I’ve made no secret of how tough I’ve found it to get back in to exercise after having baby number two, so when Becky (aka Park Mum) reached out and offered me a postnatal personal training session in return for a review I jumped at the chance. As always I’m honest to a fault, and you wouldn’t be reading this at all if I didn’t rate the session, and the reality is I thought it was great. To give a bit of background, Becky runs postnatal personal training sessions (ParkMum.com) as well as the Regents Park branch of Buggy Fit. She has three children herself and therefore a keen sense of what new mums are after.
To be clear this isn’t a piece about “bounce-back”. I abhor the pressure which is put on new mums to “get their old body back”. Just last week I saw yet another celebrity endorsing a weight loss programme targeted specifically at new mums, and frankly it pissed me off. Playing on a vulnerable woman’s insecurities just isn’t on as far as I’m concerned. No woman should feel the pressure to ping back postnatally, or diet to shed their baby weight. If and when women decide they want to focus on their fitness though, they need to have options available to them that work with the craziness which comes with having a baby.
That’s why I think things like Buggy Fit and postnatal personal trainers like Becky are great, because they account for the fact you have a small human in your life to consider, whilst focusing on you, without the pressure for the mythical bounce back.
Becky does most of her sessions at the clients home, so she came to my house with a tonne of gear ready to put me through my paces. We started with what was described as a “low intensity” interval warm up. Having not done any exercise aside for pilates and pregnancy yoga for over a year it felt pretty intense to me ;0). That was one of the things I liked best though, it felt like I was getting something out of it right from the get-go.
Being focused on postnatal training means that whilst you’re working hard throughout the session Becky is making sure you’re not doing any exercises which can do any damage to your core or pelvic floor which take some time to recover post birth. As a result I knew as we were working out that I was going to feel some pain the next day but I wasn’t going to do any damage at all. You don’t get that kind of peace of mind from non-postnatal classes, or group gym sessions because you don’t have the intense focus on your form and making sure you’re doing everything right. On the down side it also means you can’t hide behind anyone at the back of the class and pretend you’re working ;0)
I did postnatal personal training sessions after my last baby but I haven’t looked in to it this time round – partly because of time, it would be tricky with a toddler running round the place. But mainly because in all honestly I felt like I saw limited results. One of the reasons for that is that I did a session weekly but didn’t know where to start / couldn’t motivate myself in between. So possibly the best thing about the way Becky does things is that she gives out workout cards to every client. These outline all the exercises you’re doing in a session with images to remind yourself of the right form. You can hold on to these so you can do sessions in between too. As the workouts are all split in to sections this makes it even easier to do as you can pick and choose what you chose to do for the time you have – each of the sections was less than 10 mins so if that’s all you can squeeze in a few times a week that’s got to be better than nothing!
I liked the way Becky outlined what was coming up too as went we along, so I knew what to expect, and in all honesty when I could lie down and focus on ab work (can you tell I’m slightly lazy when it comes to exercise?!). It also meant I knew which areas were being targeted, meaning you can focus on those in any sessions you do in between.
Buggy Fit is a national franchise so if you fancy getting fit and meeting some mum mates in a session where you don’t need to sing naff nursery rhymes, and sneak in some exercise then check it out. And if that’s not your thing and you’d prefer something more personal I’d highly recommend Becky (Park Mum) for regular sessions, or to kick start your fitness safely post baby. She’s based in Hampstead and will travel to you for sessions if you’re local so check out her website through the links above!