Training Smart is not Sandbagging. Plus: Weekly Workouts 22 & 23 Weeks Pregnant

These last few weeks have been jam packed. I feel bone-deep tired like I've been traveling, but no planes have been involved. I have truthfully been burning the candle at both ends. And while I've made time for movement, I've been prioritizing sleep and relaxing between events, family gatherings, work, and work, and did I mention work?

And can I be really honest? I've been battling feelings of guilt around these very slow movement weeks. Even though I know better!

I tell my clients to do exactly what I am doing. Move like a human, get a workout in a few days a week and above all prioritize sleep. But I also still find I'm holding myself to a different standard. So, I've been trying to get comfortable with moving a little less and being okay with that. (As I write this, I'm battling a horrendous and surprise chest cold and still have to talk myself out of a workout).

In the crossfit (probably many other fitness communities) we face the fear of being called out for "sandbagging" or purposely choosing a simpler or less challenging variation of the workout. We also get called out for "cherry-picking." Which is when you see a tough workout posted before you get to class and you decide that happy hour or a date with your pillow is a better choice. 

Personally, I hate both of these terms and the negative connotations implied. Sure, I want my athletes to push themselves to be better, to get uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. We can't expect to grow or change doing only the things we like. But also, it's okay to say "you know what, this is not going to serve me physically/emotionally today and I'm going to pass or choose this option instead." 

Recently, I was discussing a workout with a pregnant athlete and she expressed big concerns about not wanting to "cherry-pick or sand-bag" by choosing a simpler workout than what she was accustomed to doing. I reminded her that her training goals are not the same as the rest of the athletes in class. Training for pregnancy, birth, and strong postpartum recovery is considerably different than training for a crossfit competition or trying to improve your FRAN time. That super intense chipper with handstand push-ups, bar muscle ups and 500m run just maaaay not be appropriate, even if it was something you would have demolished 6 months ago.

There is a big difference between sandbagging and training smart. 

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My postpartum mamas probably have the toughest time with this concept. It feels like there is something to prove getting back in the gym after having a baby, something to prove internally or externally or both. But postpartum is tough because you are no longer wearing a large watermelon size reminder around your waist that perhaps some movements are not appropriate, safe or effective during this season. And you feel like you should be able to do more. "Baby is on the outside! Why can't I just return directly to that pre-pregnancy workout routine?"

Well. Remember: slow is fast on the recovery realm (feel free to read this post I wrote about that) and if you really need some numbers.. It takes your tissues approximately 270 days (9 months) to regenerate. So yeah, you need AT LEAST 9 months of active recovery postpartum before you'll start to see #gainz again. 

You have to move with the body you have today and sometimes that means burpees are a breeze and other days lunges are impossible and that is okay.   

So I'm working on granting myself that same grace. Knowing that somedays working through functional progressions or chasing a toddler is all I can manage and being OKAY with that. 

And with that... here's a glimpse at few of my highlighted workouts from the last couple weeks. Not comprehensive, but you get the idea. Some rest days were very active, filled with hours outside berry picking, and others were spent cuddled on the coach with my kiddo. 

 

  • BIRTHFIT Functional Progression Flow
     

  • Push-Pull Slow and Steady

3 Rounds
5 Strict Press
50' Sled Pull Over
50' Low sled push

  • Move Yo Body. Move the Bar.

3 Rounds
5 Back Squats
25' Low Bear Crawl

3 Rounds
5 Bench Press
10 Ring Rows

60 FNP #1

  • It's only 20 minutes... HAHA

Sumo Deadlift 3x5

AMRAP 20
4 Dumbbell Hang Power Cleans
6 Dumbbell Push Press
12 Dumbbell Lateral Box Step-Ups

  • Push It. 

EMOM 7
6 Single Leg Kettlebell Deadlift and 50' Shuffle

4 Rounds
100 FT Sled Push
Rest 2 minutes

Pregnant? Why you need to take the BIRTHFIT Prenatal Series

Pregnant? Why you need to take the BIRTHFIT Prenatal Series

I took a really nice childbirth education class before I had my daughter. It was incredibly helpful for labor discomfort, understanding common medical interventions, and the actual physical act of birth. But while all that was great, the only mention of postpartum was that I should snuggle my baby and lay around for 2 weeks after birth… (And to be honest, as a very active pregnant woman, this sounded like my worst nightmare).

And so when those first two weeks postpartum were up, and I was still exhausted emotionally and physically from birth and caring for this sweet tiny human, I didn’t know what to do. I didn't know what I needed. And I didn’t know who to call or if I even needed to call someone. I felt isolated.

Weekly Workouts: 21 Weeks Pregnant

Monday

BIRTHFIT Functional Progression Flow

 

Tuesday

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Functional progression flow warm up

4 Rounds
10 Wallballs
25' Bear Crawl

Rest 2 minutes

4 Rounds
10 Lateral Goblet Step-ups
8 Ring Rows

 

Wednesday

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Sauvie Island Flat!
10K Walk

A solid crew from Portland Outdoor Fitness decided back in January it'd be a great ideal to run another half-marathon. So we all signed up and 90% of us forgot to train. I didn't really forget to train, but once I found out I was pregnant, I had my suspicions that my running days would be short-lived. My pregnant body doesn't take well to running-- I get extreme tenderness and pain in my round ligaments when I run. So 13.1 miles of that was out of the question. Can I get a high-five for shutting up my inner extreme competitor?

Instead of running the half, several of us walked the 10K. Sauvie Island is BEAUTIFUL and the weather was perfect. 

 

Thursday

3 Rounds
10 Single Deadlift
10 Bent Over Row

3 Rounds
10 1-arm 1/2 kneeling press
10 FNP #1

Friday- Sunday
 

Plenty of outside playtime with family! No legitimate workouts and that is a-okay. 

Honey Mustard Baked Chicken Thighs and Roasted Potatoes

Honey Mustard Baked Chicken Thighs and Roasted Potatoes

Sheet pan meals are all the rage! And for good reason! Essentially one dish to wash, one cook time and dinner magically appears. I whipped up a batch of honey mustard chicken thighs with roasted potatoes in one fell swoop the other night. This is perfect for those nights when you don't have a ton of time to spend hands on in the kitchen. This would also be a great meal to bring to new parents! Leftovers taste great cold or you can reheat at 275F for a 30 minutes or so.