For those of you getting ready to have a baby and/or those of you who had a baby in the past year or so, this blog is for you! If you have no intensions of having a baby or you are squeamish then please X out before I make you uncomfortable 🙂
This topic came by request and I am happy to share my thoughts here as I am a mom of (almost) Irish twins and trained right up until the day of delivery and the same day I was cleared by my doctor postpartum!
Let’s talk about training first…
Training feels different after having a baby, doesn’t it? Your doctor will generally clear you to train 6-8 weeks after having a baby. If you have ever returned to training that quickly after having a baby, then you are about to nod your head to everything I write about today. If you are getting ready to have a baby, then here are some things that will be different (at least for a little while) when you return.
In my personal experience, these things have improved with consistent training and proper modifications. If you experienced a more traumatic delivery, there may be repercussions which will mean more extreme modifications. In my coaching experience, I have had students with severe hip displacement as well as lingering back issues which have required modification for over 2 years. The point is that when your doctor clears you to train, it is not advised to dive into the performance level on the board for all of the exercises. I know you are motivated to drop the extra weight and tighten back up, but you need to remind your body what it feels like to train especially after baby put your body through the ringer.
Training while pregnant - yes! If you have been training, then it is highly recommended that you stay after it. Here’s my personal 2 cents…I absolutely do not want to know what labor and delivery feels like as an unfit person. That is a serious and powerful workout. Imagine how much “easier” you will make it on yourself if you are STRONG!
Postpartum nutrition is up next. You just had a baby. The past 9 months you have been caving into cravings (or maybe you haven’t) and your body is a little more “jiggly” than it was before. You are determined to get this weight off and tighten back up. Postpartum nutrition should be no different than our nutrition program geared toward fat loss. Just eat real food! This is a safe way to eat all the time. It is healthy for nursing mom’s and babies and non-nursing mom’s and babies. If you want to drop fat, then drop the processed nonsense and just eat real food. The rules don’t change when it comes to nutrition and fat loss.
I hope this helps answer some questions about how you may be feeling post-baby and for those of you wondering what happens once baby comes. We are here to help along the way!
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now, and you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” –Hugh Laurie
This quote is one some of you may recognize. I saw it in a few different places on Facebook, and it definitely caught my eye. I have talked about this before, but it is something I truly believe is important to keep in mind as well as something I have struggled with:
There is no perfect time.
Life will always throw you a curveball when you least expect it. The question is whether you are going to hit it out of the park, or strike out swinging.
There is no perfect time to start eating healthy. There is no perfect time to chase a dream. There is no perfect time to step up. There can be no “Well, I’ll start eating healthy at the end of the weekend” or “Well, I’ll get a membership to that gym next week”. Anything worth doing in life is often hard. It means that it will always come with its own set of challenges that will present themselves no matter how perfect the timing is.
If you are looking to get in shape, to lose the weight, to be successful, the time to begin working on that is not next week. Its now, today, 5 minutes ago, as soon as you finish reading this blog. If you were thinking donuts and pancakes for breakfast, change that right now. Don’t have it because you were thinking about it and say “Well, I’ll cook a healthy breakfast tomorrow”. Cook that healthy breakfast NOW!!!
When it all comes down to it, don’t wait. There will never be a perfect time. Think about it - where do most of those dreams end up? Those ideas, those “when I get to a point where I’m making more money I’m going to __________”. Those things people wanted to try but never did. The changes they wanted to make but never did because they were waiting for the perfect time. All those people, all those ideas, all those dreams, and where did a majority of them end up? Most likely they ended up with them…..6 feet under.
So don’t delay. Don’t wait. You have a dream, you have an idea, you have a lifestyle you want to live, then live it. Don’t wait until tomorrow or you may get to a point where you waited too long and tomorrow never comes. All of you deserve to be as happy and as fulfilled as humanly possible. It may sound morbid, it may sound tough, but I care about you all and I don’t want any of you to have any regrets.
Make it Happen!
I often receive wonderful emails from students at Get Fit NH proclaiming their happiness because of the progress they are making.
On the front page of our website you’ll read: “We love coaching because when you get healthier you automagically get happier, and the world needs more happier!”
How can you argue with that? Everyone needs a bit more happiness. And I’m going to share a bit with you from Theresa, a Rockstar out in Epsom.
“A few days ago you sent me the portion chart for men and women (*Coach Nancy's note: you can see that on the free tools page on The Grateful Plate).
THANK YOU for the "gentle" reminder.
That took me back in my mind's eye of the very first Nutrition Class I took on a Wednesday evening April 2015 in Epsom NH with you as the presenter
Shortly after absorbing all that information then, I committed that info to memory and followed through
Progress is progress
Change is happening
Life is a constant
5 almonds = my thumb
3 eggs/ 1/2 chicken breast or any protein that is the size of my palm is my portion at each meal
Vegetables are never measured
Water Water Water and oh yes, more water
And oh yes did I mention to you Nancy how grateful I am for the savage training and epic nutrition coaching coming out of Get Fit NH
Thank you again if I have failed at all in this email to thank you
God Bless Everyone!!
Theresa isn’t alone. She and many others have increased their happiness by increasing their health. And your coaches love to help you.
Kettlebell swings are one of the most challenging exercises that we do. They are a serious skill that I think we underestimate. I could coach the swing all day long. There is always something we can freshen up. There are a few cues that we use frequently that I would like to dive into a little deeper. It is important that you understand the cues, why we use them and why it is important.
1. “Attack the zipper” or “Thumb to bum”
We wish there was a more polite way to get our point across, but these seem to work the best. Here’s the deal, with kettlebell swings you have to have your arms up high in the back. In fact, if you are swinging correctly your thumbs should “real life” touch your bum at the bottom part of the swing. If you are not “attacking the zipper” and your hands are hanging low, then you are putting some serious unnecessary strain on the back by bending at the waist.
2. "Reach way back behind out”
This sort of goes hand in hand with “thumb to bum”, except what we are looking for is that you not only keep your hands up high, but also get your thumbs all the way back between your legs (to your bum!). By reaching way back, you will regain the power from your glutes and hamstring to power through the movement. If you do not reach back, then you are likely to find that power elsewhere such as your lower back. The kettlebell should touch the cheeks at the bottom of the kettlebell swing.
3. “Throw the kettlebell back”
When you are the top of your kettlebell swing, it is easy to let gravity do the job of dropping the bell back, BUT kettlebell swings are a HIGHLY explosive and powerful exercise and we are looking to be ENGAGED through this entire movement. We talk about “staying tight”. If you are throwing the kettlebell back, you have no choice but to stay tight and you have no choice but to explode back to the top of that movement.
We could coach the kettlebell swing all day long. This exercise is a skill that we continuously work on mastering. I hope explaining some of the coaching cues gives you a better idea of what we are looking for and why it is important!
Keep making it happen!
Tara was a part of the Get Fit NH family before I started here and I am glad she decided to come back! She is an extremely consistent example at the 6:15 class who always works extremely hard and I can count on to give it her all and want to always improve. I would ramble on, but Tara has a lot of experiences to tell you about that I don't want to take away from.
"Why did you choose Get Fit NH?
I was always very active as a young girl and teenager - I played every sport I could, all throughout grade school and high school. And then came adulthood and I found myself doing zero, zilch, nothing to keep my body active and fit. I have a “sit-down-in-front-of-the-computer” job and started noticing small aches here and there and stiffness in my hips when would get up from my work station and it really made me feel, well, old. I signed up at the local gym on 4 different occasions and, no lie, went about 3 times. It just was not the scene for me. I had no instruction, no oversight and no motivation, therefore, I didn’t go!
I was lucky enough to have a friend talk me into giving Get Fit NH a try in 2010. A two-week trial period is genius because it was the perfect amount of time to get me hooked! I struggled with finding a program that 1) kept my interest, 2) fit with my busy schedule/offered classes early enough that I could go before work and 3) had instructors that would motivate me and most importantly, push me to be accountable. Get Fit NH offers all of these things and, little did I know at the time, much more!
What changes did you notice in the first few weeks after joining?
Well, I’m sure like everyone….I noticed that everything hurt (haha) but in a good way! I noticed that I didn’t have that mid-day sluggish period - I didn’t feel like I need to take a nap at 2:00 every afternoon. I felt stronger and toned and I couldn’t wait for the next work out!
What outside of Get Fit NH has become easier since starting?
I have completely changed my eating habits since joining Get Fit NH. I am amazed that most of my diet is whole foods now and how easy it is. I love all of the recipes, videos and helpful hints that are shared by both the coaches and Get Fit Family.
What are your goals?
I really, really, really want to be able to do a pull up some day :o) Other than that, my goals are to stay committed and be accountable, keep increasing my weights and to try to stick with the 90/10 eating habits.
What is your favorite part of Get Fit NH?
It is not possible to pick just one favorite…
1) I love the MyZone program. It is a fabulous way to track your workouts and how hard (or not hard) you are working. It keeps me very motivated when the coaches yell out, “I should be seeing everyone in the yellow zone!”. Another great feature of the MyZone is to become connected with other people on the MyZone App. I have a couple of connections and we all can see each other’s workout information. We like to see who gets the most MEP’s per month.
2) The Competitions/Encouragement Incentives. There is always something extra to get involved in with Get Fit NH. Whether it is a 21-Day Detox, a group hike on the weekend, food work-shops, or the famous S3.
3) Get Fit NH Family. I love that I see the same faces every morning at 6:15-it proves that everyone who attends, loves this program and is dedicated. I think it speaks volumes to see the same people, every morning at 6:15 (or whatever time your class is), 4 days per week, year after year. I’m also thankful to everyone who is kind enough to let me know when I’ve ventured off from my group and am at the wrong station :o)
4) The Coaches-I truly admire and respect all of the coaches. You are all so dedicated and good at what you do and it is obvious you are completely invested. You all have such a hectic and strange work schedule - I don’t know how you do it…but you do and I am grateful. Thank you for always correcting me when I am not doing something quite right. Thank you for pushing me to pick up a heavier weight or put the red band back and get the black band, and to ‘get that last rep in’. I may make not-so-nice faces at you when you are telling me to do it but I truly am thankful that you do.
Thank you Get Fit NH for making me a stronger, healthier, happier me!”
I guess I realized in reading this that I talk about protecting the wrists an awful lot…well, if it keeps them healthy, then perfect! Thank you for being a part of the Get Fit Family, Tara!
As my knowledge base has grown when it comes to human physical development over the years, I always realized how important physical activity was. However, only in the last little while, especially while preparing for our Athlete Academy for ages 9-12 this summer, have I realized just how important it is to kids. As I coach more and more kids and visit schools, I see things I honestly cannot remember from when I was younger. Kids don’t seem to know how to “play” and, consequently, they don’t seem to move well.
All those things we did as kids, without even thinking about it, are the things that helped teach us how to move well and be active. How many of you reading this remember there being as many kids as there are that don’t like being active? Kids that hate gym, that take no joy in it whatsoever? I understand that some of us liked it more than others, that some were better at certain sports or games than others. Maybe instead you enjoyed hiking, climbing trees, or riding bikes. Either way, you were active. How many kids do we see today that enjoy none of those things? I would wager a pretty healthy amount.
I believe this problem comes from a lack of confidence or enjoyment from doing active activities. A kid that hasn’t played and hasn’t developed some semblance of coordination or physical ability will have more trouble in physical settings and be prone to being embarrassed and not want to do it at all.
The flip side comes from the development side. I want you to think about something before you continue - which was more challenging, your 1st squat thrust or burpee? Or your 100th? (Not in a row, but over time). It is the 1st, right? Your body wants to work as easily and efficiently as possible, but it has to learn how first. This is why the first time you do an exercise it may feel impossible, but in repetition it begins to be less challenging. If children don’t move, play and experience different movements, even hiking or bike riding will be pushed away because they require so much more effort than they would for you or I who have experienced it over and over again.
If you live in a town or area that your kids can’t really get out and play, help them out - do fun things outside in the summer. Go hiking, run along the beach, go out back and play catch with different balls. Just help your child get moving in different ways. Whether they realize it or not, you will be helping them out for years to come.
I hail from the Great Plains of Nebraska. I was born with crooked legs and had to wear braces to straighten them out for years when I was an infant and toddler. Growing up, I was also the kid that was always too skinny. Some people would say this is a good thing but it was an issue when it came to playing football in high school. That was an era where strength conditioning was becoming common place in the high schools. My experience with weight training started in the high school program in the mid ‘80s and I loved it immediately. I didn’t get much bigger, but I did get much stronger.
After high school, I continued to train with weights and run. I also began my life in coaching as I assisted with the high school wrestling program for grade schoolers. Coaching is very fulfilling, fun, sometimes frustrating, but so satisfying.
When I was 21 I joined the US Navy and was stationed in Adak, Alaska and Yokosuka, Japan. I am also a veteran of Desert Storm as a crew member of the USS Bunker Hill (CG-52). While in Alaska, on a remote island out in the middle of the Aleutian Islands, I was a volunteer assistant wrestling coach for the base high school. This is where I realized I had a knack for coaching as every member of our team qualified for the Alaska State Wrestling Tournament my first year assisting with the program.
After I honorably discharged from the NAVY (just to be clear), I enrolled in two art schools in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Art is also a talent of mine and I continue to create every opportunity I can. But, like a lot of people, while in college this is where my physical activity dropped off considerably and I was not very consistent as I was becoming unfit for the first time in my life. I was also blessed with the birth of my first child, while still going to college, I did not make time for my physical training.
When my family and I decided to move from Minnesota to Kansas, once settled in our new home I knew I had to get back in shape. I immediately got back into a regular training routine after settling in. While in Kansas, I also got back into coaching in grade school soccer. I loved being around the kids and meeting their families, teaching them about the fundamentals, teamwork, sportsmanship and what it means to take that into their personal lives as well.
As the years moved on and I was approaching 40, I was craving to be more competitive. Simply training with weights and running was not fulfilling me as it once I had. I decided to start playing rugby for the Topeka Wizards RFC. It was exactly what I needed. One thing about my personality is that I love practice. It would kill me to miss any time on the pitch. Once my first season was complete, I was elected “Rookie of The Year” at 40 years old! I was elevated to team co-captain and media director for the club the following seasons.
One of the many lessons rugby taught me is that, if you want to do it, do it! You are never too old.
Again, my family and I decided it was time to pack up and try something new, so we made our way from the Midwest and moved to New Hampshire in 2013. We love it here! I am now the soccer coach of Strafford School and a volunteer art instructor at the Hill Library in Strafford. My family has really thrived here.
In 2014 I decided I wanted to take my passion for fitness and helping others develop theirs, I began my personal training certification process. Before I came to GET FIT NH, I started out with one on one personal training, which I enjoyed a great deal. Now that I am on Dean and Nancy’s team, my personal and professional growth has been tremendous. I have learned so much about coaching and the leadership at GET FIT NH has really worked hard to give me the tools and information I need to become the best coach I can be. Meagan and Adam have been nothing but the best in helping me settle in and to develop my coaching skills. The students at the gym have been so awesome and welcoming. It is the students that make it all worth it. It is only going to get better.
GET FIT NH is a fantastic training facility and it is exciting to be part of a system that MAKES IT HAPPEN!
Anyone else wake up after a day of picking weeds and planting flowers and feel like they just got hit by a truck?
Yard work can be a KILLER on your back. We see it every spring and summer when the weather starts to get nice we start to hear about how planting those pretty flowers did a number on your back.
I think we can all agree that when we are working in the garden, we are in a terrible position. Bending at the waist, sitting in awkward positions to try and find relief…we push through it, because we want to look at pretty flowers.
Good news! You can still look at pretty flowers and save your back from the unnecessary pressure. Here are three things you can do while gardening to protect your back.
1) A super deep squat. Hanging out at the bottom of your squat while picking weeds is a great way to keep your back safe. Remember all of the Get Fit NH coaching cues! Chest and shoulders up, knees out, weight on the heels! This is how I picked weeds for a while yesterday and my back feels just fine today.
2) Tall kneeling or half kneeling position. You guys practice this all the time in training. When you are planting flowers in the ground, try it from one those positions to protect your back from painful positions.
3) Sumo stance. We do sumo deadlifts in training who said we can’t do sumo gardening? For those of you with knee issues try going wide with your stance and hinging at the hips or even sitting in a chair with a wide stance and hinging.
The constant bending at the waist is going to put a lot of unnecessary stress on your back. If you are sick of being in pain for days after working in the garden, then let’s pay attention to how we are doing it!
Flowers are pretty, but with a pained back you won’t be able to go outside and look at them and smell them!
For those of you who have or are athletes in the 13-18 year old range, this event is for you! The combine will be comprised of 5 events that kids all over the country are also doing in order to test their power, quickness, and speed.
The best part is this event is completely FREE!!! I want to get as many kids as possible in here to pack the building and test their skills.
If you have any questions about the event or any other part of the Athlete Academy program, please contact me (Coach Adam) or just come down on July 22nd and participate. See you all then!
Athlete Academy Summer Combine for Ages 13-18
Date: Saturday, July 22nd
Location: Get Fit NH Concord
When I first began running Athlete Academy a little over a year ago now, I wanted to highlight a student who had been in the Academy and liked it. However, now that Sam is a year removed from his start, I have seen how much he has grown and how hard he has worked. I wanted to get an update from Sam after seeing him accomplish more and more.
What changes have you noticed since starting Athlete Academy?
Ever since starting athlete academy last summer, it would seem fitting that I have become more overall athletic. I have noticed clear improvements in multiple physics traits such as speed, strength and agility. I've begun focusing more on how to do physical activities correctly and with proper form to increase efficiently.
What outside of Athlete Academy has become easier since joining?
Since starting academy, my strength and speed have both improved significantly which is just generally useful for most physical sports and activities and just being active.
What have you accomplished since joining?
Since joining academy I have passed landmarks and records that I never would've thought possible. I've been lifting amounts of weight that over a year ago I would've thought would be way out of my realm of possibility and have seen improvements in speed. I was able to make it on my track 4x100 team that got 4th at states.
What is your favorite part of Athlete Academy?
What makes athlete academy so great for me and what motivates me to get out of my bed on Saturday mornings is just how it makes lifting weights and working out fun. Working out with a group of people can be great for motivation and pushing you. When you are close with those people and they're your friends and you just enjoy being with them, it makes working out seem less like a struggle and pain, and more of just an activity that we can all share and do together and allows us to push each other and strive for much greater heights than if we were alone.
How has Athlete Academy affected your performance?
Since joining academy, I have noticed I have become both stronger and faster, but one of the biggest things is that I haven't gotten injured. In academy, we work on getting stronger, but also keeping our bodies healthy. Last track season, before I was in academy, I had a hip injury that resulted in me missing a good portion of the track season and missing out on being on a relay team. Well, this season I didn't get injured at all and was able to perform to my peak ability.
Great job, Sam, keep working hard!