Monthly Archives: April 2012

Get Your Fitness On!

Going to the gym, for me, is much harder than any workout to which I subject myself. The process of packing up the mini- Gwinn, dressing appropriately, preparing an emergency bottle for the baby, getting my water and some sort of food ready for me, finding my headphones and all the other little things end up taking me longer than my actual workout. I’m quite blessed that our gym has several locations in the city, and more than a few are less than fifteen minutes away from our home. The childcare at the gym ranges from tolerable to awesome, and I can usually squeeze in a 30 minute workout before I have to rescue my son from the arms of another.

Of course, I didn’t take him at all in the beginning of all these post- pregnancy shenanigans. He was too young. Captain Laser Pants took care of him within the confines of our house while I went to work off the ten thousand pounds I gained while carrying his baby. Ok, it wasn’t really ten thousand. I gained 55 pounds (and that, friends, is WAY TOO MUCH WEIGHT to gain over 37 weeks). I honestly doubted that I would ever lose the weight fully; I doubted even more that I would ever feel or look like myself again.

FALSE.

When I did start taking mini- Gwinn to the gym, we usually had to leave within 30 minutes of arriving. He cried almost incessantly in those earlier months, due to severe silent gerd (acid reflux that doesn’t cause spitting up). Thanks to answered prayers and multiple pediatric visits, his poor little tummy is now much happier, which has resulted in a much happier little duderino. Our gym visits are still short, but now it’s because he is usually bored within 30 minutes of being there. The thought, “I will NEVER lose this weight with 30 minute workouts!” crossed my mind every time we had to leave the gym.

The weight (and inches) shed steadily, so I didn’t see ‘results’ right away. Every two weeks or so I pulled out my old clothes, sighed, and folded them back into place in my closet. My sisters graciously bought me beautiful ‘in between’ clothes, which I loved, but I really missed my old jeans and t-shirts. One day, they just “fit”. The jeans felt the way they were supposed to feel- like they had been worn for days (let’s be honest, worn jeans are the most comfortable). My favorite t-shirts didn’t cling to my stomach. It was a little piece of heaven to feel “normal” again. Pair the return of my wardrobe with the fact that my baby was happy and healthy, and BAM! Life is all sorts of good.

So, below, at the request of a few people, I’m putting in my workout. Please note that I started with lower weight and have moved to higher levels, which are the numbers currently represented. I want women to know that you CAN get a great workout in thirty minutes! It’s possible. And you’ll see results, feel better, sleep better, and feel comfortable in your skin. I don’t limit my food (everything in moderation is my motto), I don’t take diet pills, and I don’t drink or smoke. This is me encouraging you to start feeling better!

3 gym days a week
Day 1: glutes and legs
warm up- running on treadmill with moderate incline at 10 min/ mi pace for 10 minutes (on a Life Fitness treadmill this looks like a 5.0 incline with a 6.0 pace)
leg press- 20 x low weight (130 lb)
15 x mid weight (150lb)
10 x high weight (170 lb)
5 x max weight (max out, do as many reps as possible)
weighted squats – 4 sets of 20 with 25 lb free weight
weighted walking lunges – 2 sets of 20 with 10 lb. medicine ball
wall bridges – 2 sets of 20 each side
calf raises – 4 sets x 15 (100 lb)
ballet style forward leg lifts – 2 sets x 20 each leg
ballet style reverse leg lift (arabesque) – 2 sets x 20 each
ballet second position plie – 2 x 60 seconds of pulse squats
cool down- 1 min running at 10 min/ mi on moderate incline, 2 minutes walking on reduced incline, 1 minute slow walk on no incline

Day 2: back and biceps
warm up- running on treadmill with moderate incline at 10 min/ mi pace for 10 minutes
seated alternating row- 20 x low weight (50 lb)
15 x mid weight (60 lb)
10 x high weight (70 lb)
5 x max out (or as many reps as possible)
lat pull- 4 sets x 12 of mid weight (85-100 lbs)
bicep curls – 3 set x 15 each arm with 15 lb free weight

single bent over row- 3 x 12 each arm with 20 lb free weight
cool down- 1 min running at 10 min/ mi on moderate incline, 2 minutes walking on reduced incline, 1 minute slow walk on no incline

Day 3: abs and triceps
warm up- running on treadmill with moderate incline at 10 min/ mi pace for 10 minutes
tricep kick backs- alternating position tricep kick backs, 4 sets x 12 each arm with 10 lb free weight
tricep extensions – 4 sets x 15 with 15 lb. free weight
oblique standing crunch- 4 sets x 12 each side with 25 lb. free weight
toe reaches- 2 sets x 20 each side
cool down- 1 min running at 10 min/ mi on moderate incline, 2 minutes walking on reduced incline, 1 minute slow walk on no incline

3 days a week- run 4 miles/ interval training 4 miles

*Interval training is a type of physical training that involves bursts of high- intensity work (running) interspered with periods of low- intensity work (walking).

Some people like to add in their ‘problem area’ to each workout, e.g. abs. I usually add weighted squats to all my workouts. It’s good for the butt. To really cut down time at the gym, raise the intensity of the warm up and cut the time to five minutes. I never rest for more than twenty seconds between each set, and never more than ninety seconds between each exercise. That keeps your heart rate up and your time at the gym down.

If you haven’t been working out, start out slow. I walked with the jogging stroller for a few weeks after the baby was born, then bumped to interval training over a three mile course at four weeks, and so on. If you get bored, swim laps. Run outside. My point here is a) don’t make excuses and b) make time for your health.

You can do this! I am total proof that it’s possible.

Five months post- delivery