Episode 1736 - Murph for the pregnant & postpartum athlete

Episode 1736 - Murph for the pregnant & postpartum athlete


About this episode

Dr. Rachel Moore // #ICEPelvic // www.ptonice.com 

In today's episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, #ICEPelvic faculty member Rachel Moore discusses the CrossFit hero workout "Murph", including modifications & considerations for pregnant & postpartum athletes.

Take a listen to learn how to better serve this population of patients & athletes or check out the full show notes on our blog at www.ptonice.com/blog.

If you're looking to learn more about our live pregnancy and postpartum physical therapy courses or our online physical therapy courses, check our entire list of continuing education courses for physical therapy including our physical therapy certifications by checking out our website. Don't forget about all of our FREE eBooks, prebuilt workshops, free CEUs, and other physical therapy continuing education on our Resources tab.

Are you looking for more information on how to keep lifting weights while pregnant? Check out the ICE Pelvic bi-weekly newsletter!


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My name is Dr. Rachel Moore. I am here this morning on Memorial Day to chat with you guys about the MRF workout and reflections for the MRF workout as a prenatal or maybe postpartum athlete. So whether you yourself have been that athlete and been prenatal or postpartum while doing MRF, or maybe the population of patients that you see is this prenatal space. I want to dive in to some reflections on that today. So first of all, we're going to kick it off. If you are not familiar with the CrossFit space, you're not in the CrossFit space. What is the Murph workout? So Murph is a workout. It's called a hero workout. it's done typically on or around a memorial day so whether memorial day weekend or memorial day itself it is a hero workout which is a named workout in the crossfit space for somebody that has given the ultimate sacrifice and paid their life for whatever the reason so michael murphy Um is who this workout is honoring he was a navy seal and he died in the line of duty So the workout itself is a one mile run 100 push-ups or sorry 100 pull-ups 200 push-ups 300 air squats and then you cap it all off with a mile run and the rx version of this workout is wearing a weight vest 20 pounds for guys 14 pounds for ladies If you have never done this workout, it's a long one. Most people kind of fluctuate like earlier times or fast times or sub one hour, but a lot of people tend to hover around that one hour a little bit more mark if they're doing a quote unquote full Murph. We also can do a half Murph, which is where we take that workout. and cut that volume in half. So the Murph itself is one of those workouts that is a really powerful symbol within the CrossFit community. Typically, most gyms are getting together, whether it's on that Saturday or on that Monday. It's a large community event. It's a really exciting thing to be a part of and a really exciting thing to come together. A lot of people really look forward to this workout every year. not only for the reason of what it represents and the fact that we're paying honor and tribute to people that have given that ultimate sacrifice of their lives so all of us have the freedoms that we have. but also because it is a pretty big test of fitness. And depending on what season of life we're in, sometimes those tests of fitness can be hard. Whether it is physically hard or emotionally hard, regardless, it can be tough. And in one of the largest seasons where we see that is in the perinatal space. So when somebody is pregnant or when somebody is maybe newly postpartum, and they're trying to figure out how to tackle Merv. it can be tough to set aside that athlete brain. It can be really hard to turn that off, especially if you're somebody that's done Murph maybe in the past, and you want to know where you shake out. Or if you're brand new to CrossFit, maybe you started doing CrossFit, found out you were pregnant shortly after, and you're seeing everybody in your gym get super excited about testing their fitness and seeing where they're at, seeing how they compare, maybe doing it for the first time, and knowing that you can't do it the way that you would quote unquote like to. So let's unpack that a little bit. For one, we at Ice really preach that we don't modify unless we need to modify. Just because we're pregnant, quote-unquote, is not a reason to modify MRF. If you're somebody that this workout is in your wheelhouse, maybe you are doing pull-ups and have been doing pull-ups in the gym. maybe push-ups are not bothersome to you, you're early enough on in pregnancy that your bum's not getting in the way, you feel good doing all those push-up volume, air squats feel great, running hasn't gotten to a point where it's bothersome at all, then there's no reason to modify the workout. We don't modify the workout because of pregnancy. We may be able to tweak it slightly, so maybe you partition instead of doing all of the reps in a row to save some of your core fatigue, So instead of doing 100, 200, 300, you do 5, 10, 15, and just give yourself some breaks in between. But if none of those movements are problematic for you and the volume isn't problematic for you, then it's okay to just do the workout, maybe a little bit slower than you otherwise would have, but it's okay to send it. If you're somebody who has issues with one of those movements, whether it is the pull-ups. You don't have that midline strength and stamina anymore and you're seeing a lot of that coning repeatedly over time and it's something that's bothersome to you or maybe the push-up volume is way too high for you or squatting below parallel triggers some pain. It's also okay to modify the workout. Modifying a Murph is not a sign of shame. Doing the Murph in and of itself is huge. modifying the MRF, whether that is because of pregnancy, whether that is in the postpartum season, or whether it's because of an injury, or you're a new CrossFitter, it's okay to modify when we have a reason to modify. It's still exciting to show up. It's still exciting to be a part of your community and do that workout. I have done this workout myself. This was my sixth MRF this year and I did it as a new postpartum. So it was three months postpartum and I was a newer crossfitter. I've done it as a, I think 18 week pregnant crossfitter. I've done it as a year-ish postpartum crossfitter, and then I've done it Rx twice. And in each of those seasons, the challenges were different. When I was a pregnant athlete, I wanted so badly to send it. I wanted to do a full MRF. I wanted to do the entire volume. But my body didn't feel great with that. And so that year, my husband and I ended up splitting the MRF. So we ran the mile together. It was a little bit slower than I otherwise would have ran. and we did you go, I go rounds and we took turns so that I had some built-in rest breaks because for me at that stage in my pregnancy, my heart rate was skyrocketing and I was having a really hard time managing that much volume with that high of a heart rate for that long a period of time. That was a challenging year for me. It has nothing to do with the physical side. Honestly, when we finished our MRF that we split, I was just like, okay, like that was fine, I guess. I'm excited I was here. But physically, it didn't feel like that much of a challenge. But that was the most mentally challenging year. On the flip side, the very first time I did MRF, I did a similar thing. I split a Murph, quote unquote, with a friend. We did you go, I go rounds. I was a newer CrossFitter and I was postpartum. So I scaled the pull-ups for ring rows. I did push-ups for my knees and I did air squats, but I did it all with a vest because I wanted to know if I could. So half a Murph shared with somebody, quote unquote, with a weight vest on, so reduced volume and scaled movements. And I have never felt so powerful than when I finished that workout at three months postpartum. It was awesome. So those are two very different seasons, two very different iterations of the workout from the standpoint of RX movements versus scaled movements, weight vest versus non-weight vest. And the outcome was different. One, I felt physically strong, mentally strong, felt super empowered. And one, honestly, was a really hard mental load for me because I wanted to do what all of my friends were doing in the gym and I wanted to be able to push myself. that athlete brain is tough to turn off. So if you are one of these patients, or one of these people that is doing MRF this year, or has done MRF by this point at 9.20 on a Monday Memorial Day morning, and you struggled with that, it's okay. If you have patients coming in in the future, and they're talking to you about, I wanna do MRF this year, but I just don't really know what to do, it's okay to tell them to modify. It's also okay if they wanna send it. At the end of the day, we're not modifying just for the sake of modifying. We had a gal in our gym last year who was in her 30th week of pregnancy. She's a former CrossFit Games athlete. She crushed it. She swapped out the pull-ups for ring rows, but otherwise did everything else RX and did fantastic and felt fantastic for her body. that challenge and that load was appropriate. We've also had people like myself who at 18 weeks pregnant decide that I need to modify. I'm not going to do a full Merv and I'm going to scale the movements. All of these options are okay. The beautiful thing about this workout is there are so many ways to modify it. There are so many ways to modify the movements themselves. There are so many ways to break up the volume. There are so many ways to cut the volume down. And at the end of the day, showing up and being a part of the community is what is really key this weekend. Being there, paying that tribute, showing that respect, and getting to be a part of your community is huge. If you're somebody that's been in this season and wants to chat more, shoot me a message. I would love to talk with you more. This is a topic that I'm super passionate about because I've been there. I've been in those shoes. And sometimes, you know, we just need to commiserate together about how hard something was.

If you are looking to join any of our pelvic courses, we have got, we're about halfway through our L1 and our L2 cohorts. So we've got another L1 cohort kicking off. Our next L2 cohort is not until the fall. If you're interested in that, hop into it because it's going to fill out. Catch us on the road this summer. We've got a lot of opportunities to get to the live course where you can sit for that cert test and become ice pelvic certified. I hope you guys have a great rest of your day. If you did MRF today or at any point this weekend, make sure you take care of yourselves. Hydrate get your electrolytes in make sure you're getting protein in take care of your bodies And I know I'm feeling a little bit sore from my Saturday Murph So just know that in the next couple days you may be feeling some type of way, but it's temporary and it'll pass See you guys around

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