Shortly after having my 2nd daughter, I was back on my feet participating in "life as normal." I gave birth on a Friday afternoon and taught a field trip of 50 kids the following Monday (probably not the best idea, but I'm crazy that way). I felt good after this birth which is very different than giving birth to my first daughter when it took me 2 weeks to be able to walk a block comfortably. I am still battling the tummy bulge but for the most part my body bounced back. I have had people ask, "what is your secret?" I have thought about it and can credit my workouts at The Bar Method Fresno for keeping me "in shape."
I have been practicing at The Bar Method since October of 2013, with a few breaks. I took a break for 2 months leading up to my recent pregnancy and started back at about 16 weeks, after my horrible morning sickness ended. While it was tough to start back while pregnant I am very glad I did.
I felt very comfortable in class because every instructor is trained to give modifications to exercises to make them appropriate for expecting mamas. (It is a bonus that the owner of the Fresno studio used to be a labor & delivery nurse.) The low impact, high resistance workout was a perfect compliment to my walks. I could push my self at my own pace depending on how my body was feeling that day. I knew that my legs, booty, and arms were staying toned, despite what my growing tummy was doing.
Top 10 Reason I loved doing The Bar Method while Pregnant:
- 1 hour of uninterrupted "me" time. No cell phones are allowed which means I am cut off from the world for 1 hour of focused time.
- Friendly environment - I received positive reinforcement from the staff & fellow classmates. It's nice to hear words of encouragement when your hormones are out of whack and you feel like a big blob.
- Safe Abdominal exercises- every class includes Ab work on the floor. I did amended versions of the exercises and wondered if it was working. After pushing a baby out WITHOUT any meds, I know it worked. I had the strength to push while being in an awkward position on my back- much like how I feel in class.
- Kept me Active: During my first pregnancy I found it awkward to go to the gym so often skipped my weight training exercises. I felt very comfortable going to class and thus was able to keep up a workout program while pregnant. Having the commitment was a good motivator to get out the door and go.
- Toned muscles- as I already mentioned, I am happy that I was able to keep tone in my legs, arms, and booty making it easier to bounce back after giving birth.
- Beautiful environment: This might sound silly but I just love walking into the studio. There is always a pitcher of fruit & herb infused water as well as coffee. It is always nice to be greeted by friendly people and be in a beautiful spa like environment to calm the nerves.
- Excuse to live in workout clothes: Leggings are the most comfortable thing to wear during my pregnancies and since I was heading to class 4 days a week it made sense to live in my workout clothes, right?
- The music: Each class is accompanied to a variety of music. I get pumped with the pop dance songs and love stretching to the slow paced songs. I even found myself tearing up during 1 class to some emotional song that was playing (laugh out loud for sure).
- Endurance training: Our exercises consist of repetitive movements that are often hard to keep doing. Sometimes you want to quit but you push just a little harder until the end. This is much like child birth. You want to quit pushing but you find the strength to continue just a little more.
- Recovery: The day we got home from the hospital we went for a walk around the neighborhood, I felt more "normal" this time around. I think it is a combination of a natural birth and the strength I built from class. I attended a fundraising event for the volunteer organization I am involved in wearing a tight dress and heels just 1 week after giving birth. I definitely credit Bar to having decent arms and strong enough legs to attend.
I started classes back at 8 weeks postpartum. I felt very weak at first, especially in my stomach, and continued to practice with the same modifications while pregnant. I have slowly been building my strength back. At about 2.5 months postpartum I feel like I have gained almost 100% back. My husband was blown away when I showed him 10 pushups (not on my knees) with good form… and he's picky, he's a Physical Therapist.
Another perk about the studio here in Fresno is that it offers childcare on site. I love that I can bring my baby with me and know she is in good hands for the hour I am working out but that I'm still close by if needed. This small feature helps maintain a crazy breastfeeding schedule feeding every 2.5-3 hours.
Within the next month I want to start training for a half marathon and think that The Bar Method will continue to be a good compliment to my training efforts.