How To Stay Fit And Healthy During Your Pregnancy, According To A Personal Trainer

Eating for two, training for two!

pregnancy
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When you’re expecting, it can be tempting to use it as an opportunity to chain yourself to the couch and watch Friends reruns for 9 months. If the nausea and constant tiredness aren’t enough to put you off hitting the gym, there’s always the fear of hurting yourself or your unborn bub.


But not only is it safe to exercise during your pregnancy, it’s actually recommended! According to the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines, pregnant women should aim to get 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise (or a combination of both) each week.

From giving you more energy to helping you maintain a healthy weight and retain your fitness level, the benefits to keeping up your workout regime are endless. But while that’s all well and good if low-impact exercises like yoga and pilates are your jam, what if you’re more of a ‘HIIT and heavy weights’ girl? How do you adapt that hardcore style of training for pregnancy?

It’s a question that ultramarathon runner, Blackmores ambassador, and Nike trainer Bec Wilcock is all too familiar with. Known for running some of the most grueling ultramarathons in the world, Bec admits that her pregnancy (she recently gave birth to a gorgeous little boy, Beau Patrick) meant big changes for her fitness routine. Here she shares a pregnancy-safe workout plan designed for a client in her second trimester, as well as her top tips for staying fit and healthy.

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Weeks 20 – 24

Monday: 10-minute walk, then 40 on 20 off or EMOM workout (select from the workouts below.)

Tuesday: 60 to 90-minute walk and mobility exercises

Wednesday: 1km walk into Tabata intervals (see below.)

Thursday: Pilates

Friday: Strength program A 

Saturday: Yoga or swim

SUNDAY: Rest

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Weeks 24-28

Monday: 10-minute walk, then 40 on 20 off or EMOM workout (select from the workouts below.)

Tuesday: 60 to 90-minute walk and mobility training.

Wednesday: Rest.

Thursday: 60-90 minute walk and mobility training or 1km swim.

Friday: Strength program B (see below).

Saturday: Yoga.

Sunday: Rest.

The workouts

Strength program A:

12 to 15 reps X 4 sets

  • Glute bridges
  • Barbell squat
  • Dumbell Bulgarian squat
  • Cable row
  • Cable fly
  • Tricep pulldown

Strength program B

12 to 15 reps X 4 sets

  • Walking lunges
  • Abductors
  • Single arm row
  • Dumbell incline chest press
  • Dumbell bicep curl

EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute)

On the top of every minute complete:

  • 20 dumbell walking lunges
  • 15 dips (use bench) OR tricep extensions (depending on how strong your wrists are)
  • 15 kettlebell high pulls
  • 1 minute on your chosen piece of cardio equipment ( e.g cross-trainer, bike)
  • 1-minute rest

X 5 sets

*If you find your HR increases above 155BPM, take an extra minute rest after every round. Remember to listen to your body, if any movement does not feel comfortable it’s important to change it up.

40 seconds on 20 seconds off

  • Dumbell Step Up
  • Bird dog
  • Kettlebell Swing
  • Cross-trainer
  • 1-minute rest

X 4 sets

Tabata

Machines:

  • Ski
  • Assault bike
  • Cross-trainer
  • Treadmill
  • Bike
  • Step machine/Stairmaster

Bec’s tips for staying fit and healthy during pregnancy

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  • Trimester 2 is when the fatigue and nausea calms down (and you should no longer feel like you’re constantly hungover) Hallelujah! However, if you finding it continues, go and see your healthcare provider.
  • By 16 weeks, you shouldn’t be lying flat on your back.
  • Avoid exercising to exhaustion. Your normal session of 45 to 60 minutes can probably be continued, but instead of working out at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR), keep your intensity at or below 70 percent of your MHR.
  • Don’t let yourself get overheated. The fetus can’t cool itself through sweating the way you can, so you have to maintain normal body temperature. Proper hydration is necessary to do this. Try drinking 250ml of cold water every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise, and drink before you feel thirsty.
  • Avoid heavy weight lifting and any activities that require straining. Use lighter weights and more repetitions.
  • Most importantly, exercise and eat to feel good!! Happy Mumma = Happy baby!

*Note: Always consult your GP or pregnancy doctor before starting a new workout plan.