Pregnant in the CrossFit Gym

Pregnant in the CrossFit Gym

By Leah Fremouw

This last 12 months of my life have been crazy, amazing, stressful, beautiful, empowering, scary, and life-changing. It was about this time last year I found out I was pregnant, and just 3 months ago I gave birth to our son, Hazen. After two years of trying, one miscarriage, and a lot of doctor visits, we were cautiously excited as our journey into parenthood began.

Pregnant Ninja

At this point, I had a lot of questions and concerns – what can I eat? How will my body be changing? Is this (insert anything) normal? When do we tell people? Etc. The one question I didn’t have though, was, “Can I exercise?”

I knew from the beginning that staying active throughout my entire pregnancy was going to be very important to mine and my baby’s physical and mental health.

I made a commitment early on to do something active every day during my 40+ weeks. I loved being pregnant and found it relatively easy. Sure, I ended up over 200lbs and couldn’t see my feet, BUT I was lucky enough to stay really mobile and somewhat comfortable the whole time. I believe this had everything to do with my activity level.

So, what kind of exercise did I do? Prior to getting pregnant, I had been doing a mix of things for many years. I am a CrossFitter, a kickboxer, and a runner, and I did all of these at some point during my pregnancy. Actually, the only thing I stopped doing completely was the kickboxing, for obvious reasons. I did CrossFit, lifted weights, and even ran up until my 39th week.

Leah Tug of War

I kept these in my routine because they felt good and my body was used to doing this type of work. Sure, there were days when things didn’t feel good so I would stop immediately, scale it, or try a different movement.

I always listened to my body.

Because of this I was able to do what I wanted to do throughout my whole pregnancy.

Being a big, round, pregnant person in a gym is kinda fun. I would walk into the gym with my huge belly to do a WOD and get both accolades and anxious looks. I got a lot of advice (outside of my doctor) on how to exercise and treat my pregnant body.

38 weeks pregnant.

38 weeks pregnant.

[Tweet “Because I was pregnant, people treated me like I was suddenly made of glass and needed to be kept in a bubble room.”]

Some of it I listened to, and most of it I didn’t. Although people mean well, it seemed to me that most of the advice was uninformed and significantly underestimated how strong a woman’s body is.

After 42 weeks of pregnancy, 24 hours of labor, and an unplanned c-section, I gave birth to a healthy 9.5lb baby boy. The unplanned surgery increased my recovery time by two weeks but didn’t really slow me down. The fact that I remained strong and active give me the ability to recover very quickly. I was able to sit up and get out of bed within 24 hours post-op; within a week, I was walking in my neighborhood; and at 5 weeks post-partum I was back in the gym lifting VERY light weights.

Box Jumps

I am now 13 weeks from my little guy’s birth, and I am within 10lbs of my old PR’s, only 1 minute slower on my 5K pace, and feeling great. I attribute all of this to staying active and strong during my entire pregnancy.

Now, I know not every woman will be able to maintain the same routine they had pre-pregnancy. I recognize how lucky I am to not have had any complications that limited me, but my main message here is to stay moving and do what feels right for you and your baby.

Leah and Hazen

Pregnant and interested in starting or continuing a workout regiment? We’ve got great coaches who can create a plan just for you!

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