When setting goals with new clients I start by focusing on the type of goal they have, usually either performance-based (deadlift double bodyweight) or aesthetic (get abs). Pregnancy training goals will look slightly different from your usual gym goals. This is not the time to be chasing PB’s or getting shredded. In fact, unless you're a complete machine, your performance will deteriorate pretty steadily over the course of nine months and your body is likely to do the exact opposite of what you may have trained for previously. Far from ideal.
The principal goal for your pre-natal training should be to prepare your body (and baby) for a strong healthy pregnancy, labour, and recovery.
Training goals should focus on:
Maintaining muscle mass and strength;
Maintaining fitness and health for labour (endurance is key);
Addressing postural changes in your changing body;
Improving your rate of recovery post-birth; and
perhaps most importantly.....
Making you feel good (or at least a little bit less horrendous).
Essentially the priority is growing a healthy baby and getting it out safely. You’ll have plenty of time for serious performance or aesthetic goals later, or not.
You may not be winning any medals, but knowing what you're training for will give you that extra bit of motivation when things are tough you need it most.
In addition to health, my own training goals also place a key emphasis on maintaining as much strength and fitness as I can, for as long as I can. This 2022 marathon isn’t going to run itself so right now my training is all about damage limitation. Although I've not run in months (personal choice, running during pregnancy is entirely possible, not that enjoyable), I've swum, cycled, and walked to keep up my cardiovascular fitness and aimed to do some form of 'strength' training at least four days a week to maintain strength.
To work towards my goal I have a rough plan of what I want to achieve each week, however, experience dictates that this is very much dependent on how you feel on any given day and I've had to be much more flexible in my approach. The plan is there at least and you're much more likely to stick to something if you have a plan in place. I’m increasingly aware that my energy is on the decline so I'm making the most of still being able to do what I love while I can......and some days just scrap the plan and chill.
It's a personal choice. Your goals and what feels right for you will be entirely based on how you’re feeling and what you were doing pre-pregnancy, so be realistic. As your baby grows, your body changes rapidly and you will feel differently about what is achievable. Re-assess where you’re at every few months and adjust the goal accordingly.
You've got this.