A topic that comes up really frequently in questions about postpartum training is this:
How do you get your workout done, now you're a mum?
One can have the green light to resume exercise, have the very best intentions to train, have the program and the desire - but fitting it in and actually making the session happen is often easier said than done!
Over the last weeks and months I've asked our very own community to come up with their own personal solutions. How do they make their workouts happen in and around their hatchlings?
Shay: there were 4 babies born within a month of each other at our box. 3 out of the 4 happily play and nap on the side. The 4th is mine and I have to try and get her to sleep in the pram (has always hated the pram or car to sleep in) and put her in the “communal” area (like a reception area separate to the gym) to sleep while I workout. I use white noise to try and drown out any noise member walking through make
Otherwise a lot of members will happily take bubs while I workout.
Jayme: I don’t currently have help besides my husband who works a lot I am mostly working out from home so I don’t have to worry about travel or care. I mostly like to do my workouts when my babe is having a nap but sometimes I’ll have him out to join me, I just personally find it a bit more stressful and distracting. Having a reliable schedule for me is key. I am following a baby sleep schedule to help with that. That way I have set feed/activity/ and nap times established. Of course when you’re a mom you have to keep in mind things change but generally that has been working for me.
Michelle: I get it in when hubby is home. Her naps are only 30-40 min at the moment and inconsistent. Sometimes she will hang out in her swing but not for long!
Nok: I usually try to schedule it in when hubby is free to look after my baby. He is now 5 months and Ive finished the Hatch program and back to doing CrossFit at home . Usually if a workout has a strength/skills section before a WOD. I could do the strength bit whilst the baby is with me and try to entertain him between sets if he needs attention. Then I would hand him over to hubby for 15-20mins during the WOD section so I can do it uninterrupted. Hubby works from home due to covid so it helps that he can take breaks and look after our son whilst I have my time.
Kat: my partner does one class, I get there with Ralph toward the end, he takes him home and I do the next class.
Kate: I started including Lukas in my workouts as early as I could. His fav is climbing on me while I do yoga. In fact, counting my reps is what taught him to count! It is easier to have someone make sure he stays out of trouble so gyms with a creche were my go-to in the early days or training with my wife around to wrangle him out from under a barbell for training at home. But having him really familiar with the gym environment has made a massive difference now that he's older because he will either keep himself occupied or want to be involved... he does little baby pushups and we have tiny weights that he grunts when he moves them around to copy the noises I make hahaha.
Shay: My 6 year old on the other hand loves coming in and doing exercise with me or coaching me - he usually talks me through mindful breath he’s watched me do it so often
He’s even written up his on wod on the whiteboard (it was something like a run around the front yard, a squat and a push up). Very distracting but very cute. Sometimes annoying but I have to remember to take a big breath and remember he loves hanging with mummy
Charlie: Whilst I have been on Maternity leave I get dressed in my training kit, as and when my little lady (5months) has a nap I’m then ready to go! Avoid faffing and doing bits around the house and go straight to train, for me it’s in my garage. Remember it’s not selfish to have time for you
Shay: I know this sounds silly, but I would dress in the morning for a workout so that when the opportunity came up to workout I was ready to go straight away. It also gets me in the right mind frame even when I’m tired and unmotivated
Natasha: My little one is 3 months and the only time I can workout is when he is down for the night, as naps during the day are so inconsistent and I never know how much time I’m going to have. I want to be able to enjoy the workout and not stress so I find doing them at night works best. It’s really hard to get motivated as I’m so tired (not as tired as these amazing mummies who have two!) But once I start it gets easier and I find I have more energy at the end. My husband also works long hours so I’ve had to find a time where I’m not reliant on him.
Beth: 4yr old, 2.5yr old and 7 month old here-I usually train 3-4 times a week in the evening when my boys are in bed (we have a garage gym). My daughter won’t sleep in her own bed (ever) so I give her her bedtime milk and she sits in the pram and watches me...sometimes she even falls asleep (she loves the noise of the air-bike
Katie: It may take 2 sessions to get the workout in, that’s ok. Also be realistic with what you’ll be able to do, if baby is waking after 30mins, don’t expect to get a full workout in. You only end up frustrated and disappointed. Been there.
Martha: It's taken a while for me to be ok with my workouts being interrupted. I used to get really frustrated: I think I'd pinned too much on that time being 'perfect me time,' but it's just not realistic right now and I've made peace with it for the most part. Having time for myself is important, and I do make it happen mostly, but I try not to be frustrated by interruptions or changes to the plan. I need to keep reminding myself that this is a relatively short period of time where I need to put my needs second to my little boy. I have the rest of my life to train hard again whenever I like but only a few short months of him whilst he's this little and dependent.
Many thanks to Nicky Dommett, Jayme Adams, Brigitta Willis, Grace Ferguson, CJ Wolfe, and Erin Bonett for kindly giving us permission to use their photographs. Many thanks also goes to all our women who came up with these wise tips and tricks. You're all incredible athletes and mamas. Thank you for sharing your journeys with us.