You are browsing the archive for 2011 August.

Squealing piglet, crouching tiger…

August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week it hit me just how close we are to having a baby. We are between 6 and 9 weeks away from D-Day. And never was it more apparent than on Tuesday night at my Preggi Bellies class when one of the women who was about 35 weeks pregnant went into labour. Because in that group, I’m ‘next in line’!

Yikes!

So there we were, sweating and huffing and puffing away on our Pilates balls, working up a sweat nicely when she went to sit down because her stomach felt hard and strange. None of us thought too much about this because weird things happen to your tummy when you’re pregnant and exercising and as long as it’s not sore it’s generally nothing to worry about. Besides, her water hadn’t broken and she still looked normal. No screams of agony as movie-style labour pains gripped her either.

But 20 minutes later she looked a little more worried and was convinced to go home just to be sure. Turns out she was in fact in labour and gave birth to a little girl the next day! Some people will do ANYTHING to get out of exercise :)

Hubby and I also attended our first antenatal class this week which was an eye-opener.

Literally. Nothing like a big screen with lady-bits popping out grey-gooey babies to get your attention.

The poor men didn’t know where to look. And after watching a video of a rather graphic water-birth I don’t think poor hubby will ever be the same… as we left the class he looked at me with big eyes, patted my shoulder and said in all earnest “Good luck!”

However, until I am the one in labour I will focus on that which I can still control…. like my exercise regime. So here we are, week 31 and still going strong.

This week appeared to be the week of the upper body. Between CrossFit and Preggi Bellies I have done well over 300 push-ups this week. Which is no mean feat when you have a belly the size of a beach-ball (but not nearly as light in weight).

CrossFit’s Wednesday workout was fun, but gruelling. It consisted of “Cindy”, another infamous lady-killer workout that sounds simple enough with 20 minutes of as many rounds as possible of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats. But you try do that fast and I can guarantee you by the 5th minute you’re wondering what the fudge you were thinking…

So this was the workout, except with a 30 second break inbetween rounds. I used the green band for the pull-ups and did the push-ups on my knees. So although it was “easier” it was still enough to elicit pig-like squeals from me. I managed to do 10 and a half rounds in the 20 minutes, which works out to 55 pull-ups, 105 push-ups and 150 squats.

Needless to say I couldn’t straighten my arms or lift them very high above my head the next day.

Which was unfortunate – since Sonja had decided that this would be the day to up the ante on the upper-body “little pulses” with light weights and dips. Cue more pig-like squealing.

I also managed a 28kg push-press this week which was quite cool, I’m not losing as much upper-body strength as I had feared.

This morning I Power Cleaned a measly 29kg, but Jobst wouldn’t let me go higher anyway.Then for the workout we did three “will-it-ever-end” rounds of this:

30 seconds of the maximum number of thrusters you could do

30 seconds of maximum number of push-ups

30 seconds of maximum calories rowed on the rowning machine

30 seconds of maximum number of power cleans

With a 30 second rest between each. Very tiring. Induced yet more pig-squealing. Getting quite good at that now, if only it were a real talent…

So as another week draws to a close and the nay-sayers still shake their heads in dismay that such a ‘heavily pregnant woman’ is still doing so much exercise I can honestly say I’m feeling super. I have lots of energy and even when I don’t feel like leaving the house on a dark, cold and rainy morning for crossfit or a dark, cold, rainy evening for Preggi Bellies, I know that once I’m done I will feel amazing.

And I always do.

Have a super weekend y’all! :)

Walking-lunging myself into oblivion

August 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week I think I might have walking-lunged my way into some sort of world record. At least that’s what my quads are telling me every time I try do something energetic… like stand-up. Or take a step.

  

Anyway, this week I am 30 weeks pregnant and I have the belly to prove it. There is no doubt to anyone now that I’m ‘with child‘ and even the men who weren’t too sure before and looked uncomfortable when I made eye contact with them after catching them looking at my belly are now smiling confidently and asking “so when are you due” without fear of possible negative repercussions.

Jo from CrossFit took some pics of me last week with my big belly at crossfit. For those who need ‘proof’ I’m still doing it!

And while I still managed to do a full week of gym, - CrossFit and Preggi Bellies – I actually felt more tired than I have in a while. I’m hoping it’s just a sign of a few nights of disturbed sleep though. Hubby has been away and my dogs have been keeping me cosy in bed, which is all good and well except that they snore so loud I barely sleep. But they look so cute I can’t wake them. It’s a dilema I tell you.

  

Monday kicked off with one MOTHER of a workout. After one mother of a warm-up. However I had to modify the bejeezers out of it to be able to do it… you’ll see why:

  

It was the workout Angie, but a 1/2 Angie x 2 (if that makes sense) and looked like this:

  • 50 Pull ups
  • 50 Push ups
  • 50 Sit ups
  • 50 Squats
  •  

Naturally there was little chance I could do this UN-modified at the best of times, but with a big belly and lots of extra weight (from the BABY people… the BABY!) I had to change it quite a bit. That’s not to say it wasn’t still a hard workout though.

So in the end I did two rounds of:

  • 10 pull-ups with the green band
  • 50 push-ups on my knees
  • 25 knees-to-hips
  • 50 squats

See? Still bloody tiring!


The pull-ups are getting more tricky because firstly I’m a LOT heavier than usual so it’s like trying to do it with a weight-belt on. Secondly the green band feels too ‘light’ but the grey one, which is the next one up, is too strong for me and I almost go through the ceiling. It’s also hard to do pull-ups with a band and not constantly knock my preggy stomach. I can only imagine how awesome pull-ups will be when I’m not pregnant anymore!

Tuesday was Preggi Bellies – and man was it hot. Cape Town winter is having a bit of a mid-life crisis this year and swings between hot flushes and cold blasts. Both of which we’ve had this week.

On Tuesday night however it was boiling hot and humid and we were all harassed by some very confused mosquitoes. So Sonja let us workout outside which was awesome.

The ball-bouncing is still a work in progress but my dislike of it has been replaced by a new loathing… I don’t know the right name for them but it’s when you lie on your side and lift your leg for ‘little pulses”.

Lots and lots and lots of “little pulses”.

They BURN like MoFo’s. It’s insane. I barely ever make the full set despite Sonja’s sweet and cheerful voice going “Come on, just 30 more – LITTLE PULSES everyone, just little ones…”


OMG woman…. it’s the little ones that hurt the most!!!!

(My legs better look fan-freaking-tastic after this)

Wednesday at CrossFit was burpees and toes-to-bar. Neither of which I could do and secretly I thanked the pregnant fairy for my luck. They’re both quite nasty exercises so I substituted with push-ups and knees-to-hips. Which was also hard but not “kill-me-now” hard.

The warm-up beforehand was however, quite hard.

It was walking lunges. Lots and lots of them. And they were hot on the heels of lots and lots of side walking lunges at Preggi Bellies the night before and those kill-me-now-and-make-it-fast LITTLE PULSES. My poor legs were quivering beneath my belly, if I could have seen them I would have given them my best “sorry mate…” look.

Push-ups – always better than burpees.

Thursday’s Preggi Bellies class was thankfully a lot cooler and we worked up a sweat to the sound of the pouring rain outside which was nice and refreshing. Although Sonja’s impromptu circuit of one-legged lunges, squats and step-ups with weights nearly made my legs give up and go on strike with the Samwu folk. If it wasn’t for their dislike of unruly looters I would have been seriously stuck.

Then this morning at CrossFit it was also touch-and-go for a while with yet more walking lunges. Fortuantely I slept really well the night before so my legs were in a more forgiving mood. Tomorrow I fear they might exact their revenge however…

That was followed by some power cleans (I managed a respectable 33kg for a set of 3 before Jobst almost collapsed laughing at how I was pulling the bar around my belly and how ‘cute’ it was).

After that the workout kicked my ass – 20 minutes of 6 thrusters every minute with a 15kg bar.

Doesn’t sound like much huh? But I tell you after 5 minutes it’s hell! My wrists were so sore, my hands are ripped and very unlady-like-looking, I was grunting like a happy little warthog and I was dripping in sweat.


But it was either do the full 20 mins of that or make up the remainder of the time in a plank hold. And although I dont’ mind the plank hold for some reason I decided that I simply HAD to do the full 20 minutes. So I did.

We’ll see how that worked out for me tomorrow morning when I have to, oh I don’t know… move.

Have a good weekend everyone and keep warm!:)

Healthy baby, happy mommy :)

August 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s been a busy week as far as exercise and baby-stuff is concerned. Hubby and I took Monday off since Tuesday was a public holiday- although all plans to chill were quickly thwarted when we realised at our 28-week scan at the doctor’s that our boy is gonna be a big one and is already two weeks ahead in size (i.e. he is the same as a 30-week baby).

Which means he could come early. YIKES!

Our boy showing off his muscles… like baby like mama!!

Not much time left for exercise and getting as fit as possible beforehand – and would you believe my doctor has now told me that if I intend on having a natural birth (which I do) then I need to be as fit as possible for both the birth and recovery afterwards. It’s a far cry from the “don’t lift heavy washing” advice I got from another doctor at our last scan but I’ll take it!

So Monday morning I took myself off to a spinning class, I haven’t been spinning in about two weeks because of other committments so it was nice to be back on the bike. An interesting thing happened though – I was wearing my heart rate monitor as I always do in spinning classes because I find sometimes you THINK you’re working really hard but then you check your heart-rate monitor and apparently you’re over-estimating things a bit.

Usually it takes me quite a while to get my heart-rate up and I have to really work to keep it up because any decrease in resistance or effort and it drops quite quickly (which is good by the way). But not this time. On Monday my heart rate shot up really quickly and even though I didn’t FEEL as breathless as I should have, it stayed high for the whole class. I’m guessing it’s a combination of the extra blood – of which I now have 50% more – and the extra weight from baby and all.

On Women’s Day on Tuesday I took part in the Women’s Day 10km road race. It was tough, without a doubt the toughest race I have done yet and I walked about half of it. Again, I think it was a combination of factors such as my poor little legs carrying so much extra weight and the fact that baby decided to play football with my bladder between the 4km and 7km mark which made walking really uncomfortable and running near impossible.

I held out hope for toilets along the route but alas there were none :)

Thankfully an awesome woman from the West Coast Athletic Club was there to show support and when she heard I needed the loo so badly she marched up to the first house on the route where some poor unsuspecting people were sitting outside watching and demanded that they let me in to pee. Which they duly did, she’s not a lady to be argued with.

So thank-you kindly to Alida and the nice folk who let me use their guest loo! If it wasn’t for you I might not have made it to the finish line and with my balance issues there was very little chance a bush on the side of the road was gonna cut it.

So I ran the rest of the route and was very happy to cross the finishing line, even though it was in a terrible time of 1h 45m (CRINGE) which is 45minutes longer than my best 10km… but I suppose given the fact I’m seven months pregnant I should be happy that I even finished!

On Wednesday I went to CrossFit where the warm-up was super-challenging and amounted to more than what most people do in an average gym session – all in all about 400 rope jumps, countless push-ups, oh-so-many squats and far-too-may wall-balls. The strength part of the class was the back squat.

I managed a meagre 36kg for 5 reps but I didn’t want to push it too much as Jobst was keeping an eye on how deep my squats were and with every rep his frown became more furrowed so I decided not to push it.

The workout was more wall-balls and burpees… but since I can’t do burpees (YAY! although getting pregnant is an extreme way of avoiding them) I substituted with push-ups. Pregnant burpees just don’t do it for me.

Thursday evening I was back at Preggi Bellies which I’m really enjoying, more and more every time. It was once again a heart-thumping aerobic workout and my ball-bouncing skills are still a little worrying and I shudder to think what I must look like doing them, but I don’t feel like I’m going to fly off the ball anymore, which is good progress.

The classes are getting really full now and last night there were women from all stages of pregnancy there – some as ‘early’ as 14 weeks. It turns out in that class I am the furthest along which is a bit of a scary thought.. mean’s I’m next in line to pop a baby out!!

I must say though that after a Preggi Bellies class I sleep SOOOOOO well. I can imagine that if I wasn’t pregnant and didn’t have to get up to pee I would sleep like the dead. As it is I only had to get up once to pee, and while I realise that to many who are either male or not pregnant that might seem like a little TMI, trust me… to anyone who has ever been pregnant, the fact that I only had to pee once in a night in my third trimester is nothing short of celebration time.

Crack open that uh… sparkling grape juice….

This morning at CrossFit I felt strong and so well rested from my basically undisturbed sleep that I even did a 66kg 5-rep max deadlift, which is fairly impressive. It’s almost 80% of my one rep max which is 91kg (pre-pregnancy of course). I could have gone higher as well but once again Jobst was giving me the beady eye so I held back. Bless!

The workout was 21-15-9 of 30% of your 5-rep max deadlift (in other words I did 38kg) and push-ups (on my knees). Usually that would have killed me, and those last nine push-ups also pushed out some high-pitched squeaky noises I’m not proud of… but I did it in a time of 3m 19s which isn’t too shabby.

So overall a good week of working out.

However none of this compares to going for our 4D scan on Wednesday when we got to see the face of our little boy. It was awesome. He is nothing short of absolutely gorgeous and I daresay already a contender for the cutest baby that ever lived. I mean LOOK AT HIM! Too perfect! :)

He is also a very healthy 1.7kg at the moment and has feet that are a whopping 6cm already… which explains why his kicks are now so potent! :)

Anyway, have a super weekend everyone!

x

Seven months and going strong…

August 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week marks the 7th month of my pregnancy, so I am officially in the third trimester. Can I have a whoop whoop!

*does a little jig*

 

Last week was a bit of a stuff up exercise-wise because I had laryngitis for the first half of the week, which was delightful for everyone since I had no voice for a good four days, and when I eventually kicked that I woke up with a cold two days later. Lovely.

So I only really got back to my routine this week.

 

It kicked off with a CrossFit class on Tuesday comprising of the following:

 

Overhead Squat, 5-5-5

 

then

 

‘Fat Cindy’

For four rounds off the clock:

5 Chest-to-bar pull ups (I used the band)
10 Clapping Push ups (on my knees)
15 Box jumps (I did step-ups)

Was exhausting! But fun as always. My overhead squat has improved and I managed to do 5 overhead squats with 18kg which was awesome.
Me doing an overhead squa a few weeks ago when the belly wasn’t so big..
Apparently I look quite funny doing it though with my now super-size belly hanging on my knees.
I am having a slow, longering kiss goodbye with my dignity as we speak…

Then it was my second Preggi Bellies class on Tuesday. I was quite nervous as it was a scorcher of a day here in Cape Town at a lovely wintry 26 degrees and I tend to over-heat quite quickly when it’s warm. And I wasn’t disappointed with the workout. I was beginning to think that perhaps I’d imagine how good a workout it had been, I mean, it’s a class for PREGNANT women! How hard could it be?

Apparently my porridge brain isn’t completely slushy yet and I had remembered right. It was tough.

But it was fun. I still completely suck at bouncing gently on the ball while doing some of the exercises and I fear it will be a while before bouncing on the ball and doing a toe-touching move is anywhere within my grasp. It’s a good thing there are no mirrors because I can only imagine what kind of ridiculous I looked even trying it. But I will persevere, one day I’ll get it right!

The class was busier this time than before and there were two women who had given birth already and were back to tone up – although they looked pretty close to fabulous to me. If that’s the end product of a few months of Preggi Bellies then I’m IN…

 

On Wednesday I went back to CrossFit and the workout was a little beyond me with bench-presses, which I couldn’t do because it requires lying on your bakc pressing heavy weights overhead. No can do right now. So instead Jobst suggested I do overhead presses with dumbbells. I managed to get up to a respectable 12.5kg on each arm, although my left arm had clearly been drinking on the sly and did a super-wobbly windy-road up and down on the last 5 reps.

I dunno, I’ll have to have a word…

 

Then the workout itself was more core work with:

•1 minute Handstand hold
•2 minute Plank hold
•1 minute L-sit
 
My tummy now does this weird cone-shaped thing when I do stomach exercises which is more than a little freaky. Apparently it’s quite normal but I have to concentrate on sucking my belly button in more to try and limit it because  -wait for it – you can get abdominal separation if you’re not careful. Yes folks, tha’ts right. Where your abs say adios to their happy home and try slumming it on the streets. We don’t want this to happen so I’m gonna be taking extra care when exercising those puppies from now on.

 

The second Preggi Bellies class was on a much more typical winter’s night with hard rain and gale-force winds – much more Cape Town winter and a lot nicer to cool you down after exercise.

 

This time I remembered to take my heart rate monitor just to see what kind of a work out ye old heart was getting. Turns out I didn’t underestimate the class one iota. From the first five minutes me heart rate was up at around 130 BPM and it didn’t drop past 135 for the full hour. It even got as high as 156 BPM at one point, although I didn’t feel any more breathless or tired than when it was at 135. So go figure. Either way it shows you what a good workout you’re getting, and there’s nothing I hate more than exercising without feeling any benefit. Fortunately it appears this will not be the case in this instance.

 

Then my week finished today with a crossfit class to make even strong men whimper a little – a workout called “Jackie”.

 

She’s a nasty old tart… looks like this:

•1,000m Row
•50 Thrusters
•30 Pull-ups
 
I did it all except for the 30 pull-ups – I managed 20 with the band before my forearms started seizing up. And this was after a helluva warm up of rowing and push-ups and pull-ups and squats.

The 1,000m row took me just under 5 minutes which isn’t bad considering my 500m row is about 2.30 and I did the thrusters with a 5kg bar. It was a bit light but there is no 10kg bar and the 15kg one would have been pushing it.

 

So this weekend I’m gonna chill.

 

Not really. Just tomorrow probably because I have a feeling I haven’t seen the last of Jackie and my arms will be quivering like a shcool-girl on prom night come this time tomorrow.

 

I have also entered the Women’s Day 10km challenge on Tuesday, which i will be walking and running. Not sure how much longer I will be able to do runs like that for so I intend to take full advantage while I can…

 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and happy Women’s Day to all the lovely ladies out there!

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