympia for some time and I really want to do that.
mike

Re: Weight Lifting #87636
03/20/06 06:45 PM
03/20/06 06:45 PM
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new york
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high-impact repetitive exercize is one of the worst things you can do for your body -- ESPECIALLY if you have AS. And the thing about weight lifting is, if your not careful about how you do it, you can really mess up your body, healthy or not.


ow! my knee!
Re: Weight Lifting #87637
04/13/06 02:32 AM
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 26
Listen to your body. It will tell you what you can and can't do. It took 10 years and 12 doctors to diagnose my classic AS. Why would I listen to them concerning exercise when I know more about the subject than they do?

I am surprised that so many of you with AS can lift weights. I am a female but build muscle easily. I find lifting makes me too tight and causes pain at the tendon attachments.

For those of you with lower back problems . . . strenghthen your core and stretch your quads. Yoga or pilates is good but be careful that your instructor knows how to protect the lower back or you may do more harm than good.

For runners . . . STAY OFF THE PAVEMENT AND BLACKTOP!!!!!!!!! Run shorter distances. Always skip a day. Buy new shoes often. Stretch often. Don't forget the quads.

I was a big 10 runner and I could not run for 8 years until I learned all of these things. I never run more than six miles a few times a week as fast as a snail, but that is better than nothing.

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