My name is Riley Byrne and I was born with Pectus Excavatum (a condition where the sternum caves in resulting in an indent in the middle of the chest and flared ribs). I have minimised the cosmetic extent of my case of pectus through a specialised exercise regime primarily focused around weight based training. This in conjunction with a nutritious diet & specific stretches has enabled me to develop a muscular physique & correct my posture resulting in a complete transformation of my body minimising the severity of my rib flare and potbelly.
Improving my case of pectus has greatly enhanced my quality of life. I know how damaging pectus can be on an individual’s self-esteem and happiness. I now see it as my mission to help people from all around the world improve their case of Pectus Excavatum without surgery. This is why I created PectusPT, to coach others who have pectus to transform their bodies like I did.
I started PectusPT in 2015, and since then have coached over 200 individuals from all over the world, built a community called Pectus Warriors in which pectus sufferers support one another. I’ve reached over 1 million people through my YouTube videos on pectus, health and fitness, and most importantly have been able to change the lives of hundreds of individuals with Pectus. Don’t believe me? Well just take a look at some of my client transformations to see for yourself
There is no wizardry in my methods to achieve these results. Just effective training protocols combined with pectus specialised exercises that target particular muscles and even specific muscular fibres to mask the case of pectus. This in conjunction with stretches to open up the chest and correct postural problems associated with pectus work wonders to effectively disguise the prominence of this condition.
What is my background?
The beginning: I was born in Canberra, Australia with my pectus condition noticeable from birth, although not formally diagnosed. The majority of cases of pectus are a birth defect with the occasional case being reported to have developed in later life.
Age 9: This is when having Pectus Excavatum started to affect me by impacting on my self-confidence. I remember going to great lengths to avoid taking off my shirt. I was still too young to understand fully what this indent was, all I knew was… I didn’t like the way it looked.
Age 13: Puberty, high school, trying to impress girls, pool parties…this was a nightmare for me. This is when my case of pectus started to take a toll on my confidence. …I was depressed about my body. I imagine if you are reading this then you have experienced similar feelings of negative body image.I opened up to my mum about how my case of pectus was really affecting me and together we began to investigate the surgical option to correct pectus.I went to the doctor about it and he said that the condition was not impacting my health and surgery would purely be for a cosmetic reason. We considered it but it was very expensive, scary and resulted in years of rehab which I was not comfortable with, so decided against it.
Age 14: The burden of having pectus was getting stronger now. I remember staying up at night praying to wake up with a flat chest. I would cry about it regularly. I recall pulling under my sternum and trying to pop my chest out.
Age 15: I started trying breathing exercises now to pull my chest out, I would do it so aggressively that it would almost make me faint. At this age I sought advice online, looking at forums and YouTube. There was next to no content on Pectus Excavatum out there. How disappointing.
Age 16: At this age I hit a massive growth spurt and became extremely lanky, long limbed (Marphans syndrome is correlated with Pectus) and very skinny. This in conjunction with my Call of Duty addiction resulted in my rounded forward posture accentuating the extent of my condition as well.
Age 16.5: It was time to make a change to my appearance and my life. So, I joined a gym but I had no idea what I was doing. I started what I now know was ineffective isolation training with no intensity and I did not achieve the results I was hoping for. I made a little bit of progress, gaining a kilo or two of muscle but due to not understanding the importance of diet and proper training principles like progressive overload and compound movements my progress was very minimal.
Age 18: At the age of 18 I started doing research and became passionate about fitness and nutrition and found out how, to once and for all, improve my body. I began lifting effectively, doing stretches to correct my posture & eating to support the development of a lean muscular physique.
Age 19: After seeing great progress in the gym, I finally became confident with my body. So much so that I got picked up by a modelling agency and started doing topless photoshoots. How far I had come…from a skinny self conscious kid terrified to take of my shirt to getting photographed topless in front of hundreds of people.
Age 20: I got really hooked on the gym now and wanted to pursue it as a career. I continued to make great progress in the gym and continued to learn more and more about the human body and nutrition. I became a qualified personal trainer specialised in body composition manipulation. My modelling career began to take off and I started to develop a bit of a following online. This is when I posted my first YouTube video on Pectus Excavatum called ‘Exercises to fix Pectus’. The feedback from this video was amazing and it quickly went viral on the internet gaining hundreds of thousands of views. This is when PectusPT and my online coaching business was born.
Age 24 (present day): It has been over 4 years now since I posted that first ever YouTube video and signed up my first client with Pectus Excavatum. After my first client the dominos began to fall and I now have coached over 200 people world wide with Pectus Excavatum. I have posted hundreds of videos regarding pectus, nutrition and fitness and have acquired a reasonable following on my social media platforms.
What is my Mission?
As I stated earlier, my mission is to help others with Pectus Excavatum improve their bodies. This is what I believe I was put on earth to do. So if you are someone out there with Pectus feeling lost and alone then join the community of Pectus Warriors and if you are really serious about transforming your body then you should sign up for the Pectus Transformation Project.