Training During Pregnancy

Topic: Three Ways to Adjust Your Training During Pregnancy

If you’re a pregnant athlete, you’ve likely been told to “listen to your body,” “do what feels good,” “keep doing what you’ve always done!” OR, “don’t lift over X amount of pounds,” “Is that safe for the baby?!”

It’s frustrating to have generalized or extreme advice when you’re already hyper aware of the changes your body is experiencing as an athlete.

I get it. I get you.

Your body and training are entering a whole new season as an athlete. It can be exciting and overwhelming, and I want you to feel informed about your training and confident in how to adjust it as your pregnancy continues!

Here are 3 adjustments to consider as a pregnant athlete:

Brain

Let me introduce the term I coined 7 years ago, “athlete brain.” “The “athlete brain” is the intrinsic motivation to challenge, pursue and perform. It exists on a spectrum, often characterized by how one identifies, and is often driven by competitiveness, fear, ego, anxiety, success, energy, routine and capability.

Basically, we need to tell that voice in our head that tells us to go harder, push more and lift heavier to shut up for a while and learn to respect what we need to do, not just what we want to do. Ego has no place right now.

There’s often a strong desire to maintain physical abilities in the gym, or challenge ourselves because pregnancy can feel like a loss or shift in ability, identity and aesthetic, and can make it hard to adapt the approach to training.

If we don’t address our mental motivations, as it relates to identity and ability as an athlete entering a new season in our lifetime of athleticism, none of the exercise adjustments or core and pelvic health considerations will matter. It will be overridden by athlete brain.

We must make the mental adjustments, so the physical and emotional adaptations can follow.

Body

Your body will change — it’s supposed to — therefore your training needs to accommodate those changes on behalf of your long term performance and pelvic health. It’s not about maintaining, it’s about adapting and shifting our training focus for what our body needs now, on behalf of later.

This seems like common sense, but there can be significant motivations to maintain, or even push boundaries during this season.

Topic Discussed: Three Ways to Adjust Your Training During Pregnancy

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