Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pregnancy- No longer an excuse!

What it Takes

Carey Kepler, Co-founder of CrossFit Central and the CrossFit Woman Program is many things to many people. She is a wife, mother of two, triathlete, marathon runner, personal trainer, and CrossFit Coach. While she was pregnant with her second child Carey continued to CrossFit up until the day she gave birth. Austin Woman recently coined her the modern day super woman. Since that time Carey has returned to training and has lost all of the weight she gained while pregnant. Some say Carey was able to get back into shape 5 months after giving birth because she is genetically better off than others. Carey tells a different tale.

Five months and two weeks ago I met Carey at the gym for an interview and a workout. Her hair was pulled loosely away from her face and piled on top of her head. Tennis Shoes, lose black pants, and a Fight Gone Bad shirt – she was a pregnant woman on the go. It was exactly two weeks until her due date and as she wrote her workout on the white board I began to wonder if I could do that workout. I mean sure, I could do it but I’d have to modify just about everything. I thought to myself, “I bet at 9 months pregnant she could kick my ass in a CrossFit workout.” She bounded over with a huge smile, the kind that makes the corners of your mouth turn up until you’re grinning ear to ear, trying desperately to figure out the punch line. “Are you ready for this?” Sheasked me. I looked down at my college lined notebook and ball point pen, “Yep, Are you?” she started laughing. I scribbled the workout down in my notebook:

Post CrossFit Cert Chipper As Rx'd:
25 Walking Lunges
20 Pull ups
50 Box Jumps
20 Double Unders
25 Ring Dips
20 Knees to Elbows
30 Kettlebell Swings
30 Sit Ups
20 Hang Squat Clean
25 Back Extensions
30 Wall Ball
3 Rope Climb

Scaled 9 Months Pregnant Chipper:
20 Walking Lunges
20 Pull Ups
25 Step Ups on a Box
25 Ring Dips
20 Kettlebell Swings

“Whoa, wait a minute you’re going to do pull ups?” “Yep, I can only get a few in a row now” I grabbed the stop watch and asked again if she was ready - giving her any reason to bail and go have lunch instead. But when I glanced over I saw that the noise around her had faded into the background. Carey was focused on her body and the workout ahead. “3,2,1 Go!” She moved through the workout steadily and was careful not to push herself too hard. She monitored herself every step of the way, and when she finished she yelled “Time!”

I was amazed! Here was a woman who by all definitions should be taking things easy, but she was still training her clients, completing modified workouts, finding time for her family and friends, and doping pull ups! After the birth of her 1st child, Carey got back into shape by training for an Iron Man. At CrossFit HQ she was filmed doing A Post CrossFit Cert. Chipper. This happened to be filmed a few weeks before she found out she was pregnant with her second child.


Carey’s work requires early mornings and staying motivated and active throughout the day. Juggling the different part of her life saw it’s fair share of struggles “Throughout my pregnancy I had long days but I was able to maintain what I normally did – I worked through it – but I was in bed by 9pm every night. I make a point to be present all of my day so I don’t neglect parts of my life. I take advantage of my free time. I think I have it good because I get to see my kids all day where some women have to work away from their kids. We all juggle different things but we have to be present in the moment for our clients and our family.”

She admits that this pregnancy was more difficult than her first. “I had to wear support hoes, I was more exhausted than I’ve ever been, I had to prop my feet up, and my abdominal muscles separated.”

Carey knew that getting back into shape wouldn’t be easy. Her abs separated during pregnancy, which meant paying closer attention to her body and easing back into training. “I have to be safe not to jump too quickly and take it easy. 2 weeks after I gave birth I began walking for 15 minutes. I first started walking in sandals so I wouldn’t be tempted to go at a quick pace. Then I started with a 1 minute walk, 2 minute jog – gradually I decreased my walking and increased my running. It’s not about getting back into the race. It’s about healing my body”

Five Months later Carey and I met up again for an Interview and a Workout. Black shorts, a white V-neck tank, and tennies – still a woman on the go. She bounded over with a huge smile “Let’s do this!” This time the Chipper was the same as before she was pregnant – no modification. To date she has lost all of the weight she gained while pregnant. Some say she is genetically pre-dispositioned to lose the weight faster than others. 
Some claim that it’s just something about Carey, she is special and a modern day super woman, and other women couldn’t possibly do the same thing. “No way was getting back into shape easy! It was tough. I had to watch what I ate, I had to CrossFit regularly. I watched myself teeter on the scale - lose a few pounds and gain a few more.”

When asked whats the secret she replied “You just have to get out there and make it happen. Just do it. Eat right, join a program, and stay consistent! That’s the secret.” Carey plans to expand the Crossfit Women’s program and spread real fitness to women all across Austin. She intends to “empower women, challenge women, and have them realize what they’re capable of." "All women can do what I did. Whether it’s needing to dial in on your food, your workouts , strength, or endurance – I’ve been through it and so have the other women in this program. That’s what it’s all about, coming together with like-minded people for a common goal – and that goal is to play an active role in your life.”

Carey Kepler has been training in Austin, TX for 10 years. She has been an athlete all of her life and has a strong passion to work with individuals ready to change their overall wellness and quality of life. Carey specializes in functional training for athletes and strength development of function for life. She is a triathlete of 7 years and has competed in sprint to ironman distance races. Carey has a BS in Kinesiology from Angelo State University, she is a Level II CrossFit Coach, and a Level I USAT Triathlon coach. Find Out More about Carey Kepler athttp://careykepler.blogspot.com



  1. Damn that's awesome! When I had both my boys I was on active duty (Army) and I can tell you working out was hard as hell. They required us to participate in a special PT program but we still worked out and had to report to formation a 6:30A.M. like everyone else. But to do CF while pregnant is freaking hard core!

  2. This just one more reason why CrossFit women ROCK!!!