2nd Trimester CrossFit Modifications

I can’t believe I’m almost 24 weeks into this pregnancy! With only a few weeks to go in my second trimester (which apparently starts somewhere between 25 and 27 weeks depending on who you ask), I’m still trying to get in the gym at least 2-3 times a week, and so far it has been feeling really good. But that’s not to say that my WODs are the same as they used to be. The biggest challenge has been recognizing that my body changes so much from day to day, that just because I could do something last week doesn’t mean I can necessarily do it this week. I’ve had to get in the habit of moving really slowly through the warm-up, getting a feel for what my limits are going to be in that moment, and being ok with scaling or modifying accordingly, regardless of what my ego is trying to tell me about what I “should” be doing.

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Not gonna lie, it can feel like a big step backwards to have to scale movements that I’ve worked for years to be able to Rx, and of course, it’s never fun to get lapped in a WOD. But I do my best to keep everything in perspective. I try to not take for granted that I have had a healthy pregnancy that has allowed me to remain as active as I am so far, and when my ego tries to step in and tell me that I don’t *really* need a break, I remind myself that right now, this is not just about me.

So what does a PregRx WOD look like in my life these days? Here are a few examples of WODs from the past week or two, and how I’ve scaled and/or modified them (PS, all WODs are thanks to TJ’s awesome programming at CrossFit Jai):

Last Monday:

Endurance Warm-up:
3 rounds: run 800, 20 ft handstand walk or 15 shoulder taps from handstand, 10 jumping lunges with plate overhead.

12 min to work, reps go up by 2 each round: 2 ground to overhead (115/75), 2 burpees over bar, 2 deadlifts (same, bar must return to the ground after last deadlift before starting next round of G2O)

For the endurance warm-up, I ran 400m instead of 800m for the first 2 rounds, but was moving fast enough to run 800m for the third round. I substituted two wall climbs for the handstand walk, since going upside-down still felt totally fine, but I don’t want to push my luck by staying upside-down for too long. For the jumping lunges, I tried with a 10-pound plate for the first round, but my balance felt super off and so I just nixed the overhead plate altogether for the last 2 rounds.

For the WOD, I used 65 pounds and did a power clean/power jerk combo for the ground-to-overhead. For burpees, I am still doing the general burpee movement but without going all the way down to the ground. And for the deadlifts, I modified with sumo deadlifts to give my belly some room in the set-up position.

This Tuesday:

Warm-up: 3 rounds of 1-3 wall climbs, 10-15 sec dead hang from pullup bar, 10 medicine ball cleans.

WOD: 10 rounds for time: run 200, 5 power cleans/5 back squats
**alternate cleans and squats (from ground), 5 rounds of each all tolled.

Even though wall climbs felt great last week, I still took my first one in the warm-up pretty slowly to see how my body was going to feel with going upside-down this week. Luckily it still felt fine, so I did the warm-up as written, using a 10-pound med ball for the medicine ball cleans.

It was 90 degrees outside with intense sun for the WOD, so beforehand TJ and I discussed that I would cut the run down to 100m if I started to feel too overheated. This has been another important strategy for pregnant CrossFitting–open communication with my coaches so that we can discuss realistic expectations for a given WOD. I’m lucky that I’ve been at Jai long enough that each coach knows me and my abilities super well, and my own coaching experiences have given me a lot of scaling and modification options to fall back on as well. Knowing that I would need those precious few seconds on the barbell to cool down, I went with a really light weight for the power cleans and back squats–55 pounds–and got through the WOD in about 20 minutes.


4 rounds, record fastest and slowest times:

10 thrusters (135/95)
20 T2B
30 Russian KB Swings (70/55)
40 DU

Rest 4 min after each round

Going into the WOD, it had been about a month since the last time I did thrusters. Knowing that I had 40 reps to get through, I stuck with 55 pounds, and ultimately I felt that I could have gone heavier, but I’m glad I didn’t push it. I also decided to use 30 pounds for kb swings because of some hip alignment issues I’ve been having. I tried a few knees-to-elbow which felt fine in the warm-up, but felt really weird in my first round of the WOD, so I ultimately switched to abmat sit-ups for the other 3 rounds. My double-unders still feel great, although I would say that 40 linked DUs is about my max before I have to stop to keep my breathing under control.

When I first read this WOD, I knew that my strategy was going to be very different from most people’s. Instead of going heavy and fighting through each round, I picked a pace–giving myself 1 minute for each movement–and tried to stick with that as much as possible for the entire 4 rounds, focusing on keeping my times super consistent instead of really testing my muscles in the way this WOD was designed. Even though I knew that I was ultimately getting a slightly different workout than what was intended, I was still able to meet *my* goal and feel good about my performance.

There you have it! As you can see, I’m still doing most moves and lifts, I just keep the loads light and focus on my form and breathing. I’m also still working towards that pregnant pull-up, but I’ve stopped worrying so much about it. I’ve realized that adding strength right now is probably not a super realistic goal, but if I can focus on at least maintaining what I have, then I know I’ll bounce back better than ever this winter–and it might just help me get through labor and those first few sleep-deprived weeks, too (hey, I can dream, right?)!



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