“What’s one piece of fitness advice you have for a new mom like me? I’m feeling so ready to get back to the gym, but also kinda apprehensive!”
I received that DM in my inbox last week on Instagram. To be honest, I receive a version of that DM on the regular.
It can feel really confusing trying to figure out how to find some consistency with exercise in the postpartum chapter. Mostly because you’re so damn tired finding the motivation is a struggle.
For me, I spent so much of pregnancy longing for the days I could exercise without a baby in my belly. I just wanted to be able to do all the things again. In my first pregnancy I was committed to my belief that I would bounce right back and be in the gym at 4 weeks postpartum (why tho?).
Yeah that didn’t happen.
Because newborns are hard and your body feels different after having a baby.
After 3 kids and 3 very different postpartum experiences (plus training all kinds of postpartum women) I can tell you my #1 piece of fitness advice is this:
TRAIN THE BODY YOU’VE GOT
Not the one you used to have
Not the one you hope to have again someday.
The one you have right now.
Recently I told my friend and chiropractor that I tried to add more weight to my back squat but then I was in pain for several days later.
“Maybe your body still isn’t ready for that, maybe you’re just going to have to train at a lower threshold for awhile?”
“Shut up, I don’t like that.” ←– I’m not perfect here ladies.
My friend, was 100% right and I still 100% wanted to roll my eyes at him and ignore his advice. In fact after my first 2 kids that’s exactly what I would have done.
The reality is though that if basic core exercises like a deadbug are challenging for me (and you), I’m probably not ready to find out how heavy I can load the bar for a back squat.
I don’t quite have strict pull ups back yet, so I probably shouldn’t be performing kipping pull ups in a workout (even though I 100% can do them… I tried 😂).
So yeah…At 7 months postpartum, I’m training the body I do have right now.
If you’re currently postpartum or preparing for that chapter of your life, I think wrapping your brain around this concept is the #1 thing you can do to make your return back to the gym as easy as possible mentally.
I’ll be honest with you…Choosing to train the body you’ve got might annoy the shit out of you. You WILL wish you’re further along in the process at least once if not regularly.
I definitely did.
As I worked through this chapter a few of the things I made a point to focus on were:
✅Daily core strength (it’s boring, but it helps. Check out the
free video series I put together).
✅Consistency with exercise (that’s hard enough with a kid that doesn’t sleep well)
✅Movements that don’t flare up the section of my spine that is finicky and gets easily pissed off. For you that might mean you need to take stock of any movements that trigger symptoms in your body.
✅Glutes… Always and forever 🍑 Read more on my favorite glute exercises HERE and HERE
Your body is going to take as long as its going to take to heal postpartum. The question is, do you want to work with it and train it appropriately (fast way) or work against it, pushing it harder, and make yourself mentally crazy and physically hurt (hard way)?
When I put it like that it’s so obvious right? Now just remind yourself daily because this shit is hard.
Need help with your post-baby fitness plan?
I got you girl.
Check out Rebuild, it’s 8 weeks of workouts designed to meet your healing postpartum body where it is and help prepare you to get back to the exercise you love.