Here’s how Fitness Together in Bay Village is helping Katie S. stay strong and fit during her pregnancy

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Katie Sheehan was determined to stay fit during her second pregnancy, planning a healthy diet and enlisting the services of Fitness Together’s Cody Plank for personal training. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Patricia Nugent

When Katie Sheehan was pregnant with her first child in 2015, she adhered to the old-fashioned regimen of lots of daily rest, zero exercise or exertion, and plenty of ice cream.

She gained more weight than she planned, and, in the last trimester, went into polyhydramnios and macrosomia (excess fluid and a really big baby). Doctors decided to deliver the nine-pound, six-ounce Emma Pauline early via Caesarean section.

When Katie found out she was pregnant earlier this spring, she decided this time was going to be different. She shelved the ice cream and planned a healthy diet. When she heard about the Grand Opening of Fitness Together in Bay Village, she paid them a visit and signed up for weekly training sessions.

Focusing on a Strong Back
Cody Plank, who is both one of the owners and trainers at Fitness Together, has worked with many pregnant clients in the past. Armed with a degree in sport and exercise science, as well as national certifications, he is well-equipped to plan a program to best benefit a client with specific needs.

“Our program changed from week to week during the pregnancy,” he says. “We focused on strength and paid special attention to the posterior muscles of the back, to help her posture as the pregnancy progressed.”

Says Katie,

“I enjoy coming here. As I started growing along with the baby, it felt great to be able to at least show progress in other parts, such as arms, legs and my back. Each week I’d see improvement in my muscle definition, and it was nice to have other people notice, too.”

And as important as looking in shape was, she said this pregnancy has been night-and-day different from her last.

“I’ve had more energy and fewer aches and pains,” she says. “And I haven’t gained nearly as much weight, which will make postpartum life easier since I’ll also be running around after a toddler and caring for a baby.”

Amazing Numbers
Cody says that her numbers of improvement were pretty amazing, adding pounds to each exercise and challenging her muscles.

“Now we are focusing a little more on stretching and flexibility as we near the end of the pregnancy,” he says.

Katie is heading into the homestretch. The baby will arrive by C-section on Friday, December 14. And plans are already in the works for her to return to Fitness Together six weeks after giving birth.

“I feel awesome, and don’t plan on stopping,” she says. “I’m a runner, and strength training is the perfect complement to all that cardio.”

The 1:1 Difference
Katie says she had worked with personal trainers in the past and had been disappointed.

“They just wrote a program for me and didn’t stick around for me to follow it,” she says. “Training here is a completely different experience. The trainer is with you at all times, coaching you on form and pushing you further than you’d push yourself.”

Cody says it’s that accountability that has helped them turn people’s health around, in whatever way they need most, whether losing weight, gaining muscle, or improving balance, flexibility or endurance.

The private exercise suites also make the customized training more effective, as they are outfitted with the latest equipment, including cardio machines and suspension bands, medicine and stability balls, battle ropes and weights.

Fitness Together is located within the Dover Commons Shopping Center, by Fragapane’s Bakery, at 650 Dover Center Road, in Bay Village. Call 440-671-3200 or visit for more information.