Friday, June 8, 2012

She Delivers: Review of Sara Haley’s Expecting More Daily Sweat Prenatal Workout Program

***Full Disclosure: I DID NOT receive a free copy of this workout program to review. I bought it full price with my own money. (Sad, I know.) How do I get refunds and prizes for reviewing things after the fact?! Seriously. Just keepin’ it real. Thought you should know – this review is legit. ***
My very own copy of Sara Haley's Expecting More Daily Sweat Pregnancy Program.
 I really enjoyed swimming laps while I was pregnant with Lincoln. And on the days I wasn’t able to go swimming, I didn’t worry too much about being active - I had a built in workout at my job in the Costco bakery. ;) 

This pregnancy, I don’t have easy, consistent, or free access to a swimming pool. And even if I did, I would have to arrange for a babysitter. So, swimming is not really a reliable workout plan this go around. Chasing Lincoln around the house can be very exhausting, but it doesn’t provide me with the same burn (or back-breaking labor . . .) that working at Costco did. And while Squire and I do enjoy going on walks together on the trail behind our house or around our neighborhood, the Tucson heat has begun to rise above the triple digits, and with it – so has my desire to stay locked up inside with my A/C. 

So, when I saw my friend review this new prenatal workout program on her blog, my interest was piqued. I then proceeded to read every blog post and online review of the program I could find – all of which were golden.  I was convinced. And within two days I had convinced Squire that even though it was a bit more pricey than many prenatal workout DVD’s, that this was THE prenatal workout program I wanted to help me stay fit this pregnancy. ;)

Sara? Sara? Is that you? Oh, it's just me. ;) Where's a fan to blow my hair when I need one?
 

I started working out the day the DVD arrived. And am now just two workouts shy of finishing up a solid month of doing Sara Haley’s “Expecting More” Prenatal Workout Program. And?! I LOVE IT. It was worth every red cent we spent. My body is toning up, I have a bit more energy every day, and I feel great knowing I am staying active for me and my baby during this special time. If you are pregnant, or know someone who is pregnant, share this! It is one awesome resource for a fit pregnancy and a smooth postnatal recovery. With 6 different workouts, you have a nice variety to keep you interested and engaged for the full nine months (or longer). 

*Random Side Note: This program is also helpful for helping husbands to get in shape . . . not that I would know anything about that. Hehe. ;)

Sara’s program comes with a recommended schedule broken up by trimester - which is very helpful. I have gotten a better sense of where I am at physically, and even though I am about to enter my second trimester, I am going to repeat the first trimester workout plan for one more month and strengthen up a bit more before moving on to the more vigorous workout schedule for the 2nd trimester. 

The workout calendar.
 The workout schedule can be summarized in this way: 

1st Trimester workout schedule (Strong): build strength, get you familiar with the workouts, ease you in to the program with a mid-week break day, 4 workouts a week. 

2nd Trimester workout schedule (Fun): provide a challenge, some days have you do two workouts in a row, the most difficult workout of the series (Synergy) is done at least once each week, 5 workouts a week without a break day in the middle. 

3rd Trimester workout schedule (Sexy): Maintain strength, provides a couple more break days again, eases back on the most difficult work outs, not quite as vigorous, includes several more days of the easiest workout (Salutations).

Looking at the calendar, the longest a suggested workout will take you is 1 hour and 19 minutes, the shortest workout will take you 33 minutes. But on average, you can plan to be working out around 45 minutes most days.

So what’s the “more” that you can expect in Sara Haley’s Expecting More program?
  • More variety than most prenatal workout programs. While I like yoga and Pilates, I didn’t want to do it five days a week for the next nine months. I knew if I got just a prenatal yoga DVD, I probably wouldn’t stick to it, or I might get bored with it. I am nowhere near bored with these workouts. And with all the modifications offered on every one of the 6 workouts, there is room to grow and “bump it up” as Sara says. Also, where some modifications challenge, others allow me to continue to work out at a level where I can talk comfortably and not get overheated. The different modifications make me feel confident that these workouts will continue to be safe as my body and needs change throughout the pregnancy.
  • More pep! Sara says that these workouts are designed to help you feel sexy and strong – and they really do. Sara is so cute and encouraging and positive. You just can’t help but feel good after you get your “daily sweat” on.
  • More challenge. These workouts are safe and tailored for a pregnant woman’s body, but they don’t short change you either. These workouts are designed for the fit woman who wants to maintain throughout her pregnancy. These workouts make you feel empowered and strong, not like a helpless incapable frail thing. I was certainly no marathon runner before I got pregnant, but I know how to work out safely when pregnant and felt like I wanted to challenge myself – safely. And this program is really doing that for me.
The program has 6 different workouts, and is divided into two DVD’s – a strength disc, and a cardio disk.

Four of the workouts (Sweat Strong Up, Sweat Strong Down, Sweat Sport, and Sweat Funk) are to be done with the warm-up and cool-down sessions. The warm-up is 8:13 long, and the cool-down is 8:00 even. 

Two of the workouts (Salutations and Synergy) are done independent of the included warm-up and cool-down, and have their own designed in with the workouts.

I’m going to tell you more about each one of the six workouts now. 
  
Sweat Strong Up (SU): 19:38 sweat portion, 35:51 total workout time with WU and CD.
  • What you need: A set of (at least) 5lb. free weights, to be wearing your tennis shoes.
  • This is a great workout for toning and strengthening your body to prepare for carrying a little one around. I love the energy and burn I feel the whole day after I do this workout. My arms are really beginning to tone up – I mostly contribute that to this workout. 

Sweat Strong Down (SD): 26:16 sweat portion, 42:29 total workout time with WU and CD
  • What you need: A mat or carpet to lay on, one 3-5lb. free hand weight, be barefoot.
  • This workout reminds me of advanced leg and ab Pilates videos. The burn in my legs and sides (from the oblique plank work) is killer. I learned how to do pregnant push-ups from this video. I have noticed my bum and upper thighs have smoothed out considerably since I’ve been doing the Sara Haley program. I blame that on all the workouts, but especially this one.
Salutations (SA): 32:27 total workout time
  • Performed barefoot on carpet or a mat.
  • This is the workout I choose if I don’t have a workout scheduled or when I'm not feeling 100%, but still want to do something. It is more yoga inspired. It gets you warm, but doesn’t stay with you days later. This workout has some more sexy moves with hip and head rolling to help you loosen up. Hehe.
Sweat Funk (SF): 26:52 sweat portion, 9:15 performance time portion (36:07) – 52:20 total workout time with WU and CD

Don't touch my baby!
  • This cardio workout can fill the hole in the pregnant dance-lover’s heart. It is hip-hop and Zumba-esque. Just like any dance workout, there are moves that make you giggle with a self-conscious blush. There is one move on this particular workout that I laugh at every time. It’s called “Don’t touch my baby!” Seeing sweet white Sara Haley doing this move and telling me, “C’mon, let’s see some attitude!” It’s just hilarious. Squire laughs at me every time he walks in on me doing this workout.  But I don’t care. I love to dance even though I look silly doing it. This one also includes a “Performance Time” segment, where you perform the whole dance sequence again, three times through.
Sweat Sport (SS): 18:20 sweat portion, 10:04 performance time portion (28:24) – 44:37 total workout time with WU and CD
  • This workout will really make you sweat! Sara’s assistants, Jaya and Allie, make their appearance on this workout. I appreciate having their two different options of modifying most of the moves on this particular workout as some of the moves are a bit more bouncy than I think most pregnant women would feel comfortable doing. For this workout, think old school moves, choreographed to music. This workout is followed by a 10 minute “Performance Time” segment in which you repeat the entire sequence you learned during the workout session, three times. I love the performance segment time – it really pushes you to finish strong.
Synergy (SY): 8:44 built in warm-up, 44:07 sweat portion, 7:50 built in cool-down – 60:41 total workout time
  • What you need: a stable chair with no arms, a set of free weights between 2-5lbs., tennis shoes.
  • This is the most challenging workout of the whole set! It is a mix of cardio and strength training. You use the chair to perform many of the segments of this workout. This workout incorporates 15 second break in-between each segment, so you can give a full effort without overheating. This workout also features Sara’s two assistants (Jaya and Allie) who demonstrate modifications throughout.
Other things I want to mention but don't know where to put them:
  • There is a little countdown clock in the bottom left-hand corner that ticks down the time as you work out. I love this, especially for the tougher workouts.
  • There are options on all the workouts to have it be silent. This can be nice if you prefer to work out in quiet, or if you want to do the workouts to your own favorite music instead. And honestly - this is my one criticism of the DVD's, the music really isn't that inspiring. I have already used this quiet option to do Sweat Funk to "I Like to Move It." Much more fun. :)
  • Each workout has notes and reminders pop-up throughout the workout. They give modifications, reminders to drink water at slower times, tips for practicing the move safely, and even a reminder or two to do some kegels! 
  • This IS NOT a weight loss program! This is a prenatal pregnancy program to help you stay fit. Sara Haley mentions in the intro that she gained 30lbs. over the course of her pregnancy. Just keep that in mind. Make good choices for your growing little ones.  
*A final reminder for you all: While I am married to a medical school student, I have pretty much no medical knowledge or expertise. So you should talk to your own doctor or midwife before you start something like this. Deal? Deal.*

Thanks for reading. I hope this review was helpful to you in your search for the perfect prenatal workout program! 

Oh, and because this is a pregnancy post, this shot needs to be included. :)
Baby belly shot: 13 weeks, 5 days. Totally already wearing maternity clothes.

6 comments:

  1. Excellent review! So much more in depth than mine. :)
    I didn't even know you were pregnant! Big congratulations! We miss you guys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amy for the congrats and the tweet! We are very excited about this new little one. :) We miss you guys too. Want to move to Tucson and live in our attic?

      Delete
  2. hey Jami, i just gave you an award on my blog! go check it out http://keepupwithusjones.blogspot.com/2012/06/blog-award.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. AnonymousJune 25, 2012

    Awesome! Congrats on the baby and on staying fit during pregnancy!! Too bad fitness NEVER crosses my mind while I'm pregnant, wish it did.
    Just as a warning... the second labor goes much faster... so you might not want to wait as long to hit the hospital... or you will be having your baby at home. hehe ;)

    -Janet

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello! I ran across your blog on Pinterest, and I already like it! My mom just bought me this DVD, as I am now almost 20 weeks pregnant and have been trying to keep up with Jillian Michaels, but do not enjoy the sick-to-my-stomach feeling I always have afterwards. I agree with you - this DVD is great! It's hard for me to remember sometimes that the point of exercise during pregnancy is not to lose or even maintain weight, but to just stay in as great of shape as possible. I have only done two workouts so far, but I can tell that Sara is going to help me feel great all the way to the end.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am awaiting my DVD in the mail. It's on sale on zulily.com. This review made me feel alot better. I was getting a little nervous that it was going to kick my butt, as I have not worked out since August... Very much looking forward to getting my sweat on... LOL

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