Retired Paralympian’s New Way to Train
Chris Stoutenburg, also known as “Stouty,” is one beast of a man. A T6-7 paraplegic from Collingwood, Ontario, he made a name for himself as one of Canada’s most decorated wheelchair basketball players. He’s a nine-time Canadian all-star and won two Paralympic gold medals (Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004).
Now 35, Stoutenburg’s life is taking an exciting new direction, both physically and personally. He was married in 2011 and had a baby boy earlier this year. And three years ago his physical life was transformed when he was introduced to CrossFit — a series of intense bodyweight workouts. Since this discovery, his physical abilities have skyrocketed.
“I do almost everything that the rest of the people in the class do,” he says. “I climb ropes, do pull-ups, push-ups, press weights overhead, sprints, row, Olympic lifts, and I’ve adapted a lot of movements that are leg-based and do them with my arms.” He says his balance, power, speed and coordination have all improved. “I’ve also found ways to engage muscles that I was told were not possible due to my injury” (back extensors and core muscles).
And he believes Crossfit can work for all abilities. “It’s extremely scalable,” he says. “If you look into the training and physical strength programs for people with disabilities, a lot of it is isolating function and movement to specific muscle groups. Which isn’t bad, but I believe we should be pushing