In this panel from the 2022 CrossFit Games, Allison Betof Warner, MD and Ph.D., and affiliate owner Amy Hollingsworth join Mike Giardina to discuss the current guidelines and recommendations for training athletes in cancer treatment or remission, and running a successful cancer program in a CrossFit affiliate. Currently, the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s guidelines recommend 150 minutes a week of low-intensity exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise. Additionally, they recommend incorporating resistance training two to three days per week — a recommendation that is new to the guidelines.
According to Betof Warner, there is a precipitous decline in fitness when undergoing cancer treatment, but CrossFit training can be a safe and effective tool to offset these losses. She discusses how the guidelines can be followed by those who are new to the CrossFit program as well as recommendations for those who are already CrossFitters.
Hollingsworth shares her personal experiences from running a successful cancer program in her affiliate. Her program, she explains, improved both physical and mental health outcomes in the athletes who participated.
Both panelists agree creating a team — coach, doctor, and maybe registered dietician — is very important when training these athletes.
Affiliate owners and coaches will walk away from this panel with more confidence in coaching current cancer patients and those in survivorship.
Comments on Training CrossFit With Cancer
In December 2021 I answered a challenge and made a commitment to get healthy. I fell in love with CrossFit a was thinking about competitions My workout partner to do CrossFit 2021 in February, we did a modified workout 🏋️♀️ but did it. I lost weight and my body changed I couldn’t get off the ground we I started now, jumping, hanging, learning to lift, and so much more the people were so supportive. Love CrossFit, Now fast forward to May 31, 2022 Got my 1st colonoscopy and was told I had a mass in my rectum. So, started many question can I keep doing CrossFit came up many times, google CrossFit and cancer, finding articles from CrossFit sight & people were doing it and still getting treatment. This helped to keep on my get healthy path. Was referred to City of Hope, scans, colonoscopy #2, Doctors no familiar with CrossFit workouts, some were amazed at my story I had lost 85lbs and told them I can move, & lift. Now I am on my 6 round of Chemo, I am learning every day when to rest and when to push. Love deadlifts just hit 215lbs, doing fundraising through my treatment focusing on others helps me. My CrossFit family has come up with a fund raiser for me and collect $3000, Help me to pay my first big bill $4000. Cancer takes a toll on everything in your life. I’m choosing to fight and marching on. My CrossFit sisters joined me on 2 of the fundraising walks also made matching shirts. My shirt had Warrior and not alone , there shirts said Kathy’s WOD squad, you are never alone. I go to my box 5 to 6 days a week. It has been the best emotional, physical and so much more. I thank for CrossFit learning and teaching the community and physicians about CrossFit and workouts I learned I need to help my oncologist learn more , she tells me just take it easy. Then she talks about how great l’m doing. I hear the message on this discussion panel about when your blood counts and platelet count go down. This is now been dropped an I get frustrated that I can’t lift weight I was learning it’s okay. Some day my sisters give me the strength to carry on. Cancer is complex an I’m a stage 4 cancer fighter, I’m trusting Doctors and CrossFit to help me save my life. Today I am winning not losing weight, keep strong, staying positive, CrossFit on thankful for Crosstown CrossFit Moorpark. And all of you teaching to take care of ourselves daily.
Thank You all so much for the information and the understanding this is so important to athletes who are in treatment. It’s a godsend.
As a cancer patient undergoing chemo, and a 13 year athlete, I so look forward to any guidance in trying to maintain anything i can safely. I love my doctors. Although they support my drive in maintaining some semblance of workouts, they do not know the sport well enough for true guidance. It’s not their fault.
I very much look forward to the guidelines, information, anything that supports my journey as well as anyone else’s.
Once Again, Thank You So Much !
my wife trained during breast cancer treatment, we did some workout at home, a lot of grip training, improving the caliber of the veins in my hands... it was a lot of deadlift, farmer carry, ring row. I have some videos, if you want, I can pass them on to you.
ps: sorry for the my english, its bad
Well reviewed by all.
Thanks for sharing this. Intuitively this has always made sense to me. Yet, as a physician I was not able to point to "guidelines" in particular to support this feeling.
Thank you for your hard work and for getting this message further out into the general public.
I look forward to sharing this info more actively with patients, friends and others undergoing cancer treatments.
Training CrossFit With Cancer8