Monday, October 31, 2011


Early on in my pregnancy, I noticed how little push I had, how hard it was to breath, and how quickly my muscles would get fatigued.  30 seconds into a workout, Fran-like muscle fatigue would already be setting in.  One of the things I love about CrossFit is tracking my progress and having data as evidence that my work capacity is improving, and since starting CrossFit, I've continuously gotten stronger, faster, and more efficient. I know I need to back off and not kill myself like I used to, but pregnant or not, doing worse on workouts is frustrating!  WOD examples: 
  • Nancy (5 rounds, 400m run, 15 overhead squats at 65#)
    • 9/20/2011 (4 1/2 weeks pregnant) - 12:31
    • 6/16/2011 - 11:32 (PR)
    • 12/6/2010 - 13:00
    • 9/6/2010 - 13:56
  • "The End" (Last 3 workouts of the 2011 CrossFit Games)
    • 9/28/2011 (5 1/2 weeks pregnant)
      • 3 min amrap - 58 reps
      • 6 min amrap - 104 reps
      • Full chipper - 17:07
    • 8/4/2011
      • 3 min amrap - 57 reps
      • 6 min amrap - 118 reps
      • Full chipper - 15:30
I felt like I was completely dragging and had no energy during these workouts, but that has improved.  At about 6 weeks pregnant, I started feeling better during workouts and wasn't noticing the muscle fatigue as much.  I care about my times/scores much less now, but I'm still going to look at the clock and record my times.  So, how hard should I be working out?  I realize I'm not going to be collapsing to my back gasping for air post-WOD at 8 months pregnant, but what about at 6 weeks?  10 weeks?  20 weeks?  Working out at a high intensity is part of the basic definition of CrossFit.  Getting to that scary place where you start to question whether what you're doing is good, whether you can take the pain.  Ok, so I realize I shouldn't strive for that much intensity over the next 7 months.  But how much intensity is ok?     

My husband and I couldn't help but laugh when at my first appointment my doctor told me the old school recommendations for working out while pregnant - keep your heartrate under 140 bpm and don't lift more than 20#.  (We opted to not mention my 305# deadlift PR from earlier that week.)  I had already read and disregarded those guidelines.  They don't take into account your pre-pregnancy fitness and activity level, and I tend to believe heartrate says little about how hard you're actually working (I'm pretty sure my heartrate gets well over 140 bpm just thinking about doing Fran ... see related article in the CrossFit Journal  Plus, those guidelines are just plain ridiculous.  What if I already had a 30 lb toddler?  I'm not supposed to pick the kid up while I'm pregnant?   
The Crossfit Mom website do's and don'ts are more realistic ... "You should still be able to talk while you’re working out.... Don’t work out until the point of exhaustion and don’t get over-heated....  Make sure you rest between rounds or exercises, drink water before, during and after your workout..."  (  So far, at just over 10 weeks, I feel like just by listening to my body, I've been able to tell how much intensity my body can handle.  I always make sure I have my water right next to me during workouts.  I still work hard and I still get out of breath, but I get tired a lot faster, and it's almost like my body won't let me push as hard I used to. 

Sometimes I worry that I'm using pregnancy as an excuse and it's going to be that much harder after my pregnancy to get over the mental barriers and push myself as hard as I used to.  But I know now is not the time to test my physical limits.  I guess it's time to take the Crossfit Mom advice and do what I started doing CrossFit to avoid:  "maintain" my fitness level. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Knocked Up!

When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I did was start researching how pregnancy would affect my crossfitting. I found the usual information (you can continue what you were doing before pregnancy, drink lots of water, don't worry about the clock, etc.), but I found very little about how the changes during pregnancy would make me feel during workouts and how my performance would be different from pre-pregnancy. I decided I would track and blog about my experience crossfitting through pregnancy and maybe offer some insight to others along the way. 

A little about me ...
I started doing CrossFit about a year and a half ago. This is my first pregnancy, and I'm due May 27, 2012.  Some of my pre-pregnancy benchmark WOD times/scores and max lift weights:

Fight Gone Bad - 385                    
Filthy Fifty - 19:08                         
Fran - 3:35
Grace - 3:27
Helen - 8:29
Jackie - 7:38
Mile run - 6:02
Nancy - 11:32

Back Squat - 170#
Clean - 145#
Clean & Jerk - 135#
Deadlift - 275#
Overhead Squat - 135#
Snatch - 105#

213 days left :)
- Lindsay