1. Compare training during pregnancy to training prior to pregnancy.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I told my doctor what I did and his response to me was what ever you do before pregnancy is ok to do during, just don’t be stupid. My doctor tells it like it is. Training during pregnancy is quite different. My husband, Mike, laughs at me when I’m pregnant because I am working out in a completely different way. For the most part I do all the movements in the workouts, I may modify the movements for what my body is feeling that day. Mike owns and programs for Precision Crossfit and if you know him, he tends to program things with heavy weight. I obviously scale back to my abilities. I’ll modify handstand pushups to either handstand holds or regular pushups with belly to floor as my standard. I still run, I still do double unders. Eventually the olympic lifting movements will be modified to use dumbells instead of the bar, but so far, I’m not there yet. Other than the obvious changes, though, what really is different and makes my husband laugh is my attitude during the workout. I take the approach of “it is what it is” if i’m thirsty I get water, if I get out of breath, I’ll take a break. I’ll comment or make smart ass comments throughout the wod if I have the opportunity. When pregnant, you are supposed to be able to talk throughout the workout, so this is my way of testing that, I guess.
2. As someone with training CrossFit during pregnancy fresh in your mind, what advice would you give to other owmen training throughout their pregnancy?
Because I am quite active in the crossfit community, I have been asked this question quite a bit. I tell them what my doctor told me. What ever you do before pregnancy is ok to do during. Avoid weight that is too heavy for you, there is no magic number. Squats are ok, ab work is ok. Any movements that you do on your back are ok as well, just be aware, if you start to feel dizzy or light headed it is important to stop what you are doing and roll over to your left side until the sensation stops. Be able to hold a conversation throughout the workout and take plenty of water breaks. Having said all this. If you are a high risk pregnancy, it is important that your doctor knows exactly what you are doing. They may not like you lifting any weights or squatting. You may be limited to low impact wods or swimming.
3. What did your diet look like during your first pregnancy? and now second pregnancy? What about prior to both pregnancies?
Before my first pregnancy, I already had a clean diet. I didn’t drink much, I might have had caffeine 3 or 4 times a week. During pregnancy, I avoided fish with high mercury, limited my caffeine intake and avoided alcohol altogether. After my first child was born, my caffeine intake increased dramatically! I was probably having about 20-24 ounces a day. I was tired, for obvious reasons. When I got pregnant the second time, I didn’t know I was pregnant, but I found my body naturally rejecting the caffeine. I would still make the same amount of coffee, but found that I wasn’t drinking it. I also found myself wanting to eat more bread, I think that was because my body wanted the folic acid. Through both pregnancies, I haven’t had any weird cravings that you always hear about and I think that is because of my diet, my body is getting the nutrients that it needs without having to have that midnight craving of pickles and ice cream.
4. Prior, during the first pregnancy, and now the second pregnancy did you utilize anyone for body work such as chiropractic, massage, etc?
I don’t understand why doctors don’t prescribe physical therapy after pregnancy. I didn’t do anything during my first pregnancy, but I did have pelvic issues 4 months into the pregnancy. It hurt to run and it hurt to lift my leg to put pants on in the morning. It didn’t stop me from working out, it just made me have to modify more things. I found out after giving birth, and seeing a physical therapist friend of mine, that my pelvis was out of alignment. He showed me a few exercises that I can do and problem solved. If I didn’t know him though, I would probably still be having issues. Other than that, i would roll out my quads more often than previously. With a giant stomach, you tend to be more quad dominate, so your legs really take a beating.
5. I usually ask what was your favorite wod during pregnancy, but I know you just competed:) What sparked your interesting in competing while pregnanyt? Can you describe the experience. How did you feel not doing the last WOD?
I guess I should start by saying that I got pregnant with my second child 5 months after having the first one. Three months after my son was born, I did my first team competition post baby. It kind of became an inside joke that I competed 3 months post baby and 3 m.p.b. became kind of became the signature to any statement that was said in the gym. I then was able to compete two more times in partner competitions with Mike. Although they were all fun and I surprised myself with my performance each time, I always saw competing on a team as a sort of crutch in the way that if there was something that I was weak in, there was someone there to pick up the slack. I never got to see what I can do as an individual. I competed in the online sectionals and did ok, but there is nothing like competing head to head against someone. I was longing for an individual competition to come along so I can really test myself. Then I got pregnant again!
When I heard about the Beach Cities Battle, hosted by my friends at Code 3 I was excited and disappointed at the same time. One because there was finally an individual competition worth going to and two, I was pregnant again and really shouldn’t compete. Both my husband Mike and Marc, owner of Code 3 told me not to and I listened to them, until I got there to watch my Precision family compete. Something came up and one of the girls couldn’t make it, so at the last minute, I decided to register as her. I really just wanted to work out and have fun. This is my second pregnancy and I know my body. I did what I knew was safe. You’ve probably seen the picture of me snatching 105, and it seams like a lot of weight, but it is no where near my max and I stopped at a weight that I knew was a solid score without straining myself and putting my baby in danger. Mike programs wods at Precision that prepare people to compete by working on skills, strength, and endurance, so overall, I was prepared even though I entered the competition last minute.
There were a combination of factors that allowed me to compete. I have a great coach in my husband that truly does what crossfit is supposed to do and that is prepare you for anything at a moments notice. I have the experience of a past pregnancy, past competitions, and an excellent coach. I also had the luck of taking a strongman clinic put on by Strongfit,I have been crossfitting for over 4 years and competing for 3. Mike programs wods at Precision that prepare people to compete by working on skills, strength, and endurance.I have been crossfitting for over 4 years and competing for 3. Mike programs wods at Precision that prepare people to compete by working on skills, strength, and endurance. so there weren’t any movements that I wasn’t comfortable doing. I also knew the people running the competition. If I didn’t have any one of those things above, I would not have competed.
I was not disappointed when I decided not to do the second wod. I got the competition bug out of my system. By the time the wod had started it was way too hot for me to be working out and the wod contained burpies which I shouldn’t do and on top of all that, my hands were torn from the pullups in wod 1 and the farmer’s carry in the floater. For these reasons it plainly wasn’t smart for me to do that last wod and there were a lot a people there that were glad I didn’t including Marc and my in-laws.
A big thanks to Emalee for sharing her experiences. She is a great example of a disciplined mother that takes ownership in her actions. Emalee knows and trusts her body. Congratulations on all your achievements Emalee!