Being pregnant and having kids is som hing I knew I wanted to experience and do in life. Working and living in the fitness field, staying strong, and looking fit has always been priorities to me. When I found out I was pregnant I must say I had the same anxieties and fears of most women, if not worse. I feel having a career in fitness and nutrition makes you that much more aware of a changing body. I had so many questions in my head. What will I do when my body starts to change? Will I ever get my old body back? Of course I was overwhelmed with excitement knowing that I am carrying a little bundle of joy. I had many mixed emotions going through my head.
During the first trimester I was extremely lucky. I did not get any morning sickness and felt pretty good I did, however, notice that I was more tired than normal. I also had so many cravings for food that I normally never eat. I wanted junk food like crazy. It was hard for me to be disciplined and say no all the time as well. So when I gave in to some of the food, it was very hard on me emotionally and physically.
As far as working out I continued my kettlebell workouts with a heart rate monitor on. Here is an example of a workout I did during the first trimester primarily with kettlebells. I was also in great shape going in to this, so I would not suggest this to anyone else unless they were doing this many months prior to the pregnancy.
- Swings 12kg 30×3
- Single Leg Dead Lifts 2 12kg’s 6×3
- Over head press 12kg 8×3 on each arm
- Push ups on Kettlebells 10×3
- Lat Pull Down 60lb 10×3
- Snatches 12kg 15×3 on each arm
I would take rests as needed if my heart rate got exceedingly high. Normally if I do snatches or swings my heart rate gets between 160-180pbm. As long as it came down quickly I would continue with the workout.
My second trimester of pregnancy my six pack was gone. I was bloated after my first meal in the morning. I knew it was from my digestive system slowing down so the baby can absorb as much of the nutrients as possible. Being bloated with a belly was awkward and uncomfortable for me. As the weeks went by during this trimester my belly started to grow rapidly. By the end of this trimester I was in maternity clothes. Working out during these weeks were tough, because I knew I had to use lighter weights. Pressurized breathing to get heavier weights over your head is just not good for the baby. Here is an example of a program I followed throughout my second trimester. I only did this program about twice a week and started walking up and down hills 3 times a week for 45 minutes.
- Front Squats 12kg 10×3
- Overhead Press 8kg 8×3 on each arm
- Push ups on KB’s 5×3
- Swings 8kg 20×3
- Lat Pull down 50lb 10×3
- Snatches 8kg 15×3 on each arm
My third trimester, which I am currently in right now has been the most challenging for me. I continued to work as a trainer and teach classes throughout my entire pregnancy. My ever growing stomach was finally starting to hurt to the point it would interfere with my training. Luckily I am still able to show clients swings, snatches, and squats. But overhead presses, Turkish get ups, and Windmills were out of the question. I know working is coming to an end. I stopped kettlebells when I reached this point. . My body told me to stop doing kettlebells for some reason. So I decided to listen to it for the baby. Walking 2-3 miles 4-5 times a week became my only outlet of exercise. This stage is very tough for me because walking never feels like enough, compared to the types of workouts I was use to. I do have to say walking saves me. If I didn’t have that I would go insane. I would suggest walking to all pregnant woman, as long as their physician allows it. It’s the safest exercise you can do on your body and it doesn’t take much effort to get yourself up and to do it.
I am currently in the impatient stage of my pregnancy. I have gained about 22 pounds and I am 36 weeks pregnant. I have probably lost a significant amount of muscle as well. Overall I am keeping good thoughts awaiting for my baby girl or boy. I will continue to update everyone with my progress. This has been such a learning experience for me and will continue to be.
Lauren Brooks is a fitness and strength trainer in San Diego, CA. Lauren earned her B.S. in Kinesiology with an Emphasis in Fitness, Nutrition, and Health from San Diego State University.
Lauren is certified by American Council on Exercise, a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, and Certified by Russian Kettlebell Challenge. She is available for online nutrition and program designs as well as private and group sessions. You can contact her at Lauren@socaltrainer.com or go to www.OnTheEdgeFitness.com