How I’m Training & Poling While Pregnant

Pregnancy comes with a whole slew of difficulties. And if you’re an active person one of the biggest is how to stay fit while pregnant.

As a Certified Pre & Post Natal Instructor, I train primarily females. So exercising while pregnant is a question I get a lot.

For the scope of this post I’m going to talk about what I’ve been doing within my pregnancy. My workouts, how I’ve scaled them and why. For a general synopsis on exercising while pregnant you can check out this blog here.

So you’re pregnant, or trying to become pregnant, what can you expect? The crappy answer? It depends.

And unfortunately it does. Keep in mind that no two people or two pregnancies are alike. So always do what you feel is best for you and your babe. If something feels off it probably is.

I found out I was pregnant at four weeks, so pretty early. At that time, I was on a four day workout split with two days dedicated to pole (one tricks based and one danced based) and one full day of recovery.

Weeks 4-11

Just found out (4 weeks) training hard and looking lean.

Just found out (4 weeks) training hard and looking lean.

Training: My workouts were structured around my main lifts (pull ups, deadlifts, hip thrusts, presses & squats) and I was lifting really heavy.

I continued with this workout style literally as long as I could. However, I was still teaching pole full time (16 privates per week) and training clients and I was nauseous. In simple terms, it sucked. Out of the month of January I missed four workouts due to sheer exhaustion.

Pole: As for pole, I stuck to what I have always done. That said, I was more cautious trying new moves to ensure I didn’t fall. Within my dancing sessions, I stuck to moves I felt one hundred percent comfortable with. No extreme contortion but still a lot of strength.

The biggest lesson I learned: Do your workouts when you can.  I normally love lifting mid morning but that didn’t always happen that month. Some days, I had more energy in the afternoon and so my workout schedule was a bit wild.. but they got done.


Weeks 11-15

13 weeks and the belly had started!

13 weeks and the belly had started!

How I felt: While my sickness had abated I was still teaching full time and pretty tired, daily naps became my friend. Also, I had started to gain a bit of weight making some of my lifts more difficult.

Training: I went down to a three day lifting split originally with two days of pole and two days of full recovery. While I stayed pretty heavy in my lifts, I did come down a started to focus more on giant sets and less on straight sets.

Pole: I was getting more and more tired dancing (womp womp). So Instead of two pole practices each week I cut back to just one (tricks) but added in another lifting day. On the day I did train tricks I started to notice where the pole pressed and found many basic moves (geminis/hip hold etc) became uncomfortable and pressed into my belly. So I started avoiding a lot of moves.

My Focus: Being into the second trimester necessitated a few changes. First I had to remove all exercises in which I was lying directly on my back specifically with feet in the air. This can cause a lack of blood flow to the baby so they had to go!

Since my center of gravity began changing I started to really focus on an exaggerated training balance to maintain my posture and alleviate any low back pain. I went with a training ratio of 4:1 for posterior to anterior exercises.

What I Learned: I hate to scale back. It was a big challenge for me to knock down my workout intensity. However your body tells you what it wants (or doesn’t want) to do. I learned to listen to how I was feeling.

Missed Workouts: Two in five weeks.. not too shabby.


Weeks 16-20

16 weeks and feeling good.

16 weeks and feeling good.

Training: I stuck with a five day lifting split but I scaled back on the intensity once again and began focusing my workouts on all the little things I wanted to improve on (shoulders, abductors etc) instead of my major lifts (though there were still major lifts incorporated).

I began to increase my repetitions to allow for slightly lighter weights.

Pole: I scaled back on teaching (down to only 6 pole sessions per week plus training clients). I stuck mostly to moves I know on the pole and practiced getting in and out of them with control now that I had gained some weight.

The Focus: Keeping my heart rate down during training. At this point you don’t want your core temperature to get too high or it can impact the baby. I focused on taking as much rest as I needed while training.

What I learned: Extra weight makes your lifts hard (duh!). As someone who is naturally very lean I was not used to my belly being in the way of things- this took some time to get used to.

Missed Workouts: Zero.. I fell back in love with lifting and how it makes me feel.


Week 20-Present

Getting bigger everyday

Getting bigger everyday

Training: I changed my lifting program to a three day split. I also structured my workouts to have one heavy, one moderate and one light lifting day so that as the week progressed I’m not exerting as much.

I complete three days of lifting, two days of pilates and three days of yoga workouts (45minute yoga sessions)

Pole: Mostly non-existent. I finished teaching pole clients at week 22 through I am still training. Though I do go to a weekly tricks practice I mostly coach or perform some spins.

Notes: By week twenty I was beginning to get a bit tired. I had hit the halfway mark, gained a couple pounds and things were starting to feel uncomfortable.

Workouts Missed: None. Yes I am proud of this. However, for me this is simple. I need the workouts as they keep me sane. I enjoy them and I know I will always feel better after them.

What I’ve Learned: Pregnancy sucks. Just kidding. But it does take some time to adapt. Listen you your body and don’t force yourself to do anything that makes you overly uncomfortable. I’m a very active person so sitting around drives me insane. But everyone is different so always do what feels right for you.