I don’t know if you know this, but I’m not a mom.
Not even a little bit.
Sometimes my daughters accidentally call me “mommy”, but that’s about as close as I get to being one.
I have, however, trained a lot of moms. In fact, over the last eleven years of being a trainer, the bulk of me clientele has always been moms. (I realize that’s a typo and should say “my”, but it sounded kind of pirate-y so I left it. Cuz pirates.) And over those eleven years of being a trainer, and training mostly moms, I’ve noticed a thing or two.
Some benefits to strength training are universal. Everyone can benefit from a stronger body. So, while not all five of these reasons pertain exclusively to you as a mom, they all apply specifically to moms and the unique strengths and challenges you have.
Getting Healthy After Pregnancy and Labor
*I spent about ten minutes staring at my screen trying to figure out how to title this first reason. I’m not sure I’m settled with “getting healthy” because it implies that a new mom isn’t healthy. Which is not necessarily true. And phrases like “reclaim your pre-baby body” or “take your body back” aren’t messages I want to spread. So, for now, I’m sticking with getting healthy. If you have a better idea, I’m open to your suggestions.*
While the process of pregnancy and labor don’t automatically mean a new mom is unhealthy, it can. Or at least that things maybe aren’t as ideal as they could be. The reality is that pregnancy takes a toll. I honestly don’t know how you do it. During both of my wife’s pregnancies, I thought many times, “I don’t think I could do this.”
As a mom, you have my admiration.
Growing a human in you for nine months and then pushing it out of your body can cause some things to change. Ligaments and tissues become more relaxed to allow for more space inside of you. Internal pressure can make for some chronically achy muscles. Your abdominal wall can separate (diastis recti) which can make your core musculature weaker. Not to mention that your hormones are completely different than they were before you were pregnant.
If you’re not a new mom, this still applies. Many of those changes that occur in the body during pregnancy and labor don’t automatically reverse themselves. They tend to hang around, unless we actively do some work to change that.
This is where strength training comes in.
Proper strength training should focus on correcting imbalances, strengthening muscles that are weak, and simply make your body feel better. While this applies to pretty much everyone, it applies to you as a mom in a unique way, because your body has been through things no one else’s has.
Whenever a mom starts training with me, “feeling tired” or “lack of energy” are some of the most common complaints I hear. And boy does it make sense. Kids can be exhausting. Even the most well behaved kids require a ton of your time and energy throughout the day. And then you throw in nightmares, wet beds, and middle-of-the-night-sicknesses and you’ve got a recipe for one tired mom.
While strength training can’t reduce the demands that kids place on you, it can make you better equipped at handling those demands.
Strength training not only helps improve your mood (which feels like an energy boost) but it also helps you sleep better. Better rest means more energy and makes daily tasks easier to do. And the easier tasks are to do, the less energy you spend doing them, meaning you’ve got more energy for other things.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a client who is a mom tell me how much their energy levels have improved from strength training.
Try it for just two weeks. You might be surprised at how much better you feel, and how much more energy you have.
*Want to work with me for those two weeks, risk-free? Drop me a note and let’s get you rolling!*
Let’s be honest, we’re all bombarded with images and messages that make us feel less than perfect. We see posts on social media that only show highlights, and assume that’s how people live. We walk through the check out line and see images of so-called beauty standards that we’ve never come close to meeting. And then people who are supposed to care about helping us be healthier and happier make it even more difficult and seem even more impossible.
I don’t think there is a demographic that is bombarded with these negative messages more than moms.
You see it and hear it everywhere.
The beauty of strength training is that it removes the focus from others and what they’re doing, and puts it solely on you. You start focusing on yourself as your only competition. Not in an unhealthy way, but in “I’m going to be better each day” kind of way.
There’s a deep, root-taking kind of confidence that grows when you are able to do more reps with a certain weight, add weight to a barbell or machine, or run farther or faster than before.
You start to believe in yourself.
You start to prove to yourself that you are capable of making healthy changes.
You develop mental fortitude by pushing through discomfort and digging deep to finish a challenging set.
You start to feel confident in your own body and mind.
And that changes everything.
It changes how you walk into a room. It changes how you interact with people. It changes how those social media posts and magazine covers affect you. And it changes how you see yourself when you look in the mirror.
So, mom, I truly believe there is so much potential for strength training to impact you positively. To prove to yourself that you are more than you give yourself credit for. Whether it’s with a trainer like myself, or on your own, give strength training a shot. It just might be one of the best decisions you make.