17 Weeks | Pump It Up

August 8, 2013



I know in about 5 months the phrase “pump it up” will take on an entirely new meaning, but for today I’m talking about working out while pregnant.

For the past 5 years I’ve been very dedicated to working on my fitness. From kickboxing, spin, high-intensity circuits, P90X and heavy weight-lifting to barre3 and yoga I’ve pretty much tried it all (except Crossfit – still mustering up the courage to break into that clique.) I go through phases of building, shredding, and stretching – but regardless of what particular workout I’m trying out, hitting the gym daily (sometimes twice) was not a phase. It was a non-negotiable. Until I became pregnant, that is. I was traveling a lot through the first trimester but still managed to stay active with walks along the beach, body boarding and paddle boarding in the ocean, and yoga and barre3. But mostly I slept. A lot. I truly had no idea how much energy was required to grow tiny organs and a life-supporting placenta.

I was grateful that with the second trimester came more energy to workout and focus on eating Paleo. I’m back to my daily workouts but still listen to my body (vs. my ego) when it comes to pushing myself. Now, most of the time I find that the prompt to “listen to your body” is an excuse to eat sugar and wimp out on workouts. I’ll admit that if I hadn’t really pushed myself with really intense workouts and a strict diet, and tuned in with lots of yoga I would have had no idea what my body was telling me. “What’s that body? You want a grilled cheese, Oreos, chocolate milk, and are in the mood to watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians!?” 

I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to high-intensity circuits, rock climbing, and lifting heavy weights post-baby. But for now I’m trying to keep my focus on the here and now.

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So down to the nitty gritty. Here’s what my current workout routine at 17 weeks looks like: 
Sunday: barre3
Monday: 2-3 mile morning walk // spin cycle class
Tuesday: 2-3 mile morning walk // BodyPump (silly name – it’s a weight lifting class at the YMCA)
Wednesday: 2-3 mile morning walk // barre3 // belly dancing
Thursday: 2-3 mile morning walk // BodyPump
Friday: 2-3 mile morning walk // spin cycle class
Saturday: REST

NOTE: If I’m feeling tired or have a pressing deadline, I may skip a workout here and there. Some days I miss my morning walks but try and hit the pavement 4-5x a week. 

My mom walked like a champ during her pregnancies and delivered me, my brother, and my sister in like 1 hour with no drugs. I use this time every morning as a moving meditation to focus on sending love to the baby and strategize about what kind of mom I want to be.

I just started doing cardio (spin cycle) again – in a lot of ways to prep for the physicality of labor and birth. I remember my sister telling me that she couldn’t seem to catch her breath when she was delivering her kiddos – which made me think that cardio might be a good idea. I try to keep my heart rate at or below 140BPM and monitor it using a heart rate monitor.

Grandmas everywhere are telling me not to lift heavy furniture and to take it easy here. But my midwife said lifting is not a problem as long as I’m never really “bearing down”. BodyPump is light weights / high reps for your whole body. I’m not looking to gain muscle while pregnant (hormonally, I think it may be impossible?) but I am hoping to maintain some tone.

My yoga practice has completely fallen by the wayside lately. I’ve learned that I was bringing loads of ego to my mat and the fact that I couldn’t do as many inversions, twists, & tricky arm balances left me uninspired. I know I’ll come back to it in due time. I have however, been really into Barre3. If BodyPump hits all my major muscle groups Barre3 is all about going deeper and smaller into the muscle. It’s also great for alignment, posture, and keeping my core strong as I begin to grow a belly.

Important things to remember:
• You need an extra 300 calories per each hour of working out
• You also need an extra hour of sleep per each hour of exercise
• Stay hydrated! I’ve been drinking at least 64 oz. of water a day. But hydration starts with food – lots of healthy fats, protein, and no sugar.

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Field Notes & Observations:
• Jeremy & I hired a doula this week! We met with her over iced teas and I instantly felt so inspired and encouraged around all things labor and delivery. (more on that next week)
• I started reading Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth – my key takeaway (so far) is that she’s all about making out with your man during contractions. Get ready, Jeremy.
• We had a midwives appointment this week and got to hear the heartbeat – 156BMP.
• I felt the baby legit move! It was so special and cool – I want to feel it more often.
• I’ve been craving apples and almond butter. I ate something like 9 apples in 3 days without even really realizing it.
• I finally invested in a belly band. I don’t think I’m a fan. I think I need just a few more maternity clothes.

Related posts:
• 9 weeks | We Made Magic
• 13 weeks | Like A Gorilla
• 14 weeks | It’s Like Puberty
• 15 weeks | It Takes Time
• 16 weeks | Vivid Dreams

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