I’ve been doing these workouts for a while now and it’s my second iteration so I thought it was about time I wrote a review of it. So here it goes: Tracy Anderson’s The Pregnancy Project workout DVDs.
I’ve spoken a little bit about these workouts already in My first post morning sickness workout but there is more to be said. So if you’re considering this as one of your options for pregnancy exercise, I hope this helps.
You all know Tracy Anderson, right? In the highly unlikely event that you don’t, here’s a short introduction. She’s a celebrity trainer mostly known for her trademark Tracy Anderson Method, which aims not only at weight loss but at a total transformation of the body’s shape. Her biggest advocate is Gwyneth Paltrow, who credits Tracy for getting her in the best shape of her life after having her second child. If you type “Tracy” in Google search, her name is the third in the auto-suggest list. Now that’s something!
I’ve tried the method but didn’t stick with it because it just didn’t fit my style. I did, however, do both her pregnancy and post pregnancy DVDs religiously and I loved both the exercises and the results so much that I’m again doing both of those now that I’m pregnant for the second time. Keep reading to find out why.
The Pregnancy Project review
The Pregnancy Project was released in March 2013 which was very convenient for me since I was three months pregnant at the time. I actually preordered in January immediately after I found out I was pregnant. After that, I quickly ran into some complications and was banned from exercise for the first trimester. But then everything got more stable and I was cleared to workout right when the DVDs finally got released and delivered. Talk about perfect timing!
There are 9 DVDs in the set, one for each workout and each workout is for one month. Since I missed the first three months I did workouts 1-4 each for one week in month 4 and then continued in month 5 according to schedule.
Each of these workouts has 4 stages: warm up, arm series, leg series, cool down. Warm up and cool down cover stretching as well while the arm and leg parts are designed so that they actually engage the whole body. So don’t worry about missing any parts.
This is the official description for each month:
MONTH 1: This is your first month of pregnancy. You’re likely to often feel tired. Together we’ll take it slow, listening to our bodies and finding our center.
MONTH 2: You’re starting to really feel your pregnancy now, and nausea may be an issue. We’ll work on the range of motion, stretching and keeping our muscles strong and in proper alignment.
MONTH 3: We’ll tone and stretch with a range of arm and leg exercises. Plus we’ll continue to strengthen our abs while this is still a possibility.
MONTH 4: Hurray! You’re now entering your second trimester. Hopefully, your nausea is gone. We’ll focus on lifting your butt and keeping you looking healthy.
MONTH 5: It’s month five, and your energy is back. We’ll continue to focus on lifting your butt, while we keep you moving and feeling strong—without overdoing it!
MONTH 6: You’re recognizably pregnant now. We’ll continue to keep you connected to your muscles, allowing your body to do what it needs for the pregnancy.
MONTH 7: You’re entering your third trimester. Your baby has grown a lot. Now we’ll concentrate on preparing our bodies for the birth. We’ll focus on circulation and staying strong and flexible.
MONTH 8: The baby is really growing. We’ll continue to move in order to keep our energy up and stay connected to our bodies, which are starting to feel a little foreign.
MONTH 9: We’re preparing for birth. The goal is to open up your hips. We’ll reduce the complexity of our movements but continue to work on circulation as we wait for our blessings to arrive.
You are going to need 3 pound weights, a mat, and a chair to do all the workouts. I have some suggestions for all of those three.
Tracy suggests 3-pound ones. Mine are just a little bit lighter but they’re still fine. However, this is not what I want to warn you about. There are a lot of moves where you’re required to put down your weights and support yourself on your palms. Having to actually let go of the weight is unnecessary and annoying but also having some relief on your wrists is great. In order to do so, I recommend a weight whose diameter on the sides is wide enough so that you can keep them in your hands, put them on the floor and support yourself on their edges while still holding them.
Get a really soft mat or use to. There are virtually no exercises where you would need extra stability so aim for comfort. You are going to spend quite some time either on your knees or on all fours and with the extra weight in the latter months extra cushioning become oh so very welcome.
A dining char would be best, if it has no armrests it’s even better. Do not use something with wheels or anything too light. Mostly the chair is meant for extra support. If you need to watch out not to tip it over, there is no point in having such an aid.
Technically this is not workout equipment but let’s mention it anyway. Truth be told I never sweat during these workouts. But it doesn’t mean there is not some serious effort involved. Which is why having a water bottle handy is just that…handy.
I always feel sooo good after doing these! And if I skip a couple I actually immediately feel the difference. In a bad way, of course. I am now in a phase of my pregnancy when I feel awkward all the time. These exercises are designed around the belly so while I’m doing them it never feels like it gets in the way and this is such a relief! For those forty minutes, I feel lighter, stronger and not awkward at all.
The downside is that 40 minutes is quite a lot for me these days. I can only spare them in the evening and by that time I am so exhausted that gathering up the energy to start is a serious challenge. But once I do everything is easier so I really try and do them every other day.
The upside is not only that I feel overall better now but also that it will make it so much easier for me to get back in shape after we welcome our baby girl. At least I’m counting on it based on my experience from the last time I did this. An active pregnancy also has a number of benefits for the baby, not just mom. And there is no better reason to do it, right?