When CrossFit emerged in 2006 it was a mostly underground hard core fitness enthusiast world, filled with 20 something year olds who lived for nothing more then to do the hardest workouts possible day in and day out. As CrossFit continues to age the average demographic has shifted those 20 something year olds grow up and the women ultimately become mothers. In our gym alone we have gone through 7 pregnancies since 2010.
But what about CrossFit, pregnancy, birth and post par-tum? Is it safe? Is it beneficial? We set out out get in the trenches and go right to the experts. The highly educated and respected female pediatrician, the female CrossFit coach and the CrossFit athlete.
Our first author will be our Pediatricain Dr. Alison Shuman.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Ali Shuman (aka DOC) and I am a Pediatrician in Ventura and Oxnard. I completed my training in Pediatrics at Cornell New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2003 and then went on to two years of Pediatric Critical Care training. I have been the director of Pediatric Hospital medicine at Community Memorial Hospital since 2012 where my partners and I admit and treat children who are all and care for the vast majority of new babies born at the hospital.
As a doctor I get lots of friends coming to me for advice about a lot of things. One of the more common questions I get from my friends who have recently found out they’re pregnant is wondering what activities are safe or unsafe to engage in during this time of life. During pregnancy there are so many things for a woman to consider; her own health, the health and safety of her baby, the amazing multitude of changes that are happening to her body every day… it can be a time of great uncertainty!
The good news is, many studies show that it is very safe for pregnant women to continue to engage in the activities and level of activity they were involved in prior to pregnancy. Women who have been marathon runners have actually continued to run marathons up to the time they deliver! Infants born to mother’s who have exercised do not have increased risks for issues after birth. In addition to the health benefits to a mom during the pregnancy itself (maintaining healthy blood pressure, cardiovascular health, weight and blood sugars), exercising in pregnancy can make for easier labor and delivery. Exercising during pregnancy has been shown to
* Reduce back pain
* Ease constipation
* May decrease your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery
* Promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy
* Improve your overall general fitness and strengthens your heart and blood vessels
* Help you to lose the baby weight after your baby is born
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) actually recommend that pregnant women get 150 minutes of exercise per week through their pregnancy!
If you have been doing CrossFit prior to your pregnancy then it is perfectly safe to continue this during your pregnancy without interruption.
Many people are concerned about exercising in the first trimester, but studies do not support that exercising or elevating your heart rate to specific levels increase the risk of miscarriage. Most miscarriages that occur in the first 12 weeks are related to a genetic abnormality in the fetus, and have nothing to do with what a mother does or does not do. If you specific risk factors (pregnant with multiples, placenta previa, cervical insuffiency are a few of them) then the best choice is to speak with your OB-GYN about what is right for you.
There are very few absolute things one would need to avoid, and a good coach will work with you to adjust your workouts as you need to keep yourself and your baby safe. If you have concerns or questions, ask a coach about what you should or shouldn’t do at the gym and how you should modify or change your workouts. In the meantime – get out, get active, and have fun with this incredible time!
2 times per year we put together 5 week habit kickstarters to help ……well kick start habits!It is time to drop some body fat pick up some lean mass while creating real life habits! The goal of this challenge is NOT to be 100% perfect, in fact that is against the rules. We find the best success comes from maintaining a goal of the 90/10 approach. 90% within the challenge guidelines, 10% outside of the guidelines.
We believe in keeping it as simple as possible so here is your prescription for sound nutrition:
Here is what you are getting for the 5 weeks:
- Pre and Post Hydrostatic Body Composition test
- Fitness tester workout
- Pre set guidelines to help you make the transformation
- Fun point system to give you credit when credit is due
- Bingo Fitness
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
It seems simple, but that is because it is simple. It does not have to be complicated.
What about portions? If you prescribe to the above you really do not have to worry about portions, your body will tell you when to stop eating natural real foods. On the other hand, food designed and engineered by men in white lab coats, for the sole reason to make and sell addicting products is chemically designed to cause you to overeat.
What about veggies? Vegetables are the most nutritionally dense food you can consume – there are no limits! Eat up and reap the benefits. REFER TO THE ATTACHED INFOGRAPHIC to geek out.
“If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing.”
Until you can quantify something (your body fat %) — until you can measure it precisely — you don’t really know it, and you can’t reliably change it.
What is reasonable progress? This is very important to know as sometimes we are doing great and do not even realize it.
Progress Fat Loss Muscle gain
|Excellent||Losing .5% to 1% every 2-4 weeks||Gaining 1-2lb every 3-4 weeks|
|Average||Losing .5% every 4 weeks||Gaining 1lb every 4 weeks|
|Slow||Losing less than .5% every 4 weeks||Gaining less than 1lb in 4 weeks|
Here were our over results!!