Last week I attended my first pilates class (post baby) and felt much better for it despite the aprés exercise aches for a good few days after. Yesterday I tried CARiFiT (http://carifit.co.uk), something I’d heard about via social media and thought I’d try as part of my mission to get back in shape post birth. The general concept is a bootcamp style workout whilst your carrying your baby in a sling/baby carrier.
Before I fell pregnant I was pretty active, I played hockey twice a week and attended at least one other fitness class (HIIT, yoga or pilates) each week. During pregnancy I carried on with pilates and also took a great pregnancy fitness class (http://www.maternallyfit.co.uk) up until my pelvis caused problems during the third trimester. So in a nutshell, I was quite confident that this class would be like many other’s I’d attended with the simple difference, carrying my baby on my front (I’d already done that for 9 months!).
So, I attended the class at Slice Studios in Fulham (http://www.slicestudios.co.uk). Upon entering the class was greeted by Vern who was very welcoming, he explained how to set up for the class, and that my baby should only wear one layer to avoid getting too hot against my chest, he also suggested I tightened my baby carrier. First impressions were great, more and more women and babies turned up and Vern announced we had 5 minutes until the class started.
This class does not require much equipment, each person has a pair of weights and a resistance ring (provided by Slice). The class began with a warm up to some gentle pop music, once warmed up the music tempo increased and we started sets of lunges and squats, incorporating the resistance ring and the weights for a full body work out. Vern was very attentive throughout and helped with our form to ensure we didn’t injure ourselves and work our muscles correctly.
Two songs in I was dripping sweat and after keeping her eyes open for the first 5 minutes my baby had nodded off – clearly the movement and loud music was soothing!
There was a great sense amongst all participants to keep going together, and with the encouragement from Vern throughout I only paused to catch my breath a couple of times outside of the allotted rest periods. The beauty of this class was that mums of all shapes and sizes were taking part, and even though I arrogantly classed myself as ‘fit’ pre class, other mums who you might not assume were super fit were breezing through and putting me well and truly in my place. I might have naturally dropped off the baby weight within a few weeks of giving birth (yes I’m one of those annoying women) but I am NOT in shape, I’m flabby and weak. A few more CARiFit classes and that definitely won’t be the case.
All in all the class was great, I walked away with jelly legs and a red face, the sign of a good workout! Definitely bring a bottle of water with you.
I would definitely recommend CARiFiT to all new mums looking for a higher intensity class which also observes the parts of your body most important to work on at this time. There were ladies of varying physical ability in the class, you can happily work within your limits whilst also being encouraged to work hard. Best bit is you don’t have to worry about finding child care as they’re strapped to your front.