Returning to CrossFit after Surgery

I can’t believe it has already been 2 months since my abdominoplasty! I hit my 8 week post op mark Monday. I’ve been back to CrossFit full time for 2 weeks now. It has been such a weird thing coming back to CrossFit after 6 weeks off. Not only is getting back into shape hard to do after 6 weeks off, it is harder to do when there has been some kind of major trauma to your body. I’m no doctor, so as always be sure you check with your doctor about returning to CrossFit and what timeline you should follow.

My doctor released me to work out at 6 weeks. His only restrictions were that I listen to by body and if something was painful not to do it. Uhm, That is pretty much the advice I give to all our clients! If it hurts, stop. It is one thing to press through a tough workout, it is a whole different thing to press through an injury. There is a difference to being sore and being hurt. It is up to you to know your body and be able to tell a difference.

The process of returning to CrossFit after surgery has been just as hard, if not harder, mentally than it has been physically. When I first started CrossFit I was so unsure of what my body was capable of. Over the past several years I have been able to learn my body and build my confidence. I knew what I was capable of, what was within the realm of possibility, and what was a ways off. My body was reliable most of the time. I know it will be again, but right now I’m back to that place where I’m not sure what my body will allow me to do. So every day is kind of like an experiment. I believe it will be this way for the first few months.

So what does that mean for me? It means taking it slow. Super Slow. The first week back was all about just getting moving again. Super light weights, extra slow and cautious movement. If you are returning to CrossFit after surgery you have to know that you will not come back at the same place you left off. Duh, right? While I knew that, it was still hard to come back and feel so out of it.

There is a balance with everything. Yes, you need to be cautious when returning to CrossFit after surgery. But being cautious is very different from being afraid. You shouldn’t be afraid to at least try something. Last week I tried bar roll outs, and I knew it just wasn’t going to happen yet. Sit ups have come up in the work outs a few times and every time I tried to see if I could do it. The first few times I wasn’t ready. Last week I did sit ups slowly and carefully in a workout. It was exhausting and my core felt tired afterwards, but that is how you rebuild strength!


The first week I was back I tried to back squat and didn’t feel comfortable going over about 45% of my max. So I stayed there. You have to learn to listen to your body, even if your mind is telling you something different. Each day I’ve worked out I’ve felt stronger and stronger. Getting my endurance back has been the hardest part. It has been a blessing in disguise though, as I am now remembering exactly what it is like to be new. I finish last in class more often than not, but after 6 weeks of doing nothing I’m just glad to be able to do any kind of workouts!


If you are returning to CrossFit after Surgery or an injury or just some time off make sure to listen to your body and your coach. Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications. Remember, CrossFit is infiniately scalable! It isn’t supposed to be a deathly punishing workout every time. Just like that picture says – stay safe. have fun. You’ll be back to normal (or maybe even better) in no time!

Do you have any tips for getting back in a groove after some time off?

 

Weekly Workout Round Up 9/30

Yesterday marked 7 weeks since my Abdominoplasty/Excess Skin Removal  It was also the start of my second week back to working out. Everyone has been asking me how I’ve been feeling and if any movements bother me. So, I’m going back to recaping my workouts and adding in scaling notes.

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If you are returning back to workout out after any kind of hiatus, especially if you were off for medical reasons please take it easy and talk to your doctor. I’ve been communicating closely with my doctor and let him know exactly what we do at CrossFit and asking if there should be any restrictions. Every doctor is going to be different. My doctor cleared me to get back to workouts at 6 weeks with the reminder that I need to start slow and listen to my body. He said there were no real restrictions on movements, just see how they feel. I decided just to follow along with the every day CrossFit classes and scale as needed.

Monday 9/22
For Time
21-15-9
Front Squats 135/95/65
Hand Release Push-Ups
I used 65 pounds for the Front Squats and did the Push Ups on my knees very slowly. I finished in 8:01.


Tuesday 9/23
Back Squat 5×3 – I kept it light at 105.


5-Minute AMRAP of:
Squat Clean, 135# / 95#
Jerk, 135# / 95#
I used 65 pounds and went very slowly. I ended up getting 25 rounds.

Wednesday 9/24
Push Press and Walking Lunge EMOM – Did 65 for Push Press and 35 for Walking Lunge

3 rounds:
200m Wall Ball Run
30 Sit-ups
15 Goblet Squats 53/35
I ran without a wall ball and did Kettlebell Swings instead of sit ups. I finished in 11:44

Thursday 9/25- REST DAY! 
I was so sore… So I rolled it out!

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Friday 9/26
Front Squat 5×3 – Stayed light at 85lbs

Helen
400m Run
21 Kettlebell Swings
12 Pull Ups
I subbed ring pulls for pull ups. Running feels so much easier, minus the whole breathing part. I’m still getting my lungs back! It’s crazy how much easier the movement of running feels without that 8lbs of skin bouncing around my abdomen! I finished in 13:06… Far from my Helen PR, but I finished!

Saturday 9/27
20 Rounds
3 Cleans 135/95
15 WallBalls
I did this one with the RX weight on the cleans and wallballs, but we had an odd number of people in the class so I worked on my own resting at a 1:1 Ratio. I finished in 20:23. This was a tough one!

Sunday 9/28- REST DAY!

Monday 9/29
10min EMOM – From the Ground:
1 Deadlift
1 High Hang Clean
2 Front Squats
I did 95lbs, it started off feeling heavy but once I got into it I felt great. It always takes me awhile to warm up that dang clean.

21-15-9
Shoulder to Overhead 95/65
Bar over Burpee
THEN IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING
9-6-3
Toes To Bar
Bar Roll Outs
I did the 65lbs on shoulder to overhead and was just reallllly slow on my bar over burpees. I knew that Toes To Bar and Bar Roll Outs (Evil Wheels) weren’t happening so I subbed laying knee raises and push ups. I finished in 12:44.

Overall I’m really happy with my progress getting back into workouts. It has been mentally challenging to have my mind ready to get back at it but my body still not used to it. I’ve been SO sore also. It’s like I’m new again. I know it will take time to get back to where I was… and I’m trying to enjoy the process… and be patient. Remind me of that, will ya?

How were your workouts this week? Have you ever started working out after an extended period of time off?

Link up your Weekly Workout Round Up Post here!

6 Weeks Post-Op Abdominoplasty Update

Find my previous Abdominoplasty updates here

I DID IT! I made it 6 weeks. That is a huge milestone with an abdominoplasty. My doctor told me I could start working out again at 6 weeks, so you know what I did first thing Monday morning? I worked out! It was strange and amazing all at the same time. I started out slow with the warm up. Nothing really hurt but I could feel a lot of tightness right above my belly button. It actually felt more like tightness in my skin than in my muscles. I ended up skipping the pull up/ring dip EMOM. Pull ups and ring dips didn’t feel great so I opted out of them. I did do the WOD though. It was 21-15-9 of Front Squats and Push ups. The front squats didn’t feel bad at all. I stuck with 65lbs, which would have been nothing for me pre-surgery, and it turned out to be a pretty good weight. My legs weren’t sure they liked it, but everything else felt good. The push ups were interesting. I did super slow knee push ups and took frequent rest. Again, it didn’t hurt, but it was a different feeling for sure. More than anything I was just glad to be back at it, regardless of how slow it was.

I finally got to wear my new HumanX Gear tank. I saved it for when I knew I would be able to actually lift something while wearing it! I love it.
(Pants are Fabletics and headband is Junk Brands)

Oh, I have 6 week pictures too!

6weeks

I still have some noticeable swelling in the lower abdomen, that comes and goes depending on my activity level. This is first thing in the morning after sleeping in my compression garment. The swelling goes up significantly with activity. I was nervous about how bad the swelling would be at the end of the day after working out. My scar is amazing. I’m just using some Honest Company Belly Butter on it right now, but I’ll probably look into some scar cream here shortly.

swelling

This is morning (top) and evening (bottom) after my first day of working out. Obviously there is a noticeable difference with swelling, but nothing too far from normal every day swelling. I still wear my compression gear to sleep in and I wear tight compression pants when I workout.

I tried out back squats today. I felt good overall, it’s just frustrating knowing what you used to be able to do. I stuck with a light (for me) weight for my 6 sets of 2. My legs are trying to remember what heavy squatting was like.

Shirt from Thick2Thin | Pants from Fabletics | Headband from Junk Brands | Belt from HumanX

Overall I feel back to normal from the surgery, I just know it will take a while to get my fitness level back to normal. My mind still remembers what I can do, my body is the one trying to remember. I’m going to continue to take it slow and listen to my body.

I feel like I’m finally getting my groove back. I know it’s still going to be a process, but i’ve embraced the process and am just riding it out. Swelling will continue to come and go. And I’m sure things will change and shift as I ease back into workouts. Overall I’m really happy I had the surgery and I would do it again in a heart beat.

Have you ever had to take a break from working out?
How did you get back into your groove?

Find my previous Abdominoplasty updates here