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What’s My Workout: Randi Zinn

Randi Zinn knows how to bring mothers together. The founder of Beyond Mom (—which hosts connection-building events designed to encourage women to foster their individual pursuits outside of being moms and offers content for those who want to learn more about this new way of navigating motherhood—makes it her business to help women lead the best lives they can. To that point, the New York City resident, who is expecting a girl in late January and has a three-year-old son, loves nothing more than a good workout. And though typically eager to keep things interesting on the fitness front, she finds herself taking things a little slower these days. “Pregnancy is very humbling for me,” she explains. So how does the mompreneur feel about soon having two little ones to contend with? We chatted with her about accepting the unknowns of her impending “new normal,” movement as medicine and the built-in fitness benefits of keeping up with a toddler.

Q: What were your go-to workouts before you got pregnant?

A: My workouts have been a bit of a buffet; I love mixing it up. It keeps my body a little surprised and keeps my mind intrigued. On a given week, here were my go-tos: Body Conceptions by Mahri one time per week, SoulCycle one to two times per week and intenSati with Patricia Moreno one time per week. Then I would randomly throw in workouts like 305 Fitness, CityRow, Laughing Lotus for my yoga fix and anything else I was curious about.

Q: Describe your typical workout routine now.

A: I’m a normally super-active, movement-loving individual. Pregnancy forces me to become very deliberate. My body asks me to slow down more than usual and to make my movements more grounding and less high-impact. I have happily discovered barre3 West Village, where I have not only met some of the loveliest instructors in New York City, but discovered a workout that is both challenging and extremely grounding, too.

Q: How so?

A: Barre strengthens so many of the muscles necessary for a strong pregnancy and delivery and handling a new baby—legs, core, pelvic floor, arms—in a way that’s very easily modified. I find myself there at least twice a week and I continue to walk, walk, walk. And, of course, I am constantly active with my athletic three-year-old boy!

Q: How has this pregnancy differed from your first?

A: It is different than my last one in so many ways. The last one was a rough start, with hormonal imbalances, bleeding and a lot of anxiety. This one is way easier, no issues. Because of that I’m able to be much more active. It feels like my body gets it this time!

Q: What has surprised you about working out and staying active during pregnancy?

A: I’m surprised that, contrary to the idea that it’s the bigger belly that gets in the way of certain movements, it’s really the changes in my hips and the ligaments around my hip flexors that ease me toward one movement and away from another. Perhaps it’s because this is my second pregnancy, but I really feel my pelvis moving, which can make me feel unstable and achy.

Q: Have you discovered any tricks to help deal with that?

A: The perfect tip for anchoring this part of my body is to engage my core and upper legs when I’m walking. It’s easy to get into the waddle of pregnancy, but it only loosens things more. Another reason why I’m loving barre class right now is that it’s strengthening the parts of my body that keep me stable. Another tip: Pay attention to the time of day you workout! I wake up with much more energy than I have in the afternoon and evening, so I’ve learned that I have to get my workout in earlier or else it just won’t happen. Your body rhythm can change when you’re pregnant so make use of the energy you have during the time you have it.

Q: Describe your pregnancy fitness philosophy in three words.

A: Listen. Respect. Positivity. Listen to the needs of your body. Respect the process. Stay positive.

Q: Wise words. What motivates you to stay active?

A: My husband and I often wonder how people who are out of shape function as parents. We are blown away by how physically active we have to be to keep up with our son and we are so glad we have a philosophy of physical health and strength. It has allowed us to stay agile, youthful and fun. Knowing how active and strong you really need to be to be a parent, I’m motivated to stay as strong as possible throughout my pregnancy so easing back in post birth isn’t as shocking. As a mompreneur, I’ve realized that my physical strength keeps me sharp, motivated and confident. And since the mompreneur in me isn’t going anywhere, I better keep moving!

Q: What are your thoughts on becoming a mom of two?

A: I’m definitely scared, as I have no idea what to expect. But I can safely say that I think it’s going to be a tremendous growth experience for my son and my husband and I as a team. We will all have to step it up, but I think we’re ready for it! And raising a little girl is nothing short of an honor. I think being a woman is both a challenge and a privilege and I can’t wait to guide her in doing it gracefully.

Q: What have you learned during this experience that has been a light-bulb moment for you?

A: As a big-time planner, I’ve come to the realization that I can only plan so far. Sure, I can paint a wall and buy fresh baby clothes—but I have no idea what my new normal will look like. And I’ve finally realized that I’m not supposed to know. The reality of my new life will reveal itself as it’s happening. Since I’ve stopped trying to figure it all out, I feel a little more relaxed. I actually want to enjoy the craziness instead of control every part of it. For me, that’s a major revelation!

Q: What advice would you give pregnant women when it comes to staying active and continuing to enjoy their workouts?

A: I would tell any pregnant woman to simply pay attention to her own body’s needs. If you have the ability, run that marathon! If you need to slow down during your pregnancy, change your workout to make it work for you! There’s no right way. I do believe that movement is medicine, so finding ways to move is critical. But finding your way is the most important thing and that takes listening and self-respect. I’d also guide any pregnant woman to pamper herself a little more than usual. Massage has gotten me through both my pregnancies. It’s so helpful as your body adjusts to carrying more weight and it’s so wonderful for the spirit of a pregnant woman to be able to completely relax and to feel taken care of. We are doing an incredibly hard job by creating a new life, after all!

Q: What do you look forward to doing the most after your little one is born?

A: I can’t wait for my body to be mine again! I look forward to working out to my full capacity and getting challenged in the ways I love to. I can’t wait to jump, dance, lift and stretch in all directions. But until then, I will have complete respect for the process I’m in and learn every lesson from it.

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