Chuckwalla’s CrossFit Momma Program

One of the reasons I/we love Chuckwalla CrossFit so much is its focus on family – FREE childcare, community events that are tailored to families (swim parties, bounce houses, gluten free goodies, moms groups) … need I say more!?

Most recently, Coach Lauren has developed a pregnancy and postpartum exercise program, focused on supporting mommas through all phases of motherhood and maintaining a strong core.

The next workshop is Saturday, August 26. I encourage YOU to join the conversation and register for the event! Here are ALL the details:

WHEN: Saturday August 26 from 11am – 4pm (with 30 minute lunch break)

WHERE: El Jefe CrossFit (8110 W Union Hills Dr, Suite 250, Glendale)

*Taco truck on site, lunch available for purchase*

WHO:

  • Any woman who has had a baby (postpartum is forever!), is pregnant, or thinks she might have a baby someday (core & pelvic floor strength starts now!)
  • Any fitness or health professional (i.e. health advocates, physical therapists, medical staff, fitness professionals, coaches, or instructors) who work with women
  • Anyone experiencing core & pelvic floor dysfunction (leaking/incontinence, diastasis, painful intercourse, low back/hip pain, etc.) because it’s not just a pregnancy or postpartum problem

COST: $70 ($55 for Chuckwalla Members with code MEMBER)

REGISTER NOW and share with mom’s you love!

WHY: There is a lack of guidance out there about pre/peri/postpartum exercise strategies and a lack of awareness about the core and pelvic floor relationship, causes & signs of dysfunction, and treatment/healing options. Leaking urine during exercise (or any other time), painful intercouse, pelvic/back/hip pain, diastasis (separated abs) and other postpartum issues get written off as “badges of motherhood,” but we want moms to know there is hope! These postpartum
issues might be common but they do NOT need to be normal and are NOT something moms have to live with. Moms deserve to do the exercise they love in a way that prevents, heals, or minimizes core and pelvic floor dysfunction. Even if a mom doesn’t lift weight or have dedicated exercise, she is lifting and moving all day long. Her movement should leave her strong from the inside out, not be enhancing or creating her dysfunction.

Join us to learn the key components of finding strength from the inside out and then how to apply these strategies to daily living and your choice of fitness, whether that is pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy or returning to exercise postpartum. Learn strategies to help prevent, minimize, or heal diastasis recti and pelvic health concerns such as painful intercourse, urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Discover the optimal nutritional needs for supporting pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond. All women deserve to feel healthy and strong, especially moms.

Objectives:
– Understand the anatomy & relationship of the core (including pelvic floor & diaphragm)
– Understand the changes to the core & body during pregnancy, labor & postpartum
– Understand the signs & symptoms of core & pelvic floor dysfunction (especially incontinence, diastasis, & pelvic organ prolapse)
– Understand that there is treatment and healing for core & pelvic floor dysfunction
– Have an exercise strategy for pre/peri/postpartum based on breathing, alignment & mindset, which will minimize or heal core &
pelvic floor dysfunction
– Practice alignment, umbrella breathing & piston science strategy (core, breath & pelvic floor connection)
– Practice applying the strategy to (your favorite form of) exercise through discussion & hands on teaching of the squat, deadlift & pull-ups
– Know how to determine if an exercise/movement is “safe” for your body during pre/postpartum, how to modify, and how to progress volume/load/intensity
– Learn (and practice!) how to lift & carry the baby and perform activities of daily living with optimal alignment and breathing
– Learn how to properly fuel your body for a healthy and strong pre/peri/postpartum season
– Take home a folder of the presentations and handouts so all of the material is accessible
– Have local contacts for pelvic floor physical therapy, exercise guidance and nutrition coaching

PRESENTED BY
:
* Breann Fox, mom to one, PT, DPT, PRPC, physical therapist specializing in pelvic & visceral health. Former D1 collegiate soccer player.

* Sarah Backus, DPT, physical therapist specializing in pelvic health; interested in core & pelvic floor stability in the female athlete. Avid CrossFit & PowerLifting athlete.

* Lauren Koemans, mom to one, CF-L1, ACSM CPT & Chuckwalla CrossFit coach; passionate about connecting moms with the support they need & helping women find strength & confidence through exercise. Loves running & CrossFit.

* Ashley Nowe, of Get Mom Strong, a mom and certified nutrition health coach specializing in helping moms regain their strength through nutrition, healthy living & functional exercise

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Shout Out to All the DADS!

#CrossFitandPregnant wouldn’t exist without the dads (because duh, biology). So on this Father’s Day, we wanted to recognize the guys behind the barbells. Some of our athletes had their partner/hubs share what it was like to watch their lady, CrossFit while pregnant, go through birth and triumph post partum. Here’s what they had to share –

Dr. Leon Chang

Leon and I go back to my original days of CrossFit. He was part owner of CrossFit Elysium {now CrossFit 858 – Uptown} and is married to Dr. Alessandra Wall. They have two sons, Luca (8) and Rhys (5).

What was it like watching your spouse/partner CrossFit while pregnant? Inspiring. Doing “metcons” was always incredibly painful for me- I can’t imagine doing them with a gravid uterus just sucking blood flow and oxygen that your muscles desperately need! In addition, bodyweight movements have always been one of my strengths, and watching Alessandra’s gymnastics ability rapidly take a hit due to the pregnancies would have been more of a ego-blow than I could bear.

Leon & Alessandra

Since my spouse/partner CrossFitted while pregnant, I’ve learned: the human body is an amazing piece of machinery. Sure, women can and should take their foot off the gas pedal a bit during pregnancy, and will have to modify movements. But that doesn’t mean all movement has to stop altogether, and some degree of intensity can still be tolerated.

Advice you’d like to share with other new #crossfitandpregnant dads: As long as the facility and/or coach understands the demands of pregnancy and can scale work outs appropriately, there’s nothing you need to worry about. Just get out of the way, let the mom do her thing and be supportive! Oh, and don’t cry if she continues to crush you in the WODs.

Any advice you want to share? As a former coach, I’d advise pregnant women to just enjoy the journey. Yes, you will lose some capacity but you can gain it back rapidly. Don’t worry about “losing your muscle up” or anything like that- all of those challenges will still be there. Just recognize that you’ll have to scale, you won’t be “as fit” as you were pre-pregnancy, but you’ll get it back! Jason Koemans

Jason has only recently come into our lives and his wife Lauren’s profile is in my queue (stay tuned – Lauren is one of the awesome coaches at Chuckwalla CrossFit).

Three words that describe your spouse/partner: tough, persistent & beautiful

How do you support your spouse/partner in “getting her body back”? By allowing her time to recover before we have another baby 😉 Talking positively about her body and supporting her in the exercise she desires.

Advice you’d like to share with other new #crossfitandpregnant dads: A pregnant woman can feel her limits, don’t push her farther than she should go.

Chad Leatherman

Big shout to the Poppa of #TeamLeatherman – CHAD. “Watching Meghan during our first pregnancy was nerve racking and equally inspiring. I loved how bad-ass she was (is). We received a lot of recognition and kudos from other athletes. And any time Meghan PR’d, which was often during her pregnancy with Florie, I couldn’t help but think, ‘Oh, hell yeah!'”

His advice to other dads: don’t be scared, be involved. Encourage baby momma to listen to her body and scale accordingly.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to these three encouraging men and for all the Dads who stand beside their parenthood partners. Wishing you a year of active and healthy fatherhood!

xoxo

 

 

2017. Already February?!

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Our friends at Chuckwalla CrossFit have been posting some funny CrossFit | Valentine themed memes on Instagram this month. Couple that with the excitement around the CrossFit Games and some recent #crossfitandpregnant scaling articles from CrossFit had led me to move my health and wellness off the backburner. Here are the articles:

I don’t know what it is, but I hit a slump with both babies in the 5-7 month postpartum range and end up packing on pounds again. It’s super annoying. Notably, it has been the holidays for both babies at this point, but regardless, it is frustrating to see the scale go up and down. I do love my body – it’s strong enough to bring two healthy, happy bebes into this world and feed them. BUT, I do miss wearing the gorgeous clothes in my closet!

Nothing like getting out the measuring tape to get your booty in gear, which is exactly what I did this morning. Despite my utter exhaustion and still battling flu symptoms from last week, I did a cardio workout today at home. Felt good to sweat, but I have a LONG way to go before I get back to a box. My endurance is shot.

To stay focused, the hubs and I are going to start training for some runs again. It’s something we loved doing together pre-babies and I miss that time and sensation of completing something together. And it’s perfect running weather in Phoenix right now, so we just have to pack the bebes in the stroller and ago. My second focus is fitting into a particular dress for a big work event at the end of March. Nothing like a killer dress to motivate!

Any tips from other mommas on what to do to stay energized, focused, and active?

xoxo

Introducing the Newest Team Member

Nothing beats July 4th in the Midwest

Nothing beats July 4th in the Midwest. Lake DeNeveu, 2014.

Our favorite place to celebrate Independence Day is in Wisconsin. The weather is perfect, the beer is cold, and the family and friends are in abundance. We’ve been spoiled spending many a July 4th at the lake where I grew up vacationing with family.

This year, we celebrated in the second best place ….

LABOR and DELIVERY!

Smiling between contractions

Smiling between contractions

We joyfully welcomed bebe #2 in the early morning hours of July 3. A little firecracker from conception … it’s just fitting his arrival landed the celebratory weekend! Hard to believe he’s already a month old and we can’t imagine life without him. Meet Micah James:

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Big sis | already so much in love

Big sis | already so much in love

Happy One Month!

Happy One Month!

Micah was late and his delivery was fairly quick, just like his big sister. My labor started in the afternoon with contractions that quickly progressed. We were admitted into the hospital at 10:30 p.m. and that epidural couldn’t come fast enough!

Special shout-out to our OBGYN team. Not only did the same doctor deliver both our babies (unheard of in our practice), but, once he was multiple days late, they also worked with us to make sure we had a holiday-weekend delivery, which is exactly what we wanted.

We love Dr. Mayer!

We love Dr. Mayer!

I did manage a CrossFit workout on Saturday, July 2 at Chuckwalla CrossFit. It was a good one with lots of jumping, running, and lifting. I think Coach John’s programming did the trick – THANKS JOHN!

And, don’t hate me for saying this, but my recovery has been simple. I’ve been up and about … doing my mom/consultant thing. And last week, I started some at-home conditioning; nothing crazy, even simple push-ups are making me sore.

We’re so thankful to the CrossFit communities of CrossFit Full Strength and Chuckwalla CrossFit in Phoenix. While I was nowhere near as dedicated or setting PRs like I did the first go-around, it felt amazing to lift some weights when I could.

Coach Luz coaching me through one of the CrossFit Open WODs at Full Strength.

Coach Luz coaching me through one of the CrossFit Open WODs at Full Strength. March, 2016.

As I’ve recently written, working out at Full Strength with Coach Luz, a two-time Olympic contender, has been inspiring and educating. I’ve been able to focus on improving the mechanics of my lifts – especially the snatch (which I was never comfortable with prior to pregnancies!) – instead of focusing on setting PRs. While setting PRs can give you a natural high, there’s also so much to be said for working through the details of complicated lifts and the feeling of success that comes with nailing it.

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Coach John is the best!

Coach John Hazdovac is the best … even if his WOD didn’t get my water to break during the WOD! ha!

This girl loves to test herself.

This girl loves to test herself.

More rings!

Different Day. More rings!

The few Saturdays before our delivery, we spent at Chuckwalla as a family. Chad and I worked out and FG played in the supervised kiddo area. It was awesome to do that together. We’re so appreciative to the Hazdovac family for making it work for us!!!

So, not our typical July 4th and subsequent weeks, but full of fireworks all the same. Welcome to the team, Micah. We love you so much already!

xoxo,

Team Leatherman

Both babies at one month.

Both babies at one month.

Oh, hello there

Oh hi. Yes, this blog gets neglected from time-to-time. Chalk it up to life.

We're melting

We’re melting

Since I last wrote, the temps have soared here in Phoenix. I’m talking Excessive Heat Warnings (i.e. 115+ temps and it’s 100 degrees or above before 10 a.m.), less than 10 minute burn rates, which makes you feel like you’re walking on the sun, and terrible air quality. We have been spending LOTS of time inside!

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Nothing better than shorts, sweatshirts and a fire!

Nothing better than shorts, sweatshirts and a fire!

He's happiest at the beach.

He’s happiest at the beach.

Finding sand crabs. The beach is in her blood.

Finding sand crabs. The beach is in her blood.

Last week, we were in glorious San Diego enjoying June Gloom and all that comes with it … sweatshirts & shorts combos (my favorite), time at the beach, visiting family and friends, a trip to the zoo, boat cruise around the harbor to celebrate our three year wedding anniversary, and a drive to Fort Rosecrans to pay our respects to U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Charlie Keating (C4).

C4 at Fort Rosecrans. We're thankful for his service and ultimate sacrifice.

C4 at Fort Rosecrans. We’re thankful for his service and ultimate sacrifice.

I’m wondering now why I returned to the Valley … oh yes, work!

FG & AuntRaRa at the Gardens

FG & AuntRaRa at the Gardens

Team Leatherman & Sarah post-MURPH at Chuckwalla CrossFit in Central Phoenix.

Team Leatherman & Sarah post-MURPH at Chuckwalla CrossFit in Central Phoenix.

Prior to that, my friend Sarah, lovingly deemed AuntRARA from FG, visited us. Pedicures, pool time, a trip to the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens (at dusk), and MURPH at Chuckwalla CrossFit occupied our time. It was Sarah’s first CrossFit WOD and she did amazing! I did some mods, but the run felt great – even pushing FG in the stroller!

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My EDR partner, Margie Newman, of Intesa Communications

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Some tasty treats!

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Liberty Station

I was in San Diego in mid-May for the annual Eat.Drink.Read. “A Culinary Event for Literacy” hosted by the San Diego Council on Literacy. It’s probably one of my favorite client events and this year, I happened upon this California Regional superstars:

Garret Fisher, Lauren Fisher, Rasmus Anderson

Garret Fisher, Lauren Fisher, Rasmus Anderson

Been an exciting few weeks! Stay cool and active!

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I have some athlete profiles in the queue. Stay tuned to read about some awesome #crossfitandpregnant mommas!

And Happy Father’s Day to our #1 fella … Couldn’t do this crazy adventure without our team captain!

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Five Weeks Off …

Five weeks off from CrossFit is five weeks too long. Finally made it back to CrossFit Full Strength this week {despite being told the ligaments in my foot needed at least 12 weeks}. I’m not running or jumping to reduce impact; it did feel really good to have a bar between my hands again.

CFFS added weightlifting classes to its early-morning line-up on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Coach Luz. As I’ve mentioned before, Coach Luz is a multi-attendee at the Olympics for weightlifting, so any opportunity to learn and train with her is only time well-spent.

Coach Luz - total bad a**

Coach Luz – total bad a**

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She’s done a really good job of pushing my comfort with doing snatches. For whatever reason in my 3+ years of CrossFit, this lift was never really an emphasis {and one I flat out avoided when I was pregnant with FG}. Even after such a short time under Luz’s guidance, the lift hold and movements are becoming second nature. Now it’s time to start increasing my weight!

WODs:

Tuesday

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Warm up: 400m row and tabata planks

Snatch: 55# – definitely could have added. Squat clean + split jerk: 85# again add more. Back squat: 105#.

Thursday

Tuesday

Thursday was a lot!

Snatch 65# x2
Hang power clean 90# X1 – was struggling to get my elbows up!
Front squat + back squat (1/2) 90#
Romanian Deadlift 90# (3×8)
Weighted planks 10#. 1.55 mile walk

Definitely sore today!

Six-week Challenge: Week 5

Another great week at CrossFit Full Strength!

Lots of {much needed} focus on the core. Many of the movements are great for pregnancy. Twice this week we did tabata sit-ups and planks. And Thursday, during the strength training between sets, we did oblique side bends with plates. Really feeling it all!

CFFS has placed a lot of emphasis on the power and full snatch during this challenge. This is honestly a lift that I wasn’t comfortable with prior to this challenge. I’m gaining confidence and ease every time we work on it. It’s pretty exciting considering I’ve been an on-again / off-again CrossFitter for 4+ years. That’s something I love about CrossFit, it’s an opportunity to constantly learn and improve. The sky is really the limit.

I’ve also refined my rowing ability. I was explosive out of the gate and would easily wear myself out. Coach Emily took a few minutes a few weeks and taught me how to slow down to actually gain more power and speed. It worked! Every day, we start with a 400m row and I can see and feel the difference of slowing down to gain power.

***

Monday: ran another two miles with my Frankie boy. Great way to get some extra vitamin d and exhaust our pooch!

Tuti was my workout buddy this week!

Tuti was my workout buddy this week!

Tuti is one of many mascot dogs at CrossFit Full Strength. Love that the community includes four-legged friends, too! #WODDogs are the best.

Thirteenth WOD: warm up: tabata sit ups + planks; strength: power clean + split and push jerk – 7 rounds / last round 100#; metcon: 3min AMRAP for 3 rounds / 1 minute rest in between rounds – 3 hang power clean (65#) + 5 push ups + 7 sit ups: 15 rounds + 13 reps

Day 14's WOD

Day 14’s WOD

Fourteenth WOD: warm up: med ball partner core work; strength: Started with power snatch 3×3 at 65#; then back squat 5×5 – last round was 125# / in between sets we did the oblique work using 15# plates; metcon: 21-15-9 overhead squats (35# bar) + hand release push ups + step ups: 8:02

Day 15

Day 15

Fifteenth WOD: warm up: tabata sit ups + planks then 2rds 5 pulls ups + 10 squat jumps + 15 wall balls; strength: deadlift 5×5 115# each round; metcon: mini Helen: 200m run + 21 KBS + 12 pull ups (green band): 4:07

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Athlete profile updates: I’m in a holding pattern, waiting on news of baby arrivals + people filling out the questionnaire. If you or someone you know is interested in being profiled, please contact me. I would love to feature some more #crossfitandpregnant mommas!