Thursday, April 12, 2012 is a great starting place for women that want to continue or start crossfitting while pregnant.  The site gives scaling guidelines and programs a workout of the day that mirrors mainsite.  We follow mainsite programming at CrossFit515, so it has been convenient for me to reference crossfitmom for movement modification ideas.  However, I think most women that have been crossfitting somewhat competitively before pregnancy will find (like me) that many of the crossfitmom workouts are too scaled down. 

For example, one of the mainsite workouts last week was 30 squat clean and jerks at 155/105.  I did the workout rx'd, making sure my form didn't suffer as I got tired, and did it in 8:20.  The crossfitmom version of this WOD was "Baby Grace" -- 30 hang power clean and jerks at 65#.  Justin and I went head to head.  It was a fun mini WOD, but certainly not enough to make me feel like I did much of anything other than warm up. 

Justin - 1:13
Lindsay - 1:24
I know the recommendations on are intentionally conservative, as they should be.  So this has been my approach:  if I have a "should I be doing this?" CrossFit related question, crossfitmom is one of the first places I look.  I trust that anything I'm doing that (a) is comfortable for me, and (b) is crossfitmom approved is completely safe for me and the baby.  If crossfitmom says to avoid something, then I look into the "why" behind her recommendation.  Examples: 

- Barbell lifts from the ground.  Crossfitmom never programs barbell lifts from the ground, always from the hang position.  Deadlifts are always programmed as kettlebell deadlifts so the weight is under you rather than in front.  Why?  Because "pulling weight from in front of you requires a lot of mid-line stabilization which can put too much strain on the uterus after the first trimester."  I agree, straining for heavy deadlifts while pregnant is something I should avoid, but if my form is good and the weight isn't heavy (i.e. I'm not straining), I don't see a problem with barbell deadlifts.  I don't think I'm being reckless with this -- 305# is my max deadlift, and 155# is the most I've done in workouts since November.  I've continued to do other barbell movements from the ground too. 

- Handstands.  Crossfitmom recommends avoiding inverted exercises beginning in the second trimester, the reasoning being you are more likely to be off balance because of your belly or get dizzy and fall because of your increased blood volume while pregnant.  I still feel comfortable being upside down, and I've actually felt more balanced doing handstands during my pregnancy than I did before.  If being upside down made me feel dizzy, I would definitely stop, but as long as it feels good, I'll continue to do handstands.   

- Squatting below parallel.  Crossfitmom says not to squat below parallel because of the relaxin horomone (looser joints) and the risk of injury.  This is also the reason she says to switch from box jumps to step-ups.  I don't squat as low as I used to (which tended to be too low), partly because my belly is now in the way, but (I think) I still go at least to parallel, if not below.  I haven't noticed changes because of the "loose joints" thing (maybe I will soon because it ramps up at the end of pregnancy), but it's something I'm careful about, and I think a lot more about my form when squatting.

My only complaint with crossfitmom is that I think she sometimes changes the rep schemes of workouts unnecessarily and arbitrarily.  For example, on April 7, 2012 the hero wod "Pheezy" was programmed --
3 rounds of 
5 front squats (105# for rx'd women)
18 pull ups
5 deadlifts (155#)
18 toes to bar
5 push jerks (105#)
18 hand release push ups
[My rx'd -- except with belly-to-deck rather than hand release push ups -- time:  22:50]. 
For "Baby Pheezy," crossfitmom scaled the weights to 65# (front squats and jerks) and 32 kg (kettlebell deadlifts) and changed the rep scheme to 10 reps of everything for 3 rounds.  10 reps of everything would probably actually be a better (more intense) CrossFit workout; of course, increasing the intensity is not the goal during pregnancy.  I don't see anything wrong in this workout with keeping the rep scheme in tact with the scaled weights, particularly for a hero wod where there's a meaning behind the number of programmed reps (representing May 18, 2010, the date U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Philip P. Clark died). 

I'm almost 34 weeks along, and everything is definitely getting harder and slower.  But for the most part, I'm still following mainsite / CrossFit 515 programming and doing the wods rx'd.  I feel like I'm getting noticeably bigger by the day, so we'll see how long that keeps up.   

44 days left!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lindsay,
    I came across your blog recently (by Googling when looking for Crossfitting while pregnant) and love it!!! I have been Crossfitting for almost 2 years (and am totally obsessed and addicted) and recently found out I am pregnant and definitely don't want to stop Crossfitting. You are such an inspiration to me and I have gone back and read all of your posts! Would love to ask you some questions...If you don't mind, would you email me at Thanks and keep up the great work!!!