Mackenzie Pretty – Photograph by Irene Penny
Photograph by Kyle Norton
After pregnancy, women begin to think about reclaiming their fitness. JoyRide (joyridestudio.com) instructor Mackenzie Pretty listened to what they needed. Just for them, she created the fitness course JoyMama Fit Program. And Pretty is pretty much the head mama of the group, not only providing personalized coaching, to make sure the workouts are safe and effective, and lots of encouragement.
It’s a mama of a work out. Using various class combinations (cycling, circuit, pilates, sculpt, BOSU, TRX, and so forth), the program builds from four days a week to six. Though it has a rolling enrollment, the class requires a monthly unlimited package ($225), which can be used for any cycling or Studio 2 class.
Aside from the variety and personal attention, the moms find support in the group. “No one ascends alone. Friends and family are usually our network of fans who believe in us, even when we start doubting ourselves,” says Mackenzie. “We achieve great things with belief in ourselves and have our faithful fans cheering us on! Find a supportive and inviting community, like JoyRide, that notices when you’re not there.” More specifically, partner up. “Never underestimate the power of a like-minded workout buddy. Knowing you’re meeting someone at a class or for a run is the best motivation and keeps you accountable. You don’t want to let her/him down if you don’t show. Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going!”
Here we asked the coach for a few more details:
Why do new moms need a special class? “As all of us JoyMamas know, losing weight is not an easy task. Whether you want to lose the baby weight after just giving birth, or you want to lose the weight that has crept up after years of putting everything—and everyone—in your life ahead of yourself, it’s time to make it happen. As moms, we’re juggling a thousand different things like managing the kids, work, house and our families’ schedules. We feel guilty making time for ourselves, and starting to exercise again can be daunting! Now is the time to make the change and put you first.”
How is this program different? “It’s a personalized approach to JoyRide’s training classes. This eight-week program is designed to help you utilize a variety of classes to achieve your desired fitness goals, and it is an opportunity for our JoyMamas to experience the feel and coaching of personal training in a group-fitness atmosphere. It clearly lays out the different array of classes you should take weekly to achieve whatever your goals may be, like losing the baby weight, toning your tummy, improving your fitness level so you are better able to chase around those little munchkins or all of the above.”
What should JoyMamas expect? “The program is structured on a weekly basis over eight weeks. During the postpartum period, there may be a tendency to rush an exercise program in an effort to return to pre-pregnancy shape. It is very important to gradually ease back into exercises. Special focus needs to be made on posture, joint alignment, muscle imbalances, stability and recruitment of the deep core stabilizers, such as the transverse abs. Every week there will be a progression to ensure that proper foundation is laid to strengthen your core.”
What are some of the exercises? “One of the most important aspects to any fitness program is cross training. Cross training varies your workout routine. For example, on Monday you take a cycle class, Tuesday you take Pilates, Wednesday you take circuit class, etc. By choosing different types of workouts, you use different muscle groups, allowing you reach a higher level of fitness. It also helps prevent injuries because you avoid overtraining a specific muscle group.”
What’s the biggest mistake a new mom can make in starting a workout regime? “There are a few big mistakes all JoyMamas make when they begin their new fitness journey as a mother. First and foremost, don’t be hard on yourself! Changes won’t happen over night. Your body has been through the ringer during your pregnancy and delivery, and it will take some time and work for you to feel like you are making gains. Just starting a workout program should be grounds for celebration. Be proud of yourself for taking the first step.
“Second, special focus needs to be made on posture, joint alignment, muscle imbalances, and stability. It is important to start small and progress your workout over weeks, not just days. The JoyMama Program, which is specially designed for new moms who have recently had babies, help progress you weekly to help activate your deep core stabilizers, such as the transverse abs.
“Finally, cross training is a must! Whether or not you are a new mother, cross training prevents injuries and overtraining by exposing your body to all different types of movements and exercises. JoyMama includes a variety of classes such as cycling, mat Pilates, circuit, sculpt, and barre to work every muscle in your body, so you will see total body results and you never get bored of doing the same thing!”