By now you might have guessed from the title what this post is going to be about. Yes you are right! I have recently become a mum of a very gorgeous little baby boy “OM”. He is the most handsome and the cutest baby boy and I am extremely proud of him and myself. Now that I have got a hang of the daily baby routine, I managed to take some time to write this inspirational (for so many of you if you need) and motivational post sharing my pregnancy journey that specifically focuses on my fitness routine during those glorious 9 months.
Let me tell you that I have thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy and as I said in my last post that 2016 was indeed a milestone year for me. This was pretty much the pregnancy life I had imagined and wished for ever since I can remember. Ofcourse 2017 opened its doors and arms wide by giving me the most beautiful baby. I flaunted my baby bump till the day I was taken to the hospital. I had immense support from my husband and my family back home and every one made sure the gorgeous mommy stays healthy and happy. But most importantly the joy of the entire pregnancy came from the fact that I stayed active every single day. As a fitness enthusiast and a foodie (lots of ghee, good carbs and essential protein), I very well knew the importance of staying active and since I know my body very well, I exactly understood my strength areas as well as my limitations. I did get to hear a lot about how you should never do certain exercises and how it raised the **brows** every time there was a mention of the word staying fit while pregnant and of course at times I was eyed skeptically of sweating out in the gym while pregnant. But I carried myself and my baby OM with a dash of panache and flaunted ourselves very elegantly.
Because I have been working out rigorously since many years, my pregnancy was a little more relaxed. I managed to detour the usual pregnancy symptoms that normally plague many pregnant women who have been either sedentary or not so active. I still have quiet a few weeks of rest and recovering ahead of me postpartum but I feel phenomenal not only throughout but also after the birth. It will be imperative before embarking upon the fitness journey and blindly following every thing that I have share about myself or even of those pretty pics of pregnant ladies holding light weight dumbbells or stretching on a yoga mat, you need to ask your doctor and get a green light and also know your body well enough to be safe. Through this post of my fitness journey I want to motivate and help other women out there (pregnant or not) to stay fit and healthy all through those 9 months. Lets celebrate being pregnant while carrying the little human being with utmost care, love and attention.
I was told to be vigilant about the heart rate during pregnancy (get a check from your doctor) specially during first trimester. Although I did make sure that I don’t go overboard cardio specifically toning down my HIIT training. Weight training came to my rescue since I never did anything different just because I was pregnant. I continued with my usual weight training till the last week or I must say just before 4 days of me giving birth. All I did was made few tweaks in the weights I lifted, reps and sets I did. I was often reminded by my gym buddies and other work colleagues that I was pregnant and I am not supposed to lift so much weight but then I had to educate them with confidence how it helps me and why it is beneficial to keep up with your weight training during pregnancy. In fact quiet often I was told by the trainers in the gym how impressive I did my workouts and how I would benefit post pregnancy compared to other women. Weight training gave me the ability to walk fast, to run up and down the stairs, to go for long jogs or walks and to be on my toes till the end. I cannot remember taking escalators anywhere instead of stairs even till the day before I was taken to the hospital.
My typical weight training routine was divided into 4 splits. 1) Lower body, 2) Chest,shoulders and triceps, 3) Back, rear delts and biceps and 4) Few accessories or isolation exercises. On other days I would focus on cardio or jog/walk/run either indoors or outdoors and little yoga specifically sun salutations. One thing to remember is that you should not try anything new during pregnancy because you wont be able to keep up with it till the end and you don’t want to risk any thing. I focused heavily on compound exercises like Squats, Deadlifts (till 2nd trimester), Leg press, Chest (Bench) Press (till week 18), military presses, rows (barbell and seated), lat pull downs, assisted pull ups. I did reduce on the weight that I lifted but kept the intensity of my workouts pretty much consistent.
I was down no less than 45-50kgs on barbellsquats and standing calf raises, no less than 50kg in sumo deadlifts(they are the best during pregnancy till you can bend comfortably) and rack pulls, 52-55 kg on hack squats, 70-80 kgs on incline leg press and 55-60 kg straight leg press. I don’t advocate everyone to lift this amount of weight unless you are experienced or have been doing weight training for a long time. I know lot other inspiring women who lift heavier than this but this is what I comfortably and safely targeted. For other isolation exercises I kept on varying as and when I required. Apart from being in the gym, I worked until the last day so that helped me as well to stay active. In fact my very caring colleagues were freaking out even three weeks before my due date as to why I was up and about at work. One of my colleague would call me enthusiastic and a happy person who never felt or looked pregnant. That was an amazing motivation for me in itself. I did have my own share of pregnancy blues like pain in the soles of my feet and some back pain if I remember specially during the last trimester. I enjoyed outdoor jogs and walks the most. I would take 30 minutes during lunch time at work and explore the outdoors for a nice 5k jog/walk. You need to be aware of a culprit called “relaxin” that might slow you down for quiet a few days with muscle soreness and pain. I figured that out at my doctors’ clinic quiet late when I once jogged about 7-8 km on a beautiful trail towards the end of my second trimester and wasnt sure what the hell the soreness and pain persisted for few days.
Diet wise I ate everything that I ate before getting pregnant. So nothing I ate came from those typical norms like “you need to eat because your baby craves or you need to eat for two etc..” I never had any cravings thanks to lots of ghee I ate every morning to ensure my taste buds stayed sane and my joints stayed lubricated. Ghee was one of the most essential part of my diet and still is post pregnancy. I have the genes to digest any amount of ghee I put in my mouth (**wink**). I did gain weight and I showed that off with pride as well along with my muscle definition. Ofcourse you will gain healthy weight during pregnancy and its is perfectly normal and natural. I supplemented my weight training days with natural whey protein powder along with my diet. I don’t think it is difficult to keep track of what you eat or your cravings, it’s just a matter of choice. Ofcourse you should never deprive yourself of anything either that you love to eat and enjoy it to the fullest.
With this note I am going to share some pictures of my workout during pregnancy with a hope that it will be helpful to all you beautiful pregnant or would be preggers. Drop a line of what else you would like to know and also share if you have a similar motivational journey.