According to a recent estimate by the American Fitness Professionals and Associates, the total number of estimated jobs for personal trainers is 279,100. Out of those, 100,000 are serving women who are pregnant or mothers to be. Women who have their first child are always seeking professional personal trainers who can help them spend their days pain-free and maintain a certain level of activity in their schedule rather than spending an entire day resting.
NPTI Florida Personal trainers understand how they can help their pregnant clients and create a workout plan specifically to meet their fitness needs. This is an important question for two main reasons, first, the client may face some level of restrictive movement due to the baby-belly, and secondly, the workout sessions need to ensure the mother feels safe during the training session.
Expectations of Pregnant Clients from Personal Trainers
Now here’s some truth – even though a personal trainer is not a doctor, clients tend to treat them as such, so you need to make sure you understand your client’s condition and help your client in the best way possible.
Let us get the obvious out of the way first – always recommend your clients to get information and recommendations from their primary care physician prior to training. However, we are going to offer you some tips to ensure you are helping your pregnant clients along the way, keeping her and the baby healthy. Let’s go over everything, from exercise to nutrition to keeping your client healthy and safe.
Clear Their Misconceptions and Myths
The first concern people usually have when they’re pregnant is “Can I even exercise?”. That is one of the biggest misconceptions people have says, NPTI owner Pat Sherman as most people tend to spend hours and hours on the bed doing no form of physical activity or even engaging in everyday activities. Yes, the mother’s movement becomes a bit restrictive; however, they can still do many things without causing any harm to themselves or the baby.
If you’re wondering if your client can exercise or not, the answer to this question depends on what they’ve been doing up and to the point of conception. So, if a client uses six months as a rule of thumb and has been exercising regularly in that time, they can continue exercising into the pregnancy. However, some modifications will be made as they progress into their pregnancy term, but that does not mean they need to stop exercising completely.
Help Them Maintain Their Diet
Another major concern your clients might have is that they will no longer be in their shape after the pregnancy, which they tried so hard to maintain, and now they are afraid they will get fat. So, you need to make sure your client does not engage in a huge calorie deficit. They are not just eating for themselves; they are also eating for their baby.
Low carb, high protein? Effective supplements to help your clients burn out fat faster? Short bursts of high-intensity training? Personal trainers are required to be on top of their game all the time. As a qualified personal trainer, you need to have all the information regarding different diet plans, food benefits, and the latest technology and equipment. Being on the cutting edge of rising nutrition and fitness trends can allow personal trainers to prevent their clients from injuring themselves and meet their nutritional goals.
As a personal trainer, you need to be well-educated in the following:
- The Principles of Nutrition and diet therapies.
- Knowledge of pregnancy stretching.
- Knowledge of safe exercises during pregnancy.
- Knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology.
- CPR/FIRST AID.
- Program design.
As an educated qualified personal trainer, you want to deter any major calorie restrictions that your client might make. If you are looking for a rule of thumb on how to fuel the body, instead of encouraging any calorie deficit, take your client’s weight in pounds multiple that by ten and then add 300. Start that as the base for calories, and then you can take that over to their doctor and have them assess the client’s calorie intake.
You also need to know what your client can and cannot eat during their pregnancy. There are some things they would want to stay away from, such as
- All forms of alcohol consumption
- Fish with high mercury content (tuna)
- Undercooked fish (Sushi)
- Excess sugar
- Processed foods
Your client needs to eat as clean as possible because if they consume excess calories but eating right, gaining any weight will not be harmful to their health. Also, make sure your client drinks plenty of water to stay hydrated before and after the workout.
Private Sessions Over Group Training
Pregnancy involves three trimesters, and each trimester lasts around 12 weeks. If your client is in her third trimester, advising them to join a boot camp will not the best option. Because as a personal trainer, you need to keep a close eye on your client, which may not be possible if you’re dealing with a large group of pregnant women. Always recommend one on one personal training sessions to your pregnant clients to make sure they stay safe and under your direct supervision. Here are some things your client can do in each trimester.
In the first trimester, your client can basically do everything they’ve been doing before undergoing pregnancy. Just make sure you don’t include any heavy abdominal exercises, but for the most part, they can do every exercise they’ve been doing over the last six months. The big changes will take place as your client enters her second trimester.
With the second trimester, you’re going to avoid exercises from the supine position. So, you don’t want to put weight on your client, let’s say a chest press, no holding positions or prone positions such as the plank. Also, you want to avoid exercises for isometric holds for your pregnant client, such as a wall sit which tends to raise blood pressure.
Going into the second and third trimester, you want to make sure that you keep your clients safe, so avoid any exercise that involves a lot of jolting and where the belly touches the ground. As a personal trainer and caretaker, you want to make sure your client does not fall. Go for something like step-ups and stay away from single-leg exercises because you want them to be completely stable on the floor. You don’t necessarily need to put them on a BOSU ball either. All in all, the intensity of your exercises is going to continue to dwindle down as you go into the second and third trimester.
Keep Them Engaged
Being a personal trainer means you must be in the best physical shape and must have knowledge and understanding to help your client obtain their fitness goals. Personal trainers are their best advertisement for training, dedication, and results. Aside from their knowledge of nutrition and fitness, it’s their ability to motivate clients and inspire them to invest in a healthier lifestyle.
There is a strong chance your client might be experiencing some pain and difficulties during exercises and in general during the second and third trimester. It is your job to help them keep moving forward and stay motivated. You can use a more conventional aspect of measuring your client’s exertion, the ‘talk test.’ Your client at this stage should be very easily able to maintain a conversation with you while exercising. If you find that they’re constantly gasping for air or need breaks, the intensity of the exercise may be too high. Remember, during pregnancy, the mother’s stress level needs to be as low as possible. You may not realize, but your workouts are a way for your clients to stay at ease and lower their stress levels.
Get Started as A Personal Trainer
If you have decided to be a personal trainer, you need to have the right education and practical experience. Attending a Fitness school is perhaps the most important aspect of becoming a personal trainer. We highly recommend that you obtain your personal training education from an accredited institution.
Accredited institutes such as NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa) are accredited by the ACCSC and licensed by the Department of education. Getting a Diploma in Personal Training is the highest level of Fitness education. NPTI Florida offers unlimited job placement assistance to all graduates Nationwide. Remember, education is the foundation of your future. It also proves to your clients that you are a professional and they are in safe hands.
Visit our website www.nptiflorida.edu to know more about us.
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