I’ve been doing Crossfit for about one year.
Let me explain what it is, if you’re unfamiliar:
Crossfit is “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement”. The idea is that we only do movements that are realistic. I mean, is this movement something you would do in real life?
I don’t want to misrepresent anything, but Crossfit uses squats (with proper form so that you do NOT hurt your back or knees), deadlifts (again, so you don’t hurt yourself), and presses (lifting something over your head without losing your balance or hurting your back). Those are functional and useful!
Here’s a short video of a workout that I did once (it’s the only working out video I have!):
DISCLAIMER: I’m not certified or anything. And I can’t speak for your doctor.
When I found out I was pregnant, I set up an appointment with an OB. At the very first appointment, I asked her about working out. She said, “Oh sure, treadmills and stationary bikes are just fine!” I said, “That’s not the sort of working out that I do. I do weightlifting.” And she said, “Oh….well don’t lift more than 25 pounds.”
And I said, “The bar weighs 45 pounds.”
Right when I found out I was pregnant, I found Crossfit Mom. You don’t need a lot of equipment at all to do the workouts, and you can do just about everything in your house or apartment. So it’s convenient, since we live in a little apartment! *We DO, however, have a small gym in the basement of our building. It has a set of hand weights and some machines. It’s not much, but it’s convenient.
You really need some hand weights, a pull-up bar, and some cute maternity workout clothes. 🙂 You can basically modify everything else to work for you! This is the pull-up bar that we have in our apartment:
Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I spoke with Chris, one of the trainers at the gym we frequented. Chris and I set up a schedule for workouts. He would come over once a week and work out with me here, in the small gym in the basement of our apartment building. And at least once a week (usually twice), I’d go in for a class.
As things have progressed, I’ve started going in to two personal training sessions a week plus one class on the weekends. I’m 36 weeks now, and I’ve kept up that regimen the whole time. Here are some past photos of me, doing Crossfit with Chris!
Ultimately, you should do what makes you feel comfortable. I always stop doing something if I feel uncomfortable. Now, let me be clear: Working out should not be comfortable or feel great while you’re doing it! I mean, if you’re lifting weights, it’s probably going to hurt a little if you’re challenging yourself. But if you’re lifting too much, then it hurts in a different way. You have to strain and scream to complete the reps, your face gets hot, and your veins pop out of your head.
There’s a difference!
Benefits of Doing Crossfit (or working out, period) During Pregnancy
1. Your body is going through lots of changes. This is one way you can maintain some control! That was important to me.
2. When you get pregnant, your posture gets all wacky. By the end, you’ll notice a lot of pregnant women have the telltale arched back. Crossfit helps keep your back strong so that, by the end, it’s no big deal to hold up the extra belly weight. In the same vein, unlike most pregnant women, I do NOT have an achy lower back because I’ve kept my posture in check!
3. During pregnancy, your balance is off, too, because you’re carrying extra weight. Doing Crossfit has helped me to maintain my balance. If I ever feel like I’m losing my balance when standing, I hear Chris saying, “Squeeze your glutes. Shoulders back.” And it makes a difference.
4. It’s nice to be part of a community where so many people are supportive of what I’m doing. If I were just going to a gym (or just jogging or whatever), I’m sure I would have quit by now. But I know that folks at the gym are always excited/impressed to see me at this stage.
5. Learning proper form for squatting and lifting is really important! I can deadlift about 80 pounds right now (safely, pregnant). It seems excessive, but imagine I have a diaper bag on one shoulder, purse on the other shoulder, and I’m trying to move the stroller into the trunk of a car. There’s a lot going on there, and I would NOT want to throw out my back when I have to carry around the baby!
6. Working out is proven to help with recovery after childbirth! Since I have the muscles present (hidden, no doubt), it will be much easier to “bounce back” to my original weight than if I hadn’t worked out at all.
One month before I got pregnant!: