You'll never believe how far this man went to experience what it was like for his pregnant friend to do a high-intensity workout while expecting.
These days we're seeing more and more women who are determined to continue their intense workouts throughout their pregnancies. From the six-pack mom to the mother who continued to lift heavy through her pregnancy, women are certainly willing to push themselves, baby bumps and all.
That's why it makes sense that Ayo Falae, a CrossFit coach, would feel curious about how the pregnant ladies he works out with feel when they exercise with baby bumps. He put an end to that curiosity by taking matters into his own hands.
Falae recorded a video explaining that Vikki, a mom of three who is also a CrossFit coach and one of the women he's worked out with, has a ritual: She does a crazy-difficult CrossFit workout just days before she gives birth. Yeah, you read that right—this woman is pushing her body up until the day before she gives birth.
We can't quite wrap our heads around how dedicated or tough someone has to be in order to do this, but Falae has some small idea of what goes into CrossFit-ing with a baby bump. The coach fashioned a 35-pound "baby bump" out of a medicine ball and a loaded weight vest. He chatted with Fit Pregnancy about the experience.
"I cover a good amount of the classes at Guerrilla Fitness CrossFit Montclair and over the week I coach almost every member," Falae explained. "When I decided to give the pregnancy belly a try, there were four members/coaches with child at our facility. During the early portion of their pregnancies I had to assist them in adjusting workouts to fit their ability/week. As they got to the later portion of their pregnancy they became pretty self-sufficient and knew how to adjust. I was surprised with some of the adjustments and non-adjustments they were able to make. There were things I did not think they would be able to do and was pleasantly surprised to see them execute them flawlessly. I wanted to see/feel (though just partially) what a day (hour) would feel like."
Falae was surprised by how much the bump changed his ability to power through the workout. "Initially, I thought nothing of it," he said. "That changed very quickly. I've done many workouts in the past with a weight vest at around the same weight (30 pounds) so I expected some stress but not enough to make me worry. For this workout I loaded the weights a bit differently—the focus was not even distribution but load in the front portion of the body. I realized quickly I could not complete the workout as I intended to if I did not make some adjustments. The belly was intrusive, the belly was controlling—it dictated how I moved."
The woman who inspired the experiment didn't make the whole experience easy for him either. "Vikki is a terrific friend and a great sport. She was supportive and pretty much kicked my butt during the workout. She was into it from the start and we had quite a laugh at my expense through the fitting of the belly, the workout and the removal of the belly," Falae said. "I do have a higher regard for pregnant women [after doing this.] I spent less than an hour with that belly, I don't understand how someone could do that for 9months. An old colleague of mine once said 'having a child is one of the most selfless thing a women can do.' I finally understood that statement."
Here's the important question: Sure, practicing CrossFit is possible (albeit very difficult) for pregnant women...but is it safe? According to Falae, absolutely. "CrossFit is safe for ALL people," he said. "Saying CrossFit is not safe for pregnant women is the same as saying exercise of any kind is unsafe for pregnant women." Falae did admit that he keeps an extra eye on pregnant women who work out at his gym, though.
Of course, you should always check with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise program. If you get the go ahead, make sure you listen to your body and take these key considerations into account before hitting the gym.
Watch the full video here: