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Strength Train after the Baby.

By on February 14, 2008

Question: I am a mother of a 3 year old. I am 5’5 and weigh 140lbs. I used to be very fit (looking) as well as fit. My weight was always around 125-130 lbs. Since I had my son, I have not been able to get the weight off. I run an average of 40 miles per week, weight train 2 days per week, and do a lot of walking. I have tried 6 week changes by adding in spinning or kickboxing classes to see if it was just a plateau. I have not lost any weight, in fact I have gained, and it doesn’t appear to be muscle. I don’t eat horrible food or anything… What can I do to get over this hump? Do you have any fitness programs that would help me?
– Virginia

Answer: Virginia…there is no Santa Clause and I’m only human. You’re asking me to speculate too much information but since I’m in the speculating mood I think I’ll answer your question. There’s many questions left unanswered, for instance; did you exercise when you were pregnant? If not, than you may have lost valuable muscle while pregnant. Even if you perform aerobic activity such as running you may not burn fat because you don’t have enough muscle to burn fat efficiently. Sometimes, if you do more aerobic exercise than strength training you will actually lose more muscle and gain more fat. It sucks, but that’s what I think is going on with your body. You as well as other post pregnancy women may find it more beneficial to concentrate on strength training exercises post delivery than running, walking or cycling. Your body is thrown into chaos and your muscles are asked to do things they have never done before…like rest. The more rest you get the more your muscles atrophy (melt away) the less muscle you have. That means the engine that burns fat is much smaller than it was. My advice; up your strength training to 3 times a week (full body) and cut back on your running.