competing in a crossfit competition at 12 weeks

Ladies, being pregnant is rough some days.

For example, today I worked all day and left work extremely hungry, and arrived home to find our construction guys working on our kitchen. Turns out, I had a few choice words for my husband because I couldn’t get to any food immediately – which was extremely frustrating.

I guess in my mindset, I do not see why anyone needs to be doing construction on a house at 6:30 P.M. in the evening, especially on a room that isn’t finished yet – but hey, I am not in construction so what do I know?

This construction conversation is not the point of today’s blog.

Today’s blog is focused on fitness and how I competed in a Crossfit competition while I was 12 weeks pregnant.

When I initially found out the Crossfit gym where I workout was going to host their annual competition, “Battle of the Lake, ” for the third time, I never imagined that I would compete in the competition pregnant.

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Photo by Scott Broome Photography.

You see, when I found out about the competition and decided to ask a fellow gym buddy of mine if he would be my partner – I had no plans of being pregnant within the next three months. I thought, “Wow, I love working out and doing another competition sounds fun”!

So, as it would turn out, I registered us for the competition prior to my honeymoon in Jamaica. Little did I know that I would come back from that honeymoon expecting!

Once I found out I was pregnant, I had the option to not participate in the competition. I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to go through with the commitment I had made and if it would be the best for my body. After some time (like a day), I decided I was going to follow through with the competition.

Throughout my almost two years of Crossfit, I have learned about so many amazing women who are doing strong things every day. (Which if you found this post from Instagram, I tagged several of them in my photo).

I had seen friends compete in competitions while pregnant, and I had followed a Crossfit blogger, Emily Breeze, and she had worked out hard throughout her entire pregnancy. I figured, well, if they can do it, I sure as hell can.

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Photo by Scott Broome Photography.

Maybe having that mindset was foolish of me, but I still have that mindset now. I know with my intuition that my body is meant to do amazing things and, unless I feel uncomfortable, I plan to push myself through fitness my entire pregnancy.

I knew for the weekend of the competition I was going to be at exactly 12 weeks.

This stage in your pregnancy is when doctors suggest you cut out any ab exercises and focus on keeping your heart rate down. I knew both of those line items were going to be interesting during the competition seeing as burpees and toes to bar were involved.

If you aren’t into fitness, burpees are a movement where your stomach hits the ground and toes to bar are when you hang on a rig (like where you would do pull ups) and kick your feet to the bar.

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Photo by Scott Broome Photography.

I decided I would no longer do ab exercises or double-unders after the competition. I figured if the doctor tells me to stop something then there must be science behind it. Plus, my doctor didn’t tell me to stop squatting or lifting my bodyweight (and sometimes more than that) so I figured she had good reasoning for why I shouldn’t do ab and jumping exercises.

Working out up to the competition day was really tough. 

My first trimester of pregnancy was something else! I was constantly exhausted and nauseous so working out hard had become difficult for that period of time.

On a regular day I would head to the gym at my routine time of 5:30 A.M. and I would want to lay down on the ground somewhere and go back to sleep. It turned out that my motivation for working out at all was non-existent in the first trimester.

While I powered through and continued to workout leading up to the competition, I could definitely tell my drive to workout hard wasn’t there. On workouts I used to be able to crush through, I would now walk through.

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Photo by Scott Broome Photography.

In retrospect, I was hard on myself for my lack in performance during the first few weeks, but I shouldn’t have been. My husband had to constantly remind me that I was working out at a high intensity while being pregnant, while some people do not even workout at all – pregnant or not.

When the competition day arrived, all I wanted was to do my best and maybe get a one rep max on the lifting workout that consisted of a clean and jerk. 

On competition days I always wake up early – like 4 A.M. early. I think I am always up early because I get those same nerves I used to get when I played golf competitively. It’s just something that happens.

For any type of competition I am always obnoxious about my outfit. I figure if I can’t be the best I might as well feel and look my best. So on this morning, I pulled out my tacos for two shirt, one of my favorite pairs of Beyond Yoga leggings, my Reebok Nanos and I suited up! I also spent about 20 minutes braiding my hair to mimic my favorite Crossfitter, Katrín Davídsdóttir.

It was a cold day outside and I had a runny nose, but aside from that, I was ready to crush the day.

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Photo by Scott Broome Photography.

Our first workout was the clean and jerk max, and my partner and I both said we were going to just go with the flow and do our best. In my mind, I was going to work up to a heavy 95/100 lbs, which is pretty much the most I have ever done. Being pregnant, I didn’t want to push it and hurt myself. It turned out that when I was in the heat of the moment, 100 lbs felt light, and I ended up hitting a 110 lb max!

I was elated about my new personal record, and even my partner hit a new record too!

Moving on throughout the day, we kept the same momentum of doing our best we could. Our final workout of the day was one with both burpees and toes to bar, and while I was nervous about it, we still finished rather well in that workout in comparison to the other teams.

At the end of the day, my partner and I placed 6th in the competition. 

While we didn’t win, we did our best! This was my partner’s first time competing, and considering I was 12 weeks pregnant I think we absolutely killed it.

Competing in a Crossfit competition while pregnant is not easy, but you can do it. Ladies, you can do absolutely anything you put your mind to! 

Maddy

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