Warm up and work up to a heavy single Power Clean. Focus on an aggressive 2nd pull and, even though they’re Powers, pulling under to meet the bar with consistent footwork.
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Half Dumbbell Bear
Every minute on the minute x 10:
5 Dumbbell Deadlifts
5 Dumbbell Hang Power Cleans
5 Dumbbell Thrusters
The work should be unbroken and leave you with a bit of rest until the next minute. Standard Rx for this metcon is 45% of body weight (total, between both dumbbells).
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“A Sweet and Happy Thing”: Diapers & Dumbbells Grows Up
On Tuesday night, CrossFit HQ released this incredibly awesome video about our very own Diapers & Dumbbells class! It’s the first of 6 videos focusing on CFSBK that HQ will release in the coming weeks, and it provides a terrific overview of this very special parent-baby fitness program. As D&D approaches its 1st birthday, it just so happens that your trusty CFSBK blog recently interviewed the masterminds behind the class: Coaches MeLo, Lauren, and Sasha. If you’ve been to the gym in the late morning or early afternoon recently, you already know what a cute scene transpires in this class. Now let’s get a little more in-depth to find out how this unique class works…
Can you give us some background on Diapers & Dumbbells? When did the class get started, and what was the motivation behind it?
Melissa: CSFBK saw an uptick in the number of expectant parents at the gym in 2016, and I was fortunate enough to be one of them. After having Lily in September of last year, I had been talking to a couple of the other new moms about how great it would be to have a postpartum class at the gym. primarily as a means to get together, share stories, and move a little bit. I had also taken Sasha’s parent-baby yoga class at Park Slope Yoga and loved having something to do, and a safe space to bring my baby and move my body twice a week. Sasha and I met to discuss our visions for a parent-baby CrossFit class and outlined a potential class structure which we’ve been sticking to ever since. We presented the idea to David, who was onboard, and once Lauren heard about the class, she immediately offered her experience and expertise. The first D&D class took place on Monday, January 30, 2017, and I think we had 1 person attend with 3 coaches.
Sasha: D&D came about after Melissa attended some of my parent baby classes at Park Slope Yoga Center. I had spoken to David in passing about parent-baby classes and when Melissa and I talked, we decided to present a general model of a baby-inclusive class that would allow new parents to work out with others in a space that welcomed them and their babies. Melissa and I talked about and general framework and Melissa programmed a class that would address some common issues for new parents.
Lauren: There’s a dearth of opportunities for new parents and babies in this area to exercise together. As soon as I heard that this was a program Melissa was developing, I knew it was something I wanted to support in any way that I could. All of our initial planning meetings for D&D reinforced my desire to be a part of the class. We were very much on the same page, and I was keen on the idea of working with Melissa and Sasha, who both have a wealth of expertise in this area and are awesome individuals.
Each of you have different fitness and family backgrounds. Can you tell us about those backgrounds and how they might inform your coaching styles?
Lauren: Both of my my daughters were born in the neighborhood, so I have shared that experience with many of the parents for whom this class is offered. Since my daughters are elementary school aged now, I have some insight to offer class participants as their babies grow up here as well. During my pregnancy and postpartum days, I had taken parent-baby yoga classes offered in the neighborhood, including Sasha’s class. I am aware of the challenges that new parents face here—in getting out the door, let alone finding a suitable workout. As a coach and a mom, I am strongly in favor of educating new parents about exercises that are safe and beneficial for them. I am happy to be able to offer an opportunity for others who are now at this exciting and, at times, overwhelming stage of life to come to class for an hour and feel healthy, accomplished and understood.
I can relate to their experiences with pregnancy, delivery and child-nurturing while attempting to keep one’s own fitness and health from falling to the bottom of the list. In addition, I am a private trainer and wellness coach and among my clients are pregnant women and new parents. Working one-on-one with these individuals informs my approach to this class and vice versa. No pregnancy is the same, no delivery is the same, no baby is the same… obviously no one is the same. But sharing our experiences with one another and being educated about safe ways to exercise are invaluable to navigating smoothly and healthily through postpartum months.
Sasha: I have taught parent baby yoga classes for the past 17 years and parents have mentioned how important it was to have a place to go with their babies where they could be active and do something to take care of their bodies. Being home all day can feel so isolating for new parents. It’s not feasible for many people to find a sitter just for the time that it takes to work out. My primary area of expertise is baby wrangling. As a yoga teacher I can help with DROMS and basic forms. I also have three of my own kids. The classes that Xela, Tulsi, and James attend are a huge part of my love for CFSBK. I am happy that parents of little kids can have the same caring and compassionate environment for their little ones.
How has the class changed or evolved since its inception?
Melissa: We went from having 1 person at that first class, to having a max of 16 (I think) over the summer. The consistently high numbers necessitated having a 3rd regular class coach. One coach primarily serves as the head coach overseeing the parents, another coach wrangles the babies, and the third floats between babies and parents depending on where the need is greatest.
Lauren: Aside from the growing number of participants, we are always re-evaluating the class, collecting feedback and making adjustments to ensure that the class runs smoothly. We have added a third coach to accommodate larger classes, and each of the three coaches has a more specifically-defined role. Since some of our participants have been attending regularly for months, we’ve added new exercises (such as barbell lifts) to the programming.
Generally, the structure of the class has maintained the same fundamental format: a warm-up that emphasizes abdominal and pelvic floor work and previews movement patterns for the exercises that follow, a strength-building segment, and a conditioning work-out. Parents often stay after class on the sofas and wrestling mat to talk, feed their babies and stretch.
Sasha: It’s been amazing to see how the regular attendees of the class have gotten stronger over the months. I have been lucky enough to see some of the parents both at CFSBK and the yoga center. Watching the growth and development of the babies is another great aspect of the class for me as a teacher and I think is another benefit for the parents. The class provides the parents a chance to compare what their challenges and triumphs have been. I also think that many in the CFSBK community like the chance to see the babies. It’s a sweet and happy thing!
Who are these classes for? Do you expect a certain level of fitness from new moms coming in?
Lauren: No fitness level is required or expected. The classes are open to any new parents who would like to begin or continue training, including moms, dads, partners, and caregivers. We have had parents come to class without their babies as well. We welcome those who are new to CrossFit, and we have organized a Foundations class especially for D&D participants and alum to help them transition into group classes when they are ready. I particularly like having the opportunity to introduce CrossFit to individuals who are trying these types of exercises for the first time.
Melissa: We only ask that moms receive medical clearance from their practitioner before attending class. The programming is scalable to all fitness levels and to each participant at their various stages in postpartum recovery
Sasha: We wanted to make the classes for everyone, and we have had a broad range of participants. Mostly moms but some dads and even a few grandmas!
Are there special challenges that come with coaching this population? Have you learned anything new from working with D&Ders?
Melissa: The vast majority of participants have not done CrossFit previously, so we do a lot more instruction. Additionally, we have moms who are 5-weeks postpartum working out alongside moms who are 8 months postpartum and dads. The programming needs to be safe and effective for all participants, which makes providing and explaining scaling options paramount. In addition to the focus on core and pelvic floor strengthening, we use a lot of tempo work to reinforce proper positions as well as unilateral work to balance asymmetries. We err on the side of less dynamic movements (e.g., Step-Ups instead of Box Jumps) but give attendees options based on how far along they are in their recovery process and how they’re feeling on that particular day.
It’s also a rotating group of attendees. We’ve been fortunate in that we’ve had some regular attendees who we see for several months, but ultimately either the baby becomes mobile, or the parent has to go back to work and can no longer attend at 11am. So we constantly have to make sure that we’re spreading the word about the class to get new parents to attend.
Lauren: Something unique about this group of participants is that they, of course, just had babies, and their babies are with them. And with the increasing number of participants comes more babies at wider-ranging stages of development, which is a challenge and a benefit since they are incredibly adorable. A challenge for me has been that when I hear a fussy or crying baby, I revert back to what must be a primal instinct and feel the need to attend to said baby. I have gotten better about overcoming that, but imagine how it must be for the new parent. We as coaches make a concerted effort to explain and demonstrate clearly and be available to repeat and help as participants move through the prescribed exercise, knowing that the new parents have a lot on their mind, may have just been attending to their baby, and could very well be sleep-deprived.
What’s in store for D&D in the future? Any changes to the programming or class structure?
Melissa: We’re now offering a D&D Foundations cycle to all current and past participants and their partners. We’re hoping to transition more D&D alumni into CrossFit group classes so that they can continue their training after returning to work. We also recently hosted a happy hour at Threes Brewing and hope to host more social events in the future.
Lauren: Thanks to Melissa, there is an evolving social component to the program and an active Facebook group. As parents return to work or matriculate on to Short Circuit, Group Class, or wherever their fitness goals take them, we can continue to stay in touch with the growing cohort of D&D Alum and welcome more new parents through the gate. Unfortunately, because of new demands on my schedule, I will not be able to continue coaching D&D. But fortunately, I am able to remain involved in the program through the Facebook group and to see the D&D parents and babies at the gym every week.
Know someone who might be interested in Diapers & Dumbbells? Send them this post!
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