Pregnancy is definitely not the time to just sit around, “eating for two.” As long as your doctor confirms you and baby are healthy and there aren’t any risks, there isn’t any reason to stop CrossFitting. Check out this awesome Mommy-to-Be’s experience as a brand new CrossFitter.

 It was a partner WOD, but one unlike any you has ever seen! The featured guests—Sarah Gulley, carrying Caleb and Hunter in her womb, and her husband Brad, carrying a 20-pound medicine ball strapped to his belly. Most of CrossFit Excess came out to sweat together in celebration of the upcoming addition to their CrossFit family. Together they completed a partner WOD, specially designed for Sarah and her “pregnant” husband. After sweating through the workout, the women gathered for the more typical baby shower activities of opening gifts and enjoying cake, while the men hung out and shared a few cold ones.


Sarah says, “It was hilarious watching him struggle with different moves that he is normally so good at, and I had been struggling with for months. I think the best part of the workout was watching him try to do knees to elbow. He couldn’t figure out how to get his legs around the “belly” enough to get his knees up that high, and I knew exactly how he felt! Even though I could tell he wanted to quit, he never did, and that gave me more motivation to continue over the next month. It was a fun experience, and I think it gave each of us a new found respect for how driven each of us is in our CrossFit journey.


Sarah began CrossFit last May. Her husband came home one day and encouraged her to go with him to check out CrossFit Excess, a new box that had opened nearby. She enjoyed the CrossFit experience, especially the Intro class that every new member is required to take. Like many boxes across the country, all new members are required to take these introductory classes, which teach the correct movements while gradually building up fitness.

Only about a month into her newfound fitness, Sarah discovered she was pregnant. She consulted with her ob/gyn, who actually didn’t know what CrossFit was. The ob/gyn said that Sarah could continue the exercise she had been doing before becoming pregnant. It wasn’t long before the couple found out that they were actually not expecting their first child, but their first two children. Carrying twins actually put Sarah into the “high-risk” pregnancy category, so she was referred to a specialist.

Sarah Gulley. clean

Once again, Sarah found herself consulting her physician. “The specialist was familiar with CrossFit and encouraged me to continue the same level of exercise that I had been doing before the pregnancy. She said that exercise is better for the health of the babies and better for delivery,” Sarah explained.

Obviously, some of the gymnastic, plyometric and Olympic-style weightlifting had to be scaled and modified so that Sarah could safely complete the WODs. Her box owners and coaches stepped up in a big way, doing their own research to discover how to safely and effectively modify WODs so that Sarah could still participate while challenging herself.

Sarah Gulley. clean

“Brody and Angie, the owners at CrossFit Excess were great. They did their own research about CrossFit and pregnancy, and sent me articles. They helped me modify the movements and my workouts so that I could continue to CrossFit with a growing belly.”

The reaction of fellow box members has been what you would expect from CrossFitters. Sarah says, “They were impressed that I continued to WOD. They’re very supportive. I was usually the last one to complete the WOD, and they would be cheering me on until I finished.”


Thanks to increasing research and access to quality information, women are now often encouraged by doctors to continue physical activity during pregnancy. It wasn’t so long ago that pregnant women were treated as if they had a terminal disease. But exercise is one thing. CrossFit is exercise on steroids. I mean, we’ve all heard Rhabdo stories. Isn’t CrossFit too dangerous for pregnant women?

Obviously, every pregnancy is different; every health need is unique. Your health care provider knows best and will advise you specifically regarding how much exercise your body and the baby can tolerate. Consult your physician. Consider what you might be able to still accomplish.

One of the most surprising facts about Sarah’s journey through pregnancy with CrossFit—since becoming pregnant, she has lost a pant size. She has followed her doctors’ advice, listened to her body and gained a healthy amount of weight. Her twins have thrived and entered the world on March 15—at a healthy 5lb, 8oz for Caleb and 5lb, 7oz for Hunter.



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