MTIs PRENATAL PROGRAMMING
Academic Research has found that women who trained through pregnancy have been found to have healthier outcomes for both mother and child.
In doing our research prior we were unable to find professionally designed, prenatal programming designed for tactical athletes, mountain professionals and other fit women experienced in functional fitness.
As part of our research we reached out to current female Tactical Athletes and Mountain Professionals with specific questions surrounding prenatal and postpartum training experiences and input. Below are the highlights from the responses we received from military officers, professional mountain guides, etc:
- Most don’t know they are pregnant until Week 6 – so start the programming at week six and go through week 40
- Training cycles/programming should generally align with pregnancy trimesters in terms of volume, intensity, and exercise selection
- Daily programming needs daily scalability – especially early in the pregnancy when training is often interrupted or shorted due to morning sickness, and later in the pregnancy when training is affected by fatigue and discomfort.
- Most continued to strength train using free weights (dumbbells, barbells, etc.) throughout the pregnancy – even into the third trimester. However, exercises were avoided later because of belly size/discomfort – i.e. no barbell power cleans at 8 months
- A few ran through all 40 weeks of pregnancy, but in the latter weeks, most pulled back on running because of discomfort.
- All avoided super intense max effort work capacity, strength and endurance work after learning they were expecting. Other than avoiding max efforts, first trimester training was little changed.
- Most engaged in yoga or stretching for flexibility during pregnancy, but did this outside fitness training but didn’t want that included in fitness programming.
- Most engaged in Kegel and other pelvic floor work during pregnancy, but not as part of their daily fitness training and recommended any work in this area not be included in fitness programming.
- Most trained / were active every day of the week, but gym-based daily training duration generally decreased as the pregnancy advanced. All wanted a daily training scheduled 7 days/week.
- Focused and consistent postpartum training for most began 6-8 weeks after delivery. Programming needs to start easy, and progress in difficulty.
MTI’s Prenatal and Postpartum programming incorporates this feedback.
- The 34 weeks of Prenatal programming is broken into seven training plans, each 4-6 weeks long. Programming Highlights:
- Programming intensity and volume, and training session duration, decrease as the pregnancy advances
- Programming is 7 days/week. Weekend work is endurance.
- Each individual training session includes an option to scale down based on how pregnancy is impacting the athlete that day. We call this the “Not feeling it” Flex.
- Max efforts are avoided across all fitness attributes – strength, work capacity, endurance, chassis integrity
- Strength, work capacity, endurance and chassis integrity are all trained throughout the pregnancy
- Programmed endurance modes include running, spinning and rucking
- Chassis Integrity programming has a slight low back/extension emphasis
- Postpartum Programming begins at 6 weeks after childbirth, and is gradually progressive in intensity and volume
PRENATAL WEEKS 13-18
This is the second training plan in the MTI’s Prenatal Training Packet, designed to be completed weeks 13-18 of your pregnancy, and is a step down in intensity from Prenatal Weeks 7-12.
The programming is designed to allow professional female athletes to continue to train professionally, while pregnant and experiencing the physical changes pregnancy involves. At all times remember you are not training for only yourself, but also your baby. Listen to your body, don’t be stupid, and put you and your baby’s health first.
This is a multi-modal training plan which concurrently trains strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (functional core), and endurance (run/spin, ruck). Overall, this has a slight work capacity and chassis integrity emphasis.
Gym-based sessions are designed to last 45-50 minutes. Endurance programming is 60-90 minutes long.
Again, this plan is designed to be completed weeks 13-18 of your pregnancy.
The final week of this plan is an unload week.
This is Version 1 of this plan, built February 2021.
Trained via free weights (barbell, dumbbell/kettlebell) and bodyweight exercises using MTI’s “Efficient Sterngth strength progression/methodology. Each strength day you’ll train a total, lower and two upper body strength exercises in the same, extended circuit. The plan deploys “hard” but doable progression … which means the loading will automatically scale to the individual athlete in general, and how she is feeling that day, specifically.
Trained via 10- minute and 20 minute, multi-modal events deploying sandbags, dumbbells, shuttle sprints, step ups, etc.
You’ll complete 15-minute, “ARE” circuits. Each circuit contains an Anti-Rotation, Rotational and Extension core exercise, often deploying sandbags.
Trained via time using running, spinning and rucking wearing a 35# backpack. Pacing is either moderate or easy.
“Not Feeling it” Flex
Each training session in this plan includes a “Not Feeling It” Flex” option for days when morning sickness, above-normal fatigue or other is affecting you that day. This “flex” option allows you to easily cut down on that day’s training volume as appropriate and needed.
- Monday – Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity
- Tuesday – Strength, Work Capacity
- Wednesday – 60-Minute Endurance
- Thursday – Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity
- Friday – Strength, Work Capacity
- Saturday – 60-Minute Endurance
- Sunday – 90-Minute Endurance
- Pull Up Bar
- 35# Sandbag
- Backpack with 35# of Filler
- Squat Rack, Bench, Barbell, Plate, dumbbells and/or kettlebells
- Foam Roller
- 16″ bench or box for step ups
How long will sessions last?
Gym-based training sessions are specifically designed to be completed in 60 minutes. Endurance sessions take 60-90 minutes.
What if I miss a day?
Skip ahead to the next training session.
How do I know if I’m fit enough to begin this programming?
Click the “Sample Training” tab above to see the entire first week of programming. Try it and see how you do. If you can’t complete it, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a programming suggestion.
Can I see sample training?
Yes. Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
How do I access the plan?
Access is online, via username and password. You can log in either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.
Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.
More Questions? Email: email@example.com
Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health. Physical training contains inherent risks including, but not limited to, muscle strains, tears, physical and bodily injury up to and including death. This training program is not meant to provide medical advice; you should obtain medical advice from your private health care practitioner. If you are unable to assume these risks then you should not engage in this training program. No liability is assumed by Mountain Tactical Institute, Inc, its owners or employees, and you train at your own risk. Mountain Tactical Institute makes no warranty, express or implied, of any kind in connection with this training program.