Matt talks to Nate Garrison about strength training with autoimmunde disease.
Nate is a videographer and video editor for Barbell Logic that Matt met through Tactical Response. He discusses his journey with autoimmune disease and how barbell training helped his physical and mental health throughout the ongoing process.
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Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
Nate’s story begin with his older sister, who struggled with and ultimately died from Crohn’s disease. He had seen his sister confront Crohn’s.
When going through Navy EOD School, he realized that he was seeing symptoms that his older sister has had. Instead of quitting or going to the military medical personnel, he toughed it out and got private medical care as long as he could.
He was first diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Later, the doctors diagnosed him with Crohn’s disease.
He has undergone multiple surgeries, and struggled with excruciating stomach pain, chronic diarrhea, and resultant mental anguish.
He had to constantly be aware of where the closest toilet was and bring extra clothes, just in case.
He faced obstacles and pain, and could have easily used his disease as an excuse to not further himself and continue to pursue health and excellence. That’s not what he did.
Weight Lifting with Autoimmune Disease
Nate was used to difficult military training, but had never lifted weights. Strength training provided an opportunity to build and better himself in an area he had no experience.
He started squatting with 85 pounds, and began his linear progression from there. Strength training with autoimmune disease helped him, but came with voluntary and involuntary hardship.
He did his bet to eat food to support his training, and sometimes had to go to the bathrooms multiple times just during the squats. But he completed his workouts and kept training.
He worked with Matt as his coach to adjust the stress appropriately and dealing with the Valsalva Maneuver and wearing a belt after a surgery that require cutting through his abdomen.
After every surgery he has completed, he has had to reset with a low weight, but he knows it’s good for him. In fact, the surgeon asked what he had been doing, as his abdominal wall had grown noticeably thicker after he began squatting and deadlifting heavy.