I’ve been getting a bunch of questions regarding my workouts so far in this pregnancy. Let’s get into things in a bit more detail now!
I’m 20+ weeks pregnant now. Over the last week I’m
surprisingly feeling really good 😉 It almost feels weird to say that I’m feeling good!
Here’s what been happening with my workouts in the last 20 weeks; the first 1/2 of pregnancy.
1). Structured Training Plan
I’ve been on a structured workout plan since 9 weeks pregnant. For the previous month, I was just trying to get by during my workouts.
There were a lot of rough days, but I still managed to strength train and walk quite consistently (it was a nice distraction).
There were a LOT of exercises done lying down and on an incline in those early days, let me tell you 🙂
I am designing my pregnancy and postpartum training plan (surprise, surprise!). Luckily, I’ve done this a few (hundred) times before so I have a ton of experience on my side.
I’ve definitely learned a bunch from going through it myself though, and I’m really excited to pass on the new knowledge to my coaching clients.
My workouts are planned out until 40 weeks at this point, but I’m mentally prepared to add more on, ha!
2). Tracking System
I’ve been keeping track of each workout, my reps, my sets, my weights used during, how many walks I do each week, and the distance of them.
It’s going to be really cool to look back on to see all this add up over time.
I’m training for labor, birth, and postpartum recovery. In my opinion, that requires planning and effort.
3). 3 Strength Training Days
Currently, I’m strength training 3 days per week. They are all full body workouts.
I use a lot of supersets and trisets to pair my exercises in my workouts now, so I work in a “circuit training” style. Before pregnancy, I would often have a “heavy” exercise of the day where I would really push the weight and just focus on that one exercise for a number of sets; for example, on squats or deadlifts.
Now, I’m not lifting as heavy though, so it’s more effective to pair exercises together.
My workouts are challenging (for me) and leave me with some “good sore” muscles. I try to gauge my intensity level by using a “Rate of Perceived Exertion”. Most workouts I’m between a 7-8 (probably more 7s than 8s).
I always feel like I could have done more…and I like it that way.
Of course handstands are still happening! I’ve been doing handstands for 20+ years and being upside down is just a really comfortable way to hang for me 🙂
5). Moderate Reps
My reps ranges are mostly between 8-12 reps. I’ve been working some higher reps (10-12) for the last phase of my program, which has been the last 8 weeks now.
I’m not working super low reps anymore, say in the 3-5 range, simply because I don’t feel comfortable with lifting the amount of weight I’d need to have those low reps be challenging.
6). Minimal Metabolic
In my first trimester, there was basically zero metabolic type work done (think: heart rate up high, really sweating, breathing rate increased high).
A few reasons I structured it like so:
• I just didn’t physically or mentally feel like I could do that type of training
• I never prescribe much metabolic work for my prenatal coaching clients in the first trimester (it’s a critical time of development, and most women just don’t feel comfortable with it)
• My calories were not high enough to support that type of training, re: major food aversions and nausea (I’ll tell you about my nutrition soon)
So, I kept my reps between 6-10. 10 reps honestly felt like too many a lot of days (physically and mentally), so I’d cut it at 8.
Once I entered my second trimester I increased my reps slightly to get a bit more of a metabolic stimulus and that has been feeling quite good (hard, but good). Starting next week, I’ll move into a new phase with slightly heavier lifting and lower reps for another chunk of time.
7). A/B/A Format
I have 2 different strength training workouts I practice each week, for 4 weeks, and then I progress.
I do 3 workouts per week though, so this means I do an A/B/A format. Here’s how a typical workout week would look:
– Strength Day 1: Workout A
– Strength Day 2: Workout B
– Strength Day 3: Workout A
I do that schedule on Weeks 1 and 3, and then the opposite on Weeks 2 and 4 of my phase. By the time I’m finished a 4-week phase, I’ve done each workout about 6 times (that’s the goal anyways!).
I don’t get bored with this repeating of workouts. In fact, I really like it because I get to focus on the form, FEEL the exercise, take the weight up when I’m ready, and notice if there’s any differences in how I feel week to week.
8). At-Home Equipment
This is SO important to me.
I’ve been wanting to start building our home equipment stash so we’re prepped and ready when baby comes. In reality, gym workouts are just not going to happen that often. They’re tough enough to make happen these days!
So far the at-home gym includes:
• Resistance bands: 3 different resistance levels of superbands
• Dumbbells: 25, 30, 40, 50lb weights
• Treadmill: just getting this today! The main purpose of the treadmill is for leisurely, incline walking, and some short sprint work (loooong way off for me, which is totally fine).
That’s my pregnancy workout plan for the 1st half of this pregnancy! I’ll be updating you with more as I go, including exercising demos of my favourite pregnancy workouts.