In last week’s Fitness Friday post, I talked about being flexible and adapting to change. I also mentioned that at my ‘peak’ I was squatting 200 lbs – in that squat rack behind me in the above pic – though with poor form. That was around late December.
Well, as it turned out, around that time, life threw Hubba Hubby and I a huge curveball: a positive pregnancy test. We were over-the-moon thrilled and overjoyed, but obviously had to re-evaluate and re-structure my workouts to prevent injury or damaging something.
ALL OF THE RESEARCH OUT THERE suggests that continuing your workouts (provided they aren’t full-body-contact-sports) during pregnancy is actually beneficial to your growing baby. I am not a doctor, licensed trainer or anything in those fields, so please do not take this as medical advice whatsoever – I can only tell you what I did and how I feel about it.
However, in the early days of pregnancy and reading about my body producing “relaxin” to help all of my joints/muscles ‘relax’ to accommodate baby-weight/growth, I was very uncomfortable with the idea of continuing my heavy lifts. I worried about hurting myself and/or baby, straining too much, pulling something, and being unable to continue with my fitness routine. Plus – to be totally honest, I knew that I’d gotten up to 200 lbs by slowly not going as low in my squat as I could/should for maximum results. I was more focused on the numbers going up than I was on keeping good form and building strength.
With all of those factors adding up, it made sense for me to de-load every one of my lifts and start over with my focus on proper form. I started with a 30lb kettlebell back in January – going all the way down, ass-2-grass as I like to call them (a2g for short), and have since moved up to 35. I’m having a ton of trouble and have been stuck for a few weeks now – not with the weight, which is fine, but keeping my back straight on the way up. I know I made the right choice for me.
I also de-loaded my other lifts, and stopped doing deadlifts as I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the stress it placed on my body early on. Lately, however, I’ve felt a calling back to doing lower back exercises as my back has started giving me trouble, though I haven’t gained much in terms of my front-loaded weight.
Now, my lifting routine looks like this: deep-squats 3x a week, alternating overhead press and bench press on those days. I finish lifting sessions with 45 minutes on the treadmill power-walking, because running isn’t comfortable for me.
But on ‘off’ days – days I don’t lift – I have discovered that if I am not active, I expect to fully hit a wall around 3 or 330 and desperately need a nap. I now make sure to get into the gym every.single.day, even if it’s just to walk for an hour on the treadmill, lest I fall prey to the sleepies. It’s almost insane to me that I’m firmly in the second trimester and in the gym more than I was before I was pregnant — I frequently took breaks or didn’t go on weekends back then. Now? If I miss that morning powerwalk, I lose an hour later from being so exhausted that I’m totally useless.
Yes, that picture of me up top is just a few days ago – I’m 20 weeks pregnant and feeling strong! I’m not breaking any records, I’m not losing weight (obviously) or fat, but I’m keeping my strength up and will be ready to lift baby once baby is here.
How do you feel on days you don’t exercise? Have you figured out a way to work it into your schedule just so you can keep the good feelings flowing? Are you a morning or evening workout kind of person?