Amanda Kloots Redefines The Prenatal Miracle
Amanda Kloots, the namesake behind the wildly successful dance cardio brand AK! Fitness, is breaking out into a new role – one that took nine plus months to prepare for and is amongst the most celebrated: motherhood. She recently gave birth to her son Elvis. Kloots—a native New Yorker who is renowned for training celebrities such as Kate Walsh and Aimee Song through an innovative jump rope method that took to social media like wildfire—is now carving out a new niche for moms-to-be with a workout class that fits every trimester. Coining this prenatal miracle AK! Baby Bump, Kloots is redefining the fitness capitals of the world from east to west with a powerful class that pushes moms-to-be to sweat.
Training out of Bandier’s flagship in West Hollywood, Kloots is lending Tot Living her expert tips to accomplishing first-time motherhood with ease, embracing fitness after pregnancy, and enforcing body confidence on social media by empowering her followers to find their size and wear it with pride.
Photo Credit: Masha Maltsava
HL: Amanda, you recently celebrated the birth of your son, Elvis. Lend us your expert tips on getting back into shape post-pregnancy.
AMANDA KLOOTS: For your own energy purposes, try to sleep when the baby is sleeping because if you’re exhausted, you’re not going to want to do anything when you have the chance to do something anyways. That’s a tip that my pediatrician gave me. It’s been really helping me feel more energized throughout the day. When I can’t get away from him—I know it sounds old school—but I go for a walk. For a while, Elvis didn’t like his stroller, so I put him in the carrier and I had 12 pounds on me. That’s literally all I could do as I was recovering from a C-section, anyway, so I was just taking nice long walks with him. My third tip would be to jump rope because if I do have any kind of minutes when he’s taking a nap, I go outside and get in as much as I can. Sometimes it’s only 10 minutes. Sometimes it’s longer, but it’s just an efficient way to get your heart rate up and burn calories.
HL: Building an empire, AK! Fitness, you’ve curated infectious dance cardio workouts that make you “jump, skip, and smile.” But your newest class is AK! Baby Bump. What made you create this inspirational prenatal class?
AK: When I got pregnant, I realized there were definitely things I wanted to know and research to make sure I was working out safely while I was going through different trimesters. I went back and looked over my prenatal training and put together a workout. I believe women can do a lot, and if you’re having a healthy pregnancy than you can do a lot in your pregnancy and you don’t have to only do a boring class. You can push yourself. You can sweat. It’s good for the baby and it’s good for the mom. I put together a class that I broke down on my website in different videos by trimesters. And then I was teaching live Baby Bump classes in New York and in L.A. that are a combination of those videos. I loved it. It was so empowering to teach the classes.
HL: Teaching the class as a fellow mom-to-be, how did it feel to bond with a different group of women?
AK: It felt really cool to teach those prenatal classes because I don’t think it’s very often that you go to a prenatal class and the teacher is also pregnant. I’m in this with you!
Photo Credit: Kassandra Ann Photography
HL: As a dance sensation churning out class after class, you must often struggle with burning the candle at both ends. What are your suggestions for a healthy work-life balance for new moms?
AK: It is tough! I will tell you. And even though fitness is my job, there are times where I say, ‘I’m not fitting it in today!’ We don’t have help at the moment and my husband and I have opposite schedules and so we’re tag-teaming it. Finding that rhythm of tag-teaming so that you can have your time, even if it’s just a half-hour, is so nice. I think it’s really helpful to have that time to yourself to clear your head and to do something for yourself and your body. If you have help, a babysitter or a family member, that definitely helps, too! Don’t feel guilty about getting help.
HL: As you’re learning to maximize time to yourself without a babysitter, who do you find are the top people you rely on for advice?
AK: I was lucky enough to be pregnant at the same time as a couple of my girlfriends. That has been really special. My sister was pregnant at the same time as me. Her daughter is just four months older than Elvis. It was really special to have her. I think to find a mom community is really nice and important. I love reaching out to my own mother. I will also say, a lot of times I reach out to the Instagram community. It’s amazing the support the moms give you on social media. The flood of help that comes through is great. You don’t feel alone. My lactation consultant has been a huge help, even just having one in-home appointment with her that the insurance covered. I know every mom is in a different situation. Just know, I didn’t have the insurance that covered the lactation consultant, either, but I found out that they would cover most of it. I just had to send it in. Find those resources.
HL: How do you sift through the Instagram community’s flood of responses?
AK: Enough of them are so similar that you’re like, ‘okay, this must really work.’ I think moms that have multiple babies know what they’re talking about. They’ve been through it. Now I catch myself doing it, giving people advice. Because it worked for you, you want to share it with people.
Photo Credit: Meredith Fridline
HL: The role of a mother is universal. What pointer would you recommend to first-time moms around the world?
AK: My one tip would be with breastfeeding. I would say that it’s really hard and to research it before you have your baby, whether that’s meeting with a lactation consultant or talking to other moms that have breastfed. And to keep trying because I was about to give up but I just kept going. We finally found our rhythm now and Elvis is three months old. It took me time, but that would be my No. 1 tip. Stick through it and keep educating yourself. It’s really hard and no one really talks about how hard it is. They just say, ‘breastfeeding is the best for your baby.’ It doesn’t always happen that easily and moms give up.
HL: As a role model with a public image, what values do you want to instill in your followers about body image concerns and loving yourself and others no matter how much you weigh?
AK: I think this is so important. I would say, during pregnancy, a lot of moms and women worry about gaining weight. For me, I never let them tell me the number on the scale throughout my entire pregnancy. I thought it was really important to keep a clear mind. I didn’t want to have to worry about some number after giving birth that I had to lose. It’s about how you feel. Are you able to get through an exercise class and feel good about yourself? I think strength and fit are not necessarily what you look like in the mirror or what size jeans you are. Bodies change and it’s amazing what our bodies can do.
HL: If you had one message for your followers on body confidence and enforcing a positive outlook, what would it be?
AK: I think we live in a society where you see these everyone judges themselves and each other so harshly. You have to try to stay clear of that and remind yourself it took nine months for your body to change and it’s going to take nine months or more for your body to go back. Find your size and be okay with that. Wear it with pride and wear your size.