Pregnant WODing

I am in my 39th (pushing 40th) week of pregnancy and yes I am still WODing.  By no means am I WODing like I was before I got pregnant.  My goals at this point are simple:

1. Keep moving and stay active!

2. If it hurts…STOP!  Note when I say hurts I don’t mean crossfit hurt, I mean hot damn thats painful because my belly is in the way, or something is stretching funny, or everything is stretched out and I don’t move like that anymore.

3. Finish every WOD, even if that means scaling it (which I do A LOT of these days).

4.  Being pregnant and WODing means no even looking at other peoples scores because they are not comparable (note: this has been drilled into me by the other coaches when I was getting super frustrated every day, it has helped; because really nobody else is WODing with a 23lbs slam ball on their stomach).

Its that simple.  Now to alleviate your concerns.  Yes, my doctors all know and support that I am still working out.  No, it is not bad for the baby.  Yes, me and baby are still PERFECTLY healthy.  Actually, the docs say I have had a textbook pregnancy.  My blood pressure is perfect, my test results have all been perfect, baby’s heart rate is text book.

As of last week at 38 weeks and 4 days I had gained a total of 23 pounds.  There is no doubt I have lost some muscle and put on some fat but oh well.  Average women are expected to gain 25-30lbs total.  I am right about there.  Wonder where it all goes?

Let me tell you WODing pregnant is no easy task.  I can’t tell you how many times I get to the gym and am like I could go home, or just coach and not WOD, or AMRAP a good nap.  However, I know getting moving is good for me and for the baby.  So I do it, for both of us.  Assuming everything stays good I plan to keep working out until he shows up.  Then hopefully take 4 weeks off and go back VERY VERY light and work into 6 weeks post partum and then start training again.  I am still getting my sweat on as seen by this fancy sweat angel post WOD last week.

image1Lets talk about scaling shall we?  Again, I am no expert this is what has worked for me.  Other then lightening things 20% or so I went completely normal until around 30/32 weeks.  My belly didn’t in the way, my joints didn’t feel like they were never going back together, my pelvis didn’t feel like it was being jack hammered into, so on and so forth.  At this point I generally lighten the weight loads in RX WODs 30ish percent.

Movements I can still do and am doing as normal:
– sit ups (no it doesn’t squish the baby or harm him)
– push press
– monkey bars
– ring dips (I’ve always needed a light band for these but I actually feel stronger doing them now)
– rowing
– slam balls
– cleans/clean & jerk (bar bath is slightly off to compensate for around my belly, but as normal for the movement)
– kettle bell work (swings & snatches)
– lunges
– deadlift

Scaled movements:
– pull ups –> I am using a light band.  On days my belly feels really tight I do ring rows because the band irritates me
– box jumps –> step ups
– squats (back, front, overhead) –> to a ball or a box (my pelvis and hips HATE squatting currently, and if I bottom out there is no saving that so I touch and go)
– thrusters –> again to a ball or box
– burpees –> air squat and a push up
– pushups –> on a set of plates
– running –> rowing for equal distance
– wallball –> 1/2-3/4 squat not full
– double unders –> single unders
– HSPU –> regular push ups to plates
– rope climbs –> butt on floor and pull up to standing

That is the gist of it.  If something else funky pops up in a WOD I figure it out.  Or use a reliable crossfit site to see what a good scale for it is.  A few recent WOD examples for you:

15 min AMRAP
200m run
10 push ups
20 air squats

What I did….200m row, 10 push ups to plates, 20 squats to the ball.  Here was my set up:

image2(seriously this thing is my BFF lately)

image3
I did my push ups with my hands on the plates and went down until my belly touched.  I squatted to the ball.

Wanna see how sexy I looked after that workout?  Obviously, you do!  And this was after some serious floor laying and breathing post WOD.

image4

A few other examples:

I did wallballs to 1/2 squat, high pulls (carefully as to not knock my stomach and hands slightly more outside the normal), step ups, push press, row.  My score right before I got pregnant was 216.  My score at 39 weeks and 1 day 170 (thats a difference of 46 reps…not too shabby).

For this I changed it to the “Dirty 30”.  I knew 50 reps of all of those would be a bad scene and would probably push it too far (hence the using common sense thing).  The only things I changed were box jumps to step ups, back extensions to sit ups (hanging upside down gives me some nasty vertigo), burpees to a squat and push up off a box, and doubles to singles 3:1 (I did 90 singles).

So can you still WOD pregnant?  Absolutely.  As a coach we tell people all the time “Crossfit is functional movement”, “It can be scaled for anyone”.  Well that holds true now as well.  Don’t be dumb but get to it!  Obviously, if you are going to crossfit pregnant ask your doctor and make sure they are on board.  If they aren’t find out why.  There are some out there who are old school.  Ask questions, ask for research.  ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) is a great resource.  If you have never crossfitted before I wouldn’t recommend starting when you get pregnant (again people common sense), but if you have been doing it there is no reason (in my non-medcial opinion) you can’t continue.

I also secretly hope that I will WOD this baby out on time or close to it.  However, he will do what he wants and show up when he wants to.

In other exciting news Hubs for my birthday got me a gift certificate for my USAW Sports Coaching Certificate and I can’t wait.  The plan is to go in September once I’ve been back in the gym and have thrown some weight around again.  Oddly, most are held at Crossfit gyms now so I wonder how popular this is becoming with coaches.

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