How My Body Changed After Pregnancy/My Cardio Ladder Workout

How My Body Changed After Pregnancy/My Cardio Ladder Workout

As many women who have been pregnant know, our bodies can change after we have had a baby (or multiple). We go through so much when growing a baby so it makes sense that the changes can be permanent.  I know that some women might go back to looking exactly the same but that did not happen to me.

I already had stretch marks from puberty so I was really worried that I would get a million more from pregnancy. Well, I did end up getting some but luckily it was not that many. I got a few streaks on my upper thighs and a couple on my lower abdomen. They are light yellow in color.

My lower abdomen has some wrinkling on it along with the stretch marks. The area is also a little softer (more fat) than it was before. I do not think it will change without plastic surgery which is not something I plan on doing.

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Not the clearest picture but you can still see some of the stretchmarks.

Another thing about my abdomen was that it turned completely black after I gave birth. This was terrifying to me! It took about seven months before it went back to brown. I guess this is common occurrence in brown skinned people.

Now onto my hips. They are wider! I can not say that I appreciate having them. The pants I used to wear pre-pregnancy just do not fit right anymore. My husband really likes them because he says it makes me more feminine. I am glad that this change did not turn him off.

The last thing that is different is the varicose vein that came in after giving birth. It is ugly! It starts mid thigh on my right leg and goes down to the ankle. I think if there was one thing I were to go see a plastic surgeon/nurse injector for, sclerotherapy (https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/cosmetic-procedures-sclerotherapy#1) would be the thing I would get. Too bad it is so expensive and I am not rich.

So all in all, I can not complain too much about my body. I still look pretty good-just a little different from before I got pregnant. It is not fair for me to sit up here and criticize the way I look when other women have had a much harder time with their bodies post-pregnancy.

I know that the really red stretch marks that light skinned women get can be upsetting to them. Hopefully some day soon there is a treatment that will actually work to get rid of them (maybe there already is?). I wish that all women could get to a place where they feel at least a little happy about the way they look. It can be a long journey and I am not totally there yet myself but I try to keep moving towards it.

My cardio ladder workout

Image result for cardio ladder

Using a cardio ladder is my favorite way to get in a tough workout. I am not exactly sure how many calories it burns but I feel like it must be a decent amount. If I get another heart rate monitor watch I would be really interested to see what it says.

I used to be a competitive soccer player and we would have to do a lot of agility type drills during our practices. Back then I was in such great shape and the drills were part of that reason. This is what prompted me to get a cardio ladder around seven years ago.

I did quit using it for a couple of years due to finding another type of cardio I really liked. Recently (in the last year), I decided to get back into doing it again and I will definitely continue to use it regularly. It is pretty easy to up the intensity level if need be to keep my body challenged.

Currently, I do ten drills and perform each two times. After I get done with the ten drills, I take a rest and repeat them. I do this three times and become a sweaty mess afterwards. Here is some great information on it which is where I found inspiration for my routine: https://gethealthyu.com/agility-ladder-drills-to-burn-calories/

I would highly encourage everyone to try it!

 

 

War Room Strategies

War Room Strategies

So I was cleaning out one of my closets and found a workout routine called War Room Strategies. I did this back in college in 2010 and I remember loving it. I am excited that I found it again!

The workout routine

The War Room Strategies workout plan is from T-Nation. this is a site that has a ton of articles related to fitness and nutrition. I am not entirely sure how I came across it back then but I am sure glad I did.

The author of the plan is Christian Thibaudeau. He is a bodybuilder and a strength training coach. His routine involves using different types of workouts during the week. He claims that doing this will maximize  fat loss while maintaining muscle mass. The workouts that he has you doing in the plan include heavy lifting, lactate inducing lifting, aerobic work and anaerobic alactic energy systems work.

Christian explains the science details behind his fat loss plan really well and it is interesting to read. Here is my summarization of the workouts below:

  1. Heavy lifting days (2)- One day is chest/back (day 1 of the workout week) and the other day is quads/hams (day 4 of the workout week). Each workout includes four exercises that you are to superset five to six times. You should lift heavy enough so that you can only do six to eight reps.
  2. Lactate inducing days (2)- These workouts are tough and burn a good amount of calories! They are done on day two and day six of your workout week. You are to perform two to three full body circuits that have five exercises. Each circuit is  done three times through without stopping. There are to be 12-20 reps per exercise.
  3.  Aerobic work (2)- This involves doing twenty to thirty minutes of steady state cardio after your two lactate inducing workouts.
  4. Anaerobic alactic energy systems work- This involves doing intense cardio after your chest/back workout. Christian suggests doing sprinting but I recall doing HIIT on the treadmill instead.

Is it worth doing?

Yes! I highly recommend it. Like I said before, I loved this workout routine. I decided that I will be doing this again starting in April. In terms of fat loss, as always it needs to be combined with  a great diet but I believe this plan really helps. I remember reaching my cutting goal fast with it.

Check it out!

https://www.t-nation.com/training/destroying-fat