Friday, August 23, 2013

Getting fit WHILE pregnant

If you've been following along then you know that I am fighting to have a fitter pregnancy this time around. Before finding out that I was pregnant, the plan was to join the gym after moving to our new area and hitting it hard. Welp... the day after we moved in I peed on a little stick and that stick showed two lines. I was pregnant and I didn't even get into a fitness regimen yet.
Many of us have heard from pregnancy websites, doctors and apps that it's okay to work out while pregnant IF you have been working out prior to getting pregnant. So I found myself in a weird place. I wanted so desperately to start working on my body and improve myself in order to have a better birth experience and recovery. I did research, spoke with my midwife and made up my mind. I was going to get fit while pregnant and, as long as my baby was safe, nobody was going to stop me.
Something you should know about me is that I stick to my guns. When I make up my mind about something, it's as good as set in stone. I think this is a big reason why I was able to go med-free for my last birth. Also, because I'm a freaking tiger. Don't believe me? Ask anyone who was in that delivery room with me. TIGER.
So I joined the gym. I actually walked in, in my gym clothes and ready to drop Cruze off at the daycare. I had hit that point. I wanted to start right away. No excuses. I walked up to the guy I had met with months prior, and said "let's do this". It felt a bit dramatic but it was the turning point I desperately needed to break out of my funk.
Now back to the point of this post. I was out of shape. My body needed some sort of definition, my arms were week, my stomach - still loose. You get the idea. I was pretty much starting from scratch. My goals before I was pregnant were to tone and shape up. I also needed to tighten my core. I decided to stick with these goals.

My workout

Starting off low and slow - I knew this was important for the baby. I started very slow. For the first week I just walked on the treadmill at a comfortable pace and did very very light weights on my arms and legs. I hired a trainer to teach me how to do things properly. I didn't want to risk injury especially while pregnant. After the first week I felt comfortable picking up the speed on the treadmill and doing more reps. Listening to your body is very important. No one knows how you feel and how your body is reacting the way you do. If I felt too out of breath, I would stop or do something very minor.

Treadmill - It's been a little over a month and a half since I started and I am at the point where I am comfortable running for a few minutes  on and off (enough to get good and sweaty) while walking at a fast pace for the remainder of my 20-30 minutes

Arms - I do very light weights. Like so light you might laugh at me. I do 15 reps and 3 sets for each exercise.

          bicep curls 5 pounds
          simultaneous arm lifts 2.5 pounds 
          lateral arm raises 2.5 pounds
          shoulder press 5 pounds
          triceps push 2.5 pounds ( I do mine standing and leaning forward with a wall for support)

Legs - I try to do all of my workouts slow enough to feel a burn. Especially since I don't do heavy. Again, 15 reps for 3 sets

         hip adductor machine around 25 pounds
         hip abductor machine around 25 pounds
         squats - I started doing about 50 a day but some days I do 100
         leg press machine around 35 pounds
         I do the leg series from my winsor pilates video and it works wonders
         I started ending my workouts this week by hopping on the stairmaster and taking deep steps

Abs - ohhhh these abs. They've seen better days let me tell ya. But I figured, I can try to tone what I can before I have even more to whine about. And it's not thaaat bad.

          Planks - I'm up to three 70 second planks
          Pilates 100
These will have to change however because I just confirmed that I have a diastasis recti. Have you ever heard of that? It's when your ab muscles separate usually due to pregnancy. I can fit three fingers side horizontally INTO my stomach. Gross. If you feel like your stomach will never be the same even with exercise, please look into this. You might have it too. The good thing is that there are simple exercises to correct it. The bad thing? Planks and pilates are not one of them. Actually, they make it worse! So yes, these workouts would be great during pregnancy if you do not have that issue. I'll update my ab workout routine later.

Some info on diastasis recti can be found here

Back - Hmmm I don't know the names of the workouts I do for my back but I will find out this week. I do a few machines and one where I stand on this thing that leans me forward and I do kind of like a stomach crunch move. I hope that makes sense.

I drink TONS of water and take breaks to assess how I'm feeling and to make sure I am not cramping or anything like that. Have I noticed a difference? You bet! I can't believe how my legs and butt are transforming every week. They might be a bit larger possibly due to some water retention but they are taking on a much better shape.
I feel amazing! I feel stronger every day and my mood also benefits from it. My arms are slowly building muscle and toning up. My arms are my biggest problem area so please don't judge my pictures. Just believe me when I say, there is a difference. I lost 1/4 inch and I'm pretty excited about it!
I'm still working on a schedule. Starting out of no where can be a tad overwhelming but every week I'm feeling more and more comfortable. Keep in mind, I am VERY new to this so my schedule might seem weird and might even be "wrong"to those who know what their doing. Last week I did:

Monday - back, biceps, 100 squats
Tuesday - abs, chest, pilates for legs, 50 squats
Wednesday - legs, butt, back, pilates for legs, 50 squats
Thursday - biceps, triceps, pilates for legs, 100 squats
Friday - cried while trying to pack for my weekend with a very fussy toddler and a car that died overnight... some days just don't work out haha. But I did do my squats :/

And for every person who told me I can't get fit while pregnant...

Watch me.


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