Athlete Profile: Lindsay Demboski

Demboski Baby Announcement

Demboski Baby Announcement

Momma to Peyton (4) with little girl Sofia on the way (due in November), and wife to John, Lindsay Demboski has been CrossFitting for three and half years. Her favorite part of CrossFit has been involving Peyton in her workouts and the positive energy that surrounds the CrossFit community. It’s something they can do together and as a family. Being pregnant hasn’t stopped her; she finds the boost of energy after a WOD helps get her through the day and fends off typical pregnancy ailments.

She is another example of why continuing your health and exercise routine during pregnancy is important.

Lindsay’s story:

16 weeks along and lifting

16 weeks along and lifting

 

What does your spouse/partner think of you CrossFitting during pregnancy? My husband, John, is a CrossFitter, too, and supports me 100%.  He is a doctor and is a strong supporter of CrossFitting while pregnant.

How did you find crossfitandpregnant.com?  I actually googled “CrossFit and pregnancy” looking for articles on the topic.

Why I started CrossFit:  I started CrossFit because I was not fulfilled with my workouts at a traditional gym and triathlon training. I did not feel like I was getting stronger and felt like I needed a new challenge in life with regards to fitness. I’m a triathlete, but replaced my triathlon training with CrossFit and my times have gotten drastically better. CrossFit also gives me the energy to keep up with my son’s t-ball league; I’m the team’s coach!

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is:  I’m trying to maintain my overall health and fitness for me and my baby. I want a smooth pregnancy and delivery; CrossFit has been the successful reason thus far.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it?  My doctor encouraged me to continue to do what I was doing before and listen to my body. She has a handful of pregnant women she sees who maintained CrossFit while pregnant and had very healthy pregnancies and deliveries.  She did advise me to watch my heart rate (with a monitor) and be able to keep a conversation during workouts. I was told that along the way there would be movements I would need to scale and have done so. I found a great poster at a box I dropped into one day that gave a list of movements to stop doing based on CrossFit level and trimester/weeks that has really helped.

Great resource!

Great resource!

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support?  My husband John, my mom, and fellow CrossFitters at my box.

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned:  To listen to my body while not listening to the naysayers, who think I should stop.

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: The naysayers, which include CrossFitters. They tell me I should not be lifting heavy or working out as hard while pregnant. I can listen to my body and with my doctor’s support, I have learned everyone will have an opinion, but I have to follow my instincts and what is best for me and my baby. In terms of working out, the biggest challenge is keeping my heart rate in check. It goes up quickly and because I am competitive, I have to force myself to look at my monitor and stop when I get out of breath. Before being pregnant, I would push through the pain and exhaustion so it has been challenging to make myself slow down.

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle?  Our family is about 75% paleo. We definitely have our cheat meals, but try to make healthy choices majority of the time. We just love our pizza nights and ice cream. {And don’t we all!}

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered:  I actually have more energy following WODs. On days I couldn’t keep my eyes open, I would workout and feel like I had a boost of energy when I needed it most. I am also strategically using this time to work on skills like perfecting my strict muscle ups and pistols.

IMG_5424

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: The health benefits during pregnancy. I have energy, haven’t been sick, feel very strong, and have gained a healthy amount of weight.

Modifications you’d like to share with others:  Box jumps are the one thing that has bothered me early on, so I don’t do them. I substitute with step-ups instead. As my pregnancy progressed, I have eliminated various movements based on how far along I am (double unders, sit ups, HSPU, etc.). Otherwise, I have been able to do almost all workouts RX my first trimester and majority of my second.

Step ups in place of box jumps

Step ups in place of box jumps

Favorite quote: “One of the greatest moments in life is realizing that two weeks ago, your body couldn’t do what it just did.”

Favorite girl WOD: Grace (love me some clean and jerks!)

Three words that describe me: competitive, dedicated, social butterfly

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: Spending time with my husband and son. We love to do anything outdoors together. And I spend a lot of time taking and watching my son’s various sporting activities (tennis, swimming, karate, baseball).

image2

Thanks for sharing your story, Lindsay!

Advertisements

Five Weeks Off …

Five weeks off from CrossFit is five weeks too long. Finally made it back to CrossFit Full Strength this week {despite being told the ligaments in my foot needed at least 12 weeks}. I’m not running or jumping to reduce impact; it did feel really good to have a bar between my hands again.

CFFS added weightlifting classes to its early-morning line-up on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Coach Luz. As I’ve mentioned before, Coach Luz is a multi-attendee at the Olympics for weightlifting, so any opportunity to learn and train with her is only time well-spent.

Coach Luz - total bad a**

Coach Luz – total bad a**

12938202_10154125284797427_6205853378000072338_n

She’s done a really good job of pushing my comfort with doing snatches. For whatever reason in my 3+ years of CrossFit, this lift was never really an emphasis {and one I flat out avoided when I was pregnant with FG}. Even after such a short time under Luz’s guidance, the lift hold and movements are becoming second nature. Now it’s time to start increasing my weight!

WODs:

Tuesday

IMG_1776

Warm up: 400m row and tabata planks

Snatch: 55# – definitely could have added. Squat clean + split jerk: 85# again add more. Back squat: 105#.

Thursday

Tuesday

Thursday was a lot!

Snatch 65# x2
Hang power clean 90# X1 – was struggling to get my elbows up!
Front squat + back squat (1/2) 90#
Romanian Deadlift 90# (3×8)
Weighted planks 10#. 1.55 mile walk

Definitely sore today!

Featured on Mum In Real Life (MIRL)

While the foot / ligament tears have kept me out of the box and tied to low-impact at-home workouts, it’s also given me a chance to write my Top 10 list of healthy pregnancy/post-partum tips for a new Brit-based website, Mum in Real Life (MIRL).

Here are my tips:

10. Drink lots of water – even more than recommended – especially when you’re working out. Your body needs it. Your baby needs it. You need it. If you’re bored with water, add citrus, herbs, and cucumber – change it up to keep it interesting.

9. Use pregnancy as an opportunity to nourish your body, not an excuse to eat junk. While obviously the cravings need to be indulged, balance-balance-balance, especially in the second and third trimester. I love making a smoothie for breakfast or lunch and pack it full of veggies, fruit, yogurt and a “chaser” (flax seed, chia, hemp seeds, etc.).

8. Strengthen your legs; they’ll thank you on those late nights when you’re up walking the house trying to get your newborn to sleep. But really, squats, lunges, walking, rowing, jogging, dancing with your partner – keep your legs moving. It helps with circulation, reduces swelling, and just feels good.

7. Keep your core strong. While most women are advised to stop sit ups in the second trimester, you can transition to v-sits, planks, kettlebells workouts, or Pilates movements. You’ll thank yourself later for spending at least 10 minutes a day strengthening your core.

For the rest of my tips and more good info from MIRL, read full article: http://www.m-irl.com/fitness/meet-mum-broke-weight-lifting-record-last-day-pregnancy/

What would you add to my list?

Athlete Profile: Fi Davidson

Hailing from across the pond, in London, is CrossFitandPregnant momma Fi Davidson. Two years into her CrossFit career, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Ella, this February after a grueling 40+ hours of labor (and two extra weeks of pregnancy!). Fi, like most of us who have headed down the #crossfitandpregnant path, credit CrossFit to getting her through – mentally, emotionally, and of course, physically.

SONY DSC

Fi killing some kettlebell swings

“I wanted to keep fit throughout pregnancy as I believed that it would help me to be prepared for labour and help to keep the baby healthy,” Fi said. “I also didn’t want to give up one of my favourite hobbies for nine months and lose the gains that I had worked so hard to achieve.”

Fi is a member at CrossFit Tooting in London and maintained her dedication thanks to the many other mums. “All of the members and the coaches at CrossFit Tooting have been a huge support,” explained Fi. “They have a dedicated post-natal group who I have worked out with some of the time during pregnancy and they have offered amazing support to me.”

What an incredible service to its female members – way to go, CrossFit Tooting!

Squats!

Squats!

Fi credits CrossFit for giving her the opportunity to maintain her identity while preparing for Ella’s arrival {something I can definitely relate to!}. “{CrossFit} also really helped me manage some of the psychological and emotional changes that happen during pregnancy,” Fi shares. “It also made me feel like I was actively keeping myself healthy and happy ahead of the arrival of my first child.”

That you were, Fi! So proud of your work, dedication, and we send you joyous blessings as you adjust to life with sweet Ella.

CrossFit Baby Ella. Isn't she a peach?

CrossFit Baby Ella. Isn’t she a peach?

More from Fi:

Why I started CrossFit: I was trying out new exercise options (including KPop dancing) in Cambodia and stumbled across a boot camp class that was being run in a car parking lot. The trainer then set up the first CrossFit affiliate gym in Cambodia. I signed up for their first ever on-ramp course and got hooked on CrossFit from that point. Since then I have trained on an ongoing basis. I love that CrossFit focuses on build strength and fitness (not being skinny) and technical skills. I relocated to London in August 2015. I reached out to some possible boxes and found that CrossFit Tooting had a specialist post-natal recovery programme. I had an initial free trial and chat with one of the owners Danielle Ren’e Gaskell who has experience of training women throughout their pregnancy and gave me a lot of encouragement and confidence to continue training.

Number of years CrossFitting: I started out working out in a car parking lot with Corbett Hix for six months and then started formal CrossFit training when he opened the doors of CrossFit Amatak {Cambodia’s first CrossFit affiliate!} in the summer of 2014.

Planks - great core work!

Planks – great core work!

Other exercise practices: During pregnancy I have done yoga or Pilates in combination with CrossFit. I also go for walks frequently. Pre-pregnancy, I also cycled and ran.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it?: The doctors and midwives that I met during pregnancy have been supportive of me continuing to train. The advice has consistently been that if it is something that I did before pregnancy it was OK to continue during pregnancy, but to be sure to listen to my body and to tailor the workouts. The focus of all advice was not of any risk to the baby, but a potential risk to myself as my body changed throughout pregnancy.

How did you find crossfitandpregnant.com?: I was a bit nervous about continuing to train throughout pregnancy so I did a lot of online research and found crossfitandpregnant.com – it really helped to encourage me that training throughout pregnancy could be done. {So happy to hear!}

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: It’s really important to find the balance between pushing myself and keeping my fitness up and listening to my new limitations. There have been numerous times that I have had to stop mid-workout or just miss workouts to rest (especially during the first trimester – the coaches at CrossFit Amatak really helped during this stage) and I have been gradually scaling down my routine on an ongoing basis during the pregnancy. It has also been really important to listen to the advice of my coaches and to trust their knowledge and experience. I’ve also learned that it’s possible to keep training throughout pregnancy – I never thought that I would be able to back-squat at 39.5 weeks!!

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: Accepting that I need to scale back and accept some of the new limitations of my body. There have also been a lot of times when rest has been more important than going to do another workout. Constantly revisiting my own expectations of myself has been really key to managing the pregnancy against the fitness regime.

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle?: I am a seafood eating vegetarian. I eat healthily, but don’t follow any particular diet or regime.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: It’s even more important to eat and drink carefully when working out. I have made sure that I drink a lot of water and have healthy snacks available for after workouts.

Modifications you’d like to share with others: During the last weeks of pregnancy I did a lot more squatting and lunging that normal. I found that it helped ease some of the pelvic discomfort I was experience.

If you could do it all again, you would: do it the same – ask coaches for a lot of advice and keep adjusting the workouts

Favorite girl WOD: FRAN

Three words that describe me: happy, open, determined (others say stubborn!)

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: hanging out with friends.

Twisted Sista

So I cruise right from a cough + bruised ribs, to spraining both my ankles/feet.

How? you ask.

Just before I fell, enjoying the park in our St. Patrick's Day attire.

Just before I fell, enjoying the park in our St. Patrick’s Day attire.

Oh you know, stepping off a playground being the paparazzi momma. So typical. I missed The CrossFit Games 16.4, but luckily I did get in two CrossFit Full Strength WODs last week.

March 15: 5×3 snatch (65#), and then tabata push press (65#) / sit ups / kbs / bench press (65#)

Happy St. Paddy's + Happy Birthday to me. Was an amazing day, despite my feet!

Happy St. Paddy’s + Happy Birthday to me. Was an amazing day, despite my feet!

March 17 {Happy St. Paddy’s!}: push jerk 5×5 (95#); 10-1 hang power clean (65#) and 10# weighted sit ups – 9:08

My left foot, two days after my fall.

My left foot, two days after my fall.

This week, my left foot is still very painful, so I’ve been taking the dog on very short and leashless walks and doing the daily 21-Day Fix routines. Still working up a sweat and lifting weights, but not further straining myself.

Here’s hoping next week is more successful {and HEALTHY!}.

Any thoughts on the final CrossFit Games Open WOD? Looking forward to seeing the champs throw down in 16.5 tomorrow night!

Six-week Challenge: Week 5

Another great week at CrossFit Full Strength!

Lots of {much needed} focus on the core. Many of the movements are great for pregnancy. Twice this week we did tabata sit-ups and planks. And Thursday, during the strength training between sets, we did oblique side bends with plates. Really feeling it all!

CFFS has placed a lot of emphasis on the power and full snatch during this challenge. This is honestly a lift that I wasn’t comfortable with prior to this challenge. I’m gaining confidence and ease every time we work on it. It’s pretty exciting considering I’ve been an on-again / off-again CrossFitter for 4+ years. That’s something I love about CrossFit, it’s an opportunity to constantly learn and improve. The sky is really the limit.

I’ve also refined my rowing ability. I was explosive out of the gate and would easily wear myself out. Coach Emily took a few minutes a few weeks and taught me how to slow down to actually gain more power and speed. It worked! Every day, we start with a 400m row and I can see and feel the difference of slowing down to gain power.

***

Monday: ran another two miles with my Frankie boy. Great way to get some extra vitamin d and exhaust our pooch!

Tuti was my workout buddy this week!

Tuti was my workout buddy this week!

Tuti is one of many mascot dogs at CrossFit Full Strength. Love that the community includes four-legged friends, too! #WODDogs are the best.

Thirteenth WOD: warm up: tabata sit ups + planks; strength: power clean + split and push jerk – 7 rounds / last round 100#; metcon: 3min AMRAP for 3 rounds / 1 minute rest in between rounds – 3 hang power clean (65#) + 5 push ups + 7 sit ups: 15 rounds + 13 reps

Day 14's WOD

Day 14’s WOD

Fourteenth WOD: warm up: med ball partner core work; strength: Started with power snatch 3×3 at 65#; then back squat 5×5 – last round was 125# / in between sets we did the oblique work using 15# plates; metcon: 21-15-9 overhead squats (35# bar) + hand release push ups + step ups: 8:02

Day 15

Day 15

Fifteenth WOD: warm up: tabata sit ups + planks then 2rds 5 pulls ups + 10 squat jumps + 15 wall balls; strength: deadlift 5×5 115# each round; metcon: mini Helen: 200m run + 21 KBS + 12 pull ups (green band): 4:07

***

Athlete profile updates: I’m in a holding pattern, waiting on news of baby arrivals + people filling out the questionnaire. If you or someone you know is interested in being profiled, please contact me. I would love to feature some more #crossfitandpregnant mommas!

Athlete Profile: Alex Amodeo

While I’m embarrassed by my delay in sharing some of these fabulous stories, the silver lining is I am now able to share their delivery and post-partum stories. There is so much joy in virtually meeting the sweet babies of #crossfitandpregnant mommas. Alex Amodeo is one of the patient moms who reached out to me last fall and is now finally getting to share her story.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada Alex Amodeo native has been CrossFitting for four plus years. Similar to me, Alex began her CrossFit pursuits through running. She didn’t consider herself an athlete growing up, but when her mom started training for a half marathon and Alex saw her killing it, she thought, “why not me?”

As many of us who run know, it can come with a number of injuries and setbacks. Alex’s experience was no different. “My running muscles and cardio were great but the muscles around those muscles were terrible and I constantly had to take time off,” Alex said. “I realized I needed to do some sort of cross training and my massage therapist at the time had joined CrossFit Kingston and made it sound like a lot of (sweaty, terribly painful) fun. So I talked a friend into it and we joined.”

Since taking the plunge, she considers herself a “Recovering Runner.” “CrossFit is enough for me right now and I love it so much more. Best part: I haven’t injured myself once since joining!”

And that includes CrossFitting during two pregnancies. She welcomed baby #2 in August to join her husband, Matt, and her daughter Bailey (23 months).

Here’s what Alex has to share:

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is:

To keep showing up and doing what I can until I can’t anymore. By the end of my last pregnancy, I had often joked that I was going to the gym to “see my friends and move around a bit.” And if that’s all it is, I’m fine with it. I love my gym, I love exercising and I love my CFK family. I’ll do as much as I can for as long as I can and keep myself healthy for my baby.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it?

My doctor is awesome. I’ve never used the “CrossFit” word with her, but she’s very supportive about continuing with whatever I was doing before I was pregnant. I’ve mentioned weightlifting and even done a hollow rock in the office (“Is this cool?!”) and she’s just like “As long as you feel good, go for it.”

My last pregnancy I was a little stricter with myself in terms of what I thought I should and should not do while I was pregnant. I stopped anything that put me on my back after 12 weeks, stopped box jumps right away (I was afraid of falling), dropped my weights pretty significantly, etc. This time I feel more confident in my body and what I can do. I, believe it or not, got a whole lot stronger in the short time between these pregnancies (I was PR’ing every single lift!) and I just feel so much better going into this pregnancy. Sites like {crossfitandpregnant.com} are ones I use for inspiration – people who pay attention to their bodies more than the “shoulds” (obviously within reason).

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support?

My coaches, Andrew & Kate are fantastic. They help me modify and hold me accountable to come regularly. Plus I think having gone through all this before has left us all a little calmer about the situation. J

Everyone at the gym is amazingly supportive as well. I feel the love even when I’m no t pregnant and when I am it’s so nice to have such a great group of people rally to support me and my baby. The other mothers at the gym, even if they didn’t exercise during their own pregnancies, are such a great source of support because they get it.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration?

Honestly, I don’t feel like I need to be “inspired” to continue CrossFitting while I’m pregnant. It’s just something I did before and will continue to do. I love looking at websites like yours to see that other people are doing – “She hit a PR in her third trimester! Maybe I can too!” or “She stopped rope climbs so maybe it’s okay if I don’t do them anymore.”

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned:

People are easily impressed. J I get so many pats on the back and “Well done, Alex! I can’t believe you’re doing this!” and it’s kind of embarrassing. My go-to response is “It looks more impressive than it is.” As far as I’m concerned, I’m basically just doing the same as I’ve always done, though I appreciate every well wish.

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced:

Not sure if this counts, but getting back to the gym after Bailey was born was very, very hard both physically and mentally. I had a pretty terrible delivery with her (all that stuff about staying active and having an easier labour/delivery is great if it works for you, but not a guarantee!) and recovery was a long, long process. I was 12 weeks PP before I was cleared for exercise.

Those 12 weeks I was off were LONG.  And I’m not going to lie – I had a couple pretty down days. Everything with the baby was great and she was perfect and I was so thankful. The adjustment to motherhood went fine for me (sleep deprivation and all!) but the adjustment to being away from the gym? HARD. There were days where I’d see the WOD come up online or a friend post that they’d hit another PR and just become so incensed. I was jealous and I pitied myself – I wanted to be that person in the gym. I didn’t care if I wasn’t going to PR I just wanted to be able to do a damn burpee!

It was hard having worked out my whole pregnancy and then having that routine and fitness taken away from me. This is actually something I haven’t read much about and I wish I could know others’ experience with it. Most of what you read online is “I kept WODing until the day before I had my baby and was back in the gym 3 weeks later!” or similar. That’s not always the case and there’s nothing wrong with taking that time to heal. You have to respect your body and what your body went through. It’s hard, but I really feel as though the more respect you have in giving you body time to heal the better you’ll be after. I 100% believe that my fitness helped me heal so well from the delivery.

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle?

I eat when I’m hungry and try to keep it as good-for-me as possible, but I’m not saying no to those salt and vinegar chips.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered:

I think the biggest tip I could give someone is to just keep showing up and doing what you can. Try not to get frustrated when seemingly easy things get difficult and focus on the fact that you’re there and still working as hard as you can/is safe for baby. Also: look at this time as an opportunity to lift with new members at the gym or people who don’t generally lift as much as you do. New friends are fun!

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?:

I just feel so much better when I go. In the first trimester I wasn’t feeling so hot but the nausea always seemed to disappear once I started moving at the gym. CF helps make you feel better physically and mentally – which are a couple of things you can really need while growing a person.

Modifications you’d like to share with others:

There are so many great resources out there and your coaches are sure to have great advice and give you modifications for movements. I followed crossfitmom.com to the letter last time and this time I’m more feeling it out for myself but they have great ideas for substitutions. Everybody is going to be different. And when in doubt: push press and row.

What does your spouse/partner think of you CrossFitting during pregnancy?

Matt is incredibly supportive.   He’s my biggest fan and even though he’s not a CrossFitter himself (he prefers to cycle), he trusts that I will do what is best for me and our baby. Every time I leave the house for the gym he says “Have fun! Be strong! Be safe!”

How did you find crossfitandpregnant.com?

I was just googling “CrossFit and Pregnancy” and you came up! I wanted to read up on some stories of other women, see what kind of workouts/modifications they were doing.

Lessons learned:

Just show up. Don’t look at the WOD ahead of time and try to figure out if you can or can’t do it – just show up and do what you can and modify the rest. The hardest part sometimes is just getting to the gym, once you’re there let the

I’ve also learned (even though everyone says it) that no two pregnancies are the same. And just because you’ve done it before, doesn’t mean it’s going to be as easy the next time around.

If you could do it all again, you would:

I kind of am doing it all over again!

Favorite Olympic Lift:

Hang snatch all the way!

Three words that describe me:

Friendly, energetic and genuine

When I’m not in the box, you can find me:

Out and about with Bailey, drinking stupid amounts of tea or napping.

Delivery and Post Partum. Where is Alex now?

The sweet Amodeo Family of Four!

The sweet Amodeo Family of Four!

Her delivery was a breeze (comparatively speaking) and she felt much, much better after.  Because her son came so quickly, she was able to get up and shower a couple hours after he was born!  Amazing.  “I was able to return to the gym after the standard six weeks and though progress has seemed slow, it’s actually come along quite nicely,” Alex says. “I’m just shy of six months post-partum now and I’m lifting as much as I was before I got pregnant with Marshall. I’m feeling stronger and more like me these days though my cardio is still quite sluggish. I swear I was purple after a recent weekend workout!”

In early November, she was diagnosed with gallstones and has really modified her diet as a result.  Terrified of another “attack,” she’s eliminated “bad” fats and is limiting fats in general, which has helped in shedding the baby weight. She gained 40# during pregnancy and during her first go-around she gained 60#. “The weight loss is my silver lining in this health scare,” says Alex. “But I miss chips so very much.”

Adjusting to life with two has been a challenge (especially with a fussier baby) and trying to find time to get to the gym has required a lot of trial and error but she’s making it work. “I was going twice a week up to January and now I’m back to three days a week, which is great.  Matt {Husband} is so supportive and willing to do anything to make sure I get my workouts in.” We love those supportive partners!!

Fussy or not, isn't this the sweetest face?!

Fussy or not, isn’t this the sweetest face?!

Congratulations Alex and Matt on another beautiful baby and successful transition back to CrossFit. We’re so proud of you! xo