Twice a week at CrossFit Inferno on California’s Central Coast, mothers go through an hour-long high-intensity workout that’s designed by moms for moms.
“So, today we have mom bods and WODs,” said exercise instructor Kassi Heidemann.
WODs is an acronym for “workout of the day.”
“I have a 5-year-old boy and he’s the light of my life but he’s also a lot of work,” Heidemann said.
Heidemann is a big believer that athletics can help improve emotions – especially for postpartum moms.
“When my little guy was super little there was a lot of stress,” she said. “So, you can tell they’re wound up, pent up, not aggression just stress in new moms.”
That stress can be somewhat relieved with these meatgrinder workouts.
“It helps my sanity a lot because I’m with these two all the time,” said new mom Elaine.
Elaine says she finds her peace and also her pulse racing during the workouts.
The mother of two says there’s no shaming at the gym – it’s more celebrating.
“Coming here you get to talk to other moms and just get out and be social and exercise so it helps with self-esteem, too,” she said.
But doing deadlifts and squat presses for time – how much is too much too soon?
“Exercising is very important for all people, especially mothers,” said Terry Krause, MD of UCHealth.
Krause says typically after childbirth mothers should start slow and wait at least six weeks before any rigorous activity.
“When you’ve been pregnant for a while and delivered a baby, your body is not the same as it was previously,” she said. “So, you can’t necessarily jump right back into a triathlon.”
A mother herself, Krause says a mom’s health is paramount for the health of the entire family.
“Not only do you need to be healthy because you’re a person and you matter but your baby needs a mom your baby needs a mom who feels good about being a parent,” she said.
As the workout was coming to an end at CrossFit Inferno, Heidemann said the more moms workout, the more they change both physically and emotionally.
“You see just their face, you see the way they carry themselves,” she said. “They walk around just so much more confident.”
And by embracing their own health, Heidemann says these moms are role models.
“Their kids actually see and their kids will actually know this is my mom,” she said. “She’s strong. She’s confident. And she takes care of me.”