Admit it, butt’s are in these days. Big, round, muscular butts.
It has taken me almost a year and a half to get within striking distance of my pre-baby #2 weight and I was thrilled when I tried on my favorite pair of workout pants the other day and they fit! Wait, no, they don’t fit. They are too big!
How can this be? I weigh more, yet the pants are completely baggy in the thigh and backside areas.
I look down at my legs are realize that they look like chicken legs, no muscle to be found. And my butt! Those gluteal muscles I used to be so proud of are now as flat as a piece of paper.
We moms have to sacrifice a lot of things when having children but the right to a nice rear-end doesn’t have to be one of them. It’s time to hit the weights!
Babysitter, check. Gym pass, Check. Now what??
You were finally able to unload the kids on some poor innocent soul for some much needed ME time. And what are you going to do with your time? Head to the gym of course.
Those dumbbells have been calling your name and you have been dreaming about the gentle purr of the treadmill, (or maybe that was just your cat sleeping on your head again). Either way, it is about time you got back into the gym, got in shape again and got that booty back. I mean its been what, wait, its been a year since you had your baby?
If this scenario even sounds vaguely familiar read on. It can be very challenging getting back into the gym for the first time post kiddos. From the feelings of guilt and separate anxiety for leaving your little ones to just not knowing where to start that first visit back to the gym can be quite overwhelming.
I compiled a list of 6 tips and a sample workout that will help you on the path to get your booty back!
1. Start easy and be easy on yourself:
This may seem obvious but can be very hard to do. First of all, it is common to think you have the same strength and stamina you did pre-baby. However, realize that you probably have some extra weight you are carrying which will make exercises and especially running feel harder and you may have some joint laxity (due to a pregnancy hormone) depending on if you are still breastfeeding or how long ago your little one was born which will make you more prone to injury. These hormones can stay in your system up to a year from when you stop nursing so don’t be fooled.
You also have restrictions on how much weight you can lift and how high you can get your heart rate when you are pregnant so most women lose a lot of their muscle mass and also many of the cardiovascular adaptations gained when on a regular training plan. So when you jump on that treadmill, don’t be disappointed if you can’t run for more than a couple minutes at a time or you can’t lift even a fraction of the weight you did pre-baby. There is such thing as muscle memory and because you’ve been trained in the past your body still has those neural adaptations so when you start training again it will come back again very quickly.
2. Test yourself:
One of the best ways to find out where you need to start is to do a little weight test on the machines at your gym. For most beginners and endurance athletes, 12-15 repetitions of each exercise is recommended. The goal is to start with more reps and less weight so your body can make the neurological and adaptations to your tendons first with little to no risk of injury.
You need to find a weight that you can barely lift, push or pull 12 times with good form. If you are unsure of where to start below is a standard machine circuit workout I start all my beginner female clients on. Remember though that the weight is not standardized from machine to machine.
Leg press: 90-100 lbs
Chest press: 40-50lbs
Plank: 30 seconds on your knees
Seated row: 50-60lbs
Hip abductors/adductors: 30-40lbs
Roman chair: 10 reps with knees bent
Lat pulldown: 40-50lbs
Bicep curl: 20-30lbs
Tricep extension: 30-40lbs
Seated Medicine ball toss: 6lb ball
Shoulder lateral/front raise combo: 5lbs
——> If you can easily get to 14-15 reps or more of any of these exercises than it is too light.
3. Set a goal:
Goal setting is a crucial part of ensuring success in any area of life. Break your goals down into baby-steps. One big goal, then many smaller goals that you can aim to conquer weekly and even daily until you create habits that lead to small successes that build on each other.
4. Be consistent:
If you know you can’t make it into the gym at least once a week than you probably need to check out some of our in-home workouts and videos instead. In order to build muscle, get stronger and increase your metabolism you need to be able to commit to weight training about 2 times a week.
5. Make it worthwhile:
If you can only get to the gym once a week make every minute count! Only use machines and do exercises you can’t replicate at home. Just imagine I secretly followed you to your gym to watch your workout (I know, creepy huh?), don’t let me down!
6. Don’t be boring!
Yes, the treadmill or spin bike can be boring but it doesn’t have to be! There are literally hundreds of ways to make workouts on these machines fun and really, really tough! See some of my treadmill workouts and videos HERE.
And that’s it. Now it’s time to kick some ass!
– Lauren Jones
Proud mom of 2 stapping boys and founder of RWK