There aren't many challenging, effective workouts tailored specifically to pregnant women—but this new fitness club is looking to change that.
When it comes to prenatal fitness classes, the pickings can be slim. If you're a pregnant woman who wants challenging workouts without compromising safety, chances are you've discovered there's a delicate balance between too easy and too risky — and there's that awkward thing that happens when you're forced to modify group fitness moves on the fly.
But that's about to change—at least if the team behind Fit Pregnancy Club have any say in it. Moms Joanie Johnson and Carolina Gunnarsson teamed up to launch FPC, which sets out to change the face of prenatal fitness.
"When I got pregnant I was taking classes and was trying to maintain my level of fitness but was not finding classes that were challenging enough for me [or] instructors that were postnatal certified [and] up-to-date on their information," Johnson, a pre/postnatal corrective exercise specialist, tells Fit Pregnancy. "They were giving me modifications that weren't up-to-date—or worse, they were [unsafe] for pregnancy."
Gunnarsson felt a void where prenatal workouts are concerned as well. "During my second pregnancy I found a huge lack of offerings for prenatal classes," she says. "It felt wasteful to spend money on SoulCycle and SLT since I had to modify so much, and prenatal yoga and power walking wasn't enough to keep me excited. So I worked with a personal trainer, who really kept my body strong. But I really missed connecting with other women and being a part of a community of women. So I figured I would just have to start something myself that fused the really great workout and community together."
The two mothers came together to develop the FPC, which is set to open a New York City studio. While they're focused on providing options for women who've worked out before pregnancy and are looking to stay in shape while they're expecting, they'll also offer a course of fundamentals appropriate for all fitness levels.
Both Johnson and Gunnarsson are clear about one thing: There's no room at FPC for the misconception that working out is for weight loss. The focus is on building strong, healthy, fit bodies and making labor, delivery and postpartum recovery easier for its patrons.
FPC won't just offer fitness classes—there's also a focus on building a community, and the team plans to roll out frequent events to encourage this.
"Our focus when hosting community events is to invite women to learn something new, to share our own or our collaborator's experience, make women feel good about themselves, and to make women feel less alone in the world," Gunnarsson says. "Our focus at FPC is really self-care and the fact that your body continues to be yours even after you have delivered your baby. We want to encourage all women to remember that her body is not just a vehicle for a baby while pregnant but it is still hers and only hers."
The first studio is set to open in New York City, but stay tuned—both founders promise they're looking to expand, both physically and virtually, so preggos in other areas can join the club.