Joe is a fitness influencer who has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects movement and coordination. Joe shares his workouts and day-to-day life with his 360,000 Instagram followers, raising awareness of what it’s like living with the condition.
Because of his cerebral palsy, Joe once had very little strength and mobility across the left side of his body. Strength training has helped him build the muscle he needs to be independent and live life to the fullest.
Warming up is important for improving mobility and reducing the risk of injury. But for Joe, warming up is especially vital. His muscles and joints can be very stiff, particularly on the left side of his body, so some movements are nearly impossible for Joe if he doesn’t warm up.
The warm-up consisted of Joe stretching out his back and hamstrings using a barbell. He allowed the barbell to hang to activate his muscles in preparation for the workout.
First up — and no surprise, since Eddie Hall was leading the workout — were deadlifts. With his tight back and hamstrings, Joe has always stayed away from this exercise, but with Eddie spotting, Joe completed his first ever deadlift.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Grab a barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart in the middle of the bar.
- Hinge your hips backwards so your backside is stuck out and your knees are slightly bent.
- Keeping your arms and back straight and your chest up, drive the weight of the bar through your heels until the bar is off the floor.
- Keep bringing the bar up until your legs are straight.
- Bend your knees slightly, stick your backside out, keep your chest up and your back straight, and drop the bar to the floor.
Before getting to the rest of the workout, it was time for some fuel. And the drink of choice: THE IN-EAA from the limited edition Beast range. It boasts the perfect ratio of amino acids and has 51g of added carbs to provide energy to fuel any workout. Because Joe burns between 4,000-5,000kcal every day, he’ll take the extra carbs whenever he can get them.
If you were too late to get THE IN-EAA, THE EAA is another great option.
Close grip lat pulldown
- Take a seat at the lat pulldown machine.
- Select the V-handle attachment and grip it with your palms facing towards each other.
- Lean back with your chest up.
- Pull the attachment down into your chest while keeping your back straight.
- Slowly release this movement and then repeat.
Chest supported upright row
- Take a seat at the machine with your chest pressed against the chest support.
- Grab the vertical handles with your palms facing inwards.
- Pull the handles back towards you, keeping your back straight and your chest pressed against the support.
- Release the movement by allowing the handles to fall back to the starting position.
- Set up your lat pulldown machine with a chain (to increase the distance between you and the machine) and attach your V-handle attachment to the chain.
- Grab the handle with both palms facing inwards and ease yourself down onto the floor until your back is flat on the floor.
- Begin with your arms straight.
- Pull your arms in towards your chest, allowing the top of your back to leave the floor, if needed.
- Then slowly extend your arms back to the starting position.
Chest supported lat pulldown
- Take a seat at the lat pulldown machine with your stomach pressed against the support.
- Grab the horizontal handles so that your palms are facing your chest.
- Pull them down towards your chest while keeping your back straight.
- Allow the handles to return to the starting position and then repeat the movement.
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
- Hold the dumbbells by your side with your palms facing inwards.
- Using your biceps, curl the dumbbell up until your arm is at 90 degrees.
- Release the movement so your hand returns to being by your side.
- Then repeat on the other arm.
Take home message
Two and a half hours later, after six challenging exercises and a whole lot of sweat (from Eddie anyway) the workout was finished. Joe left with some deadlift expertise under his belt and probably some sore muscles.
Find more from @cptruths here.