I know not everyone is a group fitness fan. It can be intimidating and might not fit into your schedule. But there are plenty of benefits to the group environment.
Quality instruction, accountability, energy, and a variety of fitness levels are all positives you’ll find in a fitness class. You can dictate your pace and the instructor guides the class through the workout. Hey, you might even make some friends!
What you may not typically find is a pregnant instructor!
Teaching group fitness classes as a pregnant instructor has been weighing (no pun intended) on my mind lately.
What would you think about entering a class for the first time only to find an instructor with a basketball sized belly?!
- Will it be challenging enough?
- Is this a prenatal class?
- How can she possible lead us?
As I approach my 3rd trimester (I’m a week away), I have to psych myself up each time I lead a class. I wonder, “Will they take me seriously with this growing belly?” I question if I’m providing enough of challenge for participants. I teach an intense circuit training class, so they expect a good burn! And, sometimes, I’m just tired.
But, once I’m in front of the class, my mindset shifts and I’m ready to roll!
Luckily, my doctor has been on the same page as me regarding fitness. I found out I was pregnant a few days before running a half marathon and she was all for it. Basically, I can keep going until I feel uncomfortable. Same with CrossFit and teaching.
While a general heart rate limit is advised for pregnant women, that is a very generic approach. It doesn’t take into account one’s fitness prior to pregnancy. We are all so different!
I wear my Polar HRM FT 40 during class but glance at it only occasionally. It helps me gauge how I’m feeling (adrenaline can take over when you’re in front of a class) as well as if I’m giving everyone a good workout!
My class participants are pretty regular and have been so supportive during my pregnancy. So, I’m being more critical than anyone else. Accordingly, I need to be kinder to myself.
5 Reminders to My Pregnant Instructor Self:
1. It’s not just extra weight.
I’m carrying around more weight, yes. That makes every exercise I do harder. Why do you think weighted vests are popular with sports conditioning? But, this is not just weight…it’s a human being! That is work in itself. So, stop beating yourself up because you fatigue faster.
2. Reevaluate standards.
Prior to becoming pregnant, I was in the best shape I had been in years. Even if I can’t see the work I’m putting in through more defined abs and arms, I know exercising is better for me and baby–now and post-delivery.
3. Be a role model.
Many clients and class participants have told me how they wished they would have exercised while pregnant. They encourage me to keep going. That in itself is the reward! And, I certainly won’t waste their time–they are going to get just as good of a workout now! Many of my classes are interval based, so participants can control their pace and work every bit as hard.
4. You are working just as hard.
While I may not be able to do some of the exercises I used to or at the pace I once did, I’m working every bit as hard now. Remember No. 1? That’s a pretty big deal.
5. Coach it up!
Eventually, I won’t be able to do a majority of the moves that I use in my classes. So, stepping back and coaching my participants will likely be my only option. This will certainly rekindle my fire for intense workouts post-baby!
Have you taken group fitness classes from a pregnant instructor?
Have you taught classes while pregnant? How did it go?