Introducing Brianna Battles New Online Course

Strength Training and Adaptations for the Pregnant & Postpartum Athlete

Are you pregnant and looking to continue CrossFit or strength training?

Are you a mom who is looking to return to exercise and performance stronger than ever?

If so, this course is for you!

 

I’ve created information to empower you to continue the training you love while being mindful of the impact pregnancy and childbirth has on the core and pelvic floor. Listening to your body and doing what you’ve always done isn’t enough. Most coaches in the gym aren’t up to date on the needs and demands pregnant and postpartum athletes.

 

There has been a significant lack of evidence-based information that provides YOU with the tools you need to train smart during pregnancy and return to the gym postpartum….until now.

See the Trailer

Everyday Battles Classes

POSTPARTUM
PROGRAM

You’re cleared, now what?
This program is designed to recover safely and progress physically in a supportive, educational environment. You will learn proper breathing, alignment, movement patterns and exercises that work to improve Diastasis Recti, pelvic floor dysfunction, common postpartum aches/pain, etc, all while getting your strength back in a safe way!

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WOMEN'S
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

Women’s Strength & Conditioning at Autumo Crossfit in Moorpark, CA is on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30am. This class builds function, form and strength through barbell, kettlebell and dynamic movement patterns. There is a significant emphasis on core and pelvic health athleticism.

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PERSONAL
TRAINING SERVICES

I can help you implement healthy habits and movements to build strength and consistency in your training. Having someone to educate, guide and program specifically to your needs allows you to trust the process and see amazing mental, physical and emotional results.

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REMOTE
COACHING

Not local? No problem. I offer skype or facetime consults and remote coaching/strength programming.  

Price varies depending on service.

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Recent Blog Posts

Everyday Battles Facebook Posts

Everyday Battles

Creating an intentional culture through education, movement, motherhood, healthy habits, strength and transparency.
Everyday Battles
Everyday BattlesThursday, February 23rd, 2017 at 3:06am
I get added to a variety of CrossFit mom groups. Most of the time, the posts in there are hard for me to read. Because these women have been so misguided, via social media, coaches and the overall culture of their fitness. It's a battle I won't win, they're not ready for my words, advice, resources, etc until they have to be. So I usually don't say much.

I recently saw a post..."I'm 5 weeks postpartum, had a vaginal birth and just a few stitches. Any advice for doing the CrossFit Open (which starts Friday)?"

Here's what I *want* to say.
There's no reason why you need to do the Open. And I say this as one athlete brain to another- I speak your language all too well.
I get ALL the reasons you want to. I know it's the community, the environment, your sense of normalcy at a not so normal time. I know it feels like self-care. I know you think you feel good and healed. I know you worked out 'til the day you went into labor.
It doesn't matter.

You need to know modifications aren't enough right now. That acclimating to new motherhood, sleeping, eating, rehabbing and getting information about HOW to exercise/train should be your top priority.
You can still go to the gym, be in the environment and community you love, but with a game plan that's appropriate for your body, this chapter and your long term function and performance.

To them, I'm a buzzkill. But when they reach out to me a few months later, when they realize that being told "you do you, mama...just listen to your body" wasn't enough info...I am not a buzzkill. I'm their hope. I'm their game plan.
http://everyday-battles.com/product/strength-training-and-adaptations-for-the-pregnant-postpartum-athlete/
Everyday Battles
Everyday Battles shared Haley Shevener's post.Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 at 9:30am
Women, coaches, practitioners....
Please read this. This voice, story and topic needs to be heard.
Everyday Battles
Haley Shevener
Talking about athleticism with prolapse is kind of like talking about the Loch Ness Monster. People pretty much just assume it doesn't exist. I mean, if you are managing pelvic organ prolapse (POP), you're pretty much just relegated to spending your "exercise" time sitting on a stability ball with pink weights (which, hey, there's nothing wrong with that, if that's your jam!), right? No. I want to change that conversation. This weekend, I completed a years-long goal of completing the RKC. This kettlebell certification is well known for being an investment in training time and physically challenging. It's not something you just decide to do one day and pass. You need to train for it as not everyone passes it. It's not just a walk in the park and it's *definitely* not sitting on a stability ball with the pink weights. You need to be able to demonstrate proficiency in 6 exercises (swing, clean, press, snatch, squat, get up) and pass a snatch test (100 snatches in five minutes) with a kettlebell that is much heavier than you'll read you should be lifting, should you decide to google "prolapse exercise". Speaking of which, here's what you'll find when you Google "prolapse safe exercise": No squats, no kettlebell swings, no overhead pressing. Instead, try walking or swimming or maybe some body weight squats, if you're lucky. Stick to super light weights, preferably lying down. No running, no jumping, no impact, no heavy lifting. Anything beyond this will make your prolapse worse. Maybe try some yoga? Well, no, wait - yoga will probably make your prolapse worse, too. This information, which outnumbers the quality information that almost always says "it depends", is the reason I get messages from women who are depressed. This is why I get emails from women who are desperate to figure out a way to return to what they love in some capacity but are terrified to do so. This information is just not good enough. In fact, it's just not good at all. Here's the thing: everyone dealing with POP is different. One person may have a minor prolapse while another person has a more significant prolapse. One person may be 6 weeks postpartum, the other may have been managing a stable prolapse for years. One person may be a former weightlifter, the other may have never lifted weights before. These blanket-statement recommendations do not take any of this into consideration. They don't take a person's unique strength and function into account. They don't take *STRATEGY* into consideration. HOW you squat is just as important as whether or not you squat. But instead of giving people hope, telling people that they may be able to find ways to manage their prolapse AND return to exercise that they find fulfilling, we tell people that doing what they love is unsafe, maybe even what hurt them in the first place. I understand that it seems "safest" to tell someone to stick to gentle, to stick to easy. But we don't just remove people's athleticism when we do this, we remove their ability to function in their lives. If a woman with POP hasn't trained to lift, how does she pick up her baby in a carseat in a way that promotes her pelvic floor's health and function when she, inevitably, needs to? If a woman hasn't learned how to absorb impact in a way that allows her to do so without symptoms, how does she play with her kids? Physical therapists, trainers, and doctors have given women arbitrary weight limits based on, well, nothing personalized. What 15 pounds feels like to me is going to be different from what it feels like to you. And most women have children that surpass the weight limits by a significant margin. I'm not an idiot; I know that there are women with prolapse who experience significant symptoms that prevent them from exercising at all. I've been there. This is not every woman with prolapse, though. And even those with significant symptoms need to learn how to manage the tasks of their daily lives....which is exactly why they would benefit from strength training. Managing intra-abdominal pressure and impact is part of life. Let's train to do it well. Instead of making their lives safer, generalized and rigid guidelines for exercising with prolapse have robbed women of their body's ability to bulletproof itself against the demands of life and fitness. As Bret Contreras PhD proclaimed, "If you think lifting weights is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous." What we need is a personalized approach. What we need is a plan of action that takes the WHOLE woman into account - not just her "dysfunction". What we need is hope and help and education and intentional training. So, where do we start? Well, here's what I recommend, personally and professionally, if you are someone with athletic goals who happens to also be managing POP: --Seek the guidance of a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist (PFPT) who understands your goals, the latest information on prolapse, your activity of choice. My then-PT was one of the first people I told about wanting to train for RKC. Physical therapists have a reputation of being cautious to the point of discouraging but DiToro Physical Therapy encouraged me. If she hadn't, I would have wanted to know WHY so that I could work to help myself. My other PT (I believe in teamwork!), the lovely Anne Marie from Miracle Physical Therapy encouraged me to try a pessary, if I felt unsupported. I brought one, just in case, but have never needed to use it. --Dive deep into education and become an expert in your body. Read everything Julie Wiebe, PT, The Physio Detective, and my good friend, Everyday Battles, writes. Buy everything they sell. Understand how your body functions. Understand how movement impacts your pelvic floor from people who "speak" training. Understand how to manipulate your strategy to optimize the performance of your pelvic floor, and the rest of your body. Learn how to determine your symptom threshold and how to work within the boundaries your body gives you, but know that those may broaden as you become more proficient! I have purchased every worthwhile certification, read every blog, listened to the advice of mentors, and researched until I've fallen asleep at the computer. I needed to do this so that I could give myself, and my clients, the best opportunity for success. --If you have a certification or competition related goal, know that you are going to have to over prepare. You are likely going to have to work harder than anyone because you are going to constantly be wondering about your pelvic floor. Go into your event knowing that you are ready to *own* it. Not only will you have confidence in your abilities, but you'll have prepared your pelvic floor to perform under pressure, too. --Enlist the help of an exercise professional who understands your chosen activity AND pelvic floor dysfunction. This is the hardest part because we are rarer than Bigfoot (I swear I'm not really that into mythical creatures!). But find one of us because we would LOVE to help you. (If you're not local to me and my colleagues, Jessie Mundell has a great list of professionals who have gone through her course for postnatal exercise, where she discusses prolapse among other essential things one needs to understand about training during this chapter.) --Know how to modify anything you want or need to do so that it can work for you. With clients, I find that it's more likely than not that we can make a few tweaks and get them to a place where an activity is achievable. With myself, I knew I had to modify the recommended breathing pattern during squats, for instance. I trained squats in a way that supported my pelvic floor and found out how to meet the requirements of the certification with the demands of body when it came time to test out. The video posted is me testing out in my squat, the exercise that gave me the most anxiety (mostly because of the freakin' internet but certainly not discounting the challenge presented on the pelvic floor during that movement). --Set goals that allow for some wiggle room. Set goals that are realistic, flexible, but that still inspire you. I didn't go into day one of the certification looking to pass. I went in wanting to get through the certification, taking excellent care of my body and performing to the best of my ability. My preparedness allowed me to pass but I was prepared to not pass, if that was what my body needed to do. --Be patient, give yourself enough time prepare, and listen, REALLY LISTEN, to your body. I had signed up for this certification before. I had had to cancel before. I wasn't ready then and that's ok. It was a slow process to get here, but it was progress. I took days off when my body told me to, even when I really wished to be in the gym. I stopped training before I experienced symptoms. --Find support in your community. This is why I created the group POP Fitness; I belonged to groups that alienate women with prolapse who celebrate their athletic achievements. Instead of being shamed for doing something you love, join a community of people who is ACTUALLY interested in keeping you safe by providing information that is supported by evidence instead of born from fear. (Like mine 😉 ) --Advocate for yourself. Always. This is non-negotiable. Tell everyone involved in the event that you have a condition that may require some modification. It's not "TMI", it's not something to be ashamed of, it's not a request for someone to go easy on you. It's imperative that we treat our pelvic floors just as we do any other injury. Breaking the stigma starts with you. I reached out to (amazing) head instructor, Chris Holder, before the certification began because I wanted him to know what I was working with. I didn't care if he understood it, I didn't care if he thought I was just trying to slack off. I needed him to know for the same reason I need to know when my clients have issues. And from a more global perspective, I need *EVERYONE* to know because women with prolapse CAN swing kettlebells but they also need to be instructed on how to do so in a way that takes their pelvic floor into consideration. And, finally: --Do it. Just, do it. Sign up for the thing, enroll in the event, lift your kids, lift your kettlebells, live your life. But do it with intention. Do it well, do it with the guidance of professionals, do it knowing that it may not always work out, but if it does, you'll experience a feeling unlike any other. Do it with your pelvic floor at the forefront of your thoughts, but without becoming overwhelmed by your perceived limitations. Do it and know that you are resilient, you are adaptable, you are strong. Do it and know that you can always change your mind, change the direction, change your course if your body says no. It's going to take work to return to athleticism after a prolapse diagnosis. It's going to take reaching out for help and support. It's going to take time, patience, and hope. It's likely going to take revamping your strategy, making some changes, and a whole bunch of awareness. It's going to be worth every second, every dollar spent, every tear shed. It's going to be worth it. You can do it.
Everyday Battles
Everyday BattlesWednesday, February 22nd, 2017 at 4:20am
I'm using the photos of @liftlikelindsey to show variations of movement patterns- squat, run, pull/hinge, dynamic, etc. This isn't just for high level, this is transferrable to all of exercise, for all people, to all daily movement demands.

At #APTACSM this past weekend, one of the points I made was, "how do you know you're working with an up to date physical therapist?"
Did I mention, this was said in front of only Physical Therapists? 😬 Obviously, it was important to answer this with humility and helpful- not critical- perspective from a coach.

I talked about how I saw multiple practitioners, and was offered "solutions" that never resonated with my brain, goals, injury (DR) or training. And most of my clients have left their practitioner feeling defeated...either being told to stop, or isolate, or do rehab exercises that didn't transfer to their athletic goals.

I explained further: it doesn't make sense, from an athletic, movement patterns perspective, to train the pelvic floor to work in isolation (100 kegals a day?) to heal incontinence-no other muscle in the body contracts like that.
It doesn't make sense to tuck the spine to cue the TA, cuz that doesn't transfer to *most* athletic & power positioning.
Athletic position=availability of glutes= availability of the pelvic floor= availability of abs. A tucked butt isn't an athletic butt, or position.
It doesn't make sense to use a towel to crunch and squeeze together the abs, to heal a diastasis when we know it's about fascia and enforcing stability. Pushing a muscle(s) around isn't what we do with any other injury.

If a woman wants to run, do yoga, Zumba, CrossFit, Olympic lifting or natural movement...her body can't be trained in isolating ways. Movement and function is dynamic. I want PT's and coaches to consider the injury, the goal, the training methods/preference, and the very basic Kinesiology (study of human movement) concepts we BOTH know.
Let's make our language, prescription, practice and collaborations make sense for our clients, coaches and overall practice.