Kayla and Kelsey Talk Prenatal Training

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September 19, 2022

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If there’s one thing the Sweat Trainers know, it’s that pregnancy can be a completely different experience - not just for every woman, but each individual pregnancy, too!

Chontel Duncan, now a mother of five, has had some pregnancies where she felt full of energy and was able to stay active throughout, but a couple of her pregnancies were far more challenging and one even had her on strict bed rest.

Head Trainer Kayla Itsines went into her first pregnancy expecting it to be a breeze due to her high fitness level and healthy lifestyle, and was surprised by how tough it was, with symptoms like morning sickness, sciatic nerve pain, restless leg and reflux. Kayla is currently pregnant with her second baby and she’s feeling so much better this time around. 

Kelsey Wells was also unwell during her pregnancy and found it was a very challenging time for her mental health, whereas Cass Olholm didn’t experience as many symptoms and was able to have an active pregnancy. Like Kayla, Cass is now expecting baby number two! From woman to woman and baby to baby, the journey can be SO different.

“You could be the fittest, healthiest person, but pregnancy is still going to be a new thing each time,” says Kayla. For expecting mothers or those trying for a baby, she wants to remind you to be gentle with yourself and your body during this time. 

If you feel up to exercising and have obtained clearance from your healthcare provider (this is a must!), Kayla and Kelsey are so excited to be able to now offer 40-week pregnancy programs. If a structured program isn’t right for you, that’s totally fine, too. It’s all about doing what feels right for you, and YOU know your body best. Here are some of Kayla and Kelsey's tips for your prenatal training journey.

Treat yourself with kindness

“Before my first pregnancy, I was doing high-intensity plyometric training in combination with strength training. I had no rules or restrictions around the intensity, exercises, weights or my heart rate and could go as hard and fast as I wanted. During pregnancy, that all changed and I felt lost,” Kayla shares, and she knows many women who have felt the same way.

Kelsey’s fitness journey actually began after the birth of her son as exercise was not top of mind during her pregnancy - she was either too unwell or busy working long hours in a job that kept her on her feet for most of the day. She gets it!

“I never want to contribute to the guilt that lots of pregnant women feel when they aren’t active, because I know firsthand how impossible it can be sometimes. The truth of it is, if you are a full-time working woman, it’s almost too much sometimes to expect yourself to exercise,” says Kelsey. 

Treating yourself with kindness during pregnancy will look different for every woman. It might mean following Kayla and Kelsey’s new programs, or it might look like resting and taking things slow. If continuing to move your body during your pregnancy through a structured program is something you want to do to connect with your changing body, Sweat is here to help you feel strong and stay active.

Kayla and Kelsey Talk Prenatal Training - Picture Panel 2 - Desktop

Your motive for movement

Once you’ve been cleared to exercise, Kelsey says it’s also important to make sure your motive for movement is the health of you and your baby. This definitely isn’t a time to be making ambitious fitness goals or smashing PBs. 

“Focus on doing everything out of respect for your body on a base level, and then hopefully out of love, gratitude and celebration of your body after that. Most certainly during pregnancy, focusing on the miracle of what your body is doing,” she says. 

“The whole point of why we exercise is to care for our health - mental, emotional and physical - but the mental shift is very real when you have to stop your training or alter it significantly in a time like pregnancy, and that’s why it’s so important to focus on those feelings of gratitude and care. If that mindset doesn’t come naturally, it’s important to reinforce and remind yourself of all of these things.”

This is something Kelsey has also had to recently remind herself of throughout her journey recovering from an injury and subsequent surgery, and she often talks about the empowering role that affirmations play in her workouts now.

Take things at your own pace

For every woman who is excited to try Pregnancy with Kayla or Pregnancy with Kelsey, there will be another woman who knows a structured program isn’t right for them. That’s the beauty of these programs - they are simply an optional way for you to move with confidence from bump to birth.

The programs have been designed by Kayla and Kelsey - who both have pre and postnatal qualifications - and are designed to help you move with confidence as you maintain your fitness, strength, posture and general health, as well as assisting to reduce common aches and boost your mental wellbeing. 

Each workout is 20-30 minutes and can be completed at home or in a gym using your bodyweight or with simple equipment such as dumbbells, a chair and resistance bands. 

Because a woman’s body changes significantly throughout pregnancy, the workouts are different in each trimester, so it’s important to select your trimester in the Sweat app to ensure your place in the program aligns with where you are in your pregnancy. 

Throughout the program, continue to check in with your healthcare provider and stop exercising and immediately notify your healthcare provider should you experience any worrying symptoms or complications.

Need to slow the pace right down, hit pause or skip a workout? Go for it. You might also find that you’re not up to exercising during one trimester (or certain days or weeks), but then you feel much better during the next! 

In her current pregnancy, Kayla has been resting when she needs to and using a range of different exercise modifications, and she knows she will use even more as her bump grows. 

In the same way that every woman will have a unique experience with pregnancy, every woman will also have a different experience with movement when they are expecting. 

Listen to your body and make empowered choices that feel right for you, and if you’ve been cleared to exercise and feel up to it, Sweat’s new programs are there to help you feel strong and stay active at every stage.

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Disclaimer: Although exercise during and after pregnancy has been associated with multiple health benefits, you should consult with and obtain permission from your physician or other health care provider before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for you, especially while pregnant and in the months following your pregnancy. Not all exercise is suitable for everyone or every pregnancy and exercises, including those contained in this article, may result in injury. Do not start this fitness program if your physician or health care provider advises against it. This article is for informational purposes only. Any instruction, information, or guidance contained in this article is not a substitute for medical advice, consultation, and/or medical treatment from your doctor or healthcare provider. Do not delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of any instruction, information or guidance contained in this article. You are responsible for your own safety and are participating in this fitness activity at your own risk. Start slowly and do not exceed the exercise recommended by your physician or health care provider. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain, discomfort, bleeding, or shortness of breath at any time while exercising, stop immediately and seek medical advice.

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* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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