Surfing in Costa Rica at 9 weeks pregnant

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another week down, closer to D-day, as in Delivery Day! A little over 35 weeks now, fatigue is again the theme, but what woman at 35 weeks pregnant feels super energetic? Still managing the 4 workout per week schedule, even through the Holiday weekend. Had an OB visit today, gained a couple more pounds for a total of 22. Some of my workouts last weeks are as follows:

"Collin" (of course modified for pregnancy) 4 rounds 200m "trot" with a 25# sandbag, 12 step-ups 20" box, 12 push-press 25# dumbbells, 12 sumo deadlift high pulls w/ 35# kettlebell, yes I was the crazy pregnant lady lugging around a 25 lb sandbag at at 8 1/2 months pregnant, I was glad it was dark outside so the general public couldn't see that non-sense. Crossfitters are just not right in the head sometimes. My husband actually asked me if I was subconsciously trying to induce labor with that workout, I told him no but it's a good idea for week 38!

"Jackie" Wow, I did this one as RX'd, 1000m row, 50 thrusters 45#, 30 pull-ups I actually did run the clock and came in at 16:42, my PR is around 10:40 I believe from last February, and this time included a fellow gym member interrupting me mid-thruster for a conversation! I felt good that day though, more energetic than usual.

5 rounds: 25 squats, 10 KBS 35#, 10 push-press 25# dumbbells, 10 push-ups (elevated on a parallete)

3 rounds: 300m row, 10 good-mornings 45# barbell, 8 banded ring-dips

I will admit I felt super worn out during the last 2 workouts of that week, almost felt like my body had had it. Rowing is just plain out hard at this point, with a large abdomen you only get half the range of motion and it becomes so inefficient. But when you can't run anymore or do plyometrics like box-jumps to get your heart rate up, there aren't many options left for us pregnant ladies.

I'll be hitting the gym tonight for workout #1!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Almost there! As of this posting I'm 34 1/2 weeks, so close to the end! I really can't believe how fast it's gone. I still feel good, workouts feel about the same. Still have the nagging shoulder injury, I'm getting that checked out as soon as I have this baby girl. I've pretty much avoided any overhead lifting for almost 3 weeks now, not much improvement in my symptoms which mainly happen at night, not good. As promised the weight gain update as of last weeks 33 week checkup is 20 lbs. That really amazes me. I am certain that this is due to simply staying active and maintaining my Crossfit workouts with a 4 workout per week consistency. I've also maintained a healthy diet as well, but when I've wanted chocolate or sweets I've had them. Just goes to show that anything with moderation is OK. In closing I'm really starting to think about my postpartum return to exercise. In my convoluted mind I'm thinking I'm going to start back around 1-2 weeks (I don't put any pressure on myself or anything!). But I'm starting to recall those early days of having a newborn; the sleep deprivation, constant nursing, and how I'm going to do it this time with a 3 1/2 year old running around! I'm up for it though, very anxious to meet this new little one!

Last weeks workouts:

4 rounds: 400m row, 15 overhead squats 65# (preggo version of "Nancy")

"Helen" 400m row sub, 21 kettlebell swings 35#, 12 pull-ups

7x3 hang power cleans (I used dumbbells, no barbell cleaning for me anymore, belly is too big) 15,20,25,25,35,35,45

3 rounds: 10 front squats 65#, 10 push-ups (on parallette), 10 pull-ups

It's funny, but every time I do pull-ups I get so many comments from fellow gym members, about how they can't believe I'm still doing them. I say why not? Even with my "20 lb vest" on, they are still totally do-able, and remain one of the exercises I can do comfortably. I can't wait to see how many I can crank out consecutively postpartum. One of my goals is to break 20 by Jan 30, 2011!! My max rep pull-ups were 16 before this pregnancy so we'll see. I also plan on a sub 7 min "Fran" time, I haven't even done Fran since Sept of '09 so I hope so.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

So I know I missed a week updating the blog, my apologies. I actually took off a week from training due to a persistent cold and the nagging injuries I mentioned last post. Funny how being sick while pregnant takes so much out of you, I'm actually still nursing this cold going into week 3, but I decided last week that I wouldn't stop working out just because of an upper respiratory virus. I managed to get in 4 workouts last week, and as of this writing I'm 33 weeks pregnant! I'll have another doctors visit this week so I'll update on weight gain, etc. on my next post. Some of my workouts are as follows:

5 rounds: front squats 65#, 10 kettlebell swings 35#, 10 single-arm clean & press with 15# dumbbells

3 rounds: 30 kettlebell swings 35#, 25 air squats, 15 pull-ups

Overhead squat 5x1 got up to 125# (amazed at that one), front squat 5x1 only did 125# just because of some lower back tightness, back squat 5x1 got up to 135# also because of the back discomfort

5 rounds: 10 Deadlifts 135#, 10 20" step-ups, 8 ring dips (banded)

Felt pretty good throughout all the workouts despite having a stuffy/runny nose and sore throat and feeling overall kinda crappy. I am getting seriously winded these days since my lungs are now shoved up into my upper chest! However, I really can't say enough how staying active and strong has made so much of a difference in the way I feel. My pelvic floor muscles feel very strong. I remember my pregnancy with my son and how towards the end I would cough and either pee myself or feel like I was going to! I think when it comes time to get this baby girl out she's going to shoot across the room!

Another 3rd Trimester Concern

A normal healthy pregnancy only requires an increase of about 300kcal/day. However, during the last trimester, pre-workout meals and/or nutrient intake during the workout may need to be adjusted and increased. The reason for this is because during the last trimester women are more at risk for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. The advanced gestational age leads to more glucose uptake by the fetus and mother, and the mothers liver glycogen stores may be decreased due to altered liver function in pregnancy. Increasing carbohydrate (CHO) intake by 30-50 grams prior to exercise either by food or a sports drink is a good way to prevent any unsafe drops in blood sugar.

Signs/Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar

-dizziness, hand tremors, clamminess or increased sweat, feeling faint, excessive hunger, irritability and fatigue are a few but early signs indicating possible low blood sugar. If you notice any of these signs, STOP exercising and either eat some simple CHO's or preferably drink either juice or a sports drink containing sufficient amounts of CHO. Prevention is truly the best medicine in this case, always have adequate pre-workout nutrient intake and you should be fine (see previous post on Pre-workout nutrition).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wow, it's been quite a while since my last post! I apologize but I was feverishly preparing to sit for my ACSM exam last weekend, which I am proud to say I passed!! So now I am officially a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. I really can't say how much achieving this goal means to me, especially taking on the endeavor while pregnant, with a 3 year old, and working! I have many exciting things planned for the future, but I first want to welcome my new baby girl and enjoy my expanded family for a few months.

Despite my lack of postings I have still been getting in my 4 workouts per week and I feel great still. I am now 31 weeks pregnant and weight gain is 18/19 lbs as of Monday! I've had a few bumps along the way in the past couple of weeks which leads me to my topic for this week.

My workouts so far this week:
21-15-9 pull-ups, kettlebell swings 35#, overhead squats 65#

4 rounds 10 Touch & go clean & jerks 65#, 25 air squats

5 rounds 1 clean & jerk 75#, 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats

Third Trimester Words of Caution

As much as I have not wanted to give up performing certain Crossfit movements, minor injuries have made me get smart about listening to my drastically changing body. I have covered these topics before so refer to earlier posts for specifics regarding safe/unsafe movement for pregnancy. Ligament laxity starts to peak in the third trimester as your body prepares for delivery. About 6 weeks or so ago I started to wake up at night with shoulder pain...not good, so I recruited the help of my Physical Therapist husband in my recovery, who determined that I had a subscapularis (one of your rotator cuff muscles) strain. I have pretty much eliminated any power snatches from my workouts and also HEAVY jerks, I have capped my push-jerk weight at 75 lbs since that weight is safe for me as far as injury prevention, and I don't experience any pain with that weight.

I also injured a muscle/ligament in my groin area doing overhead walking lunges about 2 weeks ago. I hadn't done lunges in a while and since my belly had grown so much I noticed way more external rotation in my hip/leg to get around the belly. So I ended up limping and not sleeping well for quite a few days following that one, so no more lunges for me this pregnancy!

Remember, you may need eliminate ALL ballistic movements at this point and that may include the Olympic lifts, since they are considered a ballistic movement. Other items to caution against include box jumps (these shouldn't be done at all in pregnancy), jump roping (highly stressful on knees), possibly running, and kipping pull-ups. I have found no problem with pull-ups but if they feel uncomfortable to you, don't do them. Please always warm-up thouroughly at this point, it's so important for injury prevention.

Now that I'm through with my complaints, what you should take away from this is TO LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!! If a movement doesn't feel quite right to you, just don't do it at all, it's not worth having an injury that lasts until after pregnancy and prevents you from maintaining your fitness and getting back in the saddle postpartum. After all, your pregnancy is really a small time frame in your life (although it may FEEL like forever sometimes!). You should enjoy every single moment of it, injury free!

In closing, I will be updating weekly and I fully intend to document my postpartum return to exercise as well.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Week 27! Whoohoo! This pregnancy seems to be flying by. I guess chasing a 3 year-old, working, and trying to stay active can do that. I had an OB appointment yesterday, everything is great, and I promised I would update on the weight gain so far. 16 lbs which I'm very happy with and is average for 27 weeks. I also got in another 4 workouts last week as follows:

5 rounds-5 Deadlifts 135#, 5 ring push-ups with toes on box (ring height equal with box height) much more challenging than regular push-ups, involved way more core stabilization and upper body strength. Not the hardest workout I've done by any means, probably could have done heavier deadlifts due to the low reps.

"Michael" (scaled for pregnancy) 3 rounds-600m run, 15 toes to bar, 20 good-mornings. Talk about some hamstring soreness. I was sore for almost a week after those 2 workouts in a row! Toes to bar are still manageable. I hope to be able to do them as long as possible to maintain ab core strength.

Shoulder press-1,1,1,1,1,1,1 45,55,65,70,75,80,85×2 followed by 3rds 10 pull-ups, 10 dumbbell squat cleans 25# for a short metcon. I was really happy with my shoulder press numbers, pretty much the same as pre-pregnancy. My 1 rep max for a strict press was 90# so I hope that's increased. I guess I'll find out post-partum :)

5 rounds-200m run, 8 clean & jerks 75# When I'm out of ideas I tend to do workouts involving runs which is kind of where this one came from. Our gym was doing "2 minute Defense" which involves a short sprint in combination with a clean, front squats & push-jerks. It gave me some inspiration for this workout. My Olympic lifts are still coming along just fine. I haven't found that my belly impedes my cleans or snatches. I'm sure I'm bringing the bar farther out in front of my body to avoid hitting the belly though, but I believe it's pretty minimal.

Energy Systems

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the energy molecule needed by our body to produce mechanical work & fulfill all biological and chemical activities in our bodies. ATP is stored in our muscles and is readily available when a stimulus is provided, but this supply is limited to a few seconds. The need for more ATP must be further provided by the breakdown of carbohydrate (CHO) in the form of glucose or stored muscle glycogen.

Anaerobic Systems
-Creatine phosphate system-very rapid system where ATP is limited and oxygen is not needed. Examples where this system is used are power related: sprints, football line plays, gymnastics routines
-Anaerobic glycolysis-the rapid breakdown of CHO also without involving oxygen. This breakdown leads to lactate/pyruvate (lactic acid) as a byproduct, lending that "burning" sensation to the working muscles. Although considered anaerobic, pyruvate can readily participate in ATP production when oxygen is available, so it can be considered a first step in aerobic metabolism. Examples where this system is used include power/endurance activities like 200-400m sprints or 100m swims. Also short high intensity exercises lasting a few minutes.

Aerobic Metabolism
This system can use CHO, fat and protein to produce abundant supplies of ATP in the presence of oxygen to sustain muscular endurance over long periods of time. This system is primarily used in endurance events lasting longer than an 800m run, or during activities of low-moderate intensity lasting 30 minutes or more.

Although protein can be broken down to form ATP in aerobic exercise, CHO's and fats are the primary sources used in healthy adults. CHO is the fuel of choice at the onset of exercise and high intensity work, but a gradual shift to fats is seen during prolonged exercise of low-moderate intensity lasting 30 minutes or more.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Whew, intentions to blog every week on the week.....well, at least I'm averaging my 4 workouts still which feels great. Oh, and I feel great too, almost 26 weeks along now. I can't believe my 2nd trimester is almost over. It's funny but some days I feel really energetic during workouts, and some days I feel really tired, guess it's par for the course. Like I said, I got in 4 workouts last week as follows.

"The Seven" 7 rounds of 7 reps of each exercise (scaled and subbed out for pregnancy): push-ups (still rockin em' on my toes!), thrusters 55#, toes-to-bar, deadlifts 135#, dips (thin band), kettlebell swings 35#, and pull-ups. This was really challenging even being scaled. My husband and I did it together and it took me about 49 minutes to complete.

4 rounds-10 snatch balance (I love snatches), 10 kettlebell swings, 15 walking lunges. Just a nice short met-con. The snatch balance felt good even without the deep squatting.

3-6-9 reps of 95# push-jerks, pull-ups, push-ups. I can really feel the extra body weight on body-weight exercises/lower body movements. I think it will be a benefit in the long run though, like wearing a weighted vest for workouts. Hopefully it will give me some long-term strength gains.

4 rounds- 400m run, 10 overhead squats 65#. Running still feels good also. Rowing not so much. I've continued to row as part of my warm up routine and as my belly gets bigger, rowing gets harder. I've always disliked running, but now that I'm pregnant, I hate to say I kinda like it!

Well so far I've gotten in 2 workouts this week which I'll post on the weekend, shooting for 2 more. I also go for my next OB appointment Monday so I'll give a status update on my weight gain so far.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Whew, another week down, managed to squeeze in 4 workouts again!

4 rounds 8 Ring dips, 15 kettlebell swings 35#, 50 squats. I actually did 5 unassisted dips, then had to convert to a thin band. Can really feel the excess body weight on the dips now, not sure if I'll be able to do any unassisted with 25-35# eventual of baby weight :)

4 rounds 250 m row, 10 front squats 75#, 15 toes to bar, 20 step-ups. Toes to bar while 6 months pregnant is quite an achievement I must say. I didn't feel so energetic on this particular metcon, and I left the gym feeling mentally crappy.

Overhead squats 3,3,3,3,3- 75, 85, 95, 105, 115, and 125 x1 just to see if I still had it :). I initially wasn't even going to do this workout, since OHS are one of my favorite lifts and not squatting below 90 degrees takes out a big strength component of the movement and I didn't want to feel again mentally defeated after another workout. I was really glad I did it, just jerking 125# overhead at this stage and maintaining in the overhead position made me feel like I haven't lost too much. I achieved the benchmark bodyweight OHS x1 of 145# last Spring and hope to get back to that OHS weight post-partum.

"Helton" scaled for pregnancy-3 rounds 400m run, 20 dumbbell hang squat cleans 50#, 15 push-ups. Yep, still doing regular push-ups and feeling good. I just feel it in different places, especially in my lats since I can only get to belly depth these days, no more chest to ground! This workout left me feeling great, the weather was cooler, running felt really good. Got an awesome Under Armor bra for running, which I HIGHLY recommend.

I have noticed that my workouts are getting longer, but I think I'm more comfortable now doing more but really pacing myself, which I think is key. I did an insane workout today, but I'll save that one for my next blog update.

Have a Great Week!