Looking at my Instagram, you may have noticed I like a gym visit (I just about find time amongst all those coffee shops I frequent!)… now this isn’t a new January fad or resolution to get fit this is a major part of my weekly/daily routine and has been for years.
Sitting with a friend discussing my fitness, I realised its been 4 years I have been working with my personal trainer, Tristam Murdoch. My first session was bought for me by my sister for my birthday, as she had been working with him in preparation for her wedding and wanted me to get involved. I am not going to lie, it was one of those ‘you shouldn’t have’ gift moments… like, ‘no really you shouldn’t have?’
With a 9 month countdown to my own wedding I knew I wanted to do what I could to look my best but fitness and me weren’t exactly best friends. Previously I went to the gym reluctantly… floating from machine to machine, spending 20 minutes on the cross trainer and only just breaking a sweat and then attempting a few measly sit ups on the ab machine… all the time adamant it was sculpting the body of my dreams underneath!
I still remember the very first ‘birthday gift’ session with my personal trainer (who I also knew before as he ran British Military Fitness classes I used to go to – he was the one trainer who scared me as he just LOVED running). So no surprise I was a nervous wreck and the moment I arrived launched into a tirade of excuses about my fitness levels, what hurt and what I possibly couldn’t do (everything)! After sitting down to understand my goals (a sculpted toned skinny body for my wedding please!), he ignored my moans and kicked off the session with a treadmill run… which hurt. I was huffed and puffed after, but there was a teeny tiny part of me hooked… call it my ‘chasing the dream body’.
So thats how my training story starts… fast forward four years, a wedding and baby later and I am still at it.
I trained through my pregnancy, literally up to my 38th week… and only stopping because my other half went away for work and I wanted to keep the baby in until he got back (he did… by 14 hours but that’s another story!!) Training sessions when pregnant, whilst still working up a sweat, were tailored to how my body felt and changed. Most of the sessions were based around HIT circuits, and we also continued with weight training too, however everything was heavily dictated by my heart rate (no more than 165 bpm), although on the odd occasion we pushed it a little higher… I used the whole ‘listen’ to my body approach and if it didn’t feel right I stopped, or we adapted the exercise accordingly. I remember doing a press up on the TRX at about 6 months pregnant, and my bump went cone shaped… it didn’t feel right, and looked very odd so we stopped straight away and did an alternative arm/back exercise.
I found it pretty unbelievable how critical people were of my approach to training whilst pregnant, many commenting… ‘this is the one time you can give yourself time off’, ‘is it good for the baby?’, ‘you should put you feet up’ etc etc. I couldn’t have disagreed with this more… I was keeping my body fit and healthy, the perfect conditions for growing a new life! With every midwife visit, came positive vitals… furthermore re-enforcing my reasoning for keeping training throughout. Even when in labour, my consultant commented on how strong my stomach muscles were and this certainly helped get my figure back after the birth.
In my opinion, being pregnant is not an excuse to do nothing… your body is about to go through the biggest physical endurance ever…get your body ready for it!
I started back with my personal trainer, three months after having my little girl. I wanted it to be sooner, but my body physically wasn’t ready (again it was all about listening to my body remember). Fast forward five months to now, I have two sessions a week – one on my own, and a shared one with my sister. Each session is structured and split into 4 or 5 sections (dependent on how much Ive got left in the tank). As well as doing this, I try to do two or three training sessions on my own per week – it could be a HIT session, a run or a spin class. That said, when I train on my own, I still aimlessly wander from machine to machine and don’t push myself as hard as I do when I train with my PT. He wont let me slack, he will push me till it hurts and a little bit more… but that’s what gets results right? Pushing your comfort zone!
Now don’t get me wrong, I know having a PT can be pricey… and on statutory maternity pay, every penny counts however its one thing I wont give up on until I am absolutely have to. I don’t buy myself new clothes all the time (although I am a right sucker for gym wear). Plus I used to spend £50 on a night out without even batting an eyelid and with that the next day I felt horrendous, ate copious amounts of junk food (spending yet more money) until I felt even more sick than I did before. I am not saying that I don’t go out, because I do and I do buy myself the odd piece of clothing, but I would rather spend my money on my fitness… healthy body and healthy mind and all that!
A training session is my escapism from ‘mummy fog’. Its time for me to be me, to work towards my goals and to achieve my own PBs which does wonders for my confidence. And it pays off, my toned muscles have returned and I am starting to feel good about my post baby body (c-section scar included (just), and better still I am achieving what I was before I had my baby… a 70kg deadlift this week, and sprints of 17.2kph. Boom! I can recommend a great trainer…