Crossfit & Pregnancy:

What might you think when you see a pregnant lady at the box? Go on, be honest! Is she being safe? Can she harm herself or the baby? Crikey, most un-initiated non CrossFit humans think what we do is insane at the best of times. What would we say to them, other than ‘it’s not a cult honest, come for a free taster session!’

We are guessing that you guys and girls were watching the Games right? Who saw lovely Annie smash her Games? It just makes us love her even more when she is quoted saying “All of a sudden my body isn’t going to come first, she’s going to come first, no matter what and I’m grateful for that’.

Annie Thorisdottir makes her comeback at the Crossfit Games

We have a few members of late who have been pregnant and we will be chatting with our member Becky Thorp shortly, but before we do let’s dig a little deeper.

Should I scale if I’m pregnant?

Here at Saxon we would say the most important thing to do is this. Listen to your body. You’ll feel different every day and certain movements may make you feel uncomfortable. Heck, if you’re of a competitive nature you may even feel frustrated when your body gives you the nod that you may need to slow down or scale. Try not to worry, nine months will pass, this is temporary. We think that form is crucial, and that applies if you are pregnant or not. As you expand you won’t be able to keep the bar where it needs to be, so the day will come where you need to use kettle or dumbbells more. Be mindful that hormones are released that can cause ligaments to loosen affecting your balance, so box jumps are most likely out for the time being, or at least until after the first trimester.

Do I need to monitor my heart rate?

Nah, this is old news. We would strongly encourage you to place more importance on monitoring your body more. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. Did you know that you have a highly increased volume of blood when pregnant, and this is why you get shortness of breath? So maybe book in for an EMOM as that nicely builds in a minute of rest. Boom. Sorted.

I really want to know, is it safe or not?

If you speak to a switched on GP they will most likely tell you that any exercise, as long as you’ve been doing it for at least six months prior to being pregnant will be fine. Think about it for a minute, we focus on functional movements here at Saxon – ideal for helping you get through labour. Pelvic floor is much stronger with squats, it just makes sense! Anything to reduce pushing time hey? We probably would advise against a handstand push up and kipping, but as ever we can scale accordingly. You’re much safer in a class than you would be left to your own devices in a Gym. Also, consider this – we release endorphins when we exercise, baby will enjoy those too as they will a bigger placenta which means more oxygen for our tiny human. If you’re in any doubt at all, just speak to your GP or Midwife for further advice and guidance. As coaches, it is up to us to bring the workout to life for everyone in our classes, and we do this by scaling.

We had a chat with our member Becky about her time at the box whilst expecting…

Hello everyone! For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Becky Thorp, Ricky’s better half! I’ve been asked to put something together about my CrossFit journey so far and hopefully not bore the hell out of you! 

Rick and I joined Saxon in December 2018 having never done CrossFit before. My sister has been doing CrossFit for years (at a box up north) and was constantly talking about it and telling us we should join a box, saying how much we would love it. 

So we were actually in Mexico stuffing our faces in the November when we decided that when we get back we will finally join a CrossFit gym and Saxon was the box of choice. 

I remember so vividly how nervous I was during my first session, I was physically shaking.  But I was made to feel so comfortable by the people in the class that by my third or fourth class I was addicted and the word CrossFit came out of my mouth at least 15 times a day, like I was some kind of professional. I didn’t care though, I love it! 

I’m not going to lie, Rick and I pretty much do CrossFit to enable us to have guilt free beers at the weekends and of course just spending that hour with the community makes me feel really happy. My mental health has never been better! 

Something that is also good about CrossFit and I have found especially great about being at Saxon is that you can always scale, whatever the wod.  If it’s something I can’t do the coaches will find something challenging that I can do, so I still have a sense of achievement.

For me personally, my favourite CrossFit experience has been whilst pregnant. I honestly don’t think I can put into words how much being at Saxon has helped me during the last few months of pregnancy. 

My last session before finding out I was pregnant was the Xmas eve burpees. We found out we were pregnant a few days after Christmas and my god it was the best Christmas present I’d ever had! I remember waving the stick in front of Rick’s face and he was so mortified about the fact I was walking around with a stick I’d wee’d on. His first reaction was “get that stick out of my face!” LOL.

By week 6 I was fully experiencing the nausea and then came the actually throwing up. Unfortunately I was hospitalised from dehydration and diagnosed with a thing called Hyperemesis Gravidarum which I’m told only 1-3% of woman get in pregnancy. Described as being severe morning sickness that I could have throughout. As you can imagine this was hard to hear as at this point I was only 13 weeks pregnant and had a LONG way to go. This went on until I was just shy of 7 months pregnant and for that whole time, I could not train. I was weak and so tired, I just needed constant rest. I lost 22lbs in total and was growing a baby!  

Over this whole time I still received messages from the coaches asking how I was and generally checking in. When does that ever happen?  It made me feel supported at a time that was really tough. 

Finally at around 26 weeks the doctors found a medication that made the sickness stop. It’s actually a tablet so strong they give it to cancer patients having chemotherapy. As long as it was safe for the baby I was willing to give it a go and it was this which allowed me to train again. 

It was coach Sam that got me to come back when I did. After so long not training and being nervous about how suddenly training again would effect the baby it was a big decision. But honestly it was the best thing. Sam and I walked a few times to the post box and back and did some very light movements. He made me feel so comfortable and I knew going back was the right thing to do. They say to train when pregnant and it will make an easier recovery when the baby comes. Obviously 7 months of that was taken away from me but after a couple of sessions back doing open gym and with the support of the Saxon coaches and community, I was ready to join the normal classes again. 

I have never felt more supported by the coaches and the community and I feel so proud to be a Saxon. Everything gets scaled for me now and quite often turn up to my own little ‘preggo program’ which I love. I am back training 3 times a week now and feel great….well, as I can be! 

I have 3 weeks left until our little Nugget arrives and I plan to train for as long as I can. Admittedly some sessions are basically me stood chatting but even that in it self helps me. I’d recommend it to anyone and if you ever had any concerns the coaches are always there to support you just like they have me. I, of course, will also be more than happy to chat to anyone who is pregnant and has any concerns about training or just wants to talk to someone. 

The next part of my CrossFit journey will be coming back to train following a planned Caesarean. They say I’ll be out for at least 6-10 weeks which will be tough but once again, I know I have the full support of our Saxon family and will manage this just like I did before! Plus this time round I can be back training for those guilt free beers!