As a training note, I have undergone a certification course for prenatal training. I always stay updated on the literature and have trained many pregnant women but that has always been in a group setting. In groups, you don’t always get the accountability aspect that you get 1-on-1.
On Facebook, I published a photo in early September as a salute to a client Cory for EXERCISING CONSCIOUSLY throughout her pregnancy. I am thrilled to share that she has given birth to her first child.
TO EXERCISE CONSCIOUSLY during pregnancy, both trainer and client need to always be candid with one another and lay expectations bare. Here are some of my rules…
Explain in detail the road ahead and what can be expected.
I want to know the client schedule. Are there any trips planned? Flights to take? Medical appointments? Weight gain? I always pre-plan and share the workout in advance. I explain the how and why of everything we do. There must also always be a Plan B.
Cory and I worked out together 2X per week, from the beginning of her second trimester up until four days before she went into labor. When we were not together, she performed the exercises I prescribed for her, ate well, managed her weight gain and walked regularly.
Embrace the body changes. Talk about it. Remind the mom that this is temperary. Reaffirm that body insecurity during pregnancy is normal and it shall pass.
Mom leads the way.
I start every session by inquiring “How are you today?” I even ask the spouse if I have access to him/her. I want to know everything.
You only push the training based on the health and fitness of the mother. This is not a time to try to pack on muscle and “tone your thighs.”
Make it fun.
For example, for gentle cardio, I would ask Cory to pick her favorite song (usually Britney Spears) and we would dance for 5 minutes. You can see a glimpse of this in the July Dance video.
Change the training.
As the pregnancy continues there will be body changes and accommodate for them. Change the protocol. Use different tools. I use everything from tennis balls to a TRX to minibands to a Rip Trainer to kettle bells to stairs. Nothing is off-limits.
Teach stretching techniques.
As you enter the later weeks, there will greater pressure on the back and potential sciatic pain. Teach the client how to stretch effectively and how to perform self-massage. A smarter and more comfortable client allows the trainer to do his/her job more efficiently.
Teach real world training.
KINETIC Sculpt® is about real life fitness and has different components. I beleive we need to craft real world exercises for our clients.
For example, train the expectant mother, or the senior client, to get out of a chair as that simple act will get increasingly difficult in the later months. Train the mom-to-be for the weeks after childbirth. After a woman gives birth, she must wait at least six weeks before receiving medical clearance to exercise. In the interim she still must be able to carry a baby on her shoulder and lift her child in and out of a bassinet.
We often addressed self-image but we never focused on it. The emphasis was always on health and strength. DO the good work and you will get the vanity by-product without force.
Throughout her pregnancy, Cory was always receiving compliments. She was a buffed mom-to-be. In fact, she sometimes complained that she didn’t look pregnant enough. It wasn’t until her eighth month that she felt gratified that her belly really began to show.
I welcome beautiful, Reagan Jewel, 5lbs 4oz to the world and little one your mom took great care of you from the start.