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Zoa Linsey IFBB Professional Bodybuilder - 4+ weeks post-ACDF C6/C7



  • Please hijack anytime, this type of strength through adversity motivates me when I'm having moments of 'doubt. Thanks for sharing and for your fabulous attitude.
  • Nodding.. my spine was weakened mainly (I feel) from the crash, but 2 drunk jerks over the years surely didn't help! (G) My levels in my neck are so far failing below the fusions. I will eventually have a revision plus the next level, and eventually I will have to address C2/3..shudder.

    Thanks very much for your kind and caring words. :) From what you posted of what you're doing post op - exercise, cardio, proper food balances etc. You are probably more "in tune" with inner body mechanics for balanced life than most of us. Great blood flow, balance of fuel (food) and I would bet high O2 levels. Sounds like you are coming along great!!!

    Just be careful (as you stated in one of your videos), it can take up to a year for a full and solid fusion. A lot of us get to where we feel "normal" (sort of), and start pushing, and man-o-man-o do we pay for it! Baby steps, okay? I'll be looking forward to see how you do. Cheering support!! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,033
    Just want to thank you for sharing your thoughts, your lifestyle, and experiences with us all here. You have to feel good about yourself how many people you have touched in a positive way. Your lifetime achievements will
    never be forgotten by so many. Not only when we try to be our best physically it has such a positive effect on our mental attitude. We all have our downtimes but coming back home from the gym after a good workout has such a long lasting almost euphoric effect for me. These physical challenges my body faces only motivates me more to overcome these setbacks, to laugh
    at my pain, and feel good about myself.
    Keep up the good work Zoa, helping others is what it's about!
    Take care & the best to you!
  • Hi Everyone,
    Thank you for your kind and encouraging comments. I truly do hope that no matter what my future trophies may say :) I want to win in life, that means with life, friendships, motivating people around me. And as many of you have shown here, attitude is so important. So hope I can stay the course and continue being thankful with whatever comes my way.
    Ranger, you are so right about the workouts! I have been training for over 17 years and trained through all kinds of career changes, education, relationships, stress, tragedy, you name it! Even when I've been injured or sore, I've always found a way to do SOMETHING in the gym! I look back at all those challenges and when this happened with my neck just thought -- I have to take all my coping mechanisms, all the lessons I've learned, put 'em all together and RALLY! My hubby was a great support, he keeps reminding me WARRIORS DON'T CRY, THEY FIGHT...so being surrounded by positive and encouraging people has paved my way as well.
    Went and saw the surgeons today for my first post-op -- yahoo!
    1. I have official permission to weight train, of course moderately progressing as I have no pain, and gradually getting stronger. I have muscle imbalance with the nerve atrophy so need to be careful to not cause further damage (i.e. shoulder compensating for lack of strength in tricep/chest)
    2. Nerve damage and muscle atrophy -- verdict is out and time will only tell, but they feel optimistic, due to the fact I still have not lost feeling and have a little muscle tissue left. I will not quit before trying :)!
    3. Also got x-rays for my hip/lower-back pain/muscle spasms I've had for 10 years. (that's a whole other story...something I've dealt with for a long time). So she ordered an MRI and we'll see what those say. I've dealt with some severe and non-stop pain for years here so thought it's a good time to get this looked at! (I think it's a sacro-illiac issue...my guess)
    A little arthritis in my neck (it curves forward, the wrong way due to all my activity), and in my lower back but nothing so much that it exceeds what they would expect with my level of activity. I asked point-blank if I should stop or not...they said NO. Good news! Of course caution needs to be exercised for esp the next 6 mos to year.

    So.......slowly back to the gym this week. No free weights, only a small # of sets and weight...but I'm coming back :) Even baby steps count!

    Thank again to everyone here. Truly you motivate me all and hope all of you have had a good day. Stay safe...
  • tony {aka STRAKER}
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  • This is my first post. I stumbled upon this website after researching tips on bodybuilding after cervical fusions which led me to Zoa's story. I am so grateful that I found it! I had my own cervical fusion 3 years ago(c5-c7). Bodybuilding has been a passion of mine for nearly 15 years, although not competitively, and it was real tough losing over 30 lbs of muscle in a matter of a few months following my surgery. My doctor released me to lift again 6 weeks following surgery. I obviously took it slow and was using very light weights/high reps. Then about three months after my surgery, I overdid it during a workout and began to feel pain that resembled pre-surgery pain. Doctor prescribed a couple medrol dose packs which helped some and recommended I possibly give up the weights altogether. So I did for a little over a year and just took up walking as I wanted to keep exercise a part of my life. I stayed real lean but still continued to deal with moderate pain in my neck and shoulder. I was really missing bodybuilding and decided to started lifting again and six months later I'm very happy that I have. I have put on 5-10 lbs of lean muscle mass and the constant moderate pain I was experiencing has really gone away.I think the weight and strength gains have helped to support my spine and neck. I make it a priority to take it slow using high reps/low weight with lots of super-sets to keep the intensity high. Anyway, Zoa, you are a true inspiration! Do you have any advice on specific exercises that are easier on the neck or some I should stay away from. I'm really trying to put back more lean muscle mass but have only found about a dozen exercises that don't seem to put much pressure on my neck. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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