OK, so I think I was getting ahead of myself with the exercise after pregnancy pointers in my last post, This darn body – losing weight after pregnancy . Most specifically, this point:
“Do 4 weight training sessions a week. Don’t be afraid of bulking up – women can’t physically bulk up like a man, we don’t have the testosterone (unless you’re taking supplements of course!). You should do 3 lots of 8 -12 reps of each exercise (if you can any more than 12 reps then your weights are too light! Man up and get some bigger ones)”
I’ve been trying to pump the iron, and enjoying it too but I noticed my knees were starting to hurt. Turns out our ligaments are more stretchy than Mr Soft’s during pregnancy to help stretch the body (presumably the doodah area) and get the baby out (yeah, fat lot of good it did). Fine, we all knew this. BUT apparently it takes a full 6 months for our bodies to return to normal!
We’re stretchier than Mr Soft
So, after getting my knuckles rapped at a postnatal exercise class for doing heavy weights, I stand by the fact that weightlifting is going to be the way towards getting my body back BUT I’m going to wait another 3 months to do the hardcore stuff. Boo! I’m not massively keen on doing more reps with lower weights (which is the general advice for both pregnant women and woman up to 6 months postpartum), it takes too long and I’m all about brevity when it comes to the gym…little and often is my motto.
To bide my time I’m going to concentrate on weight/fat loss instead.
From an exercise point of view, despite what I said last time, it’s now all about the cardio. I’m doing 2 classes specifically for exercise after pregnancy, which is amazing! For anyone in the North East I’d highly recommend it as baby can come in too and the lady entertains them whilst shouting at you to keep going – working up a sweat doesn’t even cover it! I can’t wait for my next class. I’ve also got Reuben in the creche at my gym (although you’d think David Lloyd doesn’t want my business as they never returned my calls so in the end I had to just go in and see them!) on Friday and Mike will look after him on a Saturday morning.
For the gym sessions I’m focussing on cardio with some abs. I’ve found a book (well I should say I found a woman courtesy of husband, Mike, which then led me to find a book) by a woman called Jennifer Nicole Lee. She’s incredibly American, go getcha, whoa! and also incredibly hard working, motivational and believes in herself 100%. So, although it’s incredibly un-British, if you can get past the first bit, you’re on to a winner. The book is called (to be exact) The Jennifer Nicole Lee Fitness Model Diet: JNL’s Super Fitness Model Secrets to a Sexy, Strong, Sleek Physique and is about how to become a fitness model. I’ve no interest in becoming a fitness model but I wouldn’t mind looking like one. And what’s more, JNL (as she’s known to her friends) became a fitness model AFTER having her 2 boys. She was over 200lbs (around 14 and half stone) when she started out and now look at her (below). So, despite the fact that everything on her menu is called “Fitness Model blah blah blah”, she’s my kind of women.
JNL – she achieved this with exercise after pregnancy, so can we! In theory…
She advocates lots of weight training and some cardio but in the mean time since we can’t really weight train, here is JNL’s advice on how to do cardio:
1. Don’t run! Music to my ears. What she basically means is there’s a sweet spot for working out and if you work out too hard or over train you’re going to eat into your muscle mass (the things that help you burn calories while you’re watching TV for hours) and give yourself a serious case of the munchies over the next few days, thus you won’t lose any weight because you’re eating too much! Oooh, the vicious cycle.
2. To avoid the latter – do cardio for between 25 and 45 mins, no more no less.
3. To further avoid #1 – keep your heart rate down, there’s a formular but if you’re around my weight (gulp, just under 11 stone) you want your heartrate to be between 145 and 155 bpm. I thought this would be an easy workout – it’s not particularly, but it’s certainly manageable without a personal trainer shouting at you to keep going.
More on JNL to come over the next few weeks…
All set to work out
The exercise after pregnancy class I’m going to is 1:30pm on Monday at David Lloyd, Newcastle [the one in Whitley Bay has now been cancelled] and is £5 and run by a lovely lady called Sharon.