Training for Bench Press Nationals….PREGNANT!

Training for Bench Press Nationals….PREGNANT!

Sep 14, 2013


This is a long overdue article about some training leading up to Bench Press Nationals last month as well as my performance itself. I’ve been a little busy and tied up with life lately so I apologize for how long it has taken!

Here I was, straight off the devastation of bombing at Worlds in May. I was determined to make things right at Nationals, get some confidence back and redeem myself. I started training back in an F6 which is where I was most comfortable. I was starting to think about cutting the last couple pounds so that my shirts were fitting the way they would at nationals. I was really making great progress mentally and physically! Then about a month before nationals, a miracle
happened, I found out I was pregnant!

Now without having to tell everyone my whole life story, I say a miracle happened, because in all reality it really wasn’t supposed to happen this quickly. I was diagnosed with a disorder a few years back that would make it real tough for me to get pregnant when the time came for us to start trying. So I was prepared for it to take awhile and to deal with a lot of emotional ups and downs along the way. In my article after worlds I had mentioned how things didn’t necessarily go as planned for me. I wanted to go to Worlds in May, have my husband with me for the first time, do really well, hopefully win a medal, and enjoy this last worlds before our lives could change forever. I wanted it to be on “my terms” per say. Well, we all know that didn’t happen. God had other plans, and I decided after Worlds I was ready to trust His plans and stop relying on my own. I still was going to try to start a family and trust whatever God had in store for me.

So after Worlds, I jumped right in to training for Nationals. I also saw my Dr about starting a family. He started me on some medicine that was basically the first step to infertility problems. He wanted
to be aggressive from the start. He told me to give this medicine 6months and if nothing happened, he would see me again and we would take the next step. He knew how badly I wanted a family and he wanted to give me every opportunity possible. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but
I trusted that God had a plan!

I continued to train for nationals and I started noticing funny things. Like I was really dizzy, especially when working out, the smell of peanut butter made me want to throw up, I was having weird dreams, and I felt super emotional. Of course, I’m thinking there is NO WAY I am pregnant. It has to be this medication causing all these symptoms. I know, I was in denial! The week I found out, I had put a brand new bench shirt on on Monday. It was REALLY tight! But it worked SO well! I got a good pop out of it and was excited to see where it would take me. My dad had kind of got on me about losing the last 3 pounds or so because then he thought my shirt would fit a little bit better or maybe we could even try a size smaller (yikes!). So that week I focused on cleaning up my diet again,doing cardio, etc. These symptoms I was experiencing just wouldn’t go away though. So Friday morning before work I decided to take a test, and much to my surprise, I was pregnant! Of course lots of tears, excitement, and celebration ensued. I called my Dr. and he didn’t
believe me. They made me go get a blood test to confirm. But it was true, I really was pregnant! So now comes the interesting part, training for nationals, which was about a month away, and trying to grow this little person inside of me! Talk about hard work! I did ask the Dr if it was safe for me to continue to lift. I know many other pregnant ladies continue to lift, even late into pregnancy so I assumed it would be ok. But I wanted to be sure it was ok for me. Initially I asked the nurse, and she told me it was ok to lift but I should restrict myself to 40lbs max. I looked at my husband like, “You have got to be kidding me!” Of course I asked my doctor for a clarification though and he said I could continue on as long as I felt well. He also told me I should try and keep my pulse below 150. Fair enough. I can do that! So any women who have been pregnant know, every week it seems like your body changes just a little bit. Well that makes it extremely difficult when you’re trying to get a bench shirt to fit just right! Haha I couldn’t cut those last 3 pounds obviously, in fact I was told I needed to increase my calorie intake. As crazy as this sounds, it was actually hard! I have spent the last 12 years of my life training for meets, cutting weight, or at least watching what I’ve been eating. The thought process of “how much sodium is in this? How many calories is this?” doesn’t just go away over night. Not to mention, when I was hungry, I needed to eat soon or else I felt sick! I couldn’t just deal with being a little hungry like I had done for years! My whole mindset has to change in an instant. When you train for a meet you’re constantly thinking, ok, what can I do to still lose a little weight but be stronger for this meet so I can win or have a PR. That is the most
important thing! Well suddenly the most important thing for me was, What do I need to do to take care of this tiny person AND be strong at the same time!

I continued to wear that same shirt, and it worked for awhile. But continued to feel tight, obviously. One day, after an awesome workout, I took my last rep down to my chest (first time to my chest in this shirt) and I blew out the chest panel! I have NEVER done that! Needless to say, my body really was changing thanks to my little miracle, and I would have to try a different shirt. I worked into a
little bigger shirt, and made it work.

Training for nationals was definitely different for me. I had to take everything one day a time, because every day was different! Luckily I didn’t have ANY nausea! So that helped. However, the extreme fatigue and dizziness made just getting to workouts, let alone getting through them, an interesting task. But I did it. And I truly think I am stronger because of it. I left Worlds wanting to work on my mental strength and I had no idea how I was going to do it. I truly think that getting pregnant and having to train like that helped my mental strength too. I went into Nationals feeling better than ever. I had a great meet. I went 2 for 3, benching 342. I missed 358 on a third attempt which would have been a PR for me in a USAPL meet. Not bad for a pregnant lady!

So now what? Well, I’m continuing to lift. I won’t be going to Worlds next year. I don’t think my 6-8 week old infant will be real excited to go to Denmark to watch Mommy lift. Nor do I think I’ll be ready to. My plan is to be back for Nationals next year and see what happens
from there. It’s strange not actually having a meet to train for but it’s kind of fun to. I’m able to focus more on my husband’s training (he’s doing his first raw meet November 2nd! Yay!) and also watch my Dad continue to be successful. I can still lift but the pressure is off. It’s kind of fun! I plan to keep lifting until my body (or my Dr) tells me no more. So far so good! I feel great and I’m so excited to
be a Mom! Back in my article after Worlds when I said that God had a plan for me and I couldn’t wait to find out what it is, I never imagined this is where I’d be! We are so blessed beyond words.



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