22 Weeks: Expecting More

May 3, 2012

Since changing my fitness routine around a little bit with pregnancy (mostly a decrease in intensity and hiatus of running), the idea of fitness at home has become more appealing. I tried out my first prenatal DVD a month ago and liked the level of workout I got without leaving my house a lot. Shortly after I mentioned doing that DVD, Sara Haley’s Expecting More contacted me to see if I would like to review the 6-workout DVD set.

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So far I’ve done 3/6 of the workouts – the 3 on the cardio disc – and have been beyond impressed. The workouts are long enough to feel productive and intense enough to get me out of breath and break a sweat (a rarity for me!). They’ve been fast-paced and fun too. Sara isn’t cheesy at all, and I’m impressed with all she can do with the size of her bump! Here’s a promo video that shows what the workouts are like.

Here are reviews of the three workouts I’ve tried so far:

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Sweat Sport

I started with the sports-themed class because I’m competitive and all Smile It’s been a while since I’ve felt like an athlete, and with my second-trimester energy, an athletic conditioning class sounded like a good challenge. Throughout the class you build on a series of exercises that you do as a routine at the end. The exercises involved more jumping and bouncing than I expected in a prenatal workout, but that’s also why it was such a good challenge!! I was a bit timid to jump around at first but found that I had no problem doing it. We did jumping jacks, running in place, shuffles and more. Each exercise built on the last and by the end performance we did them all together in a 2-3 minute stretch. It was hard!! The class lasted almost an hour including the warm-up and cool-down, so there was no need to repeat anything. I had considered doing another segment when I started, but I was too beat to think of it when it ended!

Sweat Funk

Dance classes tend to make me feel way too cheesy, and as a former dancer, sometimes they are just too easy. Grapevines don’t get my heart rate up that much. But this class was good. It was a nice mix of funky steps and some bigger movements that moved you across the room to get you out of breath. I found it pretty hard to keep up and remember the steps at times, but I’m sure after a few more classes I’ll have it all down. Just like the fitness class, this one build the steps up into a routine that you did at the end in a performance section. The whole class was about an hour, and my body felt tired when I was finished. It’s really the 10 minutes of non-stop performance at the end that ends both cardio classes with a bang!

Synergy

The first two workouts were all cardio and didn’t require any equipment at all. Perfect for hotel rooms, travel and rainy days! The combo class was an hour-long strength and cardio interval workout. You needed a chair and some weights as equipment. I ended up using horseshoes because I didn’t have any weights, but they worked just fine. I liked the interval style a lot, although the cardio segments were less intense than the two above cardio classes. As a regular at Body Pump, I felt like the weights were on the easy side, but it was still nice to do when I couldn’t get to pump that week. Now that Faith let me borrow some 9 pounders, I have a feeling it will be more challenging! I still felt like it was a great overall toning workout and it would be good for beginners and intermediates alike.

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Overall

Pros

  • Love the timer that counts down not only each exercise but how many minutes are left in your whole class
  • Not cheesy
  • Actually challenging
  • Options to modify if you’re feeling more tired one day or bump it up if you have extra energy
  • Fast pace so when you do it a few times a week you don’t have to go super slow while they teach the steps again each time
  • Mental challenge as you build on the routines
  • 6 workouts in one set so variety with familiarity
  • Will be great for home workouts post-partum too!

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Cons

  • I wish there were a strength workout that just used body weight (like planks, pushups, squats) for a guided strength workout if you don’t have equipment or while traveling
  • I would LOVE if one of the 6 workouts was a childbirth fitness class like my prenatal yoga class and guided you through a series of pelvic exercises, squats and meditation. I’d do that multiple times a week!

Still to come: reviews of the two total strength workouts (which are hard for me to fit in because I’m already tired from Pump twice a week!) and the salutation workout, all on disc two

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Things I Love About Prenatal Yoga

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Molly @ RDexposed May 3, 2012 at 8:06 am

Ooh. This would be a great recommendation list for our GDM patients!

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2 Diana @ frontyardfoodie May 3, 2012 at 8:51 am

So glad you found a good prenatal work out! I really struggled with that this pregnancy. Last pregnancy I ran 3+ times a week and walked 2 miles every day at least.

This time I have a toddler and a large part of my pregnancy was throughout the winter so I could take him out in the snow as often as I would go if I was by myself and that also made running harder (also that my treadmill isn’t in a room I can currently use it) so at home workouts became important but yoga didn’t seem like enough and I definitely have done weight training but I never really found anything I liked.

Now I’m almost at the end so I’m quite looking forward to hardcore working out after I’m approved post partum!

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3 KatyBug May 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

That DVD sounds awesome! I’m still going to the gym twice a week and taking a very intense dance class once a week…but I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it all up through the second and third trimesters. I am starting prenatal yoga next week and can’t wait!

I’m more worried about after giving birth — I think fitting in time at the gym, runs, dance classes, etc. will be *very* hard, so I’m starting to think about building up my library for at-home workouts.

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4 Abby May 3, 2012 at 9:37 am

Ha! I love that you didn’t have weights, but had horseshoes :) Good for you to be exercising through pregnancy! I kept it up through ~8 months when I was just too big to fit behind any of the workout machines at the gym, but I loved staying active – and I swear it helped me bounce back quicker after my little man was born… Still haven’t found time to exercise regularly though since he’s been born and I’m back to work, but very optimistic (or perhaps delusional?) that I’ll figure it out soon. I’m getting so antsy!

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5 Meredith May 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

You make that DVD sound fun, makes me want to do it even tho I’m not preggers! There’s something extra motivating about having a pregnant lady leading your workout. For a while I was going to Body Step/Pump Interval (75 min class) at the gym and one of the instructors was pregnant, she had quite a large bump too!

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6 ErikaMC May 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

I wish I’d had more pregnant dvds when I was pregnant but I just modified the ones that I did have. 9 pound weights sounds a bit heavy – I was told by my doctor not to use more than 5 pounds (but everybody is different). I enjoyed working out the whole time I was pregnant – I was doing a Cathe Endurance video the day before I gave birth and I’m pretty sure I was having contractions while I did it.

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7 Kara May 3, 2012 at 10:36 am

Glad you liked the workouts so far! I have met Sara a few times (she’s friends with my sister-in-law), and she is really cool and really nice! I can’t wait to be pregnant so I can do the DVD :) I’ve been doing the newer Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30 and it’s hard!

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8 Angel7 May 3, 2012 at 10:40 am

I really want to purchase that DVD. It seems like you really get a workout, and it is not too hard.

I have been trying to walk once a night with my husband and daughter to make sure that I get a little bit of exercise, but would love to actually workout with a trainer on a DVD.

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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9 Averie @ Averie Cooks May 3, 2012 at 10:49 am

So many DVDs and pregnancy-related fitness classes and programs out there! It’s nice to hear the detailed feedback on this one.

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10 Rachael May 3, 2012 at 10:54 am

I highly recommend the Blooms prenatal yoga DVD. I am a power yoga teacher and general fitness DVD hater but I loved that DVD last year while pregnant with my second baby. Real yoga and great birth preparation!

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11 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles May 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Thank you so much for the reviews!!! I will have to check into them for sure! Do you have any idea about how much they cost? I guess I can check that out when I get home tonight….
This sounds like it is JUST what I need right now!!

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12 KERF May 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I think it’s about $40 for the whole set

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13 JSweet May 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I was wondering why you stopped running? Did I miss a post in which you explained why? I didn’t run through my first pregnancy (or exercise really at all beyond walking) because I was super paranoid and careful but 18 weeks in with my second, I’m still running, lifting weights and doing my normal gym classes like Spin and interval body sculpting, etc.
I’m hoping I can keep running for as long as possible…so far I’m slow but it’s great!

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14 KERF May 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

No medical reason – it just doesn’t feel right for me to be out of breath on these hills and bouncing around that much. Just trying to listen to my body, and I can get 95% of the same benefits from a good power wlak

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15 Jody May 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I didn’t realize that you are a former dancer! Were you on the Davidson dance team in college? Just curious. I’ve been reading your blogs for a while and this was the first time I’d heard you mention dancing, but maybe you have mentioned it before and I missed it. :)

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16 KERF May 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Just tap, jazz and ballet from first grade through dance ensemble in college, but i was never a serious dancer. It was more for fun :)

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17 Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana May 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I’m ordering these on Amazon today :) So far, I’ve just been running after my toddler, taking evening walks, and using light weights, but I’m ready to do something more intense while my daughter is napping! Thanks for the great review!

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18 Kathleen Ojo @ Onward; Inward May 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I’m not the biggest fan of workout DVDs (probably because I feel bad stomping around our 2nd floor apartment and disturbing the neighbors below) but this one sounds fun! I love that there’s such a variety in the set.

I started doing prenatal yoga but didn’t really find it challenging at all, so I invested in a Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga DVD to supplement and WOW, it’s tough! I’m scared about how I’m going to find time to run or do Body Pump when our little one arrives in July, so it’s good to have a few options for getting my sweat on at home!

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19 Wendy May 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Oh I didn’t know you danced, I was on dance team through grad school. If you find most classes easy, you’ll have to come try pure barre after you’ve had the baby. A friend is opening a studio in cville, the workout is amazing! If you ever get back into dance, Wilson school of dance has great adult classes, though they’re pretty formal and classical ballet- think ballet leotard and pale pink tights still!

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20 KERF May 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I’d love to try pure barre! I took a modern/ballet class from Faith last summer that was a lot of fun :)

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21 Carla May 3, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Just out of curiousity, Kath, would this be any good for us non-expecting women, or is it pretty much geared for those with a bump? ;)

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22 KERF May 4, 2012 at 7:09 am

I think it would be great overall… If you don’t mind her talking about babies or “hands on baby” kind of stuff. But physically it’s great

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23 Kat May 4, 2012 at 8:13 am

Hi Kath!
Thanks for the reviews. I purchased yesterday, and should be shipped to my door today!

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24 Jennifer August 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Any updates on the other disc?? I am thinking of buying this today b/c I really need to get back into strength training, haven’t done much since finding out I was pregnant…

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25 KERF August 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm

YES! It’s great. I did need a good set of free weights to go with it, but it’s challenging and good. I love both the strength only and the cardio and strength combo. This was by far my favorite fitness DVD I have EVER done and I hope to do it even more when baby is here.

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26 Jennifer August 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Oh that’s great to hear! I just ordered it and can’t wait to try it out!

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