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Gym + early pregnancy?

(11 Posts)
susey Tue 26-Jul-11 20:42:06

Sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere but I couldn't find a recent thread. I am a real gym bunny, I go 2-3 times a week and really enjoy doing free weights. I've been to the gym as usual this month without realising I was pregant, but today was the first day I went knowing I'm pregnant and it was exhausting! Thing is, I might just be being paranoid now I know!!

What did all other gym goers do when they found out they were pregnant? I guess I shouldn't exhaust myself, but can I still do weights and work out like normal? I am thinking of booking an appointment with a personal trainer for some advice (but I don't know if they are all qualified to offer advice to pregnant women - again, does anyone have experience of this??) Thanks!

pixiekid Tue 26-Jul-11 20:49:37

I'd say just get advice from the gym. I'd been going before I realized I was pregnant. Once I realized, I got advice. Basically you can't get your heart-rate above a certain figure (dependent on your age/weight etc) - mine is 130bpm sad. I can do pretty much anything I did before but just less of it, less intensity. You shouldn't lift weights above your heart as this puts added pressure on you, so you may need to adapt your routine. The important thing is not to overheat or dehydrate....

I find it pretty frustrating as I now have the work-out plan of an old lady but I figure anything is better than nothing.

Chynah Tue 26-Jul-11 22:04:20

the heartrate guide is out of date. It is now a scale of percieved effort 1-10 and you should not be working above about 7 )(ie able to hold a conversation).

melliebobs Tue 26-Jul-11 22:25:30

I used to work in the fitness industry but now work for the NHS doing exercise for clinical populations and also im 10 weeks pregnant. The week I found out I really struggled and have not been since so 5 weeks now with no gum and was going 4-5 times a week and was halfway through a 10km training programme. but the tiredness is starting to go so hopefully back to it soon.

Also pregnancy isn't covered within the personal trainer award in any depth it's something that's a stand alone award so any advice given may just be from 'experience' or 'common sense' so ask what qualifications they do have.

The heart rate thing is baloney. There are too many variables to heart rate (the weather, time of day, stress, mediation, how hydrated you are etc) and some people naturally have a high heart rate and manage fine. Rate of perceived exertion is best and is a scale of 6-21 where you rate how heard you think you are working. But all I tell my pregnant clients is as long as your able to hold a conversation and aren't gasping for breath your fine.

Resistance work is fine. As is above the head stuff like shoulder press/lat pulldown. Above the head work is only recommended to be avoided If you have high blood pressure. Powerplates shouldn't be used and an work avoided from 12 weeks

Other thing worthwhile remembering is during pregnancy hormones relax the ligaments making you more flexible but more prone to injury.

Um yerr so that's all I can think off for now. Congratulations and hope it helps.

freelancegirl Tue 26-Jul-11 22:26:57

I was a gym bunny who loves weights too but have eased off a bit since having a miscarriage and also now being in the early stages of pregnancy the second time this year. I don't think the gym was connected to the mc by the way so don't worry about that. However I have worked out with at least three personal trainers who all have conflicting advice. My best advice would be to choose a female trainer and one who has had children. Anyone else is just guessing to a certain extent. My usual trainer said I shouldn't work out at all! Others said don't lift your arms above your head or lie flat... all advice that is fine to ignore in the first trimester. I would say don't lift hugely heavy weights and don't do anything that might cause you to lose balance and fall. Also remember your ligaments are going to be more stretchy and therefore more vulnerable to injury.

Oh and yes it is knackering too so give yourself a break and eat some cake smile Your life is about to change and you have other priorities now. I was terrified when I thought of giving up my gym routine (I used to go at least 4-5 times a week and have a lot of friends there) but now since I have had a mc and am pregnant again I have worked out that it wasn't the most important thing to me in the world after all. That said, am hoping now I am less busy to try to get to the gym at least 2-3 times a week for a gentle but healthy workout.

melliebobs Tue 26-Jul-11 22:27:12

And appologies for any bad typos. Fat fingers and smart phones aren't the best combination

Macaroona Tue 26-Jul-11 22:30:19

I'm in second trimester - 19 weeks - and have been told not to do any exercise involving my stomach muscles. Nothing lying on my back, and no lifting weights that uses stomach muscles. And no breast stroke. And nothing that involves bouncing, like aerobics.

Tbh I'm a lazy bum anyway so am taking it all on board and only walking lots as usual for exercise!

Meglet Tue 26-Jul-11 22:38:23

I used to work out most days before I got pg. Once I knew I was pg I slowed down and paced myself instead of beasting it all the time.

There was a trainer at the gym who was qualified in ante-natal exercise and she sorted out a new routine for me. It was way easier than what I was used to but once my bump grew I was happy to slow down a lot. Across the top of my workout card she scribbled MAINTENANCE in big letters, no silly workouts, no pushing myself too hard and to listen to my body and stop if something felt wrong. By the end of both my pregnancies (at 38 weeks and 36 weeks) I was still on the treadmill for 2 mins, bit of cycling, gentle weights etc.

Maybe your local NCT group would be able to reccomend an ante-natal personal trainer. Combining it with yoga or pilates is also helpful (IME). If you are fit I'm sure it makes pregnancy more bearable. If you feel too tired then don't workout, I found the extreme tiredness passed after a couple of weeks.

I will say I am so glad I stuck it out and worked out through both my pregnancies (1 month break for severe morning sickness with DC2 and 12 weeks breaks for both c-sections afterwards though). This evening I was charging around the park doing an army boot camp work out and survived just fine, not bad for 37 and 2 small kids grin.

wompoopigeon Tue 26-Jul-11 22:48:36

I've adapted my routine to use slightly smaller weights to make injury less likely due to ligaments relaxing. (also because I have been feeling lazy!). I also avoid some of the stuff with my head tipped down as it made me feel faint. I use a big wedge when lying on my back eg for ab curls, concentrating on quality of motion not numbers of reps.

Basically you're going to receive loads of conflicting advice. Take it easy and listen to your own body.

Penelope1980 Wed 27-Jul-11 08:46:15

The advice my trainer gave me when I first found out was that anything I could do while carrying on a conversation (as a measure of heart rate) is fine, and that after 12 weeks you can't lie on your back but before then is fine. I agree with what meglet said about maintainance, as that's what worked for me at first. I think the trick is to manage your expectations about what you can do and reduce it when needed. The day before I found out I was pregnant, I was proud of myself for being able to do 30 pushups on my toes in a minute. Now at 31 weeks I feel just as proud for being able to walk an hour in a day. Due to ligament pain I think it's time to try aqua jogging as well smile

susey Wed 27-Jul-11 08:48:11

this is all such good advice, thanks everyone. I am going to ask my GP first and foremost, and then 'be sensible', so carry on as normal if I can but perhaps with lower weights, see how I feel.

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