Box Jumps and Achilles – Not Aging Gracefully

Box-JumpGiven my recent finger fracture, I’ve been trying to stay active by doing some weightlifting and Crossfitting with an emphasis on activities that don’t require too much use of my fingers.

Well, in my most recent workout the WOD included a series of 20 box jumps for time.  I felt great at the time… even though the workout killed me, but the day after I felt some soreness in my right achilles.

Ever since what happened to Kobe Bryant… the NBAs must durable athlete, I’ve been hyper-aware of achilles issues.

Of course I turned to google and found tons of info on folks having complete achilles tendon ruptures while doing box jumps.

Here are some of the best ones that I’ve found:

I was on my 297th rep with about 50 seconds left in open WOD 13.2 and on 298 I found myself on the floor with only one working foot.  Box jumps were always a go to movement for me and now I am looking at a 9-12 month recovery before I will be back to 100%.  That is a hard pill to swallow for a former collegiate basketball player and fairly competitive CrossFitter.  This was the first year I wouldn’t qualify for Regionals.  The infamous Achilles rupture……

– Crossfit Rife

If you were wondering how you might go about destroying the strongest and thickest tendon in your body, a simple way to achieve this feat would be to perform high rep box jumps.

Epic Beast Mode

How many blogs do you have to read until you realize how f*cking retarded box jumps for time are?  The answer should be one.  This one.  Or any of the 50 other blogs containing detailed accounts of people exploding their f*cking Achilles tendons whilst doing high rep box jumps.  On Saturday, two workouts into a competition, I felt something I hope none of you ever have to experience.  While landing on rep 48/50 of only a 24″ box jump my Achilles exploded like Justin Beiber on the pop charts.  Because I failed to listen to others, I have a surgery and 5-9 months of recovery to look forward to*

– sexyasf*ck

Needless to say… I’m taking this achilles soreness as a charitable warning from my body to take it easy and to avoid box jumps.

I had heard somewhere that after turning 30 it’s like the warranty on your body runs out… and things start to go wrong.  Welp… here I am at the age of 32 with a broken finger and a sore (but thankfully not exploded) achilles.  Looks like the warranty is definitely up.


23 Responses to Box Jumps and Achilles – Not Aging Gracefully

  1. sootedninjas says:

    whoever that dude was and I hope it was not you, I got two words for that. f&*&king MORON.

    200+ box jumps. Are you kidding me ? It’s like Beavis & Butt Head doing crossfit. Actually a lot of them are.

    I can see the benefit of crossfit BUT a lot of this stupid idiots are over training. They will pay for that soon enough. They are young in the 20’s and feel that they are superman BUT if they continue doing too much crossfit will little recovery it will come back with a lot of injury.

  2. Mike says:

    I wish you the best on the finger and the tendon. As a fan of The Ultimate Fighter, I am well aware of freak training injuries in BJJ.

    While I completely admit I am in no shape for anything like Crossfit, I think it is well past time for everyone to really look at that program and ask “What the f*** are we doing here?”.

    Do some get results, perhaps the best results ever? Yes. Do many more get injured and some perhaps critically? I think that’s a solid yes. The sheer number of complicated exercises used, with sometimes amateurs or being instructed by some who are questionably qualified, certainly is leading to injuries.

    The idea of being accountable and tracking goals is fine. The idea of community is great. But aside from that, I see nothing beneficial, certainly nothing worth the risk of injury. I went as far as interviewing with my local Crossfit instructor and watching others for a half hour and decided that it was not right for me. If you search youtube videos for “Crossfit Fail”, it is truly frightening seeing what is going on out there.

    We all have this natural urge and belief we need to “go hard” and “more is more” and the worst one of all is “no pain no gain”. I cannot imagine anything worse than getting injured trying to get in shape.

    Due to the recent tragedy of the poor soul who severed his spine doing a Crossfit lift, I have great hope that “Crossfits” time has come to an end. But, again human nature will tell those involved in Crossfit that “It won’t happen to me”.

    We all need to evaluate our programs and truly find that “minimum prescriptive dose” that gets us to our goals. I tried a “Body By Science” workout for 18 months now. Lifting one set to failure once a week for 15 minutes. I have gained some muscle and a lot of strength. I would never have guessed it would work. Sometimes you have to think outside the box and do what everyone else is not.

    I often notice the best cutting edge advice or research on diet and exercise on youtube has almost no views and no comments. That is when I know I have discovered something worthwhile.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Thanks for the well wishes. I know exactly what you mean with Crossfit. I definitely approach it with a mentality of ‘as long as I get my ass in the gym, it’s a win.’

      I don’t try to be the best or even pay attention to the time requirements. If my form starts failing I’ll just stop. It’s all about longevity for me now!

      Interesting that you mention Body By Science… I’ve been thinking about picking that up and experimenting with it.

      • Mike says:

        The main idea is intensity and then plenty of recovery. I would say it’s more designed for machines, since failing with a barbell is obviously risky. I suppose it could work with a partner and free weights.

        Obviously if you have seem UFC type training, it is just the opposite, the maximum prescriptive dose.

  3. sootedninjas says:

    I use HRV to monitor my recovery. Well at least 1 factor I look at to gauge my recovery. check out ithlete, SweetBeat or BioForceHRV. Also a good blog for HRV is

    • BJJ Caveman says:


      I actually have the emwave 2! But haven’t been using it regularly enough. I should definitely get back into it.

      Ive been trying to get more workouts in this week because I’m going to be going out of the country for 3 weeks starting tomorrow… with no access to weights, and probably little free time for working out.

      • sootedninjas says:

        that is what I also used. I export to Kubios to get my HRV. The HRV display in emwave2 is more of a coherent HRV. whatever that means.

  4. sootedninjas says:

    Also, another aspect of health to look at is blood sugar control. How is your FBG ?

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Fasting blood sugars are great. You can see in this post that they were rarely over 90

      • sootedninjas says:

        although I don’t measure my blood ketones, strips are just too expensive @ $2 a pop, If you can get your FBG around the mid-70s to low 80’s then most likely you can be in a more optimal nutritional ketosis if that is one of your goal.

        I’m on also in a cyclical ketogenic diet with the occasional Carb-Backloading 2x weekly on a heavy HIT day


        I’m experiencing a similar effect. Morning after my Carb-Backload my FBG is around 83-85.

        My FBG started to trend lower in the 4th week of the protocol.

        • sootedninjas says:

          btw, before doing the resistant starch protocol my FBG will range between 95-105.

          • BJJ Caveman says:

            Does it make you wonder if the resistant starch is actually antagonistic to what you’re trying to accomplish with the backload?

            This is something I’ve been thinking about.

            According to Kiefer, the whole purpose of the Carb Backload is to stimulate an intense insulin response…. but the resistant starches seem to blunt this… as shown by your FBG (and mine as well, though I haven’t posted them yet)

    • Mike says:

      I am FBG at 102-107 and 130 after Carb Nite.

      Should I be taking something to try and bring that down, or just stay on CKD and see how it goes?

      • BJJ Caveman says:

        I would see how things go after a 2-3 months.. and then go from there.

      • sootedninjas says:

        It was the same for me. After 3 weeks on resistant starch using Bob Red Mills Unmodified Potato Starch @ 2 tbs every 12 hours on COLD WATER ONLY, it started to trend down. Starting the 5th week, I was seeing mid 70s to low 80’s consistently. 1 hour after a Carb Backload I don’t even break 100 and on the 3rd hour it was back to baseline.

  5. sootedninjas says:

    very good point. if your goal is to big and muscular as you can be then yes resistant starch might NOT be compatible. But I’m using Carb Backload to maximize protein synthesis and glycogen repletion from the depletion that happen from low carb and muscle breakdown from a heavy workout and NOT necessarily to get big. Having lean muscle mass is great for your metabolism BUT having too big of a muscle is also expensive to maintain. My main goal is just overall optimal health.

    • sootedninjas says:

      BTW, Keith Norris was the guest host in Jimmy Moore’s podcast and he was interviewing Keifer and Dr. Patel. He was ask the question about resistant starch and he just brush it off to Dr. Patel. Keifer did not say anything negative about it BUT I think because he is scientist at heart, he just did not have enough evidence to make any kind of conclusion positive or negative. However, from what I understand Dr. Patel is currently experimenting on it.

      • BJJ Caveman says:

        I just listened to that podcast also and was eager to hear what they had to say.

        I guess the jury is still out. Are you getting super gassy from it?

        I’ve found so far that if I take it without food (ie at bed time) I do ok. But the moment I eat something the next day… or if I take it with food, then I’m passing gas all day long.

        • sootedninjas says:

          yeah the 1st 2 weeks and then it subsides. However, I don’t take it with food. I take 2 tbs in cold water around noon on an empty stomach then @ 2:00 PM I break my 16-18 hour fast and eat my 1st of two meals in an 6 hour window. Sometimes 1 big meal or 2 small meal. Then around midnight I will take another 2 tbs. Also, since taking potato starch, I finally have the best sleep ever. Before I will struggle to get 6 hours of good sleep BUT now 8-9 hours is typical plus BEST BM ever. No more diarrhea from high fat meals.

  6. mike b says:

    Im on week 3 of my tore achilles tendon box jumps wasnt my problem it was getting old and still using fast explosive footwork in my boxing. Itching to get back to rolling and sparring but everywhere I turn it looks like it min 6 months before I can start to do anything fun again.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Are you getting surgery?

      I know with Kobe Bryant, even after surgery and access to some of the best stuff out there, it took him a minimum of 9 months to get back to normal.

      I have a friend who also tore his achilles and opted to get it treated with PRP injections (platelet rich plasma) and recovery until things were 100% was about 14-18 months.

      Best of luck with things. I definitely sympathize with you. Achilles tears are one of the worst sports related injuries you can suffer as an athlete.

      • mike b says:

        it wasn’t a full tear but they are treating me like it was as the location of the tear was at the top of the tendon where it connects to the calf muscle. Had an appointment yesterday looks like the tendon is connected across the calf and is healing well but i’m still not supposed to put weight on it until the 4 week mark, even then it will most likely be nothing more then 25%. it’s going to be a slow process that is for sure.

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