Ep 82 – Training during Pregnancy and Healing Diastasis Recti with Lisa Ryan

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“I think the biggest message that I’m trying to get out there is, ‘Take the time when you’re pregnant.  Don’t look at it as a, ‘okay, what can I still do?’ because we all have that feeling of ‘ok, I gotta keep doing this for as long as I can because coming back is going to be so hard… but don’t look at is as what can you still do, but ‘what should I be doing?’… You might still be able to be kipping pull-ups, and it might feel fine, or you might still be able to be… I don’t know, lots of things.  But, reining it in during that chapter, I think, is so important.  It doesn’t mean you can’t CrossFit.  I mean, there’s millions of things to do.” – Lisa Kozian Ryan

As a long-time CrossFitter and member of Valley CrossFit’s Regionals team, Lisa Ryan entered pregnancy in fantastic health.  When she became pregnant with her first child shortly following Regionals, she continued to exercise with modifications as she “listened to her body” and followed the advice of her doctor and her coaches.  Following her son’s birth, she slowly resumed working out, taking care to keep weights lighter at first and slowly rebuild her core.

At 8 months post-partum, she found that she had lost all her baby weight and yet still had a hard, protruding stomach.  After consulting with several doctors and getting no answers, with the help of a friend, she discovered she had diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal wall.  She began modifying her workouts and seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist, and with time, her separation decreased.  During her second pregnancy, Lisa worked with a team of coaches and therapists to improve her breathing techniques and alignment, and to set up her pelvic floor and abdominals to work together and to be strong to support her pregnancy and recovery.

Today, Lisa is still working to heal her diastasis recti, and she is on a mission to share her message with other moms and moms-to-be that pregnancy and postpartum recovery require specific training and rehabilitative protocols, and that the type of training you do during this time can have lasting effects.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Julie and Lisa met years ago at HyperFit USA
  • How Lisa got into CrossFit
  • Lisa’s pregnancy story and how she approached combining CrossFit and pregnancy
  • How Lisa’s two pregnancies differed
  • Lisa’s decision to give birth by C-section, and the recovery process
  • Lisa’s experience with identifying her diastasis recti 8 months after pregnancy, and the challenge of finding a practitioner to diagnose it
  • The frustration Lisa felt in dealing with diastasis recti after she had approached fitness during her pregnancy with care and caution, heeding the advice “listening to your body”
  • How certain exercises didn’t feel right for her, even after physical therapy
  • How CrossFit Games athlete Lindsey Valenzuela’s sister, Ashley, connected Lisa with pregnancy and post-partum athleticism coach Brianna Battles, and how that connection set her on a path to recovery
  • Lisa’s concerns surrounding her second pregnancy and how she approached exercise differently
  • How Julie Wiebe’s Piston Breathing Course helped Lisa care for her pelvic floor while still CrossFitting, and how she used this information to change the way she exercised during her second pregnancy
  • Lisa’s realization after her second pregnancy that she needed more assistance than her original physical therapist was able to provide
  • The process of finding additional help, and what her rehab and exercise plan looks like right now
  • Strategies that Lisa uses to train hard but smart, and how she keeps her focus on pulling back when she needs to in order to foster faster healing
  • What Lisa hopes to pass along to other women about pregnancy based off of her experiences
  • How one of the biggest challenges of training while pregnant is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but avoiding certain things can set your body up to heal better after
  • Applying risk vs. reward to training
  • Lisa’s mission to share information so that all athletic women can be informed about training during and after their pregnancies
  • Three things Lisa does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Lisa

You can follow Lisa on Facebook and her on her blogs, Teacher by Day, CrossFitter by Night, and Helping is Healing.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 23 – Lindsey Valenzuela on Pregnancy, Affiliate Ownership, and Competition
Ep 41 – Graham and Savanna Holmberg: From Fittest Man, to Faith and Family
Ep 81 – Postpartum Training and the Road Back to the CrossFit Games with Lindsey Valenzuela

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 81 – Postpartum Training and the Road Back to the CrossFit Games with Lindsey Valenzuela

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“The process of competing and getting to there is super stressful for me. But there is nothing that can…  there are not a lot of things that can replace it.  I feel like I would be okay with not competing because I have my son, but I’m not ready to hang that up.  I don’t know if that makes any sense.  I love the feeling that I get when I compete, and I don’t think I’m done competing yet.  I don’t think I’m physically done competing or mentally.  If something were to happen that I couldn’t compete, I would be okay with it, but I’m not ready to let it go in the sense that I want our son to see me, and I want him to see all the other women competing, too.  I mean that would be a dream come true for him to see me just once at the Games.” – Lindsey Valenzuela

Lindsey Valenzuela has been an athlete all her life and played collegiate volleyball at California Lutheran University. During that time, she began Olympic Weightlifting to train for volleyball and quickly fell in love with the barbell. After her collegiate career was over, she began competing in Olympic Weightlifting and then found CrossFit. She has since become a seasoned CrossFit Games athlete, competing in 4 CrossFit Games, finishing as high as 2nd place in 2013 and most recently finishing in 7th place in 2015. She also represented Team USA in the CrossFit Invitational in Berlin in 2013. Lindsey has coached at several affiliates in Southern California and in August of 2015 fulfilled her dream to open her own affiliate, Autumo CrossFit, with her business partner and former NFL player James Townsend.

In 2016, Lindsey discovered she was pregnant and took the year away from competition. What followed was a difficult pregnancy, during which Lindsey developed pre-eclampsia, gained 90 pounds, spent 2 months on bed rest due to complications, and had a C-section delivery.  Following the birth of her now nearly 2 year-old son, Arsenio, Jr., Lindsey slowly returned to training, focusing on healing her core and pelvic floor.  With time and patience, she gradually built volume and intensity, ultimately returning to competition and placing  an impressive 11th at the California Regional in 2017, less than one year after giving birth.  With another year of training and recovery under her belt, Lindsey is poised to make another run at the CrossFit Games in 2018.

Lindsey and I sat down after week one of the 2018 CrossFit Open to chat about her approach to training during and after her pregnancy, how her life has changed since starting a family, why it’s important to her to return to competition, and what she hopes other coaches and pregnant athletes can learn from her experiences.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How she went into pregnancy with an injury, and how that impacted her training
  • How Lindsey changed her training based on how her body felt as her pregnancy progressed
  • What it felt like to set her ego aside and not push her limits
  • How Lindsey enlisted the help of specialist Bri Battles to ensure her training was safe
  • What her training looked like while training with Bri
  • The medical and emotional challenges Lindsey dealt with during her pregnancy
  • What Lindsey’s postpartum recovery process looked like
  • Memorable milestones along Lindsey’s postpartum recovery
  • Why it is important to Lindsey to return to competition
  • Lessons and advice Lindsey shares with coaches and pregnant athletes
  • The importance of preparing for postpartum before a woman is in the postpartum phase
  • Resources Lindsey recommends to learn more about training during and after pregnancy
  • How coaches can best educate themselves to help their clients
  • What a typical day looks like for Lindsey
  • What Lindsey’s nutrition looks like, and how her approach has changed since giving birth
  • How Lindsey’s back is tolerating high volume training, and what she’s doing to keep it healthy

You can follow Lindsey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWODDo you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 80 – Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease

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“A CrossFit physician is a special physician, that’s not an ordinary doctor.  A CrossFit doc, she knows something that is not a consensus view, and at the same time it’s essential.  And I mean essential like in the sense of like an essential fatty acid or an essential amino acid… this is something that makes a huge difference in maybe whether maybe you’re alive or not and certainly the quality of your life.  And, it’s not trivial. And so how many docs are there, that have this knowledge?  And over about a year and a half, I was asking every affiliate that would talk to me, ‘How many docs in the box?’” – Coach Greg Glassman

Coach Greg Glassman, known to many as simply “Coach” grew up in southern California as a gymnast and he supplemented his training with modalities including weightlifting and cycling. When he began his career as a trainer in 1974, he brought innovation to the industry ultimately redefining fitness with CrossFit, otherwise known as constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement. He was kicked out of several globo gyms before finally opening the first CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, CA in 1995. Shortly after, CrossFit.com was created where he posted Workouts of the Day, or “WODs.” Athletes from all over the world would complete these workouts and post their scores online. Beginning in 2003, CrossFit affiliate gyms began to open and CrossFit experienced exponential growth over the following decade such that there are currently more than 13,000 affiliates worldwide. During this period, we’ve also witnessed the growth of the CrossFit Games, the ultimate proving grounds for fitness which identifies the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth each year from a pool of hundreds of thousands of athletes across the globe. We’ve also witnessed incredible stories of transformation in the affiliates, with participants losing weight, gaining confidence, and ridding themselves of chronic disease. Coach is currently working to shift the public’s perception of CrossFit from a fitness company to a health company with an elegant solution to the world’s most vexing problem – chronic disease.

For his second visit to the podcast, Greg and I sat down after the first Level 1 seminar held exclusively for CrossFit Physicians at the CrossFit Ranch in Aromas.  We discussed the importance of networking CrossFit doctors, why CrossFit is about so much more than the Games, how he’s using the business of CrossFit to fund public health activism, and his vision for the future of CrossFit.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The impetus for the first Physician Level 1 held at the Ranch in February 2018
  • His plan to build a community around CrossFit Physicians
  • The importance of recognizing that fitness is just the “tip of the iceberg” with regard to health
  • What Coach hopes doctors will take away from their Level 1 weekend
  • Why he is driven to network these doctors
  • How a CrossFit Physician can attend a Level 1 exclusively for physicians
  • Using the CrossFit business to fund activism
  • How doctors can communicate the message of using CrossFit for health to patients who might be intimidated
  • The struggle of conveying that the Games are the least important part of CrossFit, and that individual health stories are where the real magic lies
  • Using media ad space to showcase the everyday people that do CrossFit
  • Coach’s goal of making the Games into the “South by Southwest of Fitness” so that the community gathering and learning takes the forefront
  • His excitement for the speaker line-up for the 2018 CrossFit Games
  • The need for CrossFit physicians to distinguish between their book knowledge and the observations of health improvements they witness in the gym
  • The National Strength & Conditioning Association false statements controversy and ensuing legal battle
  • Coach’s fight to remove Big Soda from the health space and how listeners can support this effort
  • How the cause and solution to chronic disease are exceedingly simple
  • Coach’s mission to shift the public perception of CrossFit from that of a fitness company to a health company
  • What inspires Coach the most
  • Where he sees CrossFit in 5 years

You can follow Coach Glassman on Twitter and Instagram.

To learn more about the CrossFit Health movement, follow @crossfit and @crossfithealth. If you are a CrossFit Physician (MD or DO), email cfdocs@crossfithealth.com to find out more about future CrossFit Physician seminars and other events.

Links:

Related Episodes:
Ep 07 – Dr. Mark Hyman on Functional Medicine, the future, and community
Ep 26 – James Maskell on Functional and Integrative Medicine and the Impact of Community on Health
Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”
Ep 78 – Lifestyle and Brain Health with Dr. David Perlmutter
Ep 71 – The Sugar Free Revolution with Karen Thomson
Ep 66 – Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove on Lifestyle, Healthcare, and Persistence

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain free and paleo-friendly tortillas or tortilla chips yourself and use code Julie for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.