In Athletes, Special Populations, Videos

January 21, 2011

Video Article

At the Rogue Vs. Again Faster Throwdown in Lake Tahoe, Calif., 2009 Games champion Tanya Wagner talked about her pregnancy and how it has changed her CrossFitting.

In this installment, Wagner, who runs CrossFit Apex with her husband Josh, talks about her first visit to the doctor. The doctor couldn’t understand why Wagner would want to do CrossFit movements—pregnant or not—and cautioned her against exercising strenuously during her pregnancy.

“But I could sit on my butt on the sofa and have a miscarriage, and you know what? Then I would blame myself that I was just lazy,” Wagner says. “How can you tell somebody it’s safer to not do anything?”

“Be smart,” Wagner advises people considering CrossFitting while pregnant. “You’re not going to PR. Who cares about the time? Get a good workout to stay healthy and listen to your body.”

7min 55sec

Additional reading: High Performance Pregnancy by Andrea Nitz, published Dec. 20, 2008.

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13 Comments on “Pregnancy for an Elite Competitor: Part 2”


wrote …

Love Tanya Wagner! There will never be a better crossfit champ. Her athleticism and her spirit will never be matched. If I lived closer I would send my kids to her for crossfit training!


wrote …

She's so god damn beautiful


wrote …

Josh you are very lucky.


wrote …

This is Jessica Core (using my husband's login). Thank you for such great info. You answered so many of my pregnancy questions in the best straight forward way! I wish you and your husband the best in your pregnancy journey.


wrote …

Thanks guys for such nice comments. I am very grateful to have Tanya as my wife. She is a great person/athlete, and will make a wonderful mother in 2 months! Thanks for all of your support we love the Crossfit community and will continue to do our best to give back and keep spreading the word. Love ya'll.


wrote …

My wife is due around the same time as Tanya ( march 20) and she has been doing cf the whole time. We totally agree with Tanya 100% on pregnant women listening to your body and scale as needed. If you are pregnant, is a must read. Good luck to all the pregnant women and remember that you aren't fragile, you are strong and will continue to be so throughout your pregnancy, especially if you keep up with crossfit.


wrote …

One cautionary measure when training my wife (3 kids) and other preganant clients is to watch and monitor their heart rate and not letting it get over
140 beats per minute. All of my pregant clients wear heart rate monitors and train until the day they drop.


wrote …

Thirteen years ago, in the Dark Ages before any of us had discovered this stuff, my wife continued swimming through her pregnancy, wearing a heart monitor and observing that 140 bpm rule (mentioned above). She swam a mile the day before she delivered.

When push came to shove in the delivery room, she rammed the kid down the pipe in an hour. (How's that for a WOD time?)

Our new daughter was a wildcat from the very beginning, given to gales of howling that even surprised our pediatrician. 'I have a theory,' he told us - and he was a friend, a member of our Masters' swimming team. 'You have a crack baby.'

'This kid has been drinking in endorphins for nine months,' he continued. 'Now she's quitting cold turkey. This is completely unscientific, of course, but this kid's insane. She's going through withdrawal.'

Nothing has changed. She's a thrill seeker, Math whiz, and WOD killer. So be careful! You're going to hatch a kid who comes with his or her own high expectations.


wrote …

Great Video - Tanya you are Awesome - Thank you


wrote …

Love these videos, and plan to share them with some preggo friends.

My son is 7 months old. Before I got pregnant I fought MMA professionally, and I had a very similar conversation with the doctor (maybe from part 1?) about what I was doing and what could I keep doing. A lot of the "Im not sure why you would WANT to do that", the husband making the nurses google me, etc etc. We moved overseas and I couldn't train for MMA anymore, but the CF movements and workouts were so similar to what I had been doing, I started doing that in it's place. I went to see an exercise physiologist, a runner with 2 kids of her own, who debunked the 140 myth for me. Using my resting heart rate, we established a safe "max" (160 for me) and I wore my HR monitor. The thing is, without looking at the monitor, I always knew. I think true athletes are in-tune enough with their bodies to know what's up.

My husband was a little nervous about me working out so much during my pregnancy, but I had zero complications. My labor was quick and textbook. Our son was a good size, 7.5 lbs. He, to this day, remains leaner than a lot of my friends babies. And I bounced back quickly. My husband now preaches the pregnant workout to anyone who gets knocked up.

I get a lot of snide comments from women who tell me that they "hate" me because I look like I never had a baby in the first place. I just gently remind them that I worked out before, during, and after my pregnancy. It didn't come off overnight, I had to work for it. My son and I are happy, healthy individuals, and that's really all I can hope for.

Sorry I wrote a novel. I just really am passionate about taking care of yourself so that you can take care of your little ones. :) Congrats on your pregnancy, and I wish you a short and painless labor! :)


wrote …

Tanya here....

Thank you so much for all the kind comments and emails. I love hearing pregnancy experiences from other athletes, and I am sorry that I haven't been able to reply to everyone.

Thomas, very interesting theory about withdrawal from endorphins. I would love if there were studies on that.

Marina, thanks for sharing your story, I agree with you and love your passion!

There seems to be a similar theme to all the stories, and it's that if you've been working out long enough to know what your body's normal responses are than you are in a better position to know what's going on with your body when going through workouts pregnant. It is so nice to hear of short delivery times and quicker recovery times than some of the birth stories I've been hearing from other women who didn't exercise while pregnant. Interestingly enough though all of them say to me they wish they would have been in shape when they were pregnant and how they know it would have made their deliveries so much easier.

I know every pregnancy is different and I am sure there are women doing much more than I am right now at this stage in my pregnancy, and I am sure there are women doing much less. It's not for me to say what is safe or not, but I think looking at your physical fitness prior to getting pregnant tells so much about what your can do well into your late 2nd trimester. Since I am still learning all the stages of pregnancy and how my body is handling it all, it will be interesting to see what I do differently with my next pregnancy. I can't help but think I will actually do more physical activity. I feel like I'm still "gathering data" from this pregnancy, playing it safe to figure myself out :) I encourage all of you pregnant crossfitters to do the same, be smart, stay healthy and listen to your bodies! Happy pregnancy wods and here's to a gentle :) delivery and getting back to pre-pregnancy wod speeds!



wrote …

Quick update on my wife and our new baby - Jack was born yesterday and I am giving crossfit for the fast pushing time. She pushed for about 30 min at most (10 rounds of 3 pushes approximately). Everyone at the hospital said she pushed really well, especially for a first time mom. Kate's last crossfit workout was 1 week prior to delivery and she was doing great during it. She didn't monitor her hr during the pregnancy, but focused on listening to her body. I just want to give crossfit some thanks in helping her get through everything and encourage other pregnant women to keep moving.


wrote …

Word of caution: Don't get your hopes up for a quick or "easy" delivery. I worked out my whole pregnancy and wasn't mentally prepared for the ensuing "discomfort" (to put it lightly). Just a heads up:)

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