Ladies, a show of hand please. How many of you want to exercise but find it really hard to scrounge up the motivation to head to a gym, put on the running shoes, or hop on the elliptical
laundry rack exercise machine in your living room? Yep, me, too! It can be a big challenge, especially with children! But how many of you have also found that you can’t get rid of a tummy pooch, that your core muscles can’t rebound after having a baby, or that you’re not even sure how to start with fitness though you know you need to? Then please let me introduce you to Fit2B Studios.
Fit2B Studios is an online fitness site with over 60 workouts that are great for anyone, but especially so if you are a mom (no matter how old your children are) or hope to be one someday. Founded by Bethany Learn, Fit2B specializes in “Tummy-Safe” fitness and workouts that meet you right where you are and help you move forward. You’ll hear all about my experience with Fit2B in the next post, but today I want you to hear from Bethany and get to know Fit2B a little bit. You will be blessed!
Getting To Know Bethany and Fit2Be Studios
Smithspirations: How did you first get started in fitness?
Bethany Learn: I took a step class in high school. It sounded fun, but I had no idea what to expect, so I showed up in a dress, tights, and borrowed a pair of Keds. From the first thumping base beat, I was hooked. I became a certified group fitness instructor through AFAA right before entering Oregon State University to get my bachelor of science degree in Exercise/Fitness program management.
S: How did you become so interested in focusing on core strength?
B.L.: Um, I had kids. And everything I had been taught about “just keep doing what you’ve been doing” only made sense through my first pregnancy. Then I fell apart, and nothing made sense anymore. So I started privately researching the core and making up my own routines.
S: How and when did your thinking about core exercises change from the typical sit-up routine to “tummy safe”?
B.L.: I was divinely let to Kelly Dean through a pagan friend. Seriously, that’s what I tell people. A dear friend of mine (who told me she is a witch when I first met her) posted on Facebook about her restored energy and strength, and her before/after pictures were staggering… but there was a Christian fish symbol on her physical therapists website, which I found gorgeously ironic! I must have spent 3 hours on The Tummy Team (Kelly’s site) that night, reading and crying. All of my research prior to that had backtracked to the fitness industry, but their advice just kept breaking me more. As I read Kelly’s unique perspective on HEALING the core, my mind was blown. And she was local to me! So I called her and insisted on coffee!
S: What inspired you to start Fit2B?
B.L.: My heart for moms. Birth and fitness have aroused my curiousity since childhood. I was the little girl who got in trouble for telling other little girls at church how babies come out, and I’ve always been naturally muscular. I tried every sport in high school, so getting my degree in exercise and sport science was a natural fit. But after birthing my second child (an impish blue-eyed surprise of a boy) I just couldn’t keep teaching group fitness as much. Getting out of the house was a hassle! So I worked out at home, and my friends said, “You should video yourself so we can do it with you!” And I started dreaming…
S: What, in your founding view, sets Fit2B apart from other exercise programs?
B.L.: Several things! First, I don’t make it about weight loss or perfect bodies. I wear pretty clothes that are tasteful, and I keep the music lyric-free, and above all we cater to those who are true starters or re-starters. We avoid controversial, injurious moves like crunches and sit-ups, and we focus on form and alignment and quality over quantity. We are the tortoise while the rest of the fitness industry is the hare. We’d rather finish a bit later without injuries.
Bethany On Core Fitness
S: Why are traditional ab exercises, like crunches and sit-ups, so harmful?
B.L.: In short, they make diastasis recti worse. My research has yielded numbers between 70-98% of all women who have ever had a child have diastasis recti. Eek! Crunches and sit-ups bulge the belly, rather than flatten it. Just watch your tummy when you do them, and you’ll see. Plus, crunches and sit-ups create major torque in your spine, causing disc compression, and aren’t we already bent forward and slouched enough? It makes sense to me that if we want to walk taller, we need to do exercises that LENGTHEN our muscles and ALIGN our bodies, not flex and curl us forward even more!
S: So then, explain diastasis recti in layman’s terms. How do I know if I have it?
B.L.: I like to refer to DR as having a grand canyon in your abs. The two sides of your abdominals – normally joined by fibrous, strong raphe or fascia, named your linea alba – pull apart. And it doesn’t just affect women, but also men and children. Diastasis is caused by extraordinary sustained intraabdominal pressure. Huh? It’s caused by constant pressure outward: bloating, slouching, hundreds of crunches, asthma, constipation, long pushing phases in labor, etc. The good news is it can be closed and healed WITHOUT surgery! Woo-hoo!
Join Fit2B at 30% Off!
I’m such a fan of Fit2B. I’d love for you to try out the free video featured in this list of workouts. Then, once you’re hooked like I am, you can get 30% off your yearly membership. Just use the coupon code “smith” at checkout!
Please stay tuned for the second part of this series as I share how Fit2B has worked out for me during this, my fifth, pregnancy and hear what I really think about the workouts. After this little bundle enters the world, we’ll hear from Bethany again and learn how Fit2B impacted my birth and recovery.