Dylan, a CrossFitter at CrossFit Flagstaff, has cerebral palsy, which makes the right side of his body weaker than his left. On the advice of his doctor, he began CrossFitting to help even out his strength.
Dylan shows the equipment he uses to compensate for his uneven grip strength. At first, Dylan says he used a kettlebell for deadlifting, but then he progressed to the barbell with the help of weightlifting straps. Then CrossFit Flagstaff co-owner Dr. Mike Ray gave Dylan his climbing hook, which allows him to move weight faster, transition between movements faster, and perform pull-ups and knees-to-elbows.
Dylan demonstrates the movements he’s able to perform using his specialized equipment.
“Been working out here for two years and, you know, it’s kind of just coming around, trying little things here and there. Who knows what I’ll think of in the future?” he says.
Dylan says he’s excited to use his new gear in an upcoming competition and the next Reebok CrossFit Games Open.
“At times it’s frustrating, but other times—I mean, I like it,” he says. “It’s definitely a big improvement from where I was.”
Additional reading: Truly Special Populations by Josh MacDonald, published Aug. 15, 2010.