I receive a lot of questions about my workout routine. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve noticed that I workout pretty regularly and consistently. Working out gives me energy, clears my mind, is healthy for my heart and body, and most importantly, feels good – there’s nothing better than an endorphin release!
Long before I became pregnant with Luca, I always used to think it was shocking when women worked out while pregnant. It looked “wrong”, like these women shouldn’t be pushing themselves in their delicate state. Then, when I became pregnant with Luca, I realized that there’s nothing delicate about pregnancy, ha! All jokes aside, our bodies are strong and are meant to carry children. My OB-GYN put it into great perspective during one of my early appointments, when Lu innocently asked, “Should she be spinning in her state?” My state meaning… pregnant. My doctor answered, “Think of the women years ago who had to run from animals in the wild. Women all over the world have been birthing children for thousands of years. Yes, it’s okay.”
My doctor did say this: if you are already an active person (you regularly workout), then there’s no reason to stop when you become pregnant. However, if you haven’t been active, it’s not a good idea to start a fitness program when you become pregnant. There are parts of your body that are weakened, because they are changing, expanding, and getting ready for birth (like your joints.)
Many of you have asked me, “do you not let your heart rate get above a certain point?” and the answer is this: I don’t wear a heart rate monitor when I workout, so no. I think all of those things cause anxiety and stress, which is worse for you and your baby than a certain peak heart rate. that’s just my opinion! some people like having rules, restrictions, and guidelines – it’s comforting and it makes them feel safe. my #1 rule for pregnancy and motherhood is: do what makes you comfortable.
My philosophy on working out while pregnant
My philosophy on working out while pregnant is this: listen to your body. If you’re doing an exercise you normally do and it doesn’t feel right or you become dizzy from exerting yourself too far, just stop and don’t continue. There are certain exercises I avoid while pregnant, because they cause my discomfort, obviously anything that requires me to lay on my tummy, like most ab work, lifting heavy weight, jumping (I’d pee myself anyway at this point), exercises on my back (the pressure is too much), and anything that requires me to bend over very far (dead lifts, for example.)
If there’s anytime to be in tune with your body and listen to it, it’s during pregnancy.
my current workout routine
Before I was pregnant, I was doing BBG (you can read my full review here, after completing the 12 week program.) I felt stronger than ever and that overlapped with my first few weeks of pregnancy, so I was happy to start at a great, strong place. I had abs! typically my workout routine usually consists of 2-3 days of strength training and 3-4 days of cardio. I aim for 5-6 days a week!
Now, it ranges week to week, but in general, I get in at least 3 cardio days and at least 1 strength training day per week. for my cardio days, I use the Peloton spin bike (we have one in our bedroom) and on the strength training days, I do a 20 minute treadmill warmup of walking uphill in intervals and then 20-25 minutes of strength training, combining upper and lower body.
When I do cardio workouts, I don’t push myself nearly as hard as I did before becoming pregnant, simply because I get out of breath. I take breaks when I need to. for example, if the instructor in the spin class says to do an interval and I’m not ready for it, I won’t push myself like I would not-pregnant. I sit in the saddle and recover a bit. I don’t go as fast or as high of a resistance, either. I do what feels most challenging in my pregnant state!
As for strength training workouts, I like to switch it up, but generally, this is what one of them looks like, in case you’re looking for inspiration:
Warmup: uphill treadmill walk, 15-20 minutes
Lower body (repeat 2-3x)
- 15 squats with 10 lbs
- 20 reverse lunges with 10 lbs
- sumo squat with 15lb kettlebell
- 20 side lunges with 10lbs
Upper body (repeat 2-3x)
- 12 bicep curls with 10 lbs
- 15 tricep dips
- 12 shoulder presses with 10 lbs
- 15 pushups (on knees!)
I’ll be able to maintain my current workout routine for the rest of my pregnancy with the exception of the spinning – at a certain point (with Luca, it was around 25-30 weeks), my belly becomes too big and it’s uncomfortable for me to sit and mainly for my lower back. I’ll replace spinning with treadmill and the strength training days will become 100% strength training with no cardio in them.