Pregnant and Training

I have a client who is now 7mths pregnant.   She’s doing amazing and wows people everytime she’s in the gym.   She wanted to start writing down her feelings and ideas with regards to training and being pregnant in general and I decided this would be a great place to put them.  So here’s Episode 1 from last week. Yeah I’m a week late! So what! 😉

Pregnant and Training…  Week 32

I felt great today. Did a big workout that would have barely counted as my warm-up 7 months ago! Beyond the changes in my physical strength, the wildest part of this journey has been the change in my mental approach to my training.

After a year or more of pushing myself to the limits of my capacity, the first thing to go when I got pregnant was the stopwatch. This was at about month 2. That was a hard one to give up… I found myself “cheating” by wearing it anyway and not logging my time, or not wearing it but still trying to go as fast as I could. Competing against my best times had been such a powerful motivator, and I missed not being able to push my hardest. I liked the rush, and I wanted the ego boost of doing something that felt impressive, even if only to me. I finally came to terms with not timing myself when it became clear that my body simply wouldn’t go very fast. Hmm.

Next thing to go (after my waistline) was my morale. By about month 5, I found it really discouraging to be getting “worse” with every workout… to realize each session that I had lost strength and stamina since my previous workout just 48 hours before.  I know, I know, my body is working on more important things. But its one thing to know this on an intellectual level, and a totally different thing to feel yourself unable to do things you used to be good at. I constantly felt like I was being “demoted” when Chris would instruct me to do push ups from my knees, for example, or to do fewer sets. Then again, I was still proud to know that I was deep into pregnancy and still training three times a week. My bruised ego would get a little poof whenever I would see colleagues’ reactions to the news that I had done 4 sets of squats the night before, topped off with 5 sets of kettle bell swings.

Luckily this discouraged phase only lasted a short while. What really helped me turn the corner was discovering several pregnancy forums online. In a thread called “Anyone else frustrated with decreasing intensity?”, I found over 4 pages of other fit, pregnant women venting that they were feeling the exact same way I was. I think I was just looking for a little empathy… I know I train more than most non-pregnant people, and definitely more than nearly any pregnant women, but I’m not comparing myself to them! That’s like eating seconds because the children are hungry in Ethiopia.

By month 6, I finally started accepting and expecting that I wasn’t going to be breaking any records. Coming to terms with this allowed me to start having fun again and even laughing at some of my more out-of-breath, clumsy moments.

Here we are at month 7, and I’ve reached a new phase. After denial, despair and acceptance, I’ve now moved further over on the spectrum and am worried about overdoing it! By now I’ve totally accepted that I can’t do what I could before… In fact, it feels like so long ago, I can hardly believe that less than a year ago I could squat my bodyweight or deadlift 135 lbs!

I was mid pull-ups today when Malcolm said “You know, you should really be videotaping this. It would give a lot of people a whole new perspective!”. Well Malcolm – if nothing else – you helped regain MY sense of perspective!

Stay tuned for more adventures in pregnant training… It’s only going to get more fun from here.

Today’s workout

    warm up
    2 mins incline 6, 1 min incline 4, speed 6, 10 mins
    (pee break)
    3 ROUNDS
    12x good mornings (45 lbs)
    12x push ups (window sill)
    5 x 5 squats (24kg KB)
    4 ROUNDS k
    1 – 3 – 5 reps
    shoulder press (35 lbs)
    pull ups (purple elastic)
    5x 10 sec hold
    5x 10 sec hold plus abs
    5x ea side, 10 sec hold w/ raised leg
    Felt great today!!!

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