Heat Waves And Waiting Game

I’m writing this in my underwear at our wonderfully “warm” home during the biggest heatwave for a long time in Finland. It has been +25-30 degrees Celcius for weeks now and it shows no end. I would be very much enjoying this if it wasn’t for my adrenal insufficiency and being 35+6 weeks very, very pregnant… 🙂 No, actually, I’m not complaining. With a good fan and lots of fluids and rest I’ve felt pretty good this whole time. At the gym it’s not so hot (it could be cooler, I admit) and I’ve already had to almost quit walking due to pelvic pain and only do crosstrainer workouts indoors (with the fan on max!).

I haven’t had the energy to write more often as this end of pregnancy has been a bit tiring, and I’ve tried to finish most of the studies I can and also arrange my work so that there is no need to do coaching stuff right after giving birth. But I do have to continue stuff like coaching and my Precision Nutrition Level 2 nutrition coach studies pretty soon, though. When you’re self employed there’s no such thing as long maternity leaves if you still want to keep your business and clients… This year, something new and wonderful is happening with my coaching career but it’s a secret for some time still. I’ll sure shout it out when I’ allowed to! 🙂

I’m now an officially certified Pre- & Postnatal coach from Girls Gone Strong Coaching Academy!! ❤ ❤ In the future when I get back to more regular work schedule I’m starting my own pre- and postnatal training groups as well as plan some support group action for mothers. I’m really excited!!

A couple of weeks ago, I attended Finnish Fitness Alliance’s national summer camp with my client who is aiming to compete in wellness fitness. We had a great time and I enjoyed seeing my coach friends from last year’s course. I was able to go to almost all activities, but due to my asthma and the indoor air quality problems they have in the venue’s gym I was unable to attend the gym sessions. But the lectures were great, and especially the posing sessions for us coaches! I have to admit I was completely wiped out after the weekend and could only sleep and sleep…

You can still pose when very, very pregnant! 🙂

I promised to write about the workouts I’ve been doing. Now I’ve been able to hit the gym still 2-4 times per week depending on how I feel, and do endurance training 1-2 times per week. I’ve had no contractions or any adverse effect from training. I try to listen to my body, and when I’m tired I do easier and shorter workouts with more reps in reserve, but when I’ve felt well I can still do pretty hard workouts on machines especially, leaving only 1-2 reps in the tank.

I could squat and deadlift until about week 24-25, but then I started to have ligament issues, pelvic and back pain, and actually my back muscles got so tight I started to develop diastasis recti – separation of rectus abdominis muscles – a bit early just because the fascia in my backside were so tight they pulled the muscles apart. I went to a pelvic floor physio for that and after she treated the tight connective tissue the separation disappeared. Diastasis is normal in pregnancy as the abdomen stretches, but having it early on isn’t good and hard lifting would have made it worse. The pelvic floor physio also helped by looking with ultrasound if I could activate my core muscles correctly and keep the diastasis off in other lifting movements I changed the heavy squats and deadlifts into. I’m going to see her again after giving birth to get assessed on recovery to lifting etc. She also suggested I’d buy a corset to help support abdominal muscles after giving birth. You can read more about diastasis recti here.

I’m sorry for the workout programs below are messy, somehow the text editor got completely wacky when I copied them from my workout diary and wouldn’t let me fix them 😦 . I hope everyone can still figure these out.

Second Trimester Training program with powerbuilding (powerlifting plus bodybuilding work emphasis) :

WORKOUT 1

Face pull 4 x 12-15 reps
+PAIRED SET
High bar squat 4 x 8-10 reps
Rear delt raise DB 3 x 12-15 reps
+PAIRED SET
Hip thrust 3 x 8-12 reps
Full contact twist (20 kg barbell) 3 x 12-15 reps
+PAIRED SET
Leg curl 3 x 8-12 reps

All paired sets are done with about 30 second rest between exercises and 60-90 second rest between sets. I add sets, weight and reps, depending on exercise, almost every week for 2-3 weeks, then deload by reducing both weight and reps 30-50% for one week.

WORKOUT 2

Low cable row 3 x 6-8 reps
+PAIRED SET
Bench press 3 x 6-8 reps
Calves sitting 3 x 12-15 reps
 +PAIRED SET
Belt squat 3 x 8-10 reps
DB incline bench press 3 x 8-10 reps
+PAIRED SET
Upright cable row 3 x 8-12 reps

WORKOUT 3

Pulldown wide neutral grip 2 x 8-10 reps
/ DB bicep curl 2 x 12-15 reps
+PAIRED SET
Deadlift 65 kg 8, 60 kg 10, 10, 9
Face pull 3 x 12-15 reps
+PAIRED SET
Belt squat 3 x 8-10
Cable press down 3 x 12-15 reps
+PAIRED SET
Calves standing 3 x 12-15 reps
WORKOUT 4
Bench press 4 x 6-8 reps
+PAIRED SET
Low cable row 4 x 6-8 reps
Cable upright row 3 x 12-15 reps
+PAIRED SET
Pulldown wide neutral grip 3 x 8-10 reps
Calves sitting 3 x 12-15 reps
+PAIRED SET
Side delt raise 3 x 8-12 reps
You can see that most muscle groups are trained 2-3 times per week so training frequency is still at least intermediate but not too high to compromise recovery. Paired sets / supersets save time, and allow me to still train some endurance elements by keeping my heart rate a little bit up between sets.

Third trimester sample lifting program with 2 workouts from Girls Gone Strong Moms Gone Strong program and two own bodybuilding workouts :

WARMUP & MOBILITY before training (from Moms Gone Strong):
10 mins crosstrainer
Swiss ball rock 10+10+10
Clamshell 20 reps
BW squat 15
Wall slide 10
Deep BW squat hold 30s
Puppy pose 5-10 breaths
WORKOUT 1 (from Moms Gone Strong Program)
Biceps curl db 4 x 12 reps
+SUPERSET
Reverse lunge 4 x 10 reps
I had to change the lunge at one point to leg press, as putting weight more on one side caused pelvic pain, which is quite common especially at late stages of pregnancy.
Half-kneeling cable row 3 x 12 reps
+SUPERSET
Half-kneeling cable pallof press 3 x 10 reps
Side lying leg raise with miniband 3 x 15 reps
WORKOUT 2 (Moms Gone Strong)
Hip thrust w/miniband around knees 3 x 15 reps
+SUPERSET
Straight arm cable pulldown 3 x 12 reps
Offset goblet squat 3 x 12 kg 6-8 reps
+SUPERSET
Single arm incline db bench press 3 x 10 kg 10 reps
Half-kneeling cable lift 3 x 10 reps
WORKOUT 3
One arm incline db bench press 4 x 12-15 reps
+SUPERSET
Half kneeling cable row 4 x 12 reps
Face pull 3 x 12-15 reps
 +SUPERSET
Straight arm pulldown + single leg lift 3 x 12 reps
DB lateral raise 3 x 12-15 reps
+SUPERSET
Calves sitting 3 x 12-15 reps
WORKOUT 4
Leg extension 3 x 10-12 reps
+SUPERSET
Leg curl sitting 3 x 8-12 reps
Hip thrust + miniband around knees 4 x 10-12 reps
+SUPERSET
Face pull cable 4 x 12-15 reps
DB lateral raise 3 x 10-12 reps
+SUPERSET
Calves sitting 3 x 12-15 reps
You can find the Moms Gone Strong program here – I strongly suggest you get one if you are pregnant, the workouts were a great addition to my own lifting and I feel that the extra mobility drills were also really needed 🙂 . If you are interested in videos of exercises described here, you can find the exercise library here.
You can be hot & fit mama even at the last weeks of pregnancy! ❤
Posing & loving my belly ❤ ❤
Half kneeling cable row – a great exercise for both back and core muscles!

Regarding my diet, I haven’t had any hypoglycemic attacks now, but still get a bit low blood sugar levels from time to time. I always drink whey protein drink and eat some candy during working out, as it’s the most risky time for me to get hypoglycemic. Otherwise I eat healthily 90% of time with lots of veggies, a bit less fruit, whole wheats etc. Protein comes mostly from cottage cheese and other milk products, meat, and some fish (although I really can’t stand it anymore but I force it down) and pulled oats. Chicken is somehow still making me sick. I drink a casein protein shake before bed. Fats I get from fatty fish 2-3 times per week, nuts, nut butters and vegetable oils.

I’ve been taking a lot of supplements as I don’t get everything from food. I’ve worked with a registered dietitian with that. I’ve been taking maternity vitamin+mineral supplement but on top of that I take vitamin C for my thyroid, and combine it with iron once a day as my ferritin levels were going down, and also with glycine. Glycine is an amino acid that is used to make collagen = all new connective tissue for the baby and mother also needs it as our tummies grow. I also take vitamin B5 because of my blood sugar issues, and have taken Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG lactic acid bacteria as it’s shown to reduce babies’ allergies especially if mother has asthma and atopic tendencies. I took omega-3 supplements until week 32, but I quit after that as there is some risk that they can induce more bleeding during delivery. So now I try to eat fish and other sources of omega-3 (but you have to notice that some sources like certain seeds and algae are not recommended during pregnancy due to pollutants and too much iodine, and plant sources contain ALA that is not easily changed into DHA and EPA, the most important omega-3s).

My baby boy Leo has now been better. He’s had trouble growing and I’ve been followed on university hospital because of that. We have our next official control on week 37+0 and I hope everything’s fine then. This has been sometimes very tough, as every second time he was growing poorly and they even talked about having to induce labour or plan a C-section early because of that. Now it seems that we can safely wait for natural labour to start. I have to admit it scares the heck out of me due to adrenal insufficiency and worrying how my meds are handled during the birthing process. It would be great if we both lived through it, and also to be conscious during the whole thing… There seems to be different guidelines how to handle the delivery depending on hospital, and I think I’m just smuggling my own meds with me. One friend I know got up to 50 mgs of hydrocortisone im every 6th hour, for me the plan is 25 mgs iv every 6th hour. We haven’t talked yet what I will do at home when the contractions start. I guess I will have to inject but no endo has taken that into account and the OB/GYNs at the hospital of course cannot tell what to do, it’s not their field of expertise. In another uni hospital they bragged to my friend they have “lots of experience” with AI as they’d had 5 Addison patients give birth there in 3 years…

I’m seeing a friend OB/GYN this week for extra ultrasound ❤ . If I’m up to it, I’m hoping to write something before delivery. I still aim to continue working out through the end of my pregnancy. My plan is to do 2-3 lifting workouts and 1-2 endurance workouts per week. Otherwise I’ll at least try to rest, read something, chill, and sleep around the clock 🙂 .

xoxo,

Veera

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